391 Views
  1. Meredith Redlin
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. South Dakota State University
  1. Cynthia Anderson
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Black Hills State University
  1. Mary Emery
  2. Department Head
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. South Dakota State University
  1. Andrea Liebl
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of South Dakota
  1. Andrea Surovek
  2. Director of Faculty Development / Research Scientist
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

South Dakota Working in STEM for Equity (SD-WISE): A System, Institutional, a...

NSF Awards: 1463993

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Adult learners

Our presentation summarizes the work done in the South Dakota Board of Regents system and its six institutions to improve faculty equity in the system.  The focus has been on instituting policy at the regental level that individual institutions implement.  In addition, the video provides initial findings on existing inequities including: Salary differences by gender; differing retention rates for male and female faculty; and work-life balance issues for faculty in the context of rank and career progression.   Last, we examine the impact faculty and administrative turnover (much more common in higher education today) have on campus culture, on faculty career mentoring and career progression, and on grant work and long-term policy projects.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (16 posts)
  • Icon for: Meredith Redlin

    Meredith Redlin

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 05:40 p.m.

    Welcome to our presentation and thank you for viewing!  We are nearing the end of our project, but not our interest.  We would welcome all comments pertaining to the key issues of this presentation at your institution!  How equitable are salaries?  Is there a pattern to faculty retention?  What are the impacts of administrative turnover on research and career continuity?  We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 07:01 p.m.

    The video is both heartening and disheartening at the same time. Seeing the turnover across the state is quite startling. However, it is good to hear that the project has been able to make inroads and start getting policies enacted. 

    I am interested in learning more about the specific outcomes that you expected and are actually getting. I see in the description that the project targeted salary, retention, and work-life balance. Do you have outcomes for each of these areas? What do they look like? 

  • Icon for: Meredith Redlin

    Meredith Redlin

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:26 a.m.

    Oh, Nuria (if I may use your first name?), your comment about heartening and disheartening encapsulates much of our experience!  The specific outcomes sought were one new policy per year: 1) Automatic Stop-the-Clock for personal reasons associated with pregnancy and adoption; 2) Salary equity by gender; 3) Paid leave for personal and extended family reasons; 4) Modified duties for non-FMLA contingencies; and 5) transparency in evaluation annually and for Promotion and Tenure.  We have mixed success.  As our presentation shows, we accomplished our first, and are continuing to work with our administrative colleagues on number 4.  Our system has moved toward number 2 without a clear policy.  Number 3 has been implemented, but does require use of sick leave for anything but birth or adoption.  Number 5 has not been successful.

    We have been fortunate to have Dr. KerryAnn O'Meara as our policy consultant through this grant, so the actual wording of policies we have proposed follow those at other universities in the United States as well as best practices from past ADVANCE grant work.

    What's so interesting is not that we are being completely blocked by our system, but that we have had to recreate the structure of communication and agreement given administrative turnover (all of our Provosts, who constitute our Steering Committee, had gone between the application and award of the grant) at the multiple levels of this project. We have had to reintroduce many of our administrators at both the many institutional and state levels to the objectives of the grant, and to recreate buy-in from them.  Given the nature of administrative turnover in higher education today, we continue to be heartened by our work together, but somewhat disheartened by the perpetual need to communicate our objectives.  Thanks for your comment, and please let us know if we can provide further information.  Note that I encourage my colleagues to respond as well.

  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 01:10 p.m.

    Of course, call me Nuria. 

    What you describe sounds like Sisyphus and Tantalus. How frustrating. Thank you for taking on this work. I hope that it resonates across the country and that the changes that you are able to enact reverberate to other states. As you mentioned in the video, what looks like a small population in one institution becomes a pretty large group across the state. Multiply that by 50 (or more, given that SD is not a big state in terms of population), and the size of the problem is considerable. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Meredith Redlin
  • Icon for: Overtoun Jenda

    Overtoun Jenda

    Facilitator
    Assistant Provost and Professor of Mathematics
    May 11, 2021 | 11:54 p.m.

    This is very interesting. Have you achieved buy-in from the male faculty in the departments? If so how? Are new administrators as supportive? Has the project been institutionalized to ensure continued focus on these important issues for women faculty in STEM at all your partnering institutions?

  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 01:11 p.m.

    I would love to hear about male faculty buy-in as well. Things won't change unless they support change. 

  • Icon for: Meredith Redlin

    Meredith Redlin

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:42 a.m.

    An interesting question Overtoun (if I may use your first name?).  Male faculty buy-in has been mixed, and definitely follows generational lines.  That is, younger male faculty are both more informed and more supportive than older male faculty.  The key issue for younger male faculty has been work-life balance, particularly in relation to family care and partner employment.  There is not a clear support from younger male faculty for some of the other issues of salary equity and evaluative transparency however.

    New administrators are mostly overwhelmed and uninformed about ongoing projects, in my experience, but not unsupportive.  The pace of turnover, and the levels of hierarchy in the system for all of our partners, have created some difficulties for both faculty and administration in determining communication lines and protocols.  We have recently had the benefit of a subcommittee of Provosts who now serve as liaisons to us and those above, as previous connections have withered due to departures.

    We have not achieved the level of institutionalization to date, as our work crosses both institutions and state-wide systems. What we are learning about is the great variation between state-level policy and institutional implementation as an entirely different area of investigation.

    Thank you for your questions, and I encourage my colleagues to address this as well, particularly given the request for individual institutional outcomes!

     
    2
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    Overtoun Jenda
    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 01:15 p.m.

    Thanks for talking about male faculty buy-in. I responded to Overtooun's post above before I saw this. 

  • Icon for: Stephen Alkins

    Stephen Alkins

    Facilitator
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
    May 12, 2021 | 11:56 a.m.

    Thank you for the presentation and the work that you are doing.  I am curious to know what levels of pushback you may have received in this work (not necessarily turnover), and how you have navigated it.

  • Icon for: Meredith Redlin

    Meredith Redlin

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:09 p.m.

    Thank you Stephen (if I may?) for the question! The primary points of pushback have been at all levels and with many diverse campus and system offices. For example, a key element of our research was to examine faculty evaluation documents but we have had difficulties in accessing those documents despite the approved IRB protocols. Don't get me wrong, it does require additional work on the part of our HR colleagues at both the institutional and systemic level, which is not a common expectation for grant work at most institutions. More broadly, we have had multiple conversations over the years about the efficacy and importance of "best practices" v. policy. Given that each institution has different demographics, size and needs, best practices are often preferred. However, as we all know, best practices don't always result in the same outcomes in different locations barring an overriding policy. So, we have dealt with this conversation through, as common as the phrase is these days, we persisted and persist!

  • Icon for: Cristo Leon

    Cristo Leon

    Director of research, College of Science and Liberal Arts
    May 12, 2021 | 01:25 p.m.

    Dear All,

    This is both inspiring and sad, do you have any metrics for underrepresented minorities?

     

  • Icon for: Andrea Liebl

    Andrea Liebl

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 04:55 p.m.

    Unfortunately, no. Sample size is a problem here, although something we're definitely interested in.

  • Icon for: Meredith Redlin

    Meredith Redlin

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 09:56 p.m.

    Thanks to Andrea for response, and let me add a little context.  In a state like ours, the vast majority of faculty are white, and most faculty of underrepresented minorities are international.  Therefore, gathering data based on those characteristics often made it impossible to maintain confidentiality in both qualitative and quantitative outcomes.  Other institutional research on campus climate does confirm the presence of community and campus implicit bias and issues based on race and citizenship status. Further, like many states right now, our legislature is pushing back against "diversity" initiatives, leaving those faculty feeling even more vulnerable.  As Andrea notes, we certainly have interest, but wanted to ensure that any of our research protected those faculty.  In future, we hope for a more open, honest and safe environment for our colleagues.

     
    1
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    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
  • Icon for: Andrea Liebl

    Andrea Liebl

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 04:59 p.m.

    As far as individual institutions- I think the interest may be there to do something, but often the issues get kicked back to the BOR as decisions are often made at that level (i.e. universities cannot unilaterally make changes). I can say at my institution there has been some push from higher administration since I presented this to look at the university as a single unit and see where our potential down falls are. A more concentrated report was just put together and will be presented soon, so I'm optimistic to start to see some changes.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Meredith Redlin
  • Icon for: John Casebolt

    John Casebolt

    K-12 Teacher
    May 13, 2021 | 08:47 a.m.

    I see this happening at the high school, college, and commercial levels. I am an elementary teacher and the roles are switched.  Thank you for shining a light on this issue.  When one of my students finds the correct answer to a math problem, I tell them that they do math like a girl. It is a small tribute to some ladies that tutored me through college. I never would have made it without them.

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    SD EPSCoR
    Meredith Redlin
  • Icon for: Hala Schepmann

    Hala Schepmann

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 03:11 a.m.

    I am very interested in learning more about the modified duty policies you have worked on.

     

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