8514 Views (as of 05/2023)
  1. Sandra Laursen
  2. http://www.colorado.edu/eer/people/index.html
  3. Senior research associate & co-director
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Ann Austin
  2. Professor of Higher Education
  4. Michigan State University
  1. Ryan Vachon
  2. http://earth-initiatives.org/
  4. University of Colorado Boulder

The StratEGIC Toolkit

NSF Awards: 0930097

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)

Adult learners

How can universities create institutional environments that support the success of women scholars in engineering and other STEM fields? Increasing participation and leadership by STEM academic women requires system-wide efforts to identify and remove organizational constraints that lead to gendered biases in institutional policies and processes. This is the premise of the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) program.

Our team has studied the work and experiences of ADVANCE IT institutions and has used the data to construct a practical, evidence-based resource for leaders of institutional change efforts. The StratEGIC Toolkit—Strategies for Effecting Gender Equity and Institutional Change—distills lessons learned about the types of interventions that have been used to change institutional structures, practices, and cultures to enhance equity and inclusion. Text and video materials offer examples of how diverse institutions have combined these interventions in comprehensive change plans and adapted them to their specific organizational context. Organizational leaders can strategically choose interventions and adapt them to their own institutional setting.

The resources in the StratEGIC Toolkit address targets of opportunity for change that can enhance the success and advancement of women scholars and that offer models for advancing faculty from other groups now underrepresented in the academy.

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Discussion from the NSF 2016 STEM For All Video Showcase (11 posts)
  • Icon for: Victor van den Bergh

    Victor van den Bergh

    Project Manager
    May 16, 2016 | 09:47 p.m.

    Dear Sandra, Ann, Ryan, and your team,
    Interesting project! I have attended some conferences where recipients of ADVANCE grants have shared their work and I think that your efforts to synthesize your research into a toolkit represent an important step in helping institutions incorporate and use what is learned from these grants. Have you had a chance to see the StratEGIC Toolkit used in an institution setting, yet? I would be very curious to hear about this or your plans for disseminating the Toolkit into the field. Thank you for this excellent video!

  • Icon for: Ann Austin

    Ann Austin

    Professor of Higher Education
    May 16, 2016 | 10:39 p.m.

    Thanks so much for visiting our video! We found it very exciting to bring together in our StratEGIC Toolkit (http://www.colorado.edu/eer/research/strategic....) what we were learning in our research about interventions and change processes in support of more inclusive and equitable academic environments. We have had a number of people tell us they have reviewed the Briefs about interventions provided in the Toolkit as they develop proposals for ADVANCE grants or discuss on their campuses ways to go further in their efforts to strengthen their approach to gender equity. One colleague told me that she shared the Toolkit and specific Briefs in the context of conversations with her Dean about challenges at her campus. We also have had people tell us that the Toolkit has given them ideas about how to address in a systematic way other campus issues, in addition to inclusiveness and gender equity. So we are very excited to see the Toolkit being put to use in a range of ways. We have disseminated it at NSF ADVANCE PI gatherings, at other conferences, and as it seems helpful, when we are at various meetings and events. This video event is exciting to us as a way to share our work and learn about the very interesting work being done by others.

  • Icon for: Karen Purcell

    Karen Purcell

    Project Director
    May 18, 2016 | 05:59 a.m.

    Hi Sandra, Ann, Ryan, and team,
    Fantastic! This toolkit is sorely needed. I love that it has specific examples and case studies. Adapting the interventions to institutional needs is exactly what is needed.
    How can we motivate institutions to use the toolkit? Will you provide any workshops/training to support the kit? And do you have plans to assess the impact of the toolkit (particularly long-term)?

  • Icon for: Ann Austin

    Ann Austin

    Professor of Higher Education
    May 19, 2016 | 05:06 p.m.

    Hi, Karen, thank you for your enthusiasm about the Toolkit! We have been able to highlight the Toolkit at several meetings of ADVANCE PIs and have been excited about the very positive response. We also have spoken at several disciplinary and higher education associations where we have been able to highlight the Toolkit and what we have learned about organizational change, and we’ve sent several messages out through the ADVANCE listserv. But we would welcome additional ideas about ways to spread the word. Please let us know if you have suggestions.

    We are finding that those who learn about the Toolkit use it in a range of ways. We have talked with a number of people who are preparing proposals for NSF ADVANCE grants, who tell they are using it to stimulate their thoughts in their planning processes. We also have had leaders at institutions that already have ADVANCE grants tell us that they are reviewing the Briefs and ideas in the Toolkit to help them think through further steps they may want to take at their campuses. We have also been interested to learn that various faculty members, institutional leaders, and higher education scholars are using the Toolkit to guide them in thinking about change processes whose goals don’t happen to be increased campus gender equity and inclusiveness. In other words, the change interventions and strategies are of interest as campus leaders think through a range of change goals. We are very pleased to learn examples of how colleagues are using the Toolkit.

    I also noted with appreciation your comments about assessing the impact of the Toolkit. That would be a very useful and helpful process, I think. At present, the grant that supported this work has concluded, but we will keep your comment in mind as we think about future work. Thank you very much.

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Co-PI & Executive Director
    May 18, 2016 | 08:11 p.m.

    Hi Sandra, Ann and Ryan!
    As you know, the ADVANCE Implementation Mentors (AIM) Network loves the StratEGIC Toolkit. ADVANCE is about institutional change. A question I have is that in your journey to develop the toolkit, do you have hypotheses for why some institutions are unsucessful in their institutional change efforts?
    Thanks for your work!

  • Icon for: Ann Austin

    Ann Austin

    Professor of Higher Education
    May 19, 2016 | 05:09 p.m.

    HI, Gretal, thank you for your comments—and for your ongoing support and interest in our work! We appreciate it—and appreciate your work too! We do have data on factors that contribute to resistance or problems in institutional change efforts. That is an area where we look forward to mining our data further. Stay tuned for more contributions from our research team in the future on that topic. Determining ways to identify and address resistance is certainly an important part of engaging in a successful change effort.

  • Icon for: Joseph Wilson

    Joseph Wilson

    Managing Director
    May 19, 2016 | 08:32 p.m.

    #teamSandra – the video + toolkit itself is SO comprehensive and impressive for implementing systemic change. What is the dissemination strategy to ensure that the key decision makers of institutional change know that this exists (and actively use it)? Thank you for an excellent video and project!

  • Icon for: Ann Austin

    Ann Austin

    Professor of Higher Education
    May 21, 2016 | 06:13 p.m.

    Joseph, Thank you very much for your comment and support. Others too have commented over the past year that the strategies are useful for fostering systemic change for a variety of purposes—for gender equity as well as other issues and goals on campuses. In terms of dissemination, Sandra and I have given presentations about the Toolkit and our research on approaches to systemic organizational change at various conferences, including the NSF meetings for ADVANCE PIs, the annual meeting of WEPAN (Women in Engineering Proactive Network), and the national meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). We also have given presentations at several institutions. Of course, being part of this Showcase gives us another opportunity to highlight this work. We also have an article in Change Magazine: Laursen, S. L., Austin, A. E., Soto, M., & Martinez, D. (2015). ADVANCing the agenda for gender equity. Change: The Magazine of Higher Education, 47 (4), 16-24. This publication is read by higher education leaders, so we hope it will be useful in letting change leaders know of the Toolkit. We would be very appreciative of additional ideas you may have for ways to share this work. And again, thank you very much for your support.

  • Icon for: Teresa Eastburn

    Teresa Eastburn

    Digital Learning & UCAR Connect Lead
    May 20, 2016 | 02:29 a.m.

    Kudos Susan and Ann for putting forth a toolkit and portfolio for a systemic issue that greatly impacts us all and is so ingrained that it often goes unnoticed by many in on campus but truly within every institution. I’ll take a look at your website for my questions (http://www.colorado.edu/eer/research/strategic....). Thanks for the link! And Susan and Ryan, I hope to see around Boulder, too! Thanks for your important work.

  • Icon for: Ann Austin

    Ann Austin

    Professor of Higher Education
    May 21, 2016 | 06:14 p.m.

    Teresa, we appreciate that you visited the video and are taking a look at the Strategic Toolkit on the website. We’ll be interested in any ideas or suggestions that you may have. Thanks very much!

  • Icon for: Ann Austin

    Ann Austin

    Professor of Higher Education
    May 23, 2016 | 06:41 p.m.

    I want to offer a note of thanks to all those who have visited and commented on our video and our project. We are very excited to share what we are learning about organizational strategies to promote change toward environments in the academy characterized by greater gender equity and inclusiveness. We also have been very interested in what we have learned about the importance of taking a systemic approach to organizational change processes in which multiple interventions together help make a difference toward the intended goals. Thank you for your comments, support, and interest, and we hope the video and our Strategic Toolkit will be helpful to you.
    Ann and Sandra

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.