Why Faculty Success?

How an NSF ADVANCE Grant Inspired Broader Faculty Programming at CSU

The CSU faculty, like other U.S. academic institutions, does not reflect the pipeline of outstanding people with doctorates and other relevant degrees. At CSU, we have a particularly notable gap between our hires and current faculty and racially and ethnically minoritized women with doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE program supplies funding to address just this!

CSU was awarded an ADVANCE grant of nearly $1 million dollars in 2021, allowing us to join an outstanding set of universities from Harvard to CU Boulder as an ADVANCE institution. Though the NSF focuses on faculty members specifically in STEM disciplines, we can, with the support from the Provost’s and President’s Offices, offer our programs and provide data across the entire university. Our work is distributed across campus with multiple partners, with the main portion housed within Faculty Success – a unit within the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Office.

The Vision Behind Faculty Success

The overarching goal of Faculty Success is to adapt evidence-based practices to promote equity and success across all faculty at CSU.

How can we achieve this goal? With the ADVANCE grant as a catalyst, we have filled three new positions: a Faculty Success program manager based out of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Office (Jen Dawrs), a qualitative analyst in the Office of Inclusive Excellence (Dr. Nozipho Becker), and a faculty search specialist in Talent Acquisition (Crystal Smith). These key staff positions support faculty success overall. Together, they help us understand the context of our institution and how CSU can make strategic changes in our hiring and onboarding of outstanding new faculty. Additionally, Provost Leadership Fellow Meara Faw, Associate Professor in Communication Studies, provides program evaluation and programming support.

In addition, the Faculty Success team includes:

    • Shannon Archibeque-Engle, Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence 
    • Sue James, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs 
    • Heather Novack, Director of Institutional Research
    • Laura Sample-McMeeking, Executive Director of the STEM Center
    • Meena Balgopal, a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor in of Biology
    • Gregg Dean, Professor and prior department head of Microbiology, Immunity and Pathology
    • Emily V. Fischer, Professor in Atmospheric Science
    • Ruth Hufbauer, the lead PI and Professor in Agricultural Biology
A photography of members of the Faculty Success team at CSU.
The original Faculty Success team. Photo by John Eisele/CSU Photography

Accomplishments and Plans for Continued Engagement

Since 2021, Faculty Success has already achieved a lot! With our many and valued campus collaborators, we have:

    • Created and offered CHIIE: the Chair/Head Institute for Inclusive Excellence, a workshop in support of department chairs and heads, who play such a crucial role in the success of their faculty members. More than 30 chairs and heads have already participated in CHIIE and benefitted from funds to implement new projects.
    • Created and offered a new Faculty Search Chair Training. The new training is available both in person and online, as well as to individual colleges by request. This work also includes an actively updated Faculty Recruitment Toolkit with information and resources to support faculty recruitment and onboarding.
    • Offered an Experiential Learning Series, including the evidence-based WAGES game, as well as creation of an entirely new workshop, IBICID: Interrupting Bias, Inviting Change, and Initiating Dialogue based on real examples of incidents at CSU, that provides participants practice with moving forward in productive and collaborative ways.
    • Designed a tool to understand patterns in faculty retention by gender and ethnicity. Additionally, we are working towards understanding our retention patterns through implementing exit interviews across the university.
    • Offered fora on promotion and tenure best practices. Recordings of past fora are available on our website.
    • Developed a group of Advocates for equity, who are creating tool kits with evidence-based resources for best practices around mentoring, onboarding, and tenure and promotion, among others.
    • Maintained and further developed EnCircle, a mentoring program in support of women and non-binary faculty members and faculty members of color.

Future blogs will cover many of these topics in greater detail. We hope that, now that you know about more about Faculty Success, you’ll take advantage of the different tools, resources, and programs available! You also now know who the team is if you have questions. Finally, team membership will be turning over as we create a long-term open structure to maintain Faculty Success, and we look forward to continuing to build our collaboration with different partners and faculty from across CSU!


Author Information: This blog post was written by Ruth Hufbauer. Ruth is a Professor of Agricultural Biology and the principal investigator on the NSF Advance grant supporting Faculty Success.