Award Announcement - Advance: Institutional Transformation at Seattle University

Document Type

Award Materials

Publication Date



The ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of women faculty in academic institutions. Organizational barriers that inhibit equity may exist in areas such as policy, practice, culture, and organizational climate. The ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (ADVANCE-IT) track supports the development of innovative organizational change strategies within an institution of higher education to enhance gender equity in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.

Seattle University (SU) will implement an ADVANCE-IT project that will align institutional core values of teaching, service, and engagement with the standards for faculty evaluation and advancement. SU is a predominantly undergraduate institution and a university whose values emphasize service and community engagement. They plan a number of initiatives to ensure alignment of these values with faculty related programs, policies, and practices. These strategies include: assessing and revising the current standards for promotion including options for multiple tracks to success; working with faculty leaders and university administrators in the articulation of the central themes of the project and strategic communication; implementation of formal training programs for faculty mentors; and training for promotion committees by adapting the Georgia Tech strategy called Awareness of Decisions in Evaluating Promotion and Tenure (ADEPT).

The project is grounded in a theory of change that views gender as a part of organizational structures, and that aims to change university policies, practices, and culture in ways that foster equity for faculty. The focus on the connection between institutional mission, evaluation practices, and gender equity is innovative. This project could provide a model for restructuring standards of academic advancement in ways that recognize the work of institutional service that often falls disproportionately on women and underrepresented faculty. The project includes a research component that will contribute to the literature on the relationship between gender equity and standards of faculty evaluation and promotion.