NDSU ADVANCE FORWARD Institutional Transformation Project


Focus On Resources for Women's Advancement, Recruitment/Retention, and Development (FORWARD)
An Institutional Transformation Project Funded by the National Science Foundation 

ABOUT NSF ADVANCE FORWARD PROJECT:  Provided funding for comprehensive and sustainable institutional transformation to increase participation of tenure-track and tenured women faculty. Specifically, the ADVANCE FORWARD project strived to :

  • Improve the climate across the campus;
  • Enhance recruitment of women faculty in science and engineering disciplines;
  • Increase retention of women faculty;
  • Promote/advance women associate professors; and
  • Create leadership opportunities by promoting and hiring women faculty into academic leadership positions.

ADVANCE FORWARD Project Impacts (2008-2016)

  • Increased participation of women faculty in all ranks and leadership roles. Increased the number of associate professors (both genders) to consider promotion.
  • Enhanced research productivity through competitive ADVANCE FORWARD grants.
  • Initiated campus wide junior cohort mentoring program and discussions on mentoring; especially midcareer mentoring. 
  • Initiated revision of current policies and new policies. 
  • Stimulated conversations about campus climate and unconscious bias in faculty searches and evaluation. Helped campus develop vocabulary for discussing climate and gender issues.
  • Engaged senior men in institutional transformation.  
  • Sponsored nationally recognized researchers for campus presentations and workshops. 
  • Increased: Decision to remain at NDSU (95%); Tenure and/or promotion process (90%); Experience of the campus climate (92%)

Selected Highlights (2008-2016):

  • 18 of the 23 STEM departments increased the number of women in their departments; 22 have at least one woman in their departments
  • Increased the number of STEM women full professors from 4 to 10 (9 to 24 in all fields)
  • Increased the number of chairs from 3 to 10
  • Developed workshops for faculty search and promotion, tenure and evaluation committees 
  • Organized over 100 presentations, workshops
  • More than 80% of faculty participated in at least one FORWARD event (90% of women and 76% of men)
  • Conducted trainings at Lehigh University, Louisiana Tech University, West Virginia University, University of Maine 
  • Over 100 NDSU faculty as PI received awards totaling more than $1,350,000
  • Received additional funding from NSF for dual career

About the FORWARD Committee:

FORWARD was a grass-roots action group of faculty and administrators who came together in 2002 out of a shared concern about the slow advancement of women faculty in science and engineering departments. The FORWARD committee was committed to establishing a university culture in which all are nurtured and supported to develop to their fullest potential, and the criteria for success and achievement incorporate the unique skills and contributions of both men and women. Many of the initiatives have now been institutionalized in the office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Equity.

Percentage of NDSU Women Tenure-Line Faculty by Rank

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