Note: Thank you for your interest in ADVANCE Project TRACS, our NSF funded Institutional Transformational Grant which ended August 31, 2017. The pages that follow are historical documents for informational purposes only.

ADVANCE generates new programs, such as a sick childcare network and dual career assistance program, and builds on existing programs, such as providing more flexible solutions for work-life integration in general, and during major life transitions. Want to learn more about the MSU Family Advocate Program? Click Here.

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Click here to view the MSU Work-Life Resource List
Click here for a comprehensive guide to work life practices and polices by the University of California Hastings.

Enhancing Work-Life Integration Team Leaders Sara Rushing and Sue Monahan

Sick Leave Donation Pool

It takes new faculty hires about three years to save up enough sick leave to cover an extended family care-giving leave. In the meanwhile, many faculty members who have been here for years have accrued myriad sick leave hours they will never use. This new program allows those with leave to donate into a common pool, which eligible MSU faculty and staff can draw on as needed (the previous donated sick leave model allowed for “direct grants” of leave only, from one named donator to one named recipient). The University Family Advocate and Human Resources are working together to institute this program promptly.

What we will do

What we have done so far

Hypothesized Need-support

Create family caregiving sick leave donation pool

  • Worked with HR/Campus Task Force to revise policy.
  • Publicized program in meetings with all Deans and Department Heads.
  • Donation Pool Policy reviewed by University Council Dec 5, 2012.
  • Policy revision approved with target implementation date of 2/1/13.
    Click Here to View HR Announcement
  • Researching infrastructure and process for donation to pool.
  • Coordinating sick leave donations as needed. Contact a Family Advocate Today.
  • Brainstorm P.R. and communications to campus community about the “What, why and how” of a sick leave donation pool.
  • Timeline established with a targeted date for solicitations in the Spring Semester.
  • Soliciting donations of sick leave hours. Please donate today! Click here to learn more
  • Linking those in need to support from the pool. Contact us for information.



Modified Duties for Family Caregiving Leave

We will provide course releases to women in STEM/SBS who are a primary caretaker of a newly adopted child, newborn, sick elder, or other family member. The Family Advocate will take primary responsibility for leading the implementation of this program and tracking data. The Provost, with the assistance of her Dean’ s Council, is committed to offering this program to non-STEM/SBS faculty.

What we will do

What we have done so far

Hypothesized Need-support

Create modified duties policy and program for family caregiving leave (course releases)

  • Publicized policy/program in meetings with all Deans and Department Heads.
  • Created handout to illustrate this and other work-life policies and programs on campus.
  • Publicized program in meetings with, or information provided to, on campus interview candidates for Tenure Track faculty jobs.
  • Create form to request Modified Duties.
  • Grant and support Modified Duty requests. Complete the Modified Duties Request Form for consideration.
  • Draft formal policy.
  • Submit draft policy to MSU Work-Life Integration Task Force, Joint Academic Governace Steering Committee (JAGS), Faculty Senate and Dean's Council.
  • Policy in current draft of approved faculty handbook. 
  • Policy finalized and adopted.
  • Policy communicated to all faculty on campus.
  • Helping faculty take advantage of the policy. Contact us for information!



Dual Career Community Placement Liaison

An “Off Campus Placement Liaison” will support dual career couples (for a woman in STEM/SBS and indeed all partners) where the non-MSU partner seeks employment off campus. The Placement Liaison will work throughout the year to build relationships in the community with the goal of facilitating on-campus and off-campus employment opportunities to partners. The liaison will create and manage information about dual career practices.

Create dual career community placement liaison

  • Publicized position in meetings with all Deans and Department Heads.
  • Met with HR to discuss the need for and nature of the position.
  • Meet with candidates interviewing for the position.
  • Hire Liaison.
  • Contact Sharon Today: Call: (406) 994-7303 or email
  • Liaison integrated into all searches on campus.
  • ADVANCE Two Body Opportunity website created. Visit the Dual Career Website Today
  • Human Resources Dual career website created.
  • Dual career brochure created and disseminated



Faculty Partner Placement Bridge Program

Here we create the opportunity for an accompanying faculty partner to be appointed to a three year “bridge” position within the appropriate department, to provide time for the partner to build relationships with colleagues and build their research program in a direction compatible with the department’ s focus. This program is eligible to new hires and current faculty in which either the faculty person or the bridge partner is a woman in STEM/SBS, and ideally, will be made widely available to all departments and academic partners, especially those that enhance diversity. 

New partner placement Bridge Program for faculty partners of women in STEM/SBS

  • Publicized policy in meetings with all Deans and Department Heads.
  • Publicized policy in meetings with, or information provided to, on campus interview candidates for Tenure Track faculty jobs – particularly women in STEM/SBS.
  • Created process and accompanying form to facilitate speedy application for Bridge funding by departments working to successfully complete an offer to a woman in STEM/SBS position.
  • Process/form disseminated by Dean’ s Council.
  • Host a "Two Body Opportunity" Dual Career Mini Conference.
  • Now reviewing proposals and transforming through hires! For Information Click Here!
  • Research other programs for sustainability options.
  • Encouraging proactive thinking at institutional level about how to extend commitment to academic partner placement through Bridge funding beyond the life of ADVANCE.



Family "" Network

The goal of this network is to coordinate the family care needs of all faculty. provides ways to bring faculty a variety of services and resources to help them meet their family care needs. This is especially true for short term (including back-up care) and part time caregiving help. Will make finding and managing care easier by providing a reliable way for families and caregivers to connect.

Create “Family Care Network”

  • Research other programs to model ours on.
  • Present program options of to key stakeholders.
  • Work with Procurement Services on year long contract with
  • Work with to develop messaging about how the program works, the nature of the references provided, obligations of parents and care providers, etc.
  • Go live with the program.
  • Advertise and communicate the availability of the network to the campus community.
  • Connecting to those on campus. Use today!
  • Two year long test of services.
  • services will be ending on December 1st. Please visit Hire-a-Bobcat if you need services.



Opt out of Stop-the-Clock Policy Change

Currently at MSU tenure clock stoppage is on an “opt in” basis – the faculty member must know about and initiate the request for a revised schedule. An “opt out” program would treat a one-year clock stoppage as the default, and thus “normal” (and not stigmatized). The faculty member could opt out by setting their clock ahead (i.e. back to what it was originally) at a later date if they so choose. This puts the faculty member who has experienced a major life transition in what feels more like a position of strength, as opposed to a position of weakness (asking for “extra” time for tenure review). Deans and Department Heads will be informed about the value of this policy, the expectations that go along with a revised tenure schedule and how to initiate conversations regarding tenure schedule modifications.

Change tenure clock extension policy from “opt-in” to “opt-out.” 

  • Publicized need for policy change in meetings with all Deans and Department Heads.
  • Draft formal policy.
  • Policy in current draft of approved faculty handbook. 
  • Policy finalized and adopted.
  • Policy change communicated to all faculty via work-life integration tool kit. Contact us for information!