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 The pages that follow are historical documents for informational purposes only.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 promoted respectful communication, sensitivity to the dynamics of relationships within a culture, and respect for the values and beliefs of cultures. The project team employed the active and vigilant practice of maintaining cultural humility, active attention and ongoing mindfulness, to implement many programs, including diversity depth hires, an faculty search toolkit and equity advocate program, and engaged the MSU community in unconscious bias education. Below are some resources to get you started at your own institution.

Broadening the Search Process

Project TRACS created a training entitled, "Broadening the Faculty Search Process", which includes a webinar and toolkit. The toolkit and webinar have been updated with new research over the length of the grant. The training is now being offered through HR to search committees.                 

Equity Data

Completely funded by the Office of the President, Project TRACS created a part-time analyst position in the Office of Planning & Analysis. The Data Analyst is responsible for ongoing data collection and analyses to monitor gender equity among faculty and disseminate findings. Importantly, the analyst created a Faculty Diversity Dashboard so that such data would be transparent, publicly available, and accessible for investigation.

Departmental Diversity Self-Study

The first Self-Study was developed in 2012 and completed in 2013 by all academic departments. The results were reported in the Data Charrette and used in conversations with Deans and the Provost in the summer. Each year a Supportive Feedback document was created that summarized the information from the Self-Studies. In 2014, Project TRACS again had all departments completing the report, and in 2015 and 2016, members of the Cultural Attunement Team personalized the self-study forms to ask more in-depth questions. Also in 2016, new questions were added to help in creating the "MSU Diversity Strategic Plan." The process of sending out and assessing the self-study data is sustained in the Assessment Committee of the President's Commission on the Status of University Women

Women in Science Distinguished Professor Award: Life, Natural, Engineering, and Social Sciences

In 2012, Project TRACS, in collaboration with the Provost and Deans, established the Women in Science Distinguished Professor award to support and recognize our outstanding women faculty in these fields. This award honors outstanding faculty women in the sciences who have excelled in their research accomplishments, teaching and mentorship, and contributions to the state of Montana and/or Montana State University. The award is now administered through the Provost's Office.

2014      Joan Broderick, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

2016     Sarah Codd, Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

2018     Suzanne Held, Professor of Health & Human Development

Equity Advocate Program

Equity Advocates serve the campus community by promoting and enhancing fairness, equality, and inclusiveness for all faculty and staff. The team created the job description, materials and training, and recruited faculty and staff to act as Equity Advocates. Project TRACS led the training of 37 people from 29 departments/ units who served as Equity Advocates. The program is not currently sustained.                            

First Lecture Introduction Program

Based on similar programs developed at other ADVANCE universities, our program aims to support new women faculty in the classroom and enhance their experience of autonomy, competence and relatedness, by explicitly communicating to students on the first day of class that they are fortunate to be on the receiving end of scholarly and pedagogical excellence. The First Lecture Introduction requires having a respected authority figure take just thirty seconds to introduce a new faculty member, and to convey to students that they are in good hands with this valued expert. We encourage Department Heads/Chairs or Deans to come to the classroom and make this introduction for all new faculty, but especially junior women faculty in STEM/SBS. 

Instructional and Education Events

Project TRACS engaged in campus-wide conversations about unconscious bias in general and specific places in which gender bias is prevalent (e.g., work-life issues). These workshops and programs work open to the entire university community (not just faculty) and included bringing a professional workshop facilitator or invited speakers to campus, providing workshops with MSU faculty to share their expertise and experiences, and other events over the 5 years of the grant.