The Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty submitted a grant proposal to the NSF Institutional Transformation ADVANCE program. ADVANCE is designed to increase participation and leadership of women in STEM disciplines. The focus of our proposed project is increasing career success and satisfaction for mid-career women STEM faculty by examining how CSU’s distinctive character as a western land grant university impacts career decisions.
A subcommittee of the Standing Committee, along with Warner College of Natural Resources Dean, John Hayes, spent nearly a year preparing the proposal and building on previous CSU efforts, as well as findings from ADVANCE programs at other universities. Many others across campus committed to work with the ADVANCE project. While the focus of ADVANCE, and therefore of this proposal, is women faculty in STEM disciplines, we believe this project could broadly benefit all CSU faculty.
In the proposed project we plan to build on existing research and the progress made through ADVANCE projects at other universities in pursing new ways of understanding, revealing, and transforming forms of power and privilege that marginalize people from underrepresented groups from being full participants in the academy. In this proposed project we seek to examine CSU’s special culture as a land grant institution to better understand the role of entrepreneurship and risk-taking in career decisions. Social science literature suggests that women, as well as other members of underrepresented groups, tend to be more risk averse than typical male faculty and we further hypothesize that there may be a gender-based difference in perception and assessment of risks. Growing emphasis on faculty engagement in entrepreneurial activities, activities typically recognized as involving “risks”, may hence affect typical female faculty differently than typical male faculty. We will also examine the effect of gender, risk assessment, and risk taking in decisions to pursue non-standard career tracks, for example focusing on pedagogical research or interdisciplinary research more strongly than on disciplinary research.
While the proposal was not selected for funding, much of the work of the Standing Committee will continue to place the University in a better place for being considered in the future.
Faculty Parental Leave
The SCSWF has dedicated a portion of their efforts to suggest improvements to the parental leave plan for faculty. Recognizing that faculty members face unique situations that differ from staff members, the SCSWF worked with the administration to enhance the policy.
As of July 2017, the following enhancements have been made to the Parental Leave Policy. Currently;
- Adoptive parent (designated as primary caregiver) up to 9 weeks
3 weeks parental leave
6 weeks of sick and annual leave.
- Non-birth parent or Adoptive parent (non-primary caregiver) up to 3 weeks
3 weeks parental leave
- Non-tenure track faculty (birth mother) up to 16 weeks
3 weeks Parental leave
6 weeks of sick and annual leave
plus an additional 5 (or 7) weeks of teaching relief
- Birth mother up to 12 weeks
The SCSWF have made numerous campus wide announcement, focusing this year on ensuring all faculty, staff and administration are aware of the policies, and tip sheets are available for distribution.
The SCSWF would like to consider adding additional coverage such as adding 3 more weeks of leave for the non-birth parent or non-primary caregiver adoptive parent. After careful analysis of FY17, associated costs, usage, etc. the SCSWF will revisit this item for potential implementation.