The University of San Diego is a primarily undergraduate institution that proposes a variety of activities designed to recruit and retain women STEM faculty with a particular focus on women of color. The first primary goal of this project is to improve the climate through a climate survey and interactive role playing presentations. The second primary goal is to improve recruitment through the development of toolkits, trainings, cross-cultural competency workshops, and policy change. The third goal of improved retention and advancement is pursued through workshops on work/life balance, tenure and promotion, and professional writing as well as a mentoring program and a distinguished URM women scientist lecture series. All programming has a unique and well informed focus on women of color.
The intellectual merit of this proposal lies in its firm grounding in the social science literature, especially the literature about women of color in the academy. Their cluster of proposed activities is likely to positively impact the women on the USD campus and stands to serve as a model for increasing the representation of STEM women of color across the country.
Problems with the recruitment and retention of women-of-color STEM faculty plague the academy and weaken the scientific workforce. This multi-faceted project provides a roadmap to alleviate the problem in smaller, less research-intensive institutions. Their evaluation and dissemination plans are well conceived which contributes to the likelihood that they will be able to make a significant contribution to the literature.