The Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics (DITE) is a research mentoring workshop that seeks to facilitate successful transition from junior faculty status to tenured associate professor for economists from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (especially blacks. Latinos, and native Americans). The gross underrepresentation of economists from these groups in the ranks of university faculty, particularly in economics departments, creates an imperative for special efforts to insure that junior faculty from these groups develop the research and teaching profile that will lead to promotion to tenure. The American Economic Association (AEA) supports the professional development of minority economists via three major avenues, the AEA Summer Program and Minority Scholarship Program, the AEA Pipeline Project, and the supervision of each by the Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession (CSMGEP). DITE is the only program designed specifically to increase the representation of black, Latino and native American economists in tenured faculty positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States via mentoring of junior faculty focused on research and teaching.

During each year of the grant, this award enables DITE to match up to twelve junior scholars with six senior faculty mentors and convene an annual one and one-half day workshop where the junior fellows will receive critical guidance on their research activities as well as professional development advice in each of the three summers of the program. NSF support also will enable each DITE cohort of scholars and mentors to meet again during the course of the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) conference in the following January and to re-convene at Duke in spring for a workshop where fellows will make formal presentations of their current research activity. Finally, where possible, DITE provides support for fellows to make one visit to one of their mentors at the campus of the mentor. In each year the twelve fellows and six mentors are subdivided into three working teams, identified primarily on the basis of common research activities, similarity of institutional type, and appropriateness of the network of scholars that the mentor can provide the junior faculty member. The three teams meet for an intensive session devoted to preparing the research projects for successful submission for publication in well-regarded professional journals. Each break-out session will allow fellows to present their research and receive feedback from the group mentors and participants.

Broader Implications: The effectiveness of DITE is measured by renewal rates, publication success, conference attendance as presenter and discussants, teaching evaluations, citation counts, and receipt of grant funding of its fellows. DITE fellows careers are followed longitudinally for at least five years beyond their year in the program. The goal of DITE is to play a role in producing greater inclusiveness in the demography of economics faculties in the United States by significantly increasing the odds of professional success for junior faculty from underrepresented groups

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
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Nancy A. Lutz
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Duke University
United States
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