Category: Collegiality

A&A Session for Chairs/Unit Leaders

During Academic Forum on Wednesday, it was mentioned that the ombudsperson talks to ~2 faculty per week.  This rate is consistent with results from Michigan Tech’s Work, Live, Learn Survey which found that 31.6% of women disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that they felt supported and mentored during the tenure-track years or the 22.4% who don’t feel valued by their department chair/school dean.  I know each of you care about your faculty so these findings are disturbing.  


Crafting positive climates so that everyone is valued and feels part of a supportive team relies upon broad engagement of all faculty in a unit and the chair can help influence this.  That is why ADVANCE has adapted the Advocates & Allies program to offer a learning environment led by peers.  As a Department Chair, have you been concerned about your unit’s community and cohesiveness over the last year?  Have you wondered about interactions between your faculty in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion? or related to the University Senate’s Proposal 41-21?  


Research has revealed that retention of faculty is closely coupled with how included individuals feel and that attracting new faculty is closely coupled with how well systems ensure equity is embraced within a unit.  Our diversity counts illustrate that Michigan Tech is one of the least diverse campuses in the nation (second resource here).  All of this can be intimidating, but the NSF ADVANCE effort on campus would like to help with a one-hour educational session from the Advocates & Allies (A&A) program.   A&A sessions provide the data and research, starting from the beginning, that enables individuals to gain perspectives and help them become allies for the success and inclusion of non-majority individuals. 


THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. Through a department chairs only session, we’d like you to preview this program and consider inviting us to present to your department.  This session will be presented by our Advocates Team in coordination with the ADVANCE Academy for Responsive Leadership.  Please RSVP  and join us on Wednesday, March 31st from 4 to 5.

THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. When: Mar 31, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this meeting:https://michigantech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdumqqj8jEtKTYYe0ArOPrzgqPUpuUOuE  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Mothers Rebuild: Solutions to Overcome COVID-19 Challenges

by Allison Mills, University Marketing and Communications

Over the summer and fall, paper after paper revealed that mothers are one of the demographics hardest hit by the pandemic. From layoffs and leaving careers to do caretaking, to submission rate decreases and additional service projects, the data were clear, but the follow up less so. Many of the problems are not new and will remain after the pandemic. But a new paper, published this week in PLOS Biology, outlines methods to help solve them.

“In the spirit of the well-worn adage ‘never let a good crisis go to waste,’ we propose using these unprecedented times as a springboard for necessary, substantive and lasting change,” write the paper’s 13 co-authors, including Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci), who helped lead the paper’s section addressing professional societies. She sees the work through her lens as an ecosystem ecologist.

“Some of my most recent work has been around cascading and indirect effects and how effects viewed on short time scales may have very different outcomes at long time scales,” Marcarelli said. “What I’ve learned from that research is that you can’t abstract a single characteristic of an organism and expect that to explain its ecological role. And [in academia] we try so often to treat ourselves as researchers — and not as mothers and partners and daughters and leaders — and that’s to the detriment of all of us. It’s to the detriment of us as individuals but it’s also to the detriment of our academic system because if we don’t treat people as whole people then we fail them.”

Marcarelli joined researchers who are also parents to outline ways to help mothers recover and rebuild academic careers during and after the pandemic. Read their solutions on mtu.edu/news and follow the conversation with @mturesearch on Twitter.


February 12, 2021 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Incorrect assumptions on the part of one or both parties during discourse can often push “hot buttons” and devolve an otherwise civil conversation into a conflict. Learning and listening plummets as tensions rise.  When conflict arises, the way in which we respond is far more telling than we may think. Today’s featured article for the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup outlines “7 Steps To Transform Conflict Into Collegiality.” As members of the Michigan Tech CommUNITY how we treat each other during discussions is also important.  Listening to understand, and focusing on the concepts instead of labeling the person, helps us all learn and grow while maintaining collegiality and space for all individuals to thrive.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.