CSU broadens scope of program aimed at retention, gender equity among faculty


Members of the Faculty Success team. Photo by John Eisele/CSU Photography

A grant-supported initiative at Colorado State University aimed at enhancing retention and gender equity among faculty in STEM disciplines has been expanded, permanently funded and renamed the Faculty Success program.

The program, which had previously been called ADVANCE @ CSU, was launched in 2021 thanks to a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant of nearly $1 million awarded to an interdisciplinary team led by principal investigator Ruth Hufbauer, a professor of agricultural biology.

The newly expanded Faculty Success program, based in the Office of the Provost, will now extend beyond the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math, and will include all equity efforts – not just around gender. It will involve initiatives in the areas of recruitment, recognition and fulfillment, culture and climate, and leadership. According to a mission statement on the program website, Faculty Success “supports a thriving faculty through supporting scholarship and teaching and seeks to improve equity in academic work by effecting change in CSU cultures, structures, and climate.”

Jen Dawrs
Program Manager Jen Dawrs

‘Opportunity to make profound progress’

“The Faculty Success team is an incredible group of internal experts led by Professor Ruth Hufbauer and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Sue James, and I’m grateful for the team’s work on behalf of all faculty,” said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Janice Nerger. “In consultation with Faculty Council, the Council of Chairs and Heads, and external advisors, they’ve created a blueprint around several key initiatives and identified priorities that we have the opportunity to make profound progress on for our CCA and TT faculty.”

The new program grew out of a legacy of gender equity work at CSU. CSU’s Women’s Studies program and the Council for Gender Equity on the Faculty (formerly the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty) began pursuing strategies and activities that enhanced gender equity and addressed other faculty women’s issues. The three-year ADVANCE grant bolstered that effort, allowing CSU to leverage best practices and high-performing programs from other campuses that have had success in improving gender equity in STEM academic professions and workplaces.

Faculty Success will now include the ENCIRCLE Mentoring Network and will work closely with other CSU groups focusing on equity, including the Faculty Council Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (CoNTTF) and the Office of Inclusive Excellence. A host of events have been organized by the Faculty Success team for the academic year; the full list is available online.

Meara Faw
Presidential Leadership Fellow Meara Faw

Faculty Council presentation

Hufbauer, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Sue James and Faculty Success Program Manager Jen Dawrs told Faculty Council about the program expansion on Oct. 4. James focused on the work of the Task Force on Faculty Workload Equity, citing a recent report by the American Council on Education.

The task force is a collaboration among Faculty Success, the Council for Gender Equity on the Faculty and CoNTTF, and is co-chaired by Dawrs and Liba Pejchar, a professor of fish, wildlife, & conservation biology. Members of the Faculty Council then provided input on the direction of the task force via survey and discussion at the council meeting.

Members of the Faculty Success team include Presidential Leadership Fellow Meara Faw, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies.

For more information about the Faculty Success program, contact Dawrs at Jen.Dawrs@colostate.edu.