ADVANCE and Trailblazers

The TIGERS (Transforming the Institution through Gender Equity, Retention and Support) ADVANCE program works to reduce gender inequity and promote other social injustice efforts throughout institutional environments. This program provides opportunities for men and women alike that will assist them in career advancements while sustaining balance in their work and home lives.

Trailblazers is an initiative that helps faculty prepare for leadership roles within academic and professional settings while also working towards diversity within the institution. Trailblazers are selected by the TIGERS ADVANCE Executive Leadership Committee, and once they are a part of the program, they will receive many benefits ranging from leadership and individual development to social learning and networking to matching with a mentor and much more.

Equitable Faculty Review

NSF TIGERS ADVANCE Clemson offers an important new training for chairs, directors, and associate chairs with the most recent being “Equitable Faculty Review in the Covid-19 Era”. Research composed of surveys, data from granting agencies on grant submissions, and manuscript submission demographics indicate that disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in both home and work lives have negatively impacted faculty productivity and time availability.

A recent study shows that caregivers of pre-K and elementary school aged children, bench/wet lab scientists, and researchers studying live organisms and systems have been most negatively impacted due to severe research activity time limitations, and thus research productivity, captured in evaluations and reviews.

Funding agencies (NSF, NIH), scientific organizations (PNAS, AAAS, AAEE), and NSF ADVANCE institutions (ARC Network) around the country are providing guidance and calls for best practices in faculty annual reviews and evaluations used for tenure and promotion decisions (both to Associate and to Professor). NSF TIGERS ADVANCE developed an online and virtual (Zoom) training with hands-on activities and discussions of case studies that exemplify some of the disruptions to faculty productivity that tenure and promotion review committees are likely to encounter in the next five years or more. Dialogue facilitated by TIGERS ADVANCE team members and the faculty volunteers from your College is the most direct way to engage tenure and promotion committees in best practices for equitable faculty review.

Trailblazers Leadership and Mentoring Program

As a part of the Trailblazers program, members expanded their roles in leadership and mentoring alike. Within groups, leadership projects were developed where leadership statements were created with the help of mentors. The member groups used action research to complete their projects. The projects for 2020-2021 include:

1. Post tenure needs assessments

2. Gender bias in Clemson teaching evaluations

3. Vocabulary for teaching effectiveness

4. Work-life balance in Covid-19

5. Trailblazer Leadership Continuity

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