In the past several years, national research has focused on the educational environment for young women in science, technology and engineering programs. Few studies have been done to explore the environment for female faculty within these same disciplines.
RIT is in the middle of a two-year study to answer questions about the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty positions and will launch the Faculty Career-Life Survey on Oct. 1. This study is part of the EFFORT@RIT project, an ADVANCE grant awarded to RIT by the National Science Foundation in 2008.
“We customized the survey for RIT and we’ll distribute it to all tenure and tenure-track faculty at RIT,” says Margaret Bailey, professor and WE@RIT executive director, Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Bailey is the principal investigator on the grant.
The survey will be distributed by the Survey Research Institute, a research facility at Cornell University. Faculty at RIT will be asked to answer a series of questions related to four general areas: teaching, resources and services; career satisfaction; climate; and balancing personal and professional life.
The survey will remain open throughout October, Bailey says. After the data is collected and analyzed by SRI, results will be distributed to the RIT research team late in winter quarter. Information sessions and meetings with governance groups about results are expected in spring quarter.
RIT was selected as one of 11 schools to receive an Institutional Transformation Catalyst ADVANCE grant. The grants support institutional self-assessment activities focused on the recruitment, retention and promotion of female faculty in STEM disciplines within higher education. The project involves a cross-functional team of faculty and staff representing RIT colleges and departments.