AdvanceRIT National Science Foundation Third-Year Site Visit

On March 16th and 17th, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) conducted its on-site, mid-cycle review of the AdvanceRIT Project.  NSF site visitors evaluated the project’s progress towards accomplishing its goals concluding with a consensus report highlighting strengths, challenges, plans for and progress towards sustainability.  The site team, comprised of six external ADVANCE experts, met with over 70 senior leaders, faculty, team members, and administrators throughout their two-day visit to RIT.  After receiving its consensus report in mid-May, the AdvanceRIT leadership team worked with senior leaders to respond to the NSF recommendations in support of the project’s growth and development.  The AdvanceRIT response was sent by the project PI, Margaret Bailey, and President Bill Destler to NSF in mid-August.  A positive response was received back from NSF and an excerpt from the NSF response follows:

“I am so pleased to have received and reviewed your most thorough response to the site visit team’s report and the NSF observations/recommendations. As you appropriately noted, the site visit team observed and commented on many positive attributes of AdvanceRIT, while also providing encouragement to the leadership of the project and institution towards additional action in key areas. Your response clearly conveys evidence of thoughtful, attentive discussions, and the planning of appropriate actions in response to the third year site visit. This bodes well for the future success of planned institutional transformation at RIT.

I am particularly pleased to read about the very productive adjustments made to highlight further the support of the President and Provost. In both the review of alignments between the efforts of AdvanceRIT and other campus initiatives supporting women, and promoting an open nonthreatening campus dialogue, the report you provide contains strong action oriented language aimed at cultivating an institutional culture of open and honest dialogue about issues that can be very threatening. Kudos for marshalling the institutional will to make this a joint and priority effort."


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2015-2016 Connect Grant Recipients

On Thursday, October 29th, AdvanceRIT held the Connect Grants Award Reception, where awardees received an award certificate and met with past grant recipients.  The Connect Grant awards tenured and tenure-track faculty funding to support projects aimed towards leadership and career development.

This year, the following  faculty have been awarded 2015 grants:

-Dr. Larisa Buhin

-Dr. Jing Zhang and co-PI, Dr. Santosh Kurinec

-Dr. Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard and co-PI, Dr. Michael Schrlau

-Dr. Sonia Lopez Alarcon and co-PIs, Drs. Dhireesha Kudithipudi, Lea Michel, and Kara Maki

-Dr. dt ogilvie and co-PIs, Drs. Kijana Crawford, Twyla Cummings, Danielle Smith, and Charlotte Thoms

-Dr. Shu Chang and co-PIs, Marla Schweppe and Christine Heusner

-Dr. Jie Qiao

-Dr. Linwei Wang

-Dr. Behnaz Ghoranni and co-PI, Dr. Raymond Ptucha

-Mindy Magyar

-Dr. Callie Babbitt and co-PIs,Drs. Kara Maki, Matthew Hoffman, and John-David Rocha

Connect Grants fund activities that expand professional networks, support scholarship, advance proposals, develop leadership skills, create professional development opportunities, among others.  

To learn more about Connect Grants, please visit

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Salary Study

Last year, the AdvanceRIT Resource Allocation Committee, also known as RAC, created a Request for Proposals to conduct a faculty salary equity study.   From the submitted proposals, the Center for Higher Education at Ohio University was selected.  RAC is a cross-university committee comprised of administrators, faculty and staff with expertise in statistical analysis, faculty hiring and review processes and institutional data.  RAC is co-chaired by Kit Mayberry, the vice president for strategic planning and special initiatives at RIT, and Advance PI Margaret Bailey.  In collaboration with RAC representatives, the team at Ohio University worked to create a salary model in which stakeholders can have high confidence.  Work is almost complete and dissemination of results is expected later this academic year.