Advance RIT

AdvanceRIT Overview

AdvanceRIT is a long-term, multi-faceted program designed to enable all faculty at RIT, particularly women, to contribute their full potential, to increase their representation and retention, and to advance their careers. AdvanceRIT started as an Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1209115) and was institutionalized in 2019. AdvanceRIT implements interventions that influence and transform the workplace culture of RIT at a structural level and promotes inclusion of all subpopulations and minority groups; including Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing faculty, faculty of color, and faculty of the LGBTQIA+ community.

AdvanceRIT plays an instrumental role in:

  • Connecting and engaging women faculty in the RIT community.
  • Providing opportunities for professional and leadership development for women faculty.
  • Supporting efforts for recruiting a diverse faculty critical for achieving excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service.​
  • Partnering with affiliated groups, departments, and colleges to support their efforts and bring positive change to RIT.
  • Improving the quality of women faculty’s work life.
  • Ensuring RIT is a place where all faculty are supported, valued, and respected.

The Council for the Representation & Engagement of Women faculty (CREW)

The Council for the Representation & Engagement of Women Faculty (CREW) serves as the faculty advisory council to the AdvanceRIT in support of the career success of women faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Mission of the Council for the Representation & Engagement of Women is to support, retain and promote career success of women faculty at RIT. To achieve its mission, the team will:

  • Identify and support effective strategies and activities that promote career success of women faculty
  • Assist women faculty in finding and developing networks
  • Promote leadership development and mentoring activities for women faculty
  • Provide support needed for women faculty to be successful through tenure and promotion
  • Communicate and collaborate with other groups concerned with gender and diversity
  • Identify the issues that women faculty face and develop actions to address these issues
  • Facilitate awareness among administration and the university regarding these issues
  • Make recommendations to leadership on studies or actions needed to address particular issues needed to create an academic environment that fosters the academic success of women faculty at RIT

Each college has a faculty representative to serve on this council.  CREW representatives serve as liaison between the women in their college and AdvanceRIT. They share information with women in their college about AdvanceRIT events or other activities, news and/or events of interest to women faculty. They share information about experiences of women in their college with AdvanceRIT: best practices for supporting women faculty, challenges they are facing, needs that AdvanceRIT could meet.  CREW reps also assist women in you college with growing their network at RIT through their connection with other CREW reps from across RIT and can serve as a resource/mentor to women faculty across RIT in an area pf expertise. Examples include teaching, work-life balance, setting up a research program, productive writing practices, etc.  On our CREW website all CREW members note the areas where they are willing to mentor other faculty.

The Connectivity Series

The Connectivity Series developed by AdvanceRIT at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) creates and delivers an effective professional development workshop series for faculty and staff within RIT. The series focuses in four areas: 1) events aimed at organizational learning and development and unconscious bias, 2) recruitment of women faculty, 3) retention of women faculty, and 4) advancement of women faculty.

Connect Grants

The Connect Grants program supports faculty career development and advancement as well as academic unit-level culture change initiatives and faculty recruitment approaches through awarding mini-grants.  Funded projects align with the goals and objectives of the AdvanceRIT program.  Connect Grants are offered through the AdvanceRIT program within the Office of the Provost with advisory support from Faculty Career Development, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, and Sponsored Research Services.  The program’s target audience is all tenured and pre-tenured faculty at RIT and proposals are accepted from individual faculty and from academic units. The Connect Grants are designed to broaden faculty opportunities and enhance overall career advancement. 

AdvanceRIT Resources

AdvanceRIT has many resources available on our website under the “Resources” tab that support our mission to recruit, retain and advance women faculty.  These include resources related to unconscious bias, bystander awareness and action, mentoring, and resources for work-life balance. There are tip sheets that address topics such as Audism & Communicating with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Establishing Meeting Ground Rules for Effective Communication in Meeting and on Teams, Examples of Bias in Letters of Recommendation and Interrupting Bias or Exclusionary Comments.