P&T Smarts 2013-2015

In 2013 the Advance Women of Color (WoC) research team started a Promotion and Tenure Series (P&T Smarts) for AALANA faculty to support their career advancement.

The process leading to tenure and promotion at an academic institution is sometimes fraught with tension and uncertainty. Faculty from underrepresented groups, especially women, have to navigate a more difficult terrain than their fellow white male colleagues, for a variety of reasons, do. Although the usual navigation through this terrain is rather solitary, we believe there is value in sharing experiences, best practices, and smart strategies that will position the faculty to succeed with the least amount of professional, personal, and emotional disruption. The purpose of P&T Smarts was to build a community of support and strategic thinking around issues of tenure and promotion. Experienced faculty and administrators facilitated regular discussions on the various issues confronting faculty, engaged in deep discussion about smart strategies and helped develop a sense of common purpose and support to lead to a sustainable pipeline for success and a stronger community of teachers and scholars. We conducted hands on exercises on issues ranging from networking and building relationships, to best practices to write and present scholarly work, building a strong and balanced P&T portfolio, etc. Dean Hector Flores (Graduate Studies Office) initially facilitated P&T Smarts with the partnership of experienced faculty that engaged in informal mentoring and guidance. The only requirements for joining P&T Smarts were to commit 1-2 hours a month for our discussions and to come prepared by reading articles or doing assignments, as appropriate.

Dean Flores moderated P&T Smarts sessions with assistance from Dr. dt ogilvie when she joined the WoC team.

It became clear from the P&T Smarts sessions and discussions with AALANA faculty and Dr. Crawford’s research that a more robust development effort was needed. Thus, with support from an AdvanceRIT Connect grant, P&T SMARTS was born, which incorporated and went beyond P&T Smarts.

writing Research In Teams for effectiveness (wRITe)

* NSF AdvanceRIT Connect Grant

wRITe deals with the most important criterion for scholarship success for tenure and promotion, scholarly output. It formalizes writing circles, a supportive writing community, which research shows have a tremendous impact on faculty productivity, a necessary condition for tenure and promotion. The target audience is women faculty, with an emphasis and focus on women of color and deaf and hard of hearing faculty who must publish as part of their plan of work and who must publish to achieve tenure as assistant professor or promotion to full professor. We set up formal writing circles of three to four faculty each and support them with several tools to help them be productive. Groups meet in person, by phone, or Blue Jeans/Skype once a week. They keep track of their accumulated word count, pages, and daily track of their writing and report the results to their writing circle once a week and to the organizers once a month.

Promotion & Tenure Strategies for Minority-women Academics at RIT for Transformative Success (P&T SMARTS)

*NSF AdvanceRIT Connect Grant

PI: dt ogilvie; Co-PIs: Kijana Crawford, Danielle Smith, Twyla Cummings, Charlotte Thoms.

P&T SMARTS directly relates to the mission and goals of AdvanceRIT. We designed it to advance the career success of AALANA Women faculty. This proposal directly addresses the goal of NSF’s ADVANCE Program, which is to increase the representation and advancement of women of color (WoC) in academic science and engineering. It also directly addresses the goals of AdvanceRIT’s Institutional Transformation grant, which “seeks to improve conditions for women STEM faculty with a particular emphasis on women of color… including mentoring specifically designed to address the unique concerns of women who are members of underrepresented groups (e.g., women of color…).”

Our primary goal is to actively help non-tenured tenure-track and tenured AALANA Women faculty to develop successful careers at RIT and to retain them by offering a multi-faceted strategic approach offering advice, feedback, guidance, and best practices that reflect a deep understanding of the unique issues and challenges that AALANA Women faculty face.

Professional Development Workshops:

  • Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar, presented by Dr. Tara Gray, associate professor of criminal justice and the founding director of the Teaching Academy at New Mexico State University. Dr. Gray has presented workshops to more than 8,000 scholars in 100 institutions, 35 states, and Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. She is the author of Publish and Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar and two other books.
  • PROMOTION & TENURE SMARTS: A Series of Productivity Workshops for Faculty & PhD Students presented by Dr. Tara Gray.
  • The importance and “how-to” of efficient (and effective) course prep for women faculty of color is presented by Dr. Chavella Pittman. Dr. Pittman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dominican University. Her research interests include interpersonal race and ethnic relations, gender, and higher education. Her publications include "Race and Gender Oppression in the Classroom: The Experiences of Women Faculty of Color with White Male Students” and "Exploring How African American Faculty Cope with Classroom Racial Stressors.”
  • Why (and how) measures of teaching effectiveness should move beyond student teaching evaluations, presented by Dr. Chavella Pittman. This session presented research on the strengths and limitations of student teaching evaluations. Participants learned and practiced several strategies women faculty of color should enact to document student learning to build their case for teaching effectiveness.
  • Overcoming Barriers to Living a Balanced Life presented by Dr. Tracey Laszloffy. This workshop examined the unique challenges that female faculty of color face, especially those on the tenure track including how to counteract devaluation, assessed when and how to address bias, negotiated conflicts effectively and created essential support networks. Ultimately, participants learned ways of re-energizing a depleted spirit and achieving greater balance between work and family/life.

Partnership Grant

* NSF AdvanceRIT Connect Partnership Grant

PIs: dt ogilvie & Kijana Crawford.

Our goals are to increase the representation of tenured and full professor AALANA Women STEM/SBS faculty at RIT through offering new, targeted programs designed to increase and advance Assistant and Associate Women of Color faculty at RIT by enhancing existing faculty development efforts by the Institute and AdvanceRIT. Additionally, we will address the unique challenges experienced by Women of Color faculty and share and promote best practices and strategies to address their needs, including empowerment, inclusion, and other aspects of their professional quality of life. This will be done through a series of workshops crafted to provide the WoC faculty the information, skills, and strategies they need to address the challenges they face and mentoring initiatives designed to meet their needs as junior and mid-career faculty.

This grant allows P&T SMARTS to continue to actively support non-tenure-track, tenure-track, and tenured AALANA faculty to develop successful careers at RIT and to retain them by offering a series of workshops crafted to provide information, skills, and strategies they may need for career navigation.

Professional Development Workshops:

  • Become a Prolific Scholar, a workshop with Tara Gray from New Mexico State University. This workshop was co-sponsored Textbook and Academic Authors (TAA) and the Office of the Provost.
  • Strategies for Teaching Effectiveness, presented by Dr. Keith B. Jenkins and Dr. Reginald Rogers, RIT.
  • Strategies and Choices for Publishing an Academic Book, presented by Bruce Austin, RIT Press’s Director. His academic training is in mediated communication, Before coming to the Press, he was Professor and Chair of the Department (now School) of Communication for 15 years, His writing ranges from scholarly research on the audiences for theatrical motion pictures to journalistic reporting on antiques for a number of periodicals.
  • Promotion to Full professor: Strategies for Preparing a Strong Case Workshop. Presenters: Jeremy Haefner, Twyla Cummings, Sophia Maggelakis, Doreen Edwards, Peter C. Hauser, RIT.
  • Strategies for Teaching Effectiveness, Presented by Dr. Laverne McQuiller-Williams and Professor Joe Williams.
  • Basic elements of a proposal and resources available at RIT. Presenters: Margaret Bailey, Kara Maki, David Bond, and Maria Cortes, RIT.

Get Workshop Descriptions here.

Promotion and Tenure SMARTS


Kijana Crawford, Ph.D.
dt ogilvie, Ph.D.


Research @ RIT
Proposal Basics
New Faculty Guide
Proposal Guide by Kara Maki