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Supplemental Funding: Growing Inclusive Departmental Culture and Hiring Practices

In Spring 2021, VISIBLE launched a program of Supplemental Funding for Growing Inclusive Departmental Culture and Hiring Practices. The funding will support efforts at the department level to build robust pathways and cultures for inclusive faculty hiring

VISIBLE’s Supplemental Funding program offers $2500 to academic departments for projects that align with the goals and strategies of Hiring for Villanova’s Future, a workshop series administered cooperatively by Villanova University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Human Resources Department.

Proposals are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on April 15 or October 15. Awards are announced no later than June 1 and December 1, respectively. The open Call for Proposals is available here.

For questions about the program, please contact Adam Smith, VISIBLE Associate Program Director.  

Funded Projects: Spring 2021

For the first cycle, the program received and approved three proposals (abstracts below). Each of these projects will be implemented over the one-year period from June 2020 to June 2021.

Project Leader:
Diego Fernandez-Duque, PhD, Associate Professor, Psychology & Brain Sciences

We will host a ‘Breaking the bias habit’ online workshop for STEM departments across campus. This is a three-hour intervention known to produce long-term changes in bias (Cox & Devine, 2019). We will limit the invitation to STEM departments because we think that scientists will be most receptive to participate in the workshop if it is framed as an in-group activity proposed by other peers (i.e., a gathering of scientists). For these same reasons, workshop participation will be strictly voluntary. The science of communication supports these approaches (Kahan et al., 2011; Dobbin & Kaley, 2016). We will measure attendance and assess. Previous research has shown that a gender version of this training, when directed at STEM faculty, substantially increased the percentage of hiring women as faculty in science departments (Devine et al, 2017). Other randomized-controlled studies have shown long-term effectiveness of up to at least two years. In sum, we hope to promote reduction of bias by leveraging evidence-based solutions.  

Project Leaders:
Jean Lutes, PhD, Professor, English
Travis Foster, PhD, Associate Professor, English
 Paul Steege, PhD, Associate Professor, History
 
The English and History Departments will use their VISIBLE grant to establish a joint professional development initiative that moves beyond a hierarchical model of mentorship to create a series of formal and informal structures to promote career success for faculty at all ranks. This project will incentivize investments in individual professional development while also cultivating a cohort of faculty working together to navigate successfully through institutional systems both internal and external to Villanova.

Project Leaders:
Teresa G. Wojcik, PhD, Chair, Department of Education and Counseling
Rachel Skrlac Lo, PhD, DEI Committee Chair, Department of Education and Counseling

The mission of the Department of Education and Counseling includes a long-standing commitment to advancing social justice and equity and serving diverse individuals and communities through the preparation of caring and ethical teachers, counselors and human service providers. The VISIBLE Supplemental Funding grant supports two initiatives to ensure that our efforts sediment as permanent cultural change. First, we will audit the departmental Rank and Tenure Guidelines through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion, and provide training for the department’s evaluation committee. Secondly, through a professional development training and speaker series, we will further develop the expertise of all members of our department in areas related to diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, we will prioritize amplifying the voices, experiences and expertise of a diverse group of scholars of color. We anticipate that these efforts to grow an inclusive departmental culture will be effective in raising collective critical consciousness, equitably evaluating faculty work and fostering instructional spaces where all members of the learning enterprise—faculty, students and staff—feel respected and valued.