American University (AU) received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority faculty within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field.
The funding would go towards an analysis of university policies and procedures that affect equitable hiring. There will also be a focus on the difference between tenure and non-tenure line STEM faculty. At the end of the research, AU will develop a plan to ensure faculty retention and improve the work environment for women and underrepresented minority STEM faculty, according to the university.
Half of full-time faculty at the university are women. However, only 9.3% of female STEM faculty are underrepresented minorities. Additionally, in terms of tenured-track STEM faculty, 60% are men and 40% are women, AU reported.
“Before we can achieve equity in STEM faculty at American University, we need to first examine the structures in place that are impeding progress,” said Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, dean of AU’s School of Education. “This grant will allow us to start the process and to determine next steps for improving the recruitment, hiring and retention of women and underrepresented minority STEM faculty.”