About 19 universities in the U.S. have joined the third cohort of a program called, Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty. The initiative looks to develop more inclusive faculty recruitment, hiring and retention models within STEM, reported Forbes.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) administers the program with financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This program is an extension of NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science), a comprehensive national initiative that focuses on diversity, inclusion and broader participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at scale.
The participating universities include: Appalachian State University; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Grand Valley State University; Jackson State University; Lehigh University; Louisiana Tech University; Mississippi State University; Pennsylvania State University; Stevens Institute of Technology; Temple University; The Ohio State University; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Denver; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; University of Pittsburgh; Utah State University; and Virginia Tech.
“We face a critical shortfall of diversity in STEM fields nationally,” said Travis York, APLU’s Assistant Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, who is also co-leader of the IChange Network. “The institutions participating in the IChange Network are moving beyond statements into actions as they seek to enact inclusive organizational structures to increase diversity of their faculty and value the use of equity-minded practices by all faculty as we work to address a national challenge.”