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NSF COVID DEI Challenge
First Place: Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN
It is clear that disparities existing prior to 2020 were magnified by the pandemic. Women and faculty of Color already had less robust access to mentoring and professional research networks that could help buffer disruptions to academic work. The pandemic blurred boundaries between personal and professional activities and exacerbated gendered roles related to caregiving and student support. IUPUI surveyed all faculty in May, 2020 to gauge the impact of the pandemic and to assess how to best provide support. We focused on mitigating the potentially negative long-term impacts of the pandemic on the diversity, equity, and inclusion of current and future STEM faculty. We changed practices and policies related to faculty evaluation, including the development of a new pathway for promotion and tenure. We created mechanisms to capture the impact of the pandemic on faculty careers, and we deployed programming aimed at promoting equity-oriented leadership among faculty and staff. These actions were taken to ensure that the impact of the pandemic on career progression for minoritized STEM faculty was minimized, supporting our institutional goals of having a faculty that reflects the demographics of our students, particularly within STEM fields. Implementation of many of these activities was modeled after practices compiled through the
that emphasized the importance of an equity focus when providing faculty support, considering anticipated adverse and long-term COVID-19 impacts.
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Foundation under grant HRD-1818635. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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