Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA

The COVID-19 pandemic and mental health crisis have magnified historical inequities among STEM faculty, rooted in systems and cultures that advantage historically white male populations and disadvantage minoritized and/or lower-status populations such as those who identify as women, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and contingent faculty who focus on teaching.  WPI’s long-term approach is to combine ongoing internal studies of COVID impacts with knowledge emerging from external studies. These studies shape a multi-pronged strategy that includes equity-minded adjustments in tenure policies and practices, attention to security of faculty on contracts, development work with department heads to position them as allies for COVID mitigation and equity, and direct support for individuals to help them regain time and progress on their scholarly work. This work is essential for equity in faculty well-being, retention, and career progress and  to strengthen inclusive excellence in STEM education, research, and practice; and to provide representation and culturally responsive education that will attract diverse students in STEM and enable them to thrive. 
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