A proposal for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, “Continuous Improvement AMP-UP Processes to Transform Climate in STEM,” was submitted in January 2016. The proposal was not funded but preparatory activities included the development of what is now the Advance Matrix Process for University Programs or AMP-UP.
AMP-UP is a campus transforming process that was developed in accord with the call for proposals for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant. According to the NSF ADVANCE website, an Institutional Transformation grant “is meant to produce large-scale comprehensive change and serve as a locus for research on gender equity and institutional transformation for academic STEM.” The Michigan Tech IT proposal detailed a research process affecting data-driven transformational climate change toward equity and inclusiveness in faculty career development.
The proposal was multi-faceted and included AMP-UP initiatives to address the faculty career process through LEAN assessment teams, the development of a psychosocial measure of bias literacy, and coordination and maintenance of faculty metrics, support, and resources. The goal was to ensure faculty success and retention through data-driven programs tailored to departmental and university needs. In addition, the LEAN process itself was modified to include self-reflexive analysis and a framework for advancing women and under-represented faculty in STEM. The effects of these efforts were intended to benefit faculty more generally by impacting the campus climate, quality of worklife, and attention to partner/familial responsibilities.
The proposal's overarching research question was: Can a continuous improvement reflexive process, AMP-UP, result in sustainable and transformational changes in campus climate resulting in improved faculty career development and retention for women in STEM areas? The intention was to test the effectiveness of the AMP-UP process as well as the impact of the specific programs and interventions implemented through AMP-UP to affect gender and diversity equity and inclusiveness. The lead PI was Adrienne Minnerick; Co-PIs included Sonia Goltz, Jacquelyn Huntoon, Anita Quinn, and Patricia Sotirin.
The proposal had broad support and participation. Along with 70+ faculty, staff, and administrators involved in preparatory activities (see 2014-2015 Preparatory Lean Activities), the proposal included letters of commitment from STEM Chairs and Deans as well as from university executives. It established a 9-member Internal Evaluator Assessment Board which includes the university President, Glenn Mroz as well as Full, Associate, and Assistant professors from 3 colleges/schools and 7 unique departments. It also established an 8 member External Evaluator Assessment Board which includes prominent research and thought leaders in the academic community.