Advancing and Maintaining Equity


A wealth of scholarship demonstrates that women and minority faculty in higher education face barriers to equity, inclusion, and advancement. At every career transition point, increasing numbers of women and underrepresented minoritized (URM) scholars leave the academy, and their departure comes at great cost to the individuals who have invested heavily in their academic careers and to their institutions and fields. Consistent with national trends, women at Bradley University lag behind men in tenure-track appointments, and these disparities increase with rank. Likewise, minority faculty are underrepresented across the university, particularly in STEM fields. In 2019 and in 2022, institutional research by Bradley's Faculty Gender Equity Task Force identified equity issues pertaining to campus climate; tenure, promotion and retention (TPR) processes; annual review mechanisms; teaching and service loads; hiring practices; and remuneration.

Bradley University's ADVANCE BU program addresses these equity issues, with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF Award # 2303732). The NSF ADVANCE program aims to increase gender and intersectional equity among faculty through evidence-based initiatives. Designed to foster a campus culture of inclusivity, fairness, and mutual respect, ADVANCE BU aims to achieve more equitable professional outcomes for women and URM faculty at the university.

ADVANCE BU Initiatives

Previous ADVANCE scholarship demonstrates that meaningful and lasting institutional transformation on equity issues is only possible with a combination of cultural change, widespread engagement of personnel in the work of DEI, and structural changes — namely changes to policies, processes, and practices. Building on this research, ADVANCE BU will involve faculty and staff from across the institution to accomplish two primary goals: campus cultural change and the revision of university policies and processes.

Cultural Change

Increase awareness of and appreciation for diversity and equity to create a culture of fairness, mutual respect, and inclusivity.

Advocates & Allies
ADVANCE-informed Chair Training
Increasing Diversity, Equity and Solidarity

Structural Change

Engage the campus in revising policies and processes for greater equity and transparency in annual review and tenure, promotion, and retention.

Equity Dashboard FARR
Faculty Annual Review Revision
TPR Review and Revision


ADVANCE BU is funded by Award #2303732 of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program. The ADVANCE program is designed to increase gender and intersectional equity among faculty, particularly in the STEM disciplines, through evidence-based initiatives. Since 2001, NSF has invested more than $270 million in ADVANCE programs at higher education and non-profit-STEM institutions nationwide. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.