It also found that existing university support programs that may work for certain underrepresented individuals early-on in their academic career by and large have limited national impact on diversifying faculty throughout STEM fields. While programs that do exist often benefit from support from federal agencies and philanthropic foundations, many are too broad and are not designed to specifically address the needs of individuals who have disabilities, are veterans, or have other marginalized identities. Furthermore, while support programs may exist, there are few efforts to educate and build awareness among faculty members about the effects of implicit bias and microaggressions, which causes additional problems with encouraging or discouraging applications and applicants, determining who is admitted to graduate study, and who is recruited and hired as faculty colleagues..
The report includes recommendations for higher education leaders, STEM faculty, researchers and policymakers focusing on inclusivity and building supportive systems for students of diverse backgrounds to pursue faculty careers. The recommendations include a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in a broad range of core institutional activities for higher education leaders, encouraging STEM faculty to support learning about inclusive practices through sponsoring faculty training, course buy-outs, recognition in tenure and promotion review, encouraging research on various professorship pathways for underrepresented groups, and creating incentives for diversity in STEM ecosystems through appropriations.
APLU and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have launched a five-year, National Science Foundation-funded project to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive STEM faculty nationwide. The program, Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty, is working to increase the learning, persistence, and completion of students from underrepresented groups in STEM through creating a more diverse and inclusive faculty. More about the program can be found here.