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Reflections on Institutional Equity for Faculty in Response to COVID-19

Abstract
Feminist scholars have long documented the complex, multiple ways in which academic institutions reproduce gender inequalities (National Academy of Sciences2007). In times of crisis, institutional commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion may be sidelined (Tulshyan 2020). As institutions of higher education navigate the impacts of COVID-19, the need for gender equity projects is more urgent than ever. As members of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) ADVANCE team, we focus on institutional transformation by cultivating faculty equity through collaboration in three arenas –research, community building, and shared decision-making. In this reflection paper, we describe the role of a gender equity program at one large, public, research-intensive university in addressing the institutional response as the pandemic rapidly changed our community. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), ADVANCE Institutional Transformation(IT)grantsfund systemic solutions to increase the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering faculty. Since 2001, ADVANCE-IT grants have fundedinterdisciplinary faculty teamstoaddress gender equity issuesat their universities through institutional solutions, includingevidence-based interventions to improve climate, policies,and opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities.But, how do we support faculty in ways that are equitable and foster inclusion when the very nature of faculty work has shifted, and the future of higher education is uncertain?
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2020-01-01
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