University joins national alliance focused on inclusive, diverse STEM faculty

· 2 min read

University joins national alliance focused on inclusive, diverse STEM faculty

Nebraska is among 20 universities joining the Aspire Alliance, a three-year, national project designed to enhance recruitment, hiring and retention of STEM faculty.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Nebraska is among 20 universities joining the Aspire Alliance, a three-year, national project designed to enhance recruitment, hiring and retention of STEM faculty.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is one of 20 universities joining a three-year institutional change effort to enhance its STEM faculty recruitment, hiring and retention practices. The new cohort joins an inaugural group of 15 institutions that began working together to advance such work earlier this year.

Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive and Diversity STEM Faculty was launched to further diversity and inclusive teaching practices, while providing comprehensive support and resources for institutional change. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin.

Research shows when underrepresented students are taught by diverse faculty members they achieve at significantly higher rates; as much as 20 to 50 percent of the course achievement gaps between minority and majority students are eliminated.

"UNL is committed to enhancing the diversity of our faculty. Increasing our efforts to do so has been a strong theme throughout the N150 and the N2025 strategic planning processes," said Richard Moberly, interim executive vice chancellor. "The alliance is a terrific opportunity for us to work closely with other institutions to influence a new path of diversity and inclusion for higher education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines."

Nebraska's inclusion in the Aspire Alliance will be a joint effort between the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Initiative leaders on campus are Judy Walker, associate vice chancellor for faculty and academic affairs, and Marco Barker, vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion. The university will begin with a self-assessment of current practices and assets, and then develop and implement campus action plans to drive change across all university STEM programs.