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      Retention and promotion of women and underrepresented minority faculty in science and engineering at four large land grant institutions

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          Abstract

          The current climate on college campuses has brought new urgency to the need to increase faculty diversity. In STEM fields particularly, the dearth of underrepresented minority (URM) and female faculty is severe. The retention and success of African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and female faculty have direct implications for the quality and diversity of the future scientific workforce. Understanding the ways retention patterns differ by discipline and institution is crucial for developing a diverse faculty. This study investigates tenure attainment, retention, and time to promotion to full professor for women and URM faculty. We analyze personnel records for assistant and associate professors hired or appointed from 1992 to 2015 at four large land grant institutions. Representation of women and URM faculty in STEM disciplines increased substantially from 1992 to 2015, but mostly for women and Hispanic faculty and more slowly for black and American Indian faculty.

          Results by gender

          In the most recent cohort, 2002–2015, the experiences of men and women differed substantially among STEM disciplines. Female assistant professors were more likely than men to leave the institution and to leave without tenure in engineering, but not in the agricultural, biological and biomedical sciences and natural resources or physical and mathematical sciences. In contrast, the median times to promotion from associate to full professor were similar for women and men in engineering and the physical and mathematical sciences, but one to two years longer for women than men in the agricultural, biological and biomedical sciences and natural resources.

          Results for underrepresented minority faculty

          URM faculty hiring is increasing, but is well below the proportions earning doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines. The results are variable and because of the small numbers of URM faculty, the precision and power for comparing URM faculty to other faculty were low. In three of the four institutions, lower fractions of URM faculty than other faculty hired in the 2002–2006 time frame left without tenure. Also, in the biological and biomedical and physical and mathematical sciences no URM faculty left without tenure. On the other hand, at two of the institutions, significantly more URM faculty left before their tenth anniversary than other faculty and in engineering significantly more URM faculty than other faculty left before their tenth anniversary. We did not find significant differences in promotion patterns between URM and other faculty.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science.

           S Ceci,  W M Williams (2011)
          Explanations for women's underrepresentation in math-intensive fields of science often focus on sex discrimination in grant and manuscript reviewing, interviewing, and hiring. Claims that women scientists suffer discrimination in these arenas rest on a set of studies undergirding policies and programs aimed at remediation. More recent and robust empiricism, however, fails to support assertions of discrimination in these domains. To better understand women's underrepresentation in math-intensive fields and its causes, we reprise claims of discrimination and their evidentiary bases. Based on a review of the past 20 y of data, we suggest that some of these claims are no longer valid and, if uncritically accepted as current causes of women's lack of progress, can delay or prevent understanding of contemporary determinants of women's underrepresentation. We conclude that differential gendered outcomes in the real world result from differences in resources attributable to choices, whether free or constrained, and that such choices could be influenced and better informed through education if resources were so directed. Thus, the ongoing focus on sex discrimination in reviewing, interviewing, and hiring represents costly, misplaced effort: Society is engaged in the present in solving problems of the past, rather than in addressing meaningful limitations deterring women's participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers today. Addressing today's causes of underrepresentation requires focusing on education and policy changes that will make institutions responsive to differing biological realities of the sexes. Finally, we suggest potential avenues of intervention to increase gender fairness that accord with current, as opposed to historical, findings.
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            A class of K‐sample tests for comparing the cumulative incidence of a competing risk

             RJ Gray,  R.J. GRAY,  R. GRAY (1988)
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              Survival analysis of faculty retention in science and engineering by gender.

              Individual assistant professors (a total of 2966 faculty) hired in science and engineering since 1990 at 14 United States universities were tracked from time of hire to time of departure by using publicly available catalogs and bulletins. Results of survival analysis showed that the chance that any given faculty member will be retained over time is less than 50%; the median time to departure is 10.9 years. Of all those who enter as assistant professors, 64.2% were promoted to associate professor at the same institution. Overall, men and women are retained and promoted at the same rate. In mathematics, however, faculty leave significantly earlier than other disciplines, and women leave significantly sooner than men, 4.45 years compared with 7.33 years.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                1 November 2017
                2017
                : 12
                : 11
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
                [2 ] Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America
                [3 ] Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
                Iowa State University, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                [¤a]

                Current address: Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America

                [¤b]

                Current address: Teacher & Leader Effectiveness Branch, Delaware Department of Education, Dover, Delaware, United States of America

                Article
                PONE-D-17-22014
                10.1371/journal.pone.0187285
                5665535
                29091958
                © 2017 Gumpertz et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 13, Pages: 17
                Product
                Funding
                The authors received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Science Policy
                Science and Technology Workforce
                Careers in Research
                Engineers
                People and Places
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                Engineers
                Engineering and Technology
                Biology and Life Sciences
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                Bioengineering
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                Ethnicities
                Hispanic People
                Social Sciences
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                Custom metadata
                The data used for this study are institutional personnel records. NC State users sign a confidentiality agreement and the North Carolina State University Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB) agreement (protocol #4055) states that the data are "not to be copied to any other computer or data storage device". Inquiries may be addressed to Nancy Floyd, Director of Institutional Analytics, at ndfloyd@ 123456ncsu.edu or to the NC State IRB Coordinator at irb-coordinator@ 123456ncsu.edu .

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