ADVANCE Institutional Transformation

The UNH ADVANCE IT grant, UNH Unbiased: Leadership Development and Policy Change to Promote Institutional Transformation, took place from October 2012 – September 2018. The pages that follow are a historical record of initiatives during that grant period.


  1. Increase the representation of STEM women faculty at all ranks through changes in recruitment and retention policies and practices.
  2. Improve support and department level climate for STEM women faculty by increasing awareness and knowledge, department chair professional development and assessments, and establishing formal mentoring policies.
  3. Develop more flexible workplace policies to support career advancement for STEM women faculty.

Core Initiatives

Faculty Recruiting

UNH ADVANCE aims to develop consistent, effective, and unbiased policies and procedures to ensure that UNH continues to attract and retain the best and most representative faculty possible. The GEAR UP committee has created an engaging professional development workshop using interactive theater to highlight the best practices of the faculty search process and the impact of microagressions and unconscious bias on a faculty search.

Faculty Career Advancement

Faculty Career Advancement is comprised of three sub-committees, each working on specific initiatives to support goals related to career-life balance, promotion and tenure, and mentoring.

Support faculty in advancing in their careers by providing resources and programs in the following areas:

The Career Progression subcommittee advocates for ensuring transparency and consistency of promotion and tenure standards and equitable review processes across departments and colleges.

The ADVANCE Career Progression committee, working in conjunction with the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc committee on P&T standards, developed a set of recommendations for department promotion and tenure guidelines. The goal was to reduce variations in P&T standards across the university, thereby decreasing inconsistency in expectations at the department versus the college level. These guidelines were presented to the Faculty Senate and unanimously approved in March 2015.

Promotion and tenure procedures and documents

Faculty Leadership Development

The Advancing Chairs as Leaders Program provides interactive sessions on the challenges of leading an academic organization. This four-session institute focuses on building and reinforcing the strategies, skills, and practices of department chairs. This program was jointly offered by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost (SVP) for Engagement and Academic Outreach and the UNH ADVANCE program from 2016 - 2018.

This workshop is currently being offered as Advancing Academic Leaders (AAL) through the Office of the Senior Vice Provost (SVP) for Engagement and Academic Outreach.

Reaching Excellence in Academic Leadership (REAL)

The goal of the Reaching Excellence in Academic Leadership (REAL) program at UNH is to provide professional development training for academic chairs and program directors to increase awareness of, and capacity to build, positive climate on campus. REAL is a three-part Leadership Development Program for chairs and directors, which includes an interactive theater-based training workshop offered in the spring semester; readings, discussions and exercises during the summer; and a second training workshop during the fall semester.

The REAL Leadership Development Grant Program provides funds to support academic chairs and program directors attendance additional leadership development programs. The REAL program is part of the social science research study required of all NSF funded ADVANCE initiatives and was offered from 2013-2016.

Research: Tracking Our Success

The UNH ADVANCE research initiatives focus on analyzing and reporting on institutional data and conducting research to assess the impact of UNH ADVANCE initiatives, which include:

  • Annual Faculty Climate Survey, which evaluates the impact of ADVANCE initiatives on transforming the university and improving the climate for all.
  • Social Science Research Study, which facilitates an understanding of how targeted professional development with department chairs and directors impacts department level climate.
  • The Salary Equity Study will help to indicate areas where policy changes might be recommended
  • The External Evaluation Plan provides an outside source of research data on the effectiveness of the program.