The Aspire Alliance, which APLU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison co-lead, is excited to announce the opening of the application window for the third cohort of its Institutional Change Network. The Institutional Change (or IChange) Network is part of Aspire’s National Science Foundation-funded INCLUDES alliance – The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty. Aspire’s IChange initiative seeks to cultivate postsecondary institutions where STEM faculty from underrepresented groups (URGs) are widely recruited, hired and retained, and all STEM faculty employ inclusive teaching, advising, and research mentoring.
The Aspire Alliance recognizes the extraordinary circumstances facing institutions as they address the urgent needs resulting from COVID-19. As a result, the Alliance has extended the application window until August 3. As public universities work to meet immediate needs, their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion is more important than ever. Aspire is committed to helping institutions continue this critical work without diminishing resources for the COVID-19 response.
The IChange Network is designed to catalyze institutional change by providing a comprehensive, systematic approach to organizational transformation using a structured self-assessment process to inform the development and implementation of an action plan. In addition to the self-assessment process, the IChange Network provides opportunities for member-institutions to leverage a number of resources and services for action planning and implementation. The most powerful aspect of joining the IChange Network extends far beyond access to services and experts—it is the benefit of working within, and learning from, a network of partner institutions associated with the broader Aspire NSF-funded INCLUDES alliance.
Retaining a focus on creating university cultures that deeply value and pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is more important than ever. We believe the current health crisis can provide a productive pause, allowing institutions to examine their current infrastructure, policy, and practice to advance institutional cultures that better support URG STEM faculty. We know that on many campuses, inequities tied to gender, race, ability, economic status, and other backgrounds have been more prominently exposed as leaders have rapidly made decisions designed to protect the health and safety of their communities. Our process is designed to help institutions center DEI in the way these and other decisions are made and to shape how policies and practices are implemented to develop inclusive campus communities. We aim to help institutions identify opportunities for change that align with their resource and personnel constraints, known and emerging.
Join our application webinars via Zoom:
More information about the application process and webinars, and a way to sign up for ongoing updates on the application process, can be found on Aspire’s IChange Network website.