Equity and Justice are Everyone’s Responsibility

ASU ADVANCE is committed to ensuring that equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging are central to all decision making at Arizona State University. We are restating this commitment to change in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd as well as the many other Black Americans who preceded him. Institutional racism has plagued this country since its inception, and universities are not exceptions. As leaders at ASU, it is our responsibility to work within our spheres of influence and to recognize and fundamentally change the way we operate. We are committed to identifying these issues and developing solutions so that our faculty - and consequently our students - can succeed.

We therefore continue to move forward with openness, honesty, and humility in order to make the necessary changes to our institution. We can no longer rely on pre-existing institutional structures. The leadership team of ASU ADVANCE is committed to amplifying diverse voices, to being a safe space to address challenges of inequity, and to being allies for equity and inclusion and fairness.

ASU ADVANCE Leadership team
Elizabeth Wentz, Erin Carr-Jordan, Lenore Dai, Monica Gaughan, Stephanie Pfirman, Joan Brett, Miki Kittilson, Linda Luecken, Ashley Randall, Lekelia Jenkins, Pamela Stewart, Patrick Young, and Lillian Ruelas

The Arizona State University charter states that we are measured not by whom we exclude, but by whom we include and how they succeed. As such, the ADVANCE program, funded by the National Science Foundation, translates the expectations of inclusion and success in the charter to the inclusion and success of faculty at all career stages.

The ADVANCE program will require ASU leaders to consider equity and inclusion in every decision that affects faculty. The expected outcome is an increase in the number, visibility, and success of women and faculty of color in STEM fields at all levels of the university. To achieve this institutional transformation, ASU will focus on three key initiatives:

  • Ensure faculty and administrator procedures on recruiting, promotion, evaluation, and retention explicitly address how to improve equity and diversity in an interdisciplinary structure.

  • Provide appropriate and accessible professional development and mentoring opportunities for STEM women and members of underrepresented groups across the entire academic life course.

  • Design, implement, and evaluate digital administrative systems to monitor equity-related processes, and empower administrators to intervene to ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes.

ASU understands the important role it serves as a national and international leader in higher education and strives to have the brightest and most diverse thinkers working together to make a real impact through research and discovery. Each initiative aims to consider how intersectional dynamics — that is, the ways in which faculty experiences are shaped by gender, race, ethnicity, foreign-born status, sexual orientation, disability, rank, and discipline — affect and are affected by the explicitly interdisciplinary environment of ASU.

The ADVANCE program will take a life course approach to support professors, from the beginning of their career, into the middle and through to the end.


ASU prides itself on increasing access to opportunities for students, staff and faculty, but internal research has shown that the institution faces many of the same equity challenges as other research-intensive universities. Participation in the ADVANCE program can lead faculty members to opportunities for advancement.


The ADVANCE program generates pathways for interdisciplinary scholarship while simultaneously ensuring equity and inclusion. The evaluation and social science research study components of ADVANCE will add to the knowledge base about organizational transformation in higher education, focusing on interdisciplinary science and its relationship to faculty diversity and inclusion.

Digitally Enhanced Professoriate Plus

The Digitally Enhanced Professoriate Plus platform (DEP+) provides faculty access to long-term, cost-effective professional development opportunities. This online training platform will help faculty acquire and develop career-management skills helpful for navigating the complexities of academia in an interdisciplinary environment.

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