UCF is part of a new national cohort to increase the diversity of science, technology, engineering and math faculty through recruitment and retention.

The National Science Foundation-funded project Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty aims to help reform teaching practices, increase the diversity of STEM faculty and promote inclusive teaching.

The alliance is partnering with UCF and 14 other institutions to launch its Institutional Change Network. As part of the national cohort, UCF will begin with self-assessment of current practices and continue on a three-year path to increase underrepresented STEM faculty.

 “Diversity makes us better, stronger and more competitive.” – Elizabeth A. Dooley, UCF’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

The IChange Network furthers UCF’s goal to be a national leader in higher education as a model for diversity and inclusion practices, policies and culture.

“One of UCF’s greatest foundational strengths is our diversity and unwavering commitment to equity, inclusion and opportunity – particularly in areas such as STEM education where faculty and students from underrepresented groups are lacking,” says Elizabeth A. Dooley, UCF’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Diversity makes us better, stronger and more competitive. Our participation in this new national effort will enhance our efforts to bolster our STEM programs and produce more talent to energize the workforce of the future.”

This collaboration is another way UCF is seeking to become a more inclusive institution for its faculty, students and staff. The U.S. Department of Education recently officially designated UCF as a Hispanic Serving Institution, enabling the university to compete for federal funding opportunities to improve the educational experience of Hispanic and low-income students.

The alliance is led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The other partner institutions are: California State University, Northridge; Cleveland State University; Florida State University; Georgia State University; Montana State University; Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; University of California, Irvine; University of Houston; University of Illinois; University of Oregon; University of South Carolina; University of Texas at San Antonio; University of Vermont; and University of Wisconsin-Madison.