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Provost Launches Women of Color Coalition

February 21, 2017

Through the work done with the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success, the University of Houston has made strides to recruit and retain more women and women of color. The five-year, $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation focuses on increasing the number of women and women of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and social and behavioral sciences (SBS) fields, as well as increase opportunities for them to move into administrative roles. As part of the work of the ADVANCE Center, a new Women of Color Coalition has been launched at the direction and support of the Provost.

ADVANCE advocates and committee members have formed the Women of Color Coalition with the aim of retaining women of color faculty and facilitating their career advancement and engagement through leadership positions. Within the current UH academic community, women of color constitute only 12% of all tenure/tenure-track faculty. African American and Hispanic women make up only 5% of tenure/tenure track faculty, with only 1% advanced to the rank of full professor.

Dr. Paula Myrick Short, UH senior vice president of academic affairs and provost and UH System senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, serves as a co-principal investigator and director of the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success. “While I am proud of the work accomplished by the ADVANCE center, there is still more left to do. I believe the Women of Color Coalition will help lay the necessary groundwork to support our existing women of color faculty as well as help create an inclusive environment for incoming faculty.”

The newly formed Women of Color Coalition will be led by four female faculty: Dr. Consuelo Arbona, professor of psychological, health, and learning sciences; Dr. Elebeoba E. May, associate professor of biomedical engineering; Dr. Norma Olvera, professor of psychological, health, and learning sciences; and Dr. Donna Stokes, associate professor of physics. Provost Short has placed this important initiative in the office of faculty recruitment, retention, equity, and diversity.