ADVANCE-Purdue and the Center for Faculty Success A Department within the Division of Diversity and Inclusion


One of ADVANCE-Purdue’s strengths is the blending of programming and research. 

The research enterprises associated with ADVANCE-Purdue and PCFS uses theories and methods drawn from sociology and education to assess the theoretical models on which programs are based, and to develop new models that might be more inclusive in how they represent women faculty members’ experiences. 

This research contributes to literature on women’s underrepresentation in STEM, as well as a case study of interest to researchers in sociology and organizational change. 

Our research pages are organized by overall topic:

  • Measuring progress: where we report on our research and evaluation findings on our effectiveness as a center
  • Improving resources:  where we report on our research findings on our two major research studies with ADVANCE
  • Research updates : where we share with you the most up-to-date research findings on women’s underrepresentation in STEM faculty positions

Experiences of Faculty in Search/Hiring Processes (c) 2020 Mangala Subramaniam, Chris Sahley, Linda Mason, De Bush

Attending the ADVANCE Purdue/OVPEC faculty hiring workshops is required of all faculty serving on search committees at Purdue. This ongoing study is the first attempt at assessing the experiences of faculty members who have served on a search committee. This study is designed to focus only on faculty searches: tenure-track, tenured, clinical, and administrative. It does NOT include hiring of continuing lecturers, visiting faculty (any rank), post docs, and staff.

Research Questions

The following research questions will be addressed in the proposed study:

  1. What are faculty members' experiences with serving as chair or as a member of a search committee?
    1. How do these experiences reflect (or not) effective and efficient committees?
    2. What are faculty members perceptions about creating (i) guidelines for the functioning of the committee and (ii) criteria for evaluation?
    3. Are there differences in the experiences of those who served as chair versus a member of the search committee? Why or why not?
  2. What kinds of recruiting procedures are deployed? Which of them appeared to be fruitful? Why or why not?
  3. What are the dominant points/criteria used for shortlisting applicants for interviews? And do they match (or not) with criteria outlined before the start of this process?
  4. How are interview processes typically occurring at Purdue?
  5. How can we explain the entire process of hiring in terms of attention to diversity and to mitigating bias?


The study will rely on primary data from

  1. short Qualtrics survey and
  2. semi-structured interviews. Study instruments will be available after completion of the study.

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