Four School of Medicine professors join IDEAL to focus on faculty diversity

Four professors—Walter Boron, professor and chairman of physiology and biophysics; Alison Hall, professor and associate dean of graduate education; Ruth Siegel, professor and director of the Pharmacological Sciences Consortium Core Image Analysis Facility; and Neena Singh, professor of pathology—are joining Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership (IDEAL) as change leaders. In this role, they will spend a year working on a change project aimed at improving the climate for women faculty in the basic science departments.

IDEAL is a three-year, nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to seed gender and underrepresented minority equity and institutional transformation in the areas of science and engineering. Awarded to Lynn Singer, deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Diana Bilimoria, professor of Organizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve leads a partnership with five regional public universities: Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron and the University of Toledo.

The program specifically tries to develop emerging leaders and faculty who are respected in their discipline and in the campus community, and who are invested in improving the campus climate.

”Clearly it is important to the School of Medicine to meet the needs of our women and minority faculty, as demonstrated by our initiating a recruitment of a vice dean for faculty development and diversity,” said School of Medicine Dean Pamela Davis. “The IDEAL program will give us a jump start for that effort.”

The School of Medicine change project, tentatively focused on career development for post-promotion faculty, will be solidified after the IDEAL Plenary Conference on Sept. 16. The meeting is an opportunity for all IDEAL universities to provide an update on their Year One projects and to introduce the new change leaders. In addition to the faculty participants, university presidents, provosts and diversity officers are scheduled to attend.