In the Fall of 2008, Michigan State University was awarded a $3.98 million Institutional Transformation grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program (Kim Wilcox, Provost and Principal Investigator). The resulting initiative, Advancing Diversity through the Alignment of Policies and Practices (ADAPP), is providing support for MSU colleges in a sweeping effort to align our values of diversity and quality with academic human resource policies and practices at the department- (or unit-) level. We recognize that departments are critical sites in which recruiting, evaluation, and promotion decisions are initiated--and where climate is most directly experienced by MSU faculty members.

Michigan State University is implementing the ADAPP initiative by applying six guiding principles:

Quality ♦ Inclusiveness ♦ Transparency ♦ Objectivity ♦ Consistency ♦ Alignment

Drawing on these principles, ADAPP is also focused on the structure of and associated policies and practices related to:

Faculty Performance Review 

Faculty Search & Selection 

Faculty Mentoring 

Women's Leadership

Research has shown that by developing objective, transparent criteria and practices in these four areas and consistently applying them across individuals and units, the potential for intended and unintended bias is reduced. In relation to extant research, a central goal of NSF is to strengthen the scientific workforce through increased inclusion of women in careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). ADAPP expands this goal by grounding its focus on women in the STEM disciplines in strategies designed to attract, retain and promote the highest quality faculty possible across all disciplines.

Through the first two years of the ADAPP initiative, research and development activities have been focused on the College of Engineering, the College of Social Science and the College of Natural Science. However, Provost Wilcox chose to use the ADVANCE grant as a catalyst for change across the University. Beginning in Fall 2010, the initiative was expanded to thirteen additional colleges: the Broad College of Business; Residential College of Arts and Humanities; James Madison College; Lyman Briggs College, the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts and Letters; Communication Arts and Sciences; Human Medicine; Education; Music; Nursing; Osteopathic Medicine; and Veterinary Medicine.

 (a .pdf of the mission statement can be found here)


Please note: The ADAPP Project formally ended in 2014. Final reports about the project are:

Evaluation of Michigan State University ADAPP-ADVANCE Faculty Retention Study (2014)

Summative Evaluation Report of the Michigan State University ADAPP Project, Year 6 (2014)

Evaluation of Michigan State University ADAPP  Annual Report 2013-2014

Grant initiatives continue, having been absorbed by various offices on campus, including the Office of Academic Human Resources, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, and the Office of Planning and Budget.