What is the MSU ADAPP-ADVANCE Project? (And General Questions)

What is the ADAPP-ADVANCE Project?

Michigan State University has undertaken a bold new initiative titled Advancing Diversity through the Alignment of Policies and Practices (ADAPP).  ADAPP expands upon the ADVANCE goal since its focus on women in the STEM disciplines is rooted in strategies designed to attract, retain and promote the highest quality faculty possible across all disciplines.

The ADAPP initiative is grounded in six principles: quality, inclusiveness, alignment, objectivity, consistency, and transparency. Our primary goal is to leverage existing programs to create a more coordinated, systemized approach to human resource policies and practices that will ensure diversity and improve the campus environment for all people. Accordingly, ADAPP-ADVANCE seeks to:

  1. Enhance and increase the quality and diversity of faculty recruited and appointed.
  2. Increase the retention of all faculty, including women and faculty members of color.
  3. Increase advancement of women faculty and faculty members of color.
  4. Improve the work environment (climate) for all faculty, but particularly for women and faculty members of color.



Who is involved in the ADAPP-ADVANCE initiative?

Kim Wilcox, MSU’s Provost, is the Principal Investigator on the project. The other Co-Principal investigators include:  Estelle McGroarty (Lead Co-PI); Terry Curry, Mark Roehling, Clare Luz, and Tammy Reid Bush.

The Grant Management Team includes the principal investigators plus Melissa McDaniels (Project Director), Karen Klomparens (Provost’s Representative) and Paulette Granberry Russell (Special Advisor to the President, and Director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives).

The deans of the Colleges of Engineering, Natural Science, and Social Science (Satish Udpa, Jim Kirkpatrick and Marietta Baba, respectively) are leading the ADAPP initiative in these colleges. 

Initially, only these three colleges were involved in the initiative. However, the resources, new policies, and efforts to align existing policies and practices has been expanded to all Colleges at MSU.  All initiatives are being embedded in the colleges, in addition to a number of  central administration offices, including Faculty and Organizational Development, the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, and the Family Resource Center.


What is the ADAPP-ADVANCE team going to do to achieve this goal?

Specifically, ADAPP addresses policies and procedures related to:

  • reappointment, promotion & tenure,
  • annual performance review,
  • faculty search and selection
  • faculty leadership development
  • faculty mentoring.

Research has shown that by developing objective, transparent criteria and practices in these five areas and consistently applying them across individuals and units, potential bias, both intentional and unintentional, is reduced.

In addition, ADAPP has created and developed the role of Faculty Excellence Advocates (FEA), who will assist with successfully implementing best practices. ADAPP has also led the development of a university-wide electronic portfolio system that will serve as a central repository for information on faculty accomplishments and will provide clarity, transparency and accountability to policies, and practices. Faculty benefits from such a system will also include the ability to enter data just once and automatically generate multiple university forms related to review and advancement.


Why is MSU implementing this initiative?

The ADAPP strategies will ultimately promote MSU’s core values of quality and inclusion. These strategies will enhance the opportunity for all faculty to thrive within a rich, intellectually stimulating and supportive community in which expectations are clear, there is equitable access to resources, and achievement is fostered and rewarded.  This will be achieved in part by increasing the number of, and diversity among, women who are hired, retained and advanced. Recognizing and increasing diversity among faculty and women improves the quality of the whole institution.


How will MSU Governance (UCFA and UCFT) be involved with the ADAPP-ADVANCE activities?

The Provost and members of the ADAPP-ADVANCE executive management team are working with governance in implementing new policies and developing approaches and strategies regarding best practices for mentoring, annual review and promotion and tenure.