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IDEAL Project hopes to build new center

Oct. 13, 2011

BY Karen Mowls

Paul LinCleveland State is one of six institutions in Northern Ohio that supports the Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership (IDEAL) project. The goal of the program is to generate more diversity within faculty in the sciences, and a center for the program is what the directors would like to see accomplished.

Paul Lin, professor of Mechanical Engineering and associate dean of the College Engineering, serves as CSU’s co-director of the program.

“The goal for year three will be to institutionalize the project by creating a Center for Faculty Development and Leadership across the university in the near future,” Lin said.
The program is funded by a $1 million grant provided by the National Science Foundation.

IDEAL attempts to bring more women and underrepresented faculty into the science and engineering programs, where the faculty is generally not diversified.
Lin said three change leaders are chosen per year that the program will be in effect.

Focus group meetings were held to identify factors that are causing the underrepresented groups to not to participate during year one.

Year two included “a seminar session on Life Events and the Academic Career, and another session on Creating Inclusive and Productive Environments,” Lin said.

The six schools that support the program in Northern Ohio are: Bowling Green State University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and the University of Toledo.

“The goal of this innovative partnership grant is to seed institutional transformation by creating an institutional learning community that is empowered to develop and leverage knowledge, skills, resources and networks to enhance equity and inclusion at each university,” Lin said.

Lin said studies have shown a diversify faculty leads to a diversified student body because students are comfortable seeing leaders who are like them. Women, African-Americans, and Latinos are a few groups that are underrepresented within the science majors.

A center to house the main objective of the project is what Lin and the rest of the co-directors would like to see happen soon.