Murray State ADVANCE

ADVANCE Adaptati0n: Leveling the Playing Field , Strategic Equity Initiatives at Murray State University 

In a continuation of our ADVANCE work, Murray State University will adapt successful programs from institutions such as University of New Hampshire and University of Washington for use at MSU. Based on our 2017 Climate Survey, we know there are challenges that women STEM faculty face.  Through MSU-LEARN, we will develop interactive theatre modules to address implicit bias in search, tenure and promotion processes. Through MSU-GROW, we will develop programs to improve the retention and advancement of women faculty. We will enhance work-life balance at MSU through MSU-LIVE strategies.  This $1 million initiative is supported by the National Science  Foundation.

Publication and Resources

EMBO Poster
McCarthy M, Balthrop D, Fuller C, Kemp R, Waddill P, Zhang Q. Differences and Deficits Affecting Women in STEM Faculty at Murray State University. Poster Presented at EMBO | EMBL | HHMI Conference: Gender
Roles and their Impact in Academia; 2020 Oct 13-15; Virtual

McCarthy M, Balthrop D, Fuller C, Kemp R, Waddill P, Zhang Q. "Emotional Labor in Higher Education". 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase COVID, Equity, & Social Justice; 2021 May 11-18; Virtual.

McCarthy M, Balthrop D, Fuller C, Kemp R, Waddill P, Zhang Q. "Interactive Theatre Addresses Implicit Bias In University Search and Tenure Processes". YouTube. 2020 Oct 9.

McCarthy M, Balthrop D, Fuller C, Kemp R, Waddill P, Zhang Q. "Emotional Labor in Higher Education". YouTube. 2020 Nov 16.

McCarthy M, Balthrop D, Fuller C, Kemp R, Waddill P, Zhang Q. "Achieving work-life balance for women in higher education". YouTube. 2020 Oct 14.


ADVANCE leaders

Contact Us

216 I&T Building
Murray, KY, 42071

Project Team

Dr. Maeve McCarthy
Assistant Dean
Jones College of Science, Engineering & Technology
Professor of Mathematics
203A I&T Building
about Dr. McCarthy

Dr. Maeve McCarthy, Interim Assistant Dean and Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, will serve as the Principal Investigator. She will lead the program, supervise the program coordinator and administrative assistant, and conduct some of the policy review. As the former Executive Director of the Association for Women in Mathematics, she is passionate about gender issues in STEM. Through her work as former Chair of the MSU Insurance and Benefits Committee and PI of the MSU Catalyst grant, she has strong relationships with the MSU administration.

Dr. David Balthrop
Dr. David Balthrop
Humanities and Fine Arts
Professor of Theatre
100 Faculty Hall
about Dr. Balthrop

Dr. David Balthrop, co-PI, is the Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and a Professor of Theatre. He brings valuable experience in theatre to the PI team that will enhance the MSU-LEARN program. His administrative experience and position on the Dean’s Council will be of great benefit. He served on the Internal Advisory Board for the MSU Catalyst grant.

Dr. Claire Fuller
Jones College of Science, Engineering & Technology
Professor of Biological Sciences
201A I&T Building
about Dr. Fuller

Dr. Claire Fuller, co-PI, is the Dean of the Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology and a Professor of Biological Sciences. She served as a mentor circle facilitator and later co-PI on the MSU Catalyst grant. She brings extensive administrative experience to the project. She will be instrumental in advancing the changes identified as necessary by our project. Dr. Fuller is uniquely positioned to disseminate information amongst administrators and to begin to develop plans to implement changes based on findings.

Dr. Paula Waddill
Dr. Paula Waddill
Professor of Psychology
212 Wells Hall
about Dr. Waddill

Dr. Paula Waddill, Chair and Professor of Psychology. She served as a co-PI on the MSU Catalyst grant. She has specialized training in research design and statistical analyses and has served as program evaluator for a variety of grants including projects funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice. She will work closely with the project evaluator, Mariko Chang, to apply her unique expertise in quantitative research to the design, implementation, and analyses of the quantitative survey and the existing institutional data.

Dr. Robin Zhang
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
335 Blackburn
about Dr. Zhang

Dr. Robin Zhang, Chair and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, co-PI, led a subcommittee to study dual-career policies at other institutions and their possible adoption at MSU. She served as a co-PI on the MSU Catalyst grant. She will coordinate MSU-LIVE with the program coordinator.

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Internal Steering Committee

  • Bob Jackson, President
  • Tim Todd, Provost
  • Robert Pervine, Associate Provost
  • David Eaton, Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business
  • Claire Fuller, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering & Technology
  • David Balthrop, College of Humanities & Fine Arts
  • Tony Brannon, Hutson School of Agriculture
  • Ashley Ireland,University Libraries
  • Cami Duffy, Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Access
  • Courtney Hixon, Human Resources
  • Susana Bloomdahl, President's Commission on Diversity & Inclusion
  • Melony Shemberger, Faculty Regent

External Steering Committee

  • Karen Graham, University of New Hampshire
  • Cristina VillalobosThe University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Joan Herbers, Ohio State University
  • Mary Anne Holmes, University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Bobby Lee, West Kentucky Community & Technical College, Murray State Biology alumna
  • Lauren Schmidt Martin, Appriss, Murray State Math/CS alumna
  • Joyce Yen, University of Washington



ADVANCE 2017 Climate Study Recommendations

The ADVANCE PIs have made the following recommendations to Murray State based on the 2017
Climate Study:

  • Improve perception that work/life balance is a priority at Murray State.
  • Provide childcare facility for employees.
  • Develop faculty support network by institutionalizing the mentoring circles through the
    Faculty Development Center.
  • Assess workload expectations, particularly regarding teaching and service.
  • Increase salaries to be comparable to peer institutions and establish mechanism for annual
  • Introduce optional bias training with a view to improving recruitment activities, and tenure
    & promotion processes.
  • Increase exposure to policies about extension of the probationary period (see Faculty

Download the report.