At USD, School Of Nursing And Health Science Is 96.5% Female But It Got $600,000 In Taxpayer Funding To Increase Female Professors In STEM?

Mark Perry
updated | Author's Website

Among administrators and deans at the University of San Diego, females are well-represented.  For example, the president, provost and VP for Student Affairs are female (top three above) and three of the university’s six academic deans are female (bottom three above).  Among chairs and faculty in science, social science and math departments, females are also well-represented including:

1. Math and Computer Science Department: Female chair and 7  out of 15 faculty.    
2. Chemistry Department: Female chair and 5 out of 14 faculty.  

3. Sociology Department: Female chair and 6 out of 8 faculty are female.  

4. Biology Department: 7 out of 15 faculty

5. Chemistry Department: 5 out of 14 faculty. 

6. Environmental Studies: 3 out of 6 faculty.

Given what appears to be a pretty female-friendly academic institution headed by a woman president and provost, with gender parity in most science and math departments, you wouldn’t think the University of San Diego needs any taxpayer money to “boost the ranks of female science and technology professors,” would you?  Well, think again.  

The University of San Diego was just awarded $600,000 of your taxpayer money via the National Science Foundation to increase the ranks of female professors, particularly those of color, in science and technology.  From the university’s press release:

“We’re excited about the opportunity to become a model for undergraduate institutions that want to increase their diversity and provide a supportive environment for female faculty,” said Mary Boyd, dean of USD’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The five-year grant for $600,000 will support the project, Advancement of Female Faculty: Institutional climate, Recruitment and Mentoring (AFFIRM) to boost efforts to recruit women, especially those of color, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as the social and behavioral sciences.

Research suggests that the disparity of women in higher education can be explained “by an academic culture that provides women fewer opportunities, limited support and inequity in leadership,” Boyd said. “Too often we still see talented young female professors leave the academy because of feelings of isolation, problems with balancing career and family life and other issues. The AFFIRM project can help change the culture and provide the support to attract, retain and advance more outstanding female professors in areas of science and technology that are vital to our nation’s future.”

MP: I don’t think the under-representation of males in USD’s School of Education (only 3 out of 13 faculty are male) or the School of Nursing and Health Science (all 11 administrative positions are held by women, and 44 out of 46 faculty positions are female, for an overall ratio of 27.5: females per one male, or 96.5% female), will qualify for any taxpayer funding to address the gender disparities in those academic fields (I guess Nursing and Health Science is not part of STEM)? For example, I don’t think USD will be applying for a grant titled:

Advancement of Male Faculty: Institutional climate, Recruitment and Mentoring (AFFIRM) to boost efforts to recruit men, especially those of color, in education and nursing.”

You may also like: