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October 17, 2007

President Hrabowski Addresses House Subcommittee; Discusses Advancement of Women in Academic Science

Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262

Oct. 17, 2007

BALTIMORE – As Congress studies how to attract and keep women faculty in science and engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) President Freeman A. Hrabowski delivered testimony on Wed., Oct. 17 before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee regarding strategies that have made UMBC a national model in advancing women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Although women earn half of the bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering (S&E), they continue to be significantly underrepresented at the faculty level in nearly all S&E fields, constituting 28 percent (in 2003) of doctoral S&E faculty in four-year institutions and only 18 percent of full professors.

President Hrabowski joined a group of higher education leaders testifying before the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the House Committee on Science and Technology.

The subcommittee hearing examined the best strategies to overcome institutional and cultural barriers limiting participation of women faculty in science and engineering, including the role federal research agencies can play.

The number of female tenure-track STEM faculty at UMBC has increased 48 percent (from 29 to 43) since the fall 2003 inception of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant awarded to the university. With the support offered through ADVANCE, the number of STEM women at the assistant professor rank has increased by 58 percent. President Hrabowski serves as the grant’s principal investigator.

In his subcommittee testimony, President Hrabowski described how UMBC has drawn on its success in producing minority scientists and engineers, particularly those involving women of color, to develop mentoring strategies that increase participation of women faculty in STEM fields and advance them into faculty leadership positions.

Joining him as witnesses were Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami; Kathie Olsen, deputy director of the National Science Foundation; Myron Campbell, chair of the physics department at the University of Michigan; and Gretchen Ritter, professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.

Posted by mlurie at October 17, 2007 11:28 AM