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ISU Department Enhancement Program

Justin Szabo and Paul Chung serve as evaluators and analysts for the Department Enhancement Program (DEP). The DEP formed as a result of ADVANCE, an NSF funded program designed to help to recruit and retain a diverse, highly qualified and cohesive faculty body.

The ISU DEP conducts focus groups and interviews to elicit information about the cultures of specific departments on campus and compiles reports outlining common themes and findings in order to further department goals and facilitate long-term planning. The DEP specifically focuses on departmental support and challenges, distribution of resources, faculty workload, career/family balance, mentoring, faculty professional development, productivity, recruitment, and diversity.

Analysis of the data is conducted using the full transcript of each interview/focus group and the NVivo 10 Qualitative Research Software Program. Because each departmental culture is different, themes are not necessarily consistent from one department to the next. Faculty are interviewed in groups according to rank, and issues important to particular subcategories of faculty (e.g., rank, gender, etc.) are noted accordingly. RISE has conducted the analysis for seven ISU departments: Mathematics, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Political Science, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Music and Theatre, Computer Science, and Human Development and Family Studies.