The goal of the NSF-funded FLIP (Diversifying Future Leadership in the Professoriate) Alliance is to address the broadening participation challenge of increasing the diversity of the future leadership in the professoriate in computing at research universities as a way to achieve diversity across the field. In particular, the problem that we address is stark and straightforward: only 4.3% of the current tenure-track faculty in computing at these universities are from underrepresented groups.
The FLIP Alliance solution is equally stark and straightforward: we intentionally bring together the very small number of departments responsible for producing the majority of the professoriate with individuals and organizations that understand how to recruit, retain, and develop students from underrepresented groups in order to create a network that can quickly and radically change the demographic diversity of the professoriate across the entire field.
The challenge is important to address because diverse faculty contributes to academia in a number of critical ways:
- Serve as excellent role models for a diverse study body
- Bring diverse backgrounds to the student programs and policies developed by the department. It is recognized that faculty generally set such policies and programs.
- Bring diverse perspectives to the research projects and programs.
Further, in practice, key national leadership roles, such as serving on national committees that impact the field of computing, often come from research universities.
The FLIP Alliance consists of FLIP Advocates at the following institutions, which were found to be the largest producers of computer science faculty at research universities [based upon the analysis by Jeff Huang]:
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Cornell University
- Georgia Tech
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Princeton University
- Stanford University
- University of California at Berkeley
- University of Texas
- University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- University of Washington
The FLIP Alliance was launched with funding from an NSF INCLUDES demonstration grant, HRD-1806229, 2017 through 2020. This grant provided the funding to demonstrate the effectiveness of strategies focused on recruiting and admission of diverse doctoral students at FLIP institutions. Currently, the FLIP Alliance is funded by a grant from the Sloan Foundation, awarded in 2019. With this grant, the FLIP Alliance is focused on matriculation, retention to graduation, and professional development, in addition to recruiting and admission. The principal investigators on the Sloan grant are Valerie Taylor (University of Chicago) and Charles Isbell (Georgia Tech); Stafford Hood and Denice Hood, at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, are senior personnel overseeing the evaluation of the alliance. The FLIP Alliance also received funding from Google for Dissertation Fellowships, to fund the last year of the doctoral studies.
For questions regarding the FLIP Alliance, please send us a message by selecting “FLIP Alliance” for the subject on our contact us page.