U I C WISEST - Women in Science and Engineering System Transformation

Faculty Search Committee

Transforming science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) departments is imperative to attract and retain a highly talented and diverse workforce and to foster women's leadership.  The Departmental Transformation initiative has three objectives:

SUCCEED: Supporting UIC's Commitment to a Community of Excellence, Equity and Diversity

The WISEST Facilitators form a cadre of search committee trainers, the WISEST SUCCEED Team: Supporting UIC's Commitment to a Community of Excellence, Equity and Diversity. Facilitators understand the power of gender schemas and the accumulation of disadvantage through a number of readings and trainings provided by scholars. These 11 diversity ambassadors have created an adaptable PowerPoint presentation for use in the different STEM departments. Deans of the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences strongly encourage all search committee members to undergo training. 

Download the SUCCEED Search Workshop (408.50 Kb)

The WISEST Faculty Search Committee Toolkit is available as a resource to all search committees.

If you would like to request search committee training for your search committtee or sign up to receive training to become a search committee trainer, please contact, for East Campus, Linda Siebert Rapoport at siebert1@uic.edu .

NEW Click Here for the Podcast from the UIC Townhall meeting fall of 2007.  


All 11 STEM departments have facilitators who were named by their department head and confirmed by the WISEST Executive Committee.  They have worked with their department heads and colleagues to formulate and execute a department Action Plan, the blueprint for transforming the department.  Should their department be awarded funds for a Postdoc Fellow or WISEST faculty, facilitators will serve as mentors to these individuals.  Facilitators are key members of the WISEST Search Training Team and also identify potential applicants for the WISER Fund.  In addition, they carry out grant activities such as publicizing workshops and organizing Visiting Scholars' schedules.

Download UIC Facilitator Model: a Vital Part of WISEST –NSF ADVANCE PI Roundtable, May 2008


WISEST issued a call for Action Plans that required STEM departments heads to assess the culture of their department and develop concrete plans for promoting gender equity.  All 11 target departments have submitted a response to the WISEST call for Action Plans and are eligible to compete for a WISEST Postdoc Fellow or faculty.  Competitive Action Plans demonstrate knowledge of the self-study data amassed by the Facilitators and outline activities to promote gender equity and diversity within their departments.  Stellar responses also included benchmarks for tracking success.         


WISEST believes that department heads are key to successful diversity practices; they set the tone for what behavior is expected and acceptable within their departments.  Heads participate in WISEST Leadership Seminars and work with their Facilitator.  WISEST provides information and funds the registration fee for some heads to attend the University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change's "Leadership Workshops for Department Chairs."  WISEST also encourages STEM Heads to attend the Department Heads Workshops hosted by the Office of Faculty Affairs. Learn more about these workshops.

WISEST photo rotator

Women in Science and Engineering System Transformation (WISEST)

The goal of the WISEST Initiative is to increase the number, participation, and leadership status of women — majority and minority — in academic science and engineering through institutional transformation at UIC.