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Examining models of departmental engagement for greater equity: A case study of two applications of the dual agenda approach

Sharon Bird (Department of Sociology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
Melissa Latimer (West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 11 March 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine two types of departmental interventions focused on creating healthier and more equitable academic departments as well as enhancing faculty members’ capacity for collective dialogue, goals and work. Both interventions were informed by the “dual-agenda” approach and focused on targeted academic units over a prolonged period.


This paper uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative data (including National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE indicator data) to assess the potential of dual-agenda informed interventions in reducing gendered structures and gendered dynamics.


The authors outline essential components of a dual-agenda model for maximizing success in creating more gender equitable work organizations and discuss why the authors are more optimistic about the dual-agenda approaches than many past researchers have been in terms of the potential of the dual-agenda model for promoting more equal opportunities in work organizations.


Most previous dual-agenda projects referenced in the literature have been carried out in non-academic contexts. The projects examined here, however, were administered in the context of multiple academic departments at two medium-sized, public US universities. Although other NSF ADVANCE institutional transformation institutions have included extensive department-focused transformation efforts (e.g. Brown University, Purdue University and Syracuse University), the long-term benefits of these efforts are not yet fully understood; nor have systematic comparisons been made across institutions.



This paper was supported in part by research supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos HRD-0600399 and HRD-1007978. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Authors are listed alphabetically but contributions are equal.


Bird, S. and Latimer, M. (2019), "Examining models of departmental engagement for greater equity: A case study of two applications of the dual agenda approach", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 211-225.



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