Associate Professor Conference

Recent information from the 2022 EOS Foundation Report,  Women’s Power Gap at Elite Universities: Scaling the Ivory Tower,  shows that, among R1 institutions, tenured professors continue to lag behind in gender and racial diversity. That is, White and Asian males consist of over half of all tenured full professors at such institutions. As per the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 2020 report, representation of women among full-time tenure line faculty members decreases with progression in rank (assistant to associate to full). Nationally, approximately 34 percent of full professors are women. But underrepresentation is particularly pronounced among women who are Hispanic or Latino and Black or African American or multiracial. White women hold 27 percent of full professor positions, Hispanic women hold 3 percent, Black women hold 2 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islander women and women who list two or more races each hold 1 percent (Hussar et al. 2020).

Further, studies show the time to promotion to full is typically longer for women and minority faculty (see Gardener and Blackstone 2013). Given that Virginia Commonwealth University has seen a five year net gain in Black faculty and overall, in Underrepresented minority (URM) faculty, we must strategically invest in continued professional progression and promotion of faculty. We will continue to work to advance our faculty; this conference is one example.

We are launching the conference for associate professors in fall 2023 with the goal of enabling associate professors to critically think about shaping their career trajectory to achieve the rank of full professor. The conference is intended to support faculty career development, discuss strategies and resources to overcome obstacles, and expand support networks. We see this as an opportunity to listen and learn from each other, engage with local and national experts, and enhance the culture of care for faculty. 

While this annual event targets associate professors, all faculty, chairs, associate deans, and deans are welcome to attend and participate.


American Association of University Professors. (December 2020) . Retrieved from: 

Gardner, Susan K. and Amy Blackstone. 2013. “Putting in your time: Faculty Experiences in the Process of Promotion to Professor.” Innovative Higher Education 38: 411–425.

Hussar, B., Zhang, J., Hein, S., Wang, K., Roberts, A., Cui, J., Smith, M., Bullock, F., Barmer, A., & Dilig, R. (2020). The Condition of Education 2020. NCES 2020-144. National Center for Education Statistics.

Silbert, Andrea, et al. The Women’s Power Gap at Elite Universities: Scaling the Ivory Tower 2022 Study. Eos Foundation, Jan. 2022,