University of Toledo IDEAL-N Project

Purpose and Objectives


The purpose of Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership - National (IDEAL-N) is to seed and institutionalize gender equity transformation at leading research universities by creating a learning community of academic leaders that is empowered to develop and leverage knowledge, skills, resources and networks to transform university cultures and enhance diversity and inclusion. IDEAL-N is a NSF-funded initiative for three years (Oct. 2015-Sept. 2018).

Previously, UT was a partner in a 3-year NSF funded IDEAL grant together with 5 other OH institutions and headed by CWRU.

IDEAL-N is a partnership between CWRU and regional public universities:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Duquesne University
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Kent State University
  • The University of Akron
  • The University of Pittsburgh
  • The University of Toledo

Project Description (Summary)

Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership–National (IDEAL-N) IDEAL-N seeks to build a learning community among 10 research universities across 2 states to create knowledge about, share, develop, adapt, and evaluate innovative and sustainable tools, practices, and policies to promote gender equality in academic Science & Engineering (S&E) disciplines.  IDEAL-N includes two clusters with a total of 10 partner universities: Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron and University of Toledo (constituting the Northern Ohio cluster) and Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh (constituting the Pennsylvania cluster). IDEAL-N will build on the successful transformations and outcomes achieved in the earlier CWRU ADVANCE project, IDEAL.  Using the stages of change model related to gender equity institutional change, IDEAL-N recognizes that each university and cluster (as well as the individual administrators and faculty represented therein) participate in an on-going process of profound change in promoting diversity in S&E.  IDEAL-N targets senior administrators as the locus of change and promotes intensified educational, leadership development, and support components.  The project will employ an innovative technology platform, using Cisco’s TelePresence, to re-imagine and stimulate cost-effective information dissemination and networking for a national audience.  Read more.

University of Toledo

Institutional Transformation Theme: 

Creating and Maintaining a Climate for Successful Recruitment, Retention and Advancement 

Institutional Transformation Vision:

The University of Toledo will develop a thriving climate for successful recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM fields and be an institution continuously improving what it provides for support and mentoring, professional development, and resources to its faculty and students to enhance their success in careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the medical sciences. 

Change Project Description:

The project focuses on establishing a mentoring/coaching collaborative, designing and offering workshops and conducting surveys to accumulate background information about issues impacting women entering STEM fields and barriers to their retention and success.  A climate survey distributed April-May 2016 to all University faculty and students contained questions that were also included in a previous 2014 climate survey, allowing a comparison of these responses over time.

Goals/Objectives of the Change Project:

Our overall goal is to change attitudes and perceptions to effect real change in leveling the playing field for women in STEM.  Specific goals for year 1 are (1) to use the climate survey data and analyses to identify key focus areas for workshops during the year and (2) to establish a “mentoring collaborative” and associated focus groups to support promotion of faculty (lecturers, assistant and associate professors) who are women in STEM areas.

  1. Create a mentoring collaborative in conjunction with the Provost’s Office; identify a pool of mentors
  2. Develop policies to assist with dual position hiring
  3. Identify topics for and host workshops on hiring procedures; promotion for women in STEM; other topics identified in survey responses
  4. Hold focus groups to identify qualitative barriers to success
  5. Partner with the Eberly Center for Women to create a women-in-STEM component for a proposed “Women’s Summit”
  6. Implement training workshops about implicit bias for search committees, chairs, deans, and other administrators


Last Updated: 6/30/19