Scroll back to the top

Administrative Fellows


Image of a Black Male Leader engaged in discussion with several other faculty members

Overview

ADVANCE is a unit within the Dean of Faculties Office that offers programs designed to advance faculty diversity, inclusion and success. The ADVANCE Administrative Fellows Program provides an opportunity for mid- to late-career faculty to take on a temporary, part-time administrative role in an administrative unit at the college or university level. ADVANCE provides funding to help support these positions and to provide leadership development training. 

Each fellow will serve in a leadership role that is designed in collaboration with a host unit. Each role will be the functional equivalent of an administrative internship with the following elements:
 
  • Limited Term.  The fellowship period is for one academic year (2021-22) to allow meaningful engagement with a specific project. It is anticipated, however, that some of the positions designed through this program will become permanent, and that some of the Administrative Fellows will transition into permanent leadership positions. 
 
  • Part-Time.  These positions will be part-time so the faculty member can continue their research and other academic duties. The positions may be budgeted for anywhere ranging anywhere from 25% to 50% administrative time, as determined by the proposed fellow and the host unit. The remaining percent effort will be with the home department, with the specific breakdown of duties negotiated between the fellow and the department head.
 
  • Meaningful Experience.  The position will allow the fellow to exercise an active leadership role that contributes to a specific project or issue that is viewed as important to the host unit. Each fellow will have a defined a set of responsibilities or tasks that are mutually determined between the host unit and the administrative fellow. The experience is likely to include budgetary responsibility and/or line management experience.  
 
  • External Leadership Development Opportunities.  Each fellow will receive a leadership development bursary to support their participation in a national leadership development program (e.g. programs offered by the American Council on Education, the Higher Education Resources Services (HERS) Institute, or Academic Impressions conferences). Fellows may also choose to use these funds to receive executive coaching, and/or to attend the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE).  
 
  • Internal Leadership Development Opportunities. Each fellow will also have the opportunity to participate in the Dean of Faculties Leadership Learning Community organized at Texas A&M University for administrative leaders (including the SEC Academic Leadership Development Fellows and other newly appointed leaders on campus).
 
  • Mentorship.  Each Fellow will be mentored closely by the administrator who creates the position and supervises their work (e.g. a Provost/Vice Provost/Associate Provost, Vice President, Dean/Associate Dean).  
 
 

Objective

The aim of the program is to develop potential faculty leaders who are likely to contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Texas A&M University.   

 

Eligibility CRITERIA

This program is designed for all mid-career and senior university faculty at Texas A&M University. This includes tenured faculty and Academic Professional Track (APT) faculty at the rank of associate or full professor, senior lecturer, etc.

Hiring units are intended to be administrative units that are typically led by faculty administrators. This includes college units, the provost's office, offices that are led by a vice-provost or associate provost, etc. 

Faculty and hiring units located outside of Bryan-College Station are eligible to apply.

 

Priorities

Priority will be given to proposals that meet one or more of the following four criteria:
  • Proposed fellows who have demonstrated experience as effective leaders, but have not yet taken on a titled leadership role that reports to a college or university administrator. Examples would include (but not be limited to) faculty who have served as associate head, director of graduate studies, or president of a scholarly organization.
  • Proposed fellows who are from underrepresented groups from their home units. This would include (but not be limited to) faculty from underrepresented minority groups, women from STEM fields, and men from fields such as education or nursing.
  • Proposed fellows who have a record of achievements that demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Proposed administrative roles that bear some relevance to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts (broadly conceived) at the college or university level.
 

Funding

This is a $40,000 fellowship (with $30,000 provided by ADVANCE, and $10,000 provided by the host unit).  Exact awards may be slightly higher depending on the contribution of host units.

ADVANCE will provide selected Fellows with the following:
  • $20,000 to be provided to the Fellow’s home department for course buyout, and
  • $10,000 to be provided to the Fellow as a bursary for professional leadership training.

The host unit will provide selected Fellows with the followinig:
  • A minimum of $10,000 in matching funds.


FAQs About the Program

How do interested administrators identify a prospective fellow?
College and university administrators who are interested in hosting an ADVANCE Administrative Fellow may use any method to recruit a prospective applicants.  For example, an administrator may have a specific project in mind, but may need help identifying the ideal person for the role.  In that case, they would put out a call to recruit potential applicants with relevant skills and experience. (College deans may limit the call to faculty from their own college.)  ADVANCE is able to help facilitate this process by posting available opportunities on the ADVANCE website and distributing information about an available opportunity to faculty across the university.

Alternatively, a university or college administrators may have a specific project in mind, and already know the ideal person for the job.  In that case, the administrator should simply reach out to that individual, and propose that they work on an application together. 

How do potential fellows identify a hiring unit?
Faculty who are interested in this opportunity may choose to initiate the process by reaching out to administrative offices to see if there are any potential opportunities that match their interests and skill set.

What is the timeframe for this program?
This is intended to be a 9-month fellowship during the 2021-22 academic year. However, hiring units may choose to extend the terms of the fellowship to include the summer preceding or following the fellowship period. In such cases, the host unit should provide summer salary equivalent to the expected time and effort (e.g. 50% of salary for 50% time and effort).

What are the matching funds from hiring units supposed to be used for?
Host units are expected to provide a minimum of $10,000 in matching funds for their fellow.  The application should specify the amount and the use of matching funds.  How matching funds are used may vary from one Fellow to the next. Matching funds can be designated for supplemental pay (including summer salary), to provide additional support for course buyout costs, and/or to provide additionals support for leadership development training.

In what circumstances would the amount of matching funds exceed $10,000?
Prior to submitting an application, the applicant, the hiring supervisor and the department head will need to work out a proposed budget for the fellowship. Depending on the costs for summer salary, replacement teaching and/or professional development programs, host units may end up providing more than $10,000 in matching funds. The review process will not factor in the amount of the matching funds.

What if the cost of replacement teaching exceeds the amount provided by ADVANCE?
Course buyout funds are intended to be used towards the cost of replacement teaching (and therefore are not equivalent to the fellow's salary). The actual costs for course reduction is likely to vary from one fellow to the next depending on the faculty member’s standard course load and the typical cost in that unit to hire a part-time lecturer and/or graduate teaching assistant. If replacement teaching costs exceed the amount provided by ADVANCE, the host unit will need to provide top off funds provided by ADVANCE.  Such funds can be part of the $10,000 provided by the host unit, or funds in excess of the $10,000. 

Can the home department use course buyout funds for other purposes?
Yes.  In most cases, replacement teaching will be necessary. If replacement teaching is not necessary, the department may choose to use the funds from ADVANCE for other purposes.

What if the cost for professional development program exceeds the amount provided by ADVANCE?
Leadership training programs vary in cost.  If the cost to participate in a particular program (such as the HERS Institute) exceeds the amount provided by ADVANCE, then a portion of the matching funds provided by the host unit could be designated to make up the difference.

Do faculty applying for this position have to be in an eligible title at the time of application, or by the time the appointment starts?
Faculty need to be in an eligible title by the time the appointment starts.  Assistant professors (who are going through the process of promotion to associate professor) and/or lecturers (who are going through the process of promotion to senior lecturer) are eligible to apply. 

Can a hiring unit support more than one application?
Yes, a hiring unit can support more than one application as long as the two applicants would be working on different projects.  However, ADVANCE will only fund one fellow from any given unit.

How many fellows will be selected?
ADVANCE will provide funding for up to three Administrative Fellows for 2021-2022.  These fellows will be designated as ADVANCE Administrative Fellows sponsored by ADVANCE.

If an applicant is not selected as a fellow sponsored by ADVANCE, can the hiring unit fund the position on their own?
Yes, as long as the Program Review Committee gives a high rating to the application, and the hiring unit has funds available to make this commitment. Hiring units will be provided with the option of fully funding a fellowship. Fellows who are funded by their hiring unit will also be designated as ADVANCE Administrative Fellows, and also have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Learning Opportunity organized by the Office of the Dean of Faculties.

What happens after fellows have been selected for this program?
ADVANCE assists each hiring unit in the development of an "appointment letter" for each fellow that spells out the terms of the agreement, as outlined in the proposal. The appointment letter is signed by the fellow, the fellow's department head, and the fellow's supervisor.

How are the funds managed for this program?
At the beginning of the fellowship period, ADVANCE and the hiring unit transfer all of the funding to the home department to be used as intended. The business staff in the home department manage the funds, and process expenses. 

Do fellows transition into an administrative position at the end of the fellowship period? 
This is possible, but entirely up to the needs and ability of the hiring unit. The fellowship period is not intended to continue beyond one year. At the conclusion of the fellowship period, the host unit may or may not opt to "reclassify" the fellow into a more permanent administrative position.
 

Application Process

Applications for the 2022-23 fellowship period will be due in March 2022.  A call for applications will be made in the beginning of 2022.

Applicants will need to attach the following documents:

  • a short CV (no more than 5 pages)
  • a support letter from the prospective hiring unit
  • a support letter from the applicant's department head

The support letter from the hiring unit should include the following information: a short justification for the position; a description of the process used to recruit and select the nominee; a comment about the nominee's fit for this particular position; a proposed plan for providing a meaningful leadership experience (including a description of job responsibilities); a proposed plan for mentoring the nominee; the percent effort for the position; the propsoed amount and use of matching funds from the hiring unit (minimum of $10,000); and the proposed start date for the position (no later than September 1st of the fellowship year).

The support letter from the department head should confirm that the department will provide a course release that is appropriate to the percent effort for the position, and describe how service expectations within the department will be adjusted, particularly if the nominee is at the associate professor rank.

All applications will be reviewed by the ADVANCE Program Committee. The following criteria and weights will be used to evaluate all eligible applications:
  • the extent to which the application matches the priority criteria for this program (50%)
  • the host unit’s proposed plan for providing a meaningful leadership experience (10%)
  • the host unit’s proposed plan for mentoring the nominee (10%)
  • the nominee’s stated goals for this experience (10%)
  • the thoughtfulness of the nominee’s plan for leadership training (10%)
  • the nominee’s preparation and potential as an academic leader (10%)
 

Deadlines

Applications are not currently being accepted.  The next deadline will be March 2022.
 

Contact Information

Any questions about this program should be sent to advance@tamu.edu.