Accomplishments of Prior ADVANCE Grant

Clemson TIGERS Advance

TIGERS ADVANCE was a 5-year (+2 No Cost Extensions) NSF funded initiative to reduce gender inequality and improve the status of women faculty at Clemson University, with a strong focus on improving equity in the STEM disciplines. The Clemson TIGERS Advance program is the result of a comprehensive institutional assessment of the barriers that hinder the recruitment, advancement and retention of women and other underrepresented minority faculty; a thorough assessment of Clemson’s history, culture and climate; an extensive review of lessons learned from other ADVANCE institutions around the country; and the tight integration of social science research with project activities to inform and support institutional transformation.

Grounded in the framework of social identity theory, specifically organizational identification, the grant sought  to create a super ordinate identity at Clemson, called “One Clemson.”  “One Clemson” develops the idea that  the success of the university as a whole supports  the individual self-esteem of all faculty as opposed to the success of smaller in-groups. Transforming the Institution through Gender Equity, Retention and Support was a systematic institutional transformation approach focused on mechanisms of institutional transformation to reduce gender inequity and issues of  injustice. This initiative sought to provide opportunities for all faculty, both men and women, to advance their careers while also developing  supports to find balance between the pressures of work and life.  

Mission: TIGERS Advance Clemson is committed to building ONE CLEMSON, where all members of the Clemson Family are respected, valued and collaboratively work  to bring the many voices, talents, and experiences of a  diverse group of students, staff, and faculty to  the challenges of our time. We are committed to bringing to supporting al of the diverse and intersectional perspectives of Clemson’s faculty, staff and students to ensure that Clemson University is among our Nation’s leaders in diversity and inclusion efforts. We further  support ALL members of our institution and create learning and working environment that values and respects every voice, provides a safe and inclusive work environment, provides family-friendly policies and enables every member of our institution to achieve their full potential and contribute to Clemson’s collective success.


Goal 1: Transform the Culture and Improve the Campus Climate
Goal 2: Increase the Representation of Women in STEM Disciplines
Goal 3: Ensure Equitable Workload Distribution
Goal 4: Enhance Faculty Mentoring and Leadership Development 
Goal 5: Implement Family-Friendly Policies


Grant Programming: TIGERS Advance offered programs and initiatives aimed at making Equity a Clemson Family Value by promoting equity and inclusion: 

  • Pathfinder Program, which supports recruitment of women and minority faculty
  • Pathway Program, which enables mentorship of historically underrepresented scholars for future faculty positions in their department
  • Trailblazers, a cohort-based leadership training program that focuses on developing equitable leadership skills
  • TIGER Advocates, which trains men of Clemson to address implicit gender bias and other forms of inequity
  • TIGERS Time and Towards Equitable Workloads, which aims to mitigate biases in workload allocation and performance reviews
  • Working groups for policy changes that identify important issues and roadblocks to promoting equity to develop best practices


  • Previous ADVANCE Directors

    ADVANCE Directors

    Previous TIGERS Advance Directors

    Clemson has had the opportunity to benefit from diverse leadership perspectives and from colleagues that represent different disciplines across campus.

    • Cynthia Sims, Associate Professor of Educational and Organizational Leadership, 2023
    • Margaret Ptacek, Professor of Biological Sciences, 2019-2022
    • Denise Anderson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Faculty Affairs, and Inclusive Excellence, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, 2017-2019 
    • Sez Atamturktur, Harry and Arlene Schell Professor and Department Head, Architectural Engineering Penn State University, 2016-2017