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Summer Institute on Tenure & Professional Advancement

​The Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement (SITPA) at Duke University is a mentoring and professional socialization initiative that facilitates the successful transition from junior faculty status to tenured associate professor for a broad group of early career faculty. The institute is open to untenured faculty entering their first, or currently in their first year of a tenure track position at an accredited U.S. based college or university, who are from underrepresented groups or who otherwise support the diversity missions of their institutions.  SITPA seeks to help remedy the persistent underrepresentation of various racial and ethnic minority groups on the faculties of U.S. colleges and universities.

Knowledge, Advice & Guidance on Earning Tenure

A four decade-old national effort to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities who pursue graduate degrees has been a notable success. However, progress in faculty diversity has not kept pace with student diversity. Enhancing tenure rates is the next frontier in the efforts to increase the presence of faculty of color in higher education. SITPA is predicated on the principle that tenure and professional advancement are the linchpins for hastening the realization of the goal to reduce, over time, the serious underrepresentation of minority faculty in U.S. colleges and universities.

Attaining tenure is one of the most important and visible signs of success and accomplishment for faculty in U.S. colleges and universities. Tenure not only provides faculty with the freedom and protection to pursue research topics regardless of their controversial or political nature, it also allows faculty to become long-term stakeholders in their institution, who help shape the institution’s mission, curriculum, student body, and faculty.

The Summer Institute for Tenure and Professional Advancement (SITPA) is an initiative through which select junior faculty receive knowledge, advice, and guidance on how to be successful in the quest for tenure.  SITPA is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is administered and hosted by the Center for the Study of Race Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences (REGSS) at Duke University. REGSS is an interdisciplinary center where scholars interested in research in areas related to race, ethnicity, and the intersections of these two with gender come together to engage each other through collaborative projects, lectures and conferences.


Questions?  Contact our office at SITPA@duke.edu