April 2016 Symposium

Academic Work Life Compatibility:
The New University WorkLife Office

April 1, 2016
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
8:00 am – 1:00 pm


8:00am Registration and continental breakfast     Lincoln Room
8:30am Welcome   Provost Lincoln Room
8:45am Keynote Address   Dr. Brad Harrington, Boston College Lincoln Room
9:45am Break      
10:00am Moderator: Dr. Ann Austin
Academic Work Life Compatibility: Opportunities, Challenges, and Possibilities
Panel Discussion Panelists:
Dr. Elizabeth Simmons
Dr. Silvia Dimma
Dr. Isis Settles
Lincoln Room
11:00am Presentation on Cost-benefit Analysis   Dr. Sandra Gahn, Iowa State University Lincoln Room
12:00pm Buffet Lunch and Update on MSU's WorkLife Office   Dr. Barbara Roberts Red Cedar Room


Keynote Address:

Dr. Brad Harrington





Welcome by the MSU Provost (video image above), and Keynote Address by Dr. Brad Harrington.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOnNWq2aeqE (Run time: 1:20:42)

Dr. Harrington is Executive Director of the Boston College Center for Work & Family (CWF) and a research professor in the Carroll School of Management. CWF is the country’s leading university-based research center supporting employers in their efforts to improve the lives of working people and their families. Dr. Harrington’s research and teaching at Boston College focuses on career management and work-life integration, the changing role of fathers, contemporary workforce management strategies and the leadership of organizational change. He is the lead author of “Career Management and Work/Life Integration: Using Self-Assessment to Navigate Contemporary Careers” and “The New Dad”, a 6 year-long research series exploring the changing role of fathers at home and in the workplace. Prior to his arrival at the University in 2000, Dr. Harrington was an executive with Hewlett-Packard Company for 20 years, serving in a number of leadership roles in human resources, education and quality in the US and Europe.

Dr. Harrington holds a doctorate in Human Resource Development from Boston University, a master's degree in psychology from Boston College, and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Stonehill College. He is married to Dr. Annie Soisson, Associate Director of the Center for Learning & Teaching at Tufts University, and they are the very proud parents of three children, Maggie (20), Hannah (18), and Dillon (15).


Dr. Ann E. Austin





Panel Moderator, Dr. Ann E. Austin (video image above).
https://youtu.be/qvGZp4eRW1A (Run time: 59:57)

Dr. Austin is a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., on leave from her position as Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University. Her research concerns faculty careers and professional development, teaching and learning in higher education, the academic workplace, organizational change in higher education, doctoral education, and reform in science, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and Past-President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and she was a Fulbright Fellow in South Africa (1998). Dr. Austin has been the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded grant to study organizational change strategies that foster inclusive and diverse academic environments and the success of women scholars in STEM fields. She is a founding co-leader of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), a collaborative network of 46 universities to prepare doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as excellent teachers. Her work is widely published, including books, articles, chapters, and monographs concerning higher education issues in the United States and abroad. She has worked with colleagues at the national and institutional levels on higher education issues in a number of countries outside the U.S., including Australia, China, Egypt, Finland, Malaysia, Oman, Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.


Dr. Isis H. Settles

Dr. Settles is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University (MSU) in the Social-Personality interest group. She is a core faculty affiliate of MSU’s Center for Multicultural Psychology Research and MSU’s Center for Gender in Global Context. Dr. Settles received her Ph.D. in Personality Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her research examines processes and outcomes associated with social group memberships (e.g., race, gender) and social group identifications. In particular, she is interested in how individuals negotiate multiple identities, and how members of devalued social groups perceive and cope with unfair treatment. Dr. Settles has been working with Paulette Granberry Russell on the Faculty Inclusion and Excellence Project, a qualitative study on the experiences of faculty of color at MSU. Another area of her expertise is on the experiences of female students and faculty members in STEM fields. Dr. Settles was the 2006 recipient of the Carolyn Payton Early Career Award and has had research grants from MSU’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation. In addition, her research group, the Multiple Identity Intersections lab, received MSU’s 2014 Excellence in Diversity Award.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons

Dr. Simmons is University Distinguished Professor of Physics in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Dean of MSU’s Lyman Briggs College.  She was an American Council on Education Fellow at Yale University and Acting Dean of MSU’s College of Arts & Letters.  Dr. Simmons’ research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles. She teaches mathematical physics to juniors in physics, astronomy, and engineering, encouraging under-represented students in physics to consider careers in the physical sciences. Dr. Simmons holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard University, an M.Phil. in physics at Cambridge University and returned to Harvard for her doctoral degree and postdoctoral fellowship. She won the ACE Michigan Network's Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award in 2005 and MSU’s Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership in 2013.  She has twice served as a US Delegate to the International Conference on Women in Physics and has co-organized conferences on professional development for women physicists in the developing world at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (Italy).  Her column “Mend the Gap” for Inside Higher Ed, addresses issues that bridge the divide between administrators and faculty.  Simmons is a member of the Organizing Board of LGBT+ Physicists and is presently serving on the APS Committee on LGBT Issues.

Ms. Silvia Dimma

As a Chief Human Resources Officer at MSU Federal Credit Union, Silvia Dimma oversees leadership and development, talent acquisition, performance management, total rewards, employee onboarding and exit strategy. With more than 15 years in human resources management, Ms. Dimma leads a team of human resource professionals focused on delivering a world-class employee experience that includes recruiting, learning and talent development, compensation, engagement and retention, succession planning, inclusion and diversity, and employee relations. Prior to assuming her current role in 2007, Ms. Dimma served as director of human resources for Albion College where she led HR strategy and operations and served as the HR lead for compliance and employee relations matters. Ms. Dimma is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Education, Post Diploma in Human Resources and a Master of Business Administration. She is active both in the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Human Resource Council and Society of Human Resources Management. Ms. Dimma serves on the CUNA Education Committee, and is an active community member, volunteering her time for many local groups and organizations.


Dr. Sandra Gahn





Guest Speaker, Dr. Sandra Gahn (video image above).
https://youtu.be/1MIvLqcuUA8 (Run time: 40:35)

Dr. Gahn is the Associate Director of Institutional Research at Iowa State University. She was instrumental in the development of the database used to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of Iowa State's flexible faculty career policies through funding from the Sloan Foundation. Dr. Gahn also served as a co-PI on the Leadership Team for ISU's ADVANCE program. She has more than 20 years of experience in institutional research and is currently working on an NSF-funded research project studying the factors that affect STEM faculty engagement. The project is focusing on institutional support and the broader impacts of research as well as trying to assess how these are related to faculty careers and retention. Her other research interests include faculty satisfaction, salary and gender equity, and data governance issues.


Dr. Barbara Roberts

Dr. Roberts is Executive Director of the WorkLife Office and Senior Advisor to the Provost at MSU. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the College of Education. Dr. Roberts has been a licensed occupational therapist and disability advisor for over 20 years, focusing on disability accommodation in employment and education, and adult mental health.  She has a B.A.H. from Queen’s University at Kingston, and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. Her PhD in Education, also from Queen's University, used the legal test questions of discrimination to identify bona fide academic requirements (BFARs) in clinical education. Dr. Roberts ran the Ontario-wide PACT Project (Post-secondary Accessibility Consulting Team), a mediation service for students and institutions struggling with accommodation issues.  She is also a co-investigator on a Canadian Institute for Health Research grant looking at participation by people with disabilities in allied health professions.

A Variety Pack of Recommended Resources from our Presenters

Brad Harrington recommends:

"Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders: the Expanding Roles of Millennials in the Workplace"
Lauren Stiller Rikleen
Boston College Center for Work and Family

"How Millennials Navigate Their Careers Young Adult Views on Work, Life and Success"
Brad Harrington, Fred Van Deusen, Jennifer Sabatini Fraone, Jeremiah Morelock
Boston College Center for Work and Family, 2016

"The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted"
Brad Harrington, Fred Van Deusen, Beth Humberd
Boston College Center for Work and Family, 2011

Elizabeth Simmons recommends:

"A Scholarly Approach to Work-Life Issues"
Elizabeth Simmons
Inside Higher Ed, 2014

"Dual-Career Academics: The Right Start"
Elizabeth Simmons
Inside Higher Ed, 2011

"Climate Change"
Elizabeth Simmons
Inside Higher Ed, 2013

Ann Austin recommends:

“Rethinking Faculty Work: Higher Education's Strategic Imperative”
Judith Gappa, Ann Austin, Andrea Trice, 2007

"Educating Integrated Professionals: Theory and Practice on Preparation for the Professoriate"
Carol Colbeck, KerryAnn O'Meara, Ann Austin, 2008

"StratEGIC Toolkit"
National Science Foundation research-based advice about strategic interventions useful in fostering inclusive academic workplaces

"Academic Motherhood: How Faculty Manage Work and Family"
Kelly Ward and Lisa Wolf-Wendel, 2012

"Faculty Fathers: Toward a New Ideal in the Research University"
Margaret Sallee, 2014

Isis Settles recommends:

"The Maternal Wall"
Faye Crosby, Joan Williams, Monica Biernat
Journal of Social Issues, 2004

"The Legal and Policy Implications of the ‘Flexibility Stigma'"
Stephanie Bornstein
Journal of Social Issues, 2013

Barbara Roberts recommends:

"Shaping Work-Life Culture in Higher Education: A Guide for Academic Leaders"
Laura Koppes Bryan and Cheryl A. Wilson 2015