ADVANCE was established at Texas A&M in 2010 when a team of faculty received an Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) ADVANCE Program to support the new ADVANCE Center for Women Faculty. From 2010 to 2017, the mission of the ADVANCE Center was to transform Texas A&M University by enhancing and sustaining gender equity and improving the representation of women faculty, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The center provided support for 12 evidence-based programs and activities. The initial programs and activities targeted women in STEM fields, while engaging in research and advocacy designed to broaden the climate of inclusion for all faculty.

In 2017, Texas A&M University initiated the process of institutionalizing ADVANCE. From 2017-2019, several programs and activities were continued at Texas A&M, primarily under the direction of the Office of the Dean of Faculties. In 2019, Texas A&M appointed Dr. Cynthia Werner as the Director of ADVANCE.  Under her leadership, ADVANCE will remain in the Office for the Dean of Faculties.

The overarching goal of ADVANCE remains the same:  to weave the deeply held values of diversity, inclusion, and respect into the culture of our institution.  This goal is aligned with TAMU’s Diversity Plan, Action 2015, and Vision 2020 as well as the goals of the State of Texas Higher Education Plan and the National Academies.  This goal will be reinforced with multi-pronged programming that focuses on the improvement of workplace climate and the recruitment, retention, and success of diverse faculty of excellence. The TAMU ADVANCE theory of institutional change assumes that no single initiative will substantially impact progress. Instead, a series of interrelated programs and vigilant attention are necessary for institutional transformation and a Psychologically Health Workplace, the underlying conceptual framework of ADVANCE.