In September 2002, the UIC National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoE) hosted a national conference, “Beyond Parity: Transforming Academic Medicine Through Women’s Leadership.” Two main outcomes of the conference were the development of the “Beyond Parity Workbook for Action,” a step-by-step guide for creating a more diversity-friendly academic medical center, and the formation of a group of advocates for change at UIC. These six faculty (4 MDs and 2 PhDs) met with Dean Moss to discuss ways to address the lack of advancement for women and minorities. Out of this dialogue, the Faculty Academic Advancement Committee was formed in the spring of 2003.
As Head of the Psychiatry Department, Dean Joseph Flaherty was a member of the Faculty Academic Advancement Committee. As Dean, he continues to be a strong supporter of the FAAC’s goals. It was Dean Flaherty who, in Fall 2005, presented FAAC’s Women in Medicine at UIC data to the College of Medicine Department Heads and made improvement on gender equity and diversity an annual reporting requirement for departments and an evaluation criterion for department head reviews.