Raising our expectations for JEDI work in geoscience faculty evaluation systems: an insight into who sustains this work and what motivates faculty to be engaged

Poster Session Part of Wednesday Poster Session


Alisa Kotash, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Morgan Woodle, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Joyeeta Bhattacharya, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Megan Elwood Madden, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Amy Cerato, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Mashhad Fahes, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Jane Irungu, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Lori Snyder, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Lynn Soreghan, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Many geoscience departments are acutely aware of the exceptionally low racial and ethnic diversity among our geoscience students, faculty, and professional peers. Unfortunately, these demographics have stayed stagnant over the past two decades, despite the improvement in gender representation and balance, and continual effort to grow and retain diversity. It is imperative that all faculty are actively engaged in JEDI (Justice-Equity-Diversity-Inclusion) efforts to effect meaningful and sustained change. Previous studies that focused broadly on faculty experiences in academia identified that faculty evaluation frameworks would benefit from a JEDI-valued restructuring. This would encourage faculty to be hired, supported, and held responsible to engage in JEDI efforts to achieve career success, including tenure, promotion, merit raises and other rewards. Despite significant scholarship highlighting the positive effects of inclusive hiring practices, these standards have largely been limited to the hiring stage, creating a disconnect between hiring and evaluation. We interviewed 45 geoscience faculty members across the U.S. to better understand faculty perspectives and motivations related to JEDI work. Preliminary interviews suggest <50% of faculty are actively engaged in JEDI initiatives and those who are involved, are more likely to identify as non-male and/or early career professionals. We also conducted a nation-wide survey of geoscience faculty that explored how JEDI activities are valued in current faculty assessment frameworks. Together with the data from the interviews and survey results, this research will develop example evaluation and reward structures that explicitly value JEDI work that can easily be adopted/adapted by geoscience departments, along with webinars focused on aiding faculty leaders to critique, deconstruct, and revise their current hiring/evaluation systems. As a geoscience community, we are missing the skills, aptitude, knowledge, and diverse perspectives that reside within currently minoritized groups. We will be limiting our science if we do not do better around valuing faculty JEDI engagement.