Building an Inclusive and Diverse Department/Program/Profession
Is your department/workplace welcoming and inclusive for ALL people? The geosciences have the lowest rate of participation among the STEM disciplines for people from underrepresented groups. What is being done in your department, what can you do personally, to make your work environment inclusive and welcoming to ALL people? "Political correctness" is about respect for human dignity for ALL people. "Locker room banter" is hurtful to many people whether directed towards individuals or not.
Climate: The atmosphere or ambience of an organization as perceived by its members. An organization's climate is reflected in its structures, policies, and practices; the demographics of its membership; the attitudes and values of its members and leaders; and the quality of personal interactions.
HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR DEPARTMENT TO BE VIEWED BY: STUDENTS (PROSPECTIVE AND ENROLLED), THE ADMINISTRATION, PROFESSIONAL PEERS, THE COMMUNITY?
- Athena Swan program--from the UK's Equality Challenge Unit for advancing equality and diversity in colleges and universities; includes a wealth of resources on promoting good relations, and tackling sexual harassment and violence.
- Center for Changing Our Campus Culture--includes extensive resources on "...the latest research, sample campus policies, protocols, best practices and information on how to access training opportunities and technical assistance."
- The CSWA Survey of Workplace Climate (AAS Committee on Status of Women in Astronomy; Christina Richey, Kathryn Clancy, Katharine Lee, and Erica Rodgers) reveals systemic issues related to harassment of many types.
- Climate Control - Gender and Racial Bias in Engineering
- Dealing With Dysfunction--A Book for University Leaders--Richard Castillo (2017); "...provides a real-life view of a college department gone awry. A complete lack of trust exists between faculty, department chairs past and present; and particularly within the faculty itself. Name calling, sabotage, and an unwillingness to even be in the same room with department colleagues to discuss matters involving student and program concerns have become the norm." Review from Inside Higher Education
- Enhancing Department Climate A Guide for Department Chairs--Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison; an excellent resource with practical tips.
- Dealing With Dysfunctional Academic Departments--C. K. Gunsalus, Richard P. Wheeler and Ruth Watkins recommend five linked steps to help academic leaders improve struggling units. From Inside Higher Education, posted March 22, 2017. "What are the core characteristics of vibrant academic units? A unit must be able to: 1) foster student learning of an appropriate quality and volume, 2) conduct research and creative work with impact that meets institutional standards, 3) contribute to the institution's mission through its service and outreach, and 4) sustain ethical, legal and fiscally responsible internal governance." See their
We recommend five linked steps to help academic leaders improve struggling units.
- Build a team. Develop a core group that can outline a path forward. The chair and the dean should typically be members of the team, unless a central feature of the unit's dysfunction is leadership failure. The assistance and support of the provost is also ideal; at a minimum, the provost needs to be aware of the central issues and apprised as a plan is developed. Often, associate deans and other campus leaders have past experiences that can make them meaningful contributors in supporting roles. And, in some cases, an external consultant can provide effective guidance. The key point is that building a plan to improve an academic unit in serious trouble cannot rest with a single individual, regardless of that person's talent, acumen or experience.
- Collect information systematically. Be aware that what you think you know might not be so. When preparing to address longstanding challenges of any type, you should seek sound quantitative and qualitative data. You should review clear indicators of performance -- for example, enrollment trends, teaching quality, student completion and attrition, student placement, scholarly output and quality, ability to recruit and promote talent, grievances and complaints, timeliness, involvement in important campus committees -- to determine how the unit functions and compares to peers on and off the campus. When available, qualitative data can also play a crucial role in sharpening your understanding of unit dynamics. Meaningful exit interviews with departed faculty members, as well as conversations with students and staff members about their experiences in the unit, can sharpen your focus on issues that other people are unwilling to address directly. An honest profile of the unit, based on evidence rather than reputation and narrative alone, can be invaluable.
- Activate the people of goodwill. Perhaps the most important step in change is the active engagement of members of the department who are ready for a better future. Whatever the data, the history and the narrative, some people in the unit, typically many of them, will be eager to join with the core team in taking steps to improve the functionality and performance of their unit. Enlist them as genuine partners in addressing the challenges.
- Develop a plan with specific steps. An external review team may be most effective at this stage -- it can synthesize data, illuminate the distinct features of the discipline and lend credibility to the plan. It can also develop an initial set of recommendations, make periodic reviews and advise on key unit decisions, as needed. Where a unit has failed to keep pace with significant developments in their field, external experts can provide crucial context. As the plan develops, it is useful to think forward several steps. How will it be communicated to the unit? After initial success, what is the next goal? What if an unexpected obstacle arises? What incentives should you put in place to encourage continuing progress?
- Be patient and adaptable -- but not too patient and not too adaptable. Finally, recognize that you will rarely -- possibly never -- get everything right or correctly mapped from the start. Instead, the effort to resolving longstanding issues in a floundering department will be a gradual and continuous improvement exercise, with many opportunities to evaluate progress and reconvene the core team to reconsider next steps. All efforts require monitoring and evaluation; some will require significant revision. The worst error is stopping or giving up. Significant problems in an academic unit usually build slowly, typically under conditions of neglect or reinforced by the halfhearted or all-too-brief efforts of a leader who prematurely leaves for another position. That is an unaffordable mistake, as it will feed the core problems. You should monitor progress and correct course as needed, but stay with the project -- even if that requires additional assistance.
- Triaging challenges is essential and within institutional capacity.
- Clear guidelines, policies and procedures must be known and used.
- Small problems lead to bigger ones. Avoid inattention and denial early on, as unchecked problems will only fester and grow.
- Quality department leaders and leadership development provide the bedrock upon which departments rise and fall.
- Leaders at all levels must be able to distinguish between minimal and aspirational standards, and then have the courage and authority to seek to reach the latter.
- How Healthy is Your Academic Department--Nicholas C. Burbules, C. K. Gunsalus, Robert A. Easter and BrandE Faupell have created a tool to help you diagnose problems in your academic unit and identify ways to improve it. From Inside Higher Education posted February 28, 2018. "We have developed a resource that we call the Academic Unit Diagnostic Tool, or AUDiT, a project of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation for research ethics resources."
- The Impact of Female Chairs--Colleen Flaherty, from Inside Higher Education, posted November 14, 2018. "What a difference a chair makes: study finds female chairs improve departments' gender diversity and equity." See the original article by Andrew Langan, Princeton University Female Managers and Gender Disparities: The Case of Academic Department Chairs×
Department Climate Surveys
Your Department or program may want to consider conducting the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (Source)--administered by the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics, "The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOURCE) is the first validated instrument specifically designed to measure the climate of research integrity in academic organizations. It collects confidential responses from the members of an organization so the perspectives of the members represent the overall measures, once aggregated. Results can help academic and research institutions identify strong and vulnerable departments; assess efficacy of educational approaches; detect where research policies and practices (e.g., concerning data management, etc.) might be improved through RCR instruction; and generally support efforts to bolster research integrity".
- Climate Surveys: Useful Tools to Help Colleges and Universities in Their Efforts to Reduce and Prevent Sexual Assault--a useful guide for constructing and administering a Campus Climate Survey. Created by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, April 2014.
- Campus Sexual Assault A Reference Handbook--by Allison E. Hatch, ABC-CLIO. Page 253 describes climate surveys and this volume provides great documentation of the issues, and strategies to prevent and act upon instances of sexual assault.
- Rutgers University partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice and the NotAlone.gov campaign to produce resources on Campus Climate Surveys
- Protecting Students From Sexual Assault webpage contains numerous links to resources on Campus Climate Surveys, guidelines for writing sexual misconduct policies, prevention resources and much more.
- Information about the Rutgers Campus Climate Survey Tool
- Lessons Learned Guide and Tools , download the PDF file (Acrobat (PDF) 898kB Feb28 18).
Changing the Culture
Whether through institutional, departmental, or professional initiatives (or all of the above), an all-hands effort is needed to change the culture to develop work environments that are safe, inclusive, and welcoming.
- Steps to Building a No-Tolerance Culture for Sexual Harassment--Marín-Spiotta, E., B. Schneider, and M. A. Holmes (2016), Steps to building a no-tolerance culture for sexual harassment, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO044859. Published on 28 January 2016.
- Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID)--"Their overarching goal is sharing information that provides diversity, equity, and inclusion resources for Mechanical Engineering faculty and staff members to employ in their departments. These resources aim to promote individual, departmental, and broader change." This site provides a very detailed model for preparing engineering faculty to lead department change for diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Senior Scientists Must Engage in the Fight Against Harassment--Diniega, S., J. Tan, M. S. Tiscareno, and E. Wehner (2016), Senior scientists must engage in the fight against harassment, Eos, 97, https://doi.org/10.1029/2016EO058767. Published on 08 September 2016. Senior community members are called to do the following:
- do all they can to protect the victims of harassment
- research and understand the problems regarding harassment and their solutions
- instead of just working to do the minimum required by law, work to create the best possible environment for all
- call out behavior that promotes harassment, even if it is not illegal; intervene to protect vulnerable members of the community
- make sure their institution's and/or group's antiharassment policies are worded with clear definitions, reporting procedures, and consequences
- take antiharassment policies seriously and enact the disciplinary actions that are a part of them
- remove harassers from positions of power or venues where they can continue to harass and do not allow them to just be passed between positions or institution
- stop collaborating with harassers and their enablers
- stop appointing harassers and enablers to positions of power.
- Dealing with Unethical or Illegal Conduct in Higher Education--Tomorrow's Professor posting 1622, by Anna Azvolinsky and is from the November 1, 2017 Careers issue of The Scientist. http://www.the-scientist.com/ . © copyright 2008-2017, The Scientist. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Includes: How to fire a professor.
- Race and Gender Still an issue at academic conferences--The Conversation, posted April 22, 2018. "...in all-male sessions, questions tended to be more aggressive with more arguments and interruptions. Meanwhile, in sessions where half or more presenters were women, the questions were more constructive and often complimentary." This is why diversity and inclusivity matters!
- Geoscience Commits to Racial Justice. Now We've Got Work to Do. Cartier, K. M. S. (2020), Geoscience commits to racial justice. Now we've got work to do, Eos, 101, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EO145860. Published on 19 June 2020.
- Seeking Diversity in the Geosciences When Black Lives Matter; Williams-Stroud, S., GSA Today, v. 31 issue 2 (February 2021), pp. 28-29. https://doi.org/10.1130/GSATG476GW.1
Recruitment (Attracting Students) and Retention (Ensuring Success)
- Teaching assistants are the first line of contact with students who may first encounter our discipline in an introductory course. Here are some suggestions on Preparing TAs to Represent Their Discipline--by Jody D. Nyquist and Donald H Wulff, Chapter 4 Preparing Graduate. Teaching Assistants for Special Challenges in Teaching, Working Efficiently with Graduate Assistants, Sage Publications. Posted in Tomorrow's Professor, January 7, 2019, message 1687. Are your TAs prepared to be your best ambassodors for your department?
Helping Students Develop Intra- and Interpersonal Competencies
- Supporting Students' College Success The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies--ational Academy Press (2017). "...higher education researchers and policy makers are exploring the role of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies in supporting student success." (Download the PDF).
Can't we all just get along?
- Halting Academic Incivility (That's the Nice Word For it)--Patrick M. Scanlon, Chronicle of Higher Education, posted March 13, 2016. Personal and Workgroup Incivility: Impact on Work and Health Outcomes--Sandy Lim, ilia M. Cortina, Vicki J. Magley, Jour. of Applied Psychology, 2008, #1, p. 95-107; "...finding that satisfaction with work and supervisors, as well as mental health, partially mediated effects of personal incivility on turnover intentions and physical health; this process did not vary by gender....showing negative effects of workgroup incivility that emerged over and above the impact of personal incivility".
- Incivility in the Workplace: Incidence and Impact--Lilia M. Cortina, Vicki J. Magley, Jill H. Williams an Regina D. Langhout, Jour. of Occupational Health Psychology, 2001, vol 6 #1, 64-80; "...This study extends the literature on interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace y examining the incidence, targets, instigators, and impacts of incivility (e.g., disrespect, condescension, degradation)...negative effects on job satisfaction, job withdrawal, and career salience. Uncivil workplace experiences were also associated with greater psychological distress."
- Dealing With Workplace Incivility--by Ellen de Graffenreid, from Inside Higher Education, posted March 6, 2018. "You can pursue some strategies as a manager to prevent issues ahead of time and to address them when they happen, advises Ellen de Graffenreid."
- Zweber, Z.M., Henning, R.A., & Magley, V.J. (2016). A practical scale for multi-faceted organizational health climate assessment. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 21, 250-259.
- Job Stress and Incivility What Role Does Psychological Capital Play?--Sara J. Roberts, Lisa L. Shcerer, Casey J. Bowyer, (2011), Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, Vol 18, Issue 4, pp. 449 - 458
- Resources for a Respectful Workplace- University of Connecticut
- Civility Web Site--developed by Dr. P.M. Forni, Johns Hopkins University
- Of Rocks and Social Justice--Editorial, NATURE GEOSCIENCE, VOL 9, NOVEMBER 2016. "Despite much emphasis on diversity in the US, geoscience remains one of the least diverse scientific disciplines. If we want to achieve and maintain diversity, we need to make our work environments welcoming to a broad spectrum of voices."
- Inclusive Astronomy--2015 recommendations from the American Astronomical Society; what lessons can be learned for the rest of the geosciences? --Contributed by Carolyn Brinkworth.
- Building an Inclusive AAS - The Critical Role of Diversity and Inclusion Training for AAS Council and Astronomy Leadership--Carolyn Brinkworth, Allison Byrd Skaer, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Johanna Teske, Sarah Tuttle (2016). White Paper submitted to the AAS Education Task Force.
- CSWA Survey Workplace Climate and Uncomfortable Conversation About Harassment--AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy report
- Gender Bias in the Workplace--from UCAR, numerous examples are documented. (Contributed by Carolyn Brinkworth).
- Values for the Trump Era--by Colleen Flaherty, November 30, 2016 from Inside Higher Education. Philosopher proposes a code of conduct for academics in a time of political uncertainty. MIT faculty members affirm their commitment to shared values.
- I will not aid in the registering, rounding up or internment of students and colleagues on the basis of their religious beliefs.
- I will not aid in the marginalization, exclusion or deportation of my undocumented students and colleagues.
- I will, as my capacities allow, discourage and defend against the bullying and harassment of vulnerable students and colleagues targeted for important aspects of their identity (such as race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.)
- I will not aid government or law enforcement in activities which violate the U.S. Constitution or other U.S. law.
- I will not aid in government surveillance. I will not inform.
- As a teacher and researcher, I will not be bought or intimidated. I will present the state of research in my field accurately, whether or not it is what the government wants to hear. I will challenge others when they lie.
- I will not be shy about my commitment to academic values: truth, objectivity, free inquiry and rational debate. I will challenge others when they engage in behavior contrary to these values.
- As an administrator, I will defend my students, faculty and nonacademic staff. I will not allow the expulsion, firing, disciplining, harassment or marginalization of individuals targeted for being members of disfavored groups or for expressing dangerous opinions. I will speak up for academic freedom. I will insist on the autonomy of my institution.
- I will stand with my colleagues at other institutions, and defend their rights and freedoms.
- I will be fair and unbiased in the classroom, in grading and in all my dealings with all my students, including those who disagree with me politically.
- Gendered Skepticism--Colleen Flaherty, January 8, 2015 from Inside Higher Education; New study on online comments suggests big gap in the way men and women perceive evidence of gender bias in sciences.
- Inclusive Teaching Resources and Strategies--University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching;
- An international perspective: Science in Australia Gender Equity Athena SWAN Principles
- Athena Swan--program from the United Kingdom's Equality Challenge Unit for advancing equality and diversity in colleges and universities; includes a wealth of resources on promoting good relations, and tackling sexual harassment and violence. "ECU's equality charters enable organizations to apply for an award recognising their commitment to, and progress on, equality and diversity.
Be Explicit About Your Department's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness
- Diversity and Inclusion--Put it in the Syllabus!--This posting offers a tangible strategy for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) faculty who want to address diversity and inclusion. It is by Prof. Monica Linden (Neuroscience, Brown University) and Mary Wright, Ph.D. (Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Brown University). See also Sheridan's newsletter. © 2017 Brown University. Reprinted with Permission.From Tomorrow's Professor, message number 1625.
Commitment to Hire a Diverse Faculty
- Diversity--Is your department inclusive and welcoming for ALL students staff and faculty?
- Resources and Strategies for Recruiting a Diverse Faculty--from the NAGT Building Strong Departments Program
- Require a Diversity Statement in your job application requirements. Here is an example on Writing a Diversity Statement from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Graduate Studies. Good advice for applicants to include in their job application; good advice for Search Committees to require in their job postings.
- However, an alternate view of diversity statements, Making a Statement on Diversity Statements (reported by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Education, November 12, 2018) has set off considerable debate following this statement: "As a dean of a major academic institution, I could not have said this. But I will now," Jeffrey Flier, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Higginson Professor of Physiology and Medicine, tweeted Saturday. "Requiring such statements in applications for appointments and promotions is an affront to academic freedom, and diminishes the true value of diversity, equity of inclusion by trivializing it."
- A rejoinder, Why Colleges Should Require Faculty Diversity Statements, by Carmen Mitchell, from Inside Higher Education, November 15, 2018.
Include an Inclusivity Statement in your Course Syllabus
- Inclusive Syllabus Language--from the University of Michigan
- Example Classroom Inclusion Strategies (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 125kB Mar15 18)--from ASEE Action on Diversity
- Diversity and Inclusion Syllabus Statements--from Brown University
- Diversity ad Inclusion--Put it in the Syllabus!--posted on Tomorrow's Professor #1625; "This posting offers a tangible strategy for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) faculty who want to address diversity and inclusion. It is by Prof. Monica Linden (Neuroscience, Brown University) and Mary Wright, Ph.D. (Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Brown University). See also Sheridan's newsletter. © 2017 Brown University.
- Inclusive Teaching--tips and strategies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Graduate Studies.
Consider making an affirmative statement about inclusiveness in your department role/scope/mission/vision statements and on your department webpage.
Here are some examples:
- Guidelines for Faculty, Research Scientists, Students, and Staff of the Jackson School of Geosciences, UT Austin--guidelines for faculty, staff, graduate students, departments school and programs.
Preamble: The guidelines below embody the best practices to be used by current faculty, research scientists, staff, teaching and research assistants. They are intended to provide a heightened awareness of the need to consciously establish effective and productive relationships that start with trust, courtesy, two-way communications, and shared expectations.
Effective research and education programs at the Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG) require a clear understanding of best practices in terms of a range of professional interactions among faculty, research scientists, undergraduate and graduate students, student advisees, and staff. Effective instruction, learning, advising, and research, and professional career growth requires open communication, ethical professional conduct between all individuals, collegial interactions, proactive mentoring, and a responsive administration to ensure a positive and successful setting across all levels of the educational endeavor.
To ensure a productive JSG setting, all staff, faculty, research scientists and students are expected to treat one another respectfully and fairly, and the professors, research advisors, and teaching assistants are expected to serve as role models, upholding the highest ethical and professional standards.
- Jackson School of Geosciences Workplace Issues--from University Texas Austin, policies, procedures, resources on Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, Hostile workplace environment, Interpersonal Violence, Faculty-Student advisee relationship issues, academic integrity.
- Department of Geosciences, Colorado State University has developed a departmental values statement to "...represent our departmental culture, guide us as we interact as professional colleagues, influence how we make decisions, and frames a vision for our future"; and
- Department of Geosciences, Baylor University affirms that "Members of the Baylor Geosciences Department, as part of the international geoscience community, are expected to abide by the AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy" .
- Middle Tennessee State University Geosciences Code of Conduct--modeled after the American Geophysical Union's 2017 Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Handbook.
- Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences has developed this value statement:
- We strive to:
Act with integrity in research, teaching and service;
Mentor our students for current and future success;
Treat our stakeholders and each other with collegiality and mutual respect;
Create an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment for all; and
Embody Ut Prosim ("That I May Serve") through effective outreach and service.
- We strive to:
- Here is the MIT Statement of Shared Values
- The University of California system issued this statement of UC's Principles Against Intolerance--President Janet Napolitano and Chancellors.
Does your department or program have a specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan?
- See the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan from UC Davis (contributed by Dawn Sumner).
- Boise State University Strategic Directions and Goals that include diversity objectives.
- Consider making a departmental commitment to: Increasing the Diversity of Your Students (from the InTeGrate project) in your Strategic Planning (from the NAGT Building Strong Departments program).
- Commit to hiring a diverse faculty: Resources and Strategies for Recruiting a Diverse Faculty--from the NAGT Building Strong Departments program.
- Consider hosting a NAGT Traveling Department Workshop--a facilitated service of NAGT to help departments define, plan for, and achieve their departmental goals.
Standards of behavior and expectations in a department/program/company are set at the top. Senior faculty/managers/ heads-chairs have a responsibility to set the example for subordinates in the organization. Here are some reflections on Ethical Leadership:
- Ethical Leadership, Part 1: Perilous at the Top--"The moral example set by leaders has a major impact upon the behavior of their subordinates, both good and bad, ethical and unethical. Despite their career success, leaders may be particularly vulnerable to ethical lapses." From Ethics Unwrapped, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas-Austin.
- Ethical Leadership, Part 2: Best Practices--"Psychological research provides guidance as to how leaders can create a workplace culture that encourages ethical behavior by employees." From Ethics Unwrapped, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas-Austin.
- Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Excellence--by C.K. Gunsalus, Jeremy D. Meuser, Nicholas C. Burbules, Robert A. Easter and Sebastian Wraight, posted to Inside Higher Eduation March 22, 2018; "How can academic leaders foster a culture of excellence in their departments and other units? Highly ranked units are almost always characterized by a culture that fosters excellence in student mentoring, instruction, research and service to the university and beyond...Such a culture doesn't occur and endure by accident. Both administrative and faculty leaders must cultivate it through a particular mind-set and deliberate actions."
- On the Road to Champion--Deborah S. Willis, from Inside Higher Education, posted arch 26, 2018. Advice for how to become a diversity, equity and inclusion leader.
Some Thoughts on Faculty Annual Performance Reviews
Annual performance reviews of faculty are typically limited to some metrics regarding research productivity, teaching (effectiveness, quality, student credit hour production, credit hours generated), and some form of service (to the department, institution, local community, profession). What is not accounted for are contributions to departmental "climate" and contributions to the effective operation of departmental functions. Call it citizenship, civility, comity....as a former department head, I needed some way to record and acknowledge faculty good behaviors (stepping up to help with extracurricular department functions such as meeting with prospective students/parents, leading departmental field trips, etc) and to note problematic behaviors and actions that impacted departmental functions in a negative manner (e.g., some simple things related to getting budget and travel documents submitted appropriately and on time, incidents of non-professional behaviors such as bullying, inability to respond to Dean's requests in a timely fashion....). In my opinion, Faculty performance reviews are inadequate if they only address teaching, research service. As department head, I needed additional latitude to also report on professionalism, civility, and departmental citizenship. It is often the case that one or more "bad actor" individuals suck the life out of departmental functions, and command/demand a disproportionate amount of departmental resources and time of faculty and leaders. And beyond commenting in annual reviews about behaviors that impact department life, there should be some type of rewards and recognition system that recognizes good behaviors (released time, as a partial basis for merit salary adjustments) or bad (requirements to attend professional development workshops to address these behaviors, assignments of extra or alternative duties....). This is a controversial subject. Many faculty will view these comments as a power push to justify administrative decisions. These topics will have to be considered in the broader context of Faculty Codes of Conduct, rules established by the Faculty Senate, or possibly in regard to union contracts. In any case, I urge you to at least start the conversation. Develop departmental standards for annual performance reviews that recognize and reward good behaviors that have positive influences on departmental life, and that address (and require training or remediation) of unprofessional behaviors that impact department climate and functions in negative ways. These comments are strictly the responsibility of the author, David Mogk, Montana State University).
- Faculty Evaluations: Accounting for the "Unmeasurables"--This posting looks at the importance of making unwritten rules about faculty performance more explicit. It is by L. Allen Furr and J. Emmett Winn* and is from The Department Chair: A Resource for Academic Administrators, Fall, 2017, Vol. 28, No. 2. Copyright © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. For further information on how to subscribe, as well as pricing and discount information, please contact, Sandy Quade, Account Manager, John Wiley & Sons, Phone: (203) 643-8066} firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.departmentchairs.org/journal.aspx. From Tomorrow's Professor, posting 1606.
Toxic Dumping--"Pass the Harasser"
If you have a "problem" faculty member, consider the ethical implications of writing good letters of recommendation to dispose of your problem by facilitating a faculty hire at another institution. Is there an obligation for authors of letters of reference to disclose matters of record that relate to unprofessional behavior, interpersonal conflicts and policy violations? And how should issues of confidentiality and privacy be handled?
- Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., called for a change in law that would require universities to disclose the results of sexual harassment investigations to other universities that are considering hiring their professor. Wired (reported by Sarah Zhang 1/13/2016) reports on Rep Jackie Speier on Why She's Taking on Sexual Harassment in Science. See also: Public Shaming reported by Colleen Flaherty, from Inside Higher Education posted January 13, 2016, "U.S. representative shares a previously confidential report about sexual harassment by an astronomy professor who went on to teach elsewhere and announces plan to require colleges to tell other institutions about such findings."
- UA sexual harassment spotlighted in Congress
- From Texas to the Smithsonian, Following a Traill of Sexual Misconduct--Michael Balter, from The Verge, October 24, 2016.
- No More Passing the Harasser--Colleen Flaherty, from Inside Higher Education, posted September 25, 2018. "U of Wisconsin moves forward with plan to disclose misconduct findings against employees to their potential future employers, including other system campuses. Some expect the policy to spread." See: UW System to recommend more robust hiring, reference check policies.
Blacklisting an Institution
A situation you want to avoid: as incidents of sexual harassment and bullying are becoming more public, the reputations of departments and institutions are increasingly coming under scrutiny: was there sufficient institutional response to protect the targets of sexual harassment and sanctions appropriate to the severity of the trangression(s) imposed on the perpetrator? At least one institution is under fire for inadequate response to these situations.
- Blacklisting an Institution--Colleen Flaherty, November 15, 2017, from Inside Higher Education. "Professors from around the world say they won't advise students to study or work at Rochester in light of institution's alleged attempts to downplay serious harassment case. Is this next tactic in battle against discrimination?" See related article 'Hundreds of academics rip University of Rochester for supporting predator professor--Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News, November 22, 2017.