Talk about the Harvard Implicit Study and what it measures. Give the example of the test on gender and field of study--humanities versus natural sciences (54% of test-takers demonstrate a moderate or strong association of women with liberal arts or men with the natural sciences). Women in the STEM-SBS are 10% less likely to be tenured than men. There is even higher attrition in the stages prior to tenure. What assumptions can the participants imagine people have about them and their work?
Have participants give other suggested ideas of biases that p/t committee members may bring to their consideration of p/t packets? How might these implicit biases cause differences in how there are different expectations from different applicants; expectations of which the committee members may not even be aware.
1. Consider a woman who cared for an aging parent for four years during the tenure track; you can not explain those four years or clearly communicate what happened and provide documentation. How might committee members interpret the lower productivity or lesser service during those years? Did you FMLA? Do you have documentation of this? 2. I spend a great deal of time working on issues on the SOTL in my research and service. I can either make that the strength of my narrative and highlight it throughout my package, or I can ignore this. If I ignore it I take the risk that members of my committee think that this is a “soft” choice and not real research because it is teaching-oriented. How could I make this clear to the committee that this is my strength, not that I am a weak researcher? Importance of integration of teaching/research/service; my role in the discipline. I tell my own story.
1. Use the narrative (your opening letter and the narratives for each area) to make the argument for your career. If you don’t characterize and explain your own choices others’ will do so for you. Why are you researching the topic you are working on? What did you learn from the grant-writing process that will increase your likelihood of success in the next application? How are you developing collaborations outside of your college? Focus on what matters to you and what explains the choices YOU have made in teaching, research, and service. 3. Do not just list all your activities that fit in each section. You are not merely knocking things off a list, you are making a case for your tenure and/or promotion. Think about the message you are sending and how you can best document and demonstrate that message. 4. Use case studies and explain (e.g., teaching portfolio); wise use of letters of support that document your narrative. Think of your package as a coherent narrative of your career.
1. Give the critics no room to find flaw. PROOFREAD AND WRITE VERY CAREFULLY. 2. Have trusted friends and colleagues read what you have written and listen to their feedback. Remember culture varies; Mary’s feedback about chairing at Millikin versus at JSU. 3. Think about the message you want to send and the story you wish to tell--be sure the packet supports it. Write the narrative first and then select the documentation that fits the narrative. 4. Make sure you support all claims. If you include everything, it appears you believe it is all of equal value (e.g., every commencement program), show where you excel and demonstrate that. Don’t let the important things be dismissed or lost in the dross. It is not the length of the packet it is its quality that matters.
This is not the time to be defensive, but to see it as an opportunity to clarify and explain. Do not see this as another hoop to jump through or it will read it that way. You are making a case not completing a meaningless busy-work assignment.
Deardorff: Building Portfolios to Minimize Bias
Building Portfolios to
Tenure and Promotion Workshop
April 12, 2012
Michelle D. Deardorff
Department of Political Science
• FORMAL DISCRIMINATION
• Prevented by federal/state laws and
• IMPLICIT BIAS
• Assumptions people bring to their own
• Implications for Promotion/Tenure Process
• IMPLICATIONS FOR
• People bring their own unexamined/unconscious
assumptions about others to their decision-making
• e.g., women are more nurturing; they enjoy departmental and
university service and naturally do more of it
• Committee members unconsciously use these
assumptions to interpret your application
• How can applicants respond to this?
• FRAMING YOUR OWN STORY
• Define the pathway of your own
• Interpret your own choices
• Document your argument
• Gaps and vagueness leave room for
• THE CHOICES YOU MAKE DEFINE YOUR
• USE THE NARRATIVE TO EXPLAIN WHY
YOU MAKE THOSE CHOICES
• SELECT WHAT YOU HIGHLIGHT BASED
ON THAT NARRATIVE--MAKE CHOICES
• PRIORITIZE WHAT YOU HIGHLIGHT
• PROOFREAD CAREFULLY
• WATCH YOUR WRITING/GET
• SYSTEMIC DOCUMENTATION
• CULL YOUR DOCUMENTATION
• THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES
• LET YOUR COLLEAGUES HELP
• READ FILES OF RECENT
• USE THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
THINK ABOUT YOUR CAREER AND
THE CHOICES YOU HAVE MADE