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 What is ALTERR? Academic Leadership Team to Enhance Recruitment and Retention The ALTERR team is charged with: 1. developing expertise on techniques.

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Presentation on theme: " What is ALTERR? Academic Leadership Team to Enhance Recruitment and Retention The ALTERR team is charged with: 1. developing expertise on techniques."— Presentation transcript:

1  What is ALTERR? Academic Leadership Team to Enhance Recruitment and Retention The ALTERR team is charged with: 1. developing expertise on techniques for effectively recruiting the strongest and most diverse faculty possible 2. disseminating their expertise through a series of presentations to faculty search committees Angel De Blas, Physiology and Neurobiology Sharon Harris, English and the Humanities Institute Donald Les, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Felicia Pratto, Psychology Stephen Ross, Economics Carolyn Teschke, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Chemistry

2 Why is diversity important? The fabric of diversity at our University must be woven in thought and in experience, within a climate in which diverse views are welcomed and respected and in which there is a commonality that comes from working together to effect constructive change.

3 Overview:  The problem – disproportionality in hiring  Studies on bias – a couple of examples  Solutions  UConn Resources

4 What is diversity?  Encompasses the presence and participation of people who differ by age, color, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation.  Includes those with disabilities and from various socio-economic backgrounds.  Encompasses not only individuals and groups, but also thoughts and attitudes

5 UConn’s definition of diversity includes:  Age  National Origin  Color Race Ethnicity  Religion  Disabilities  Socio-Economic Background  Gender  Thoughts and Attitudes These categories are included in the University’s definition of diversity and were approved by the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees in August

6 Our student body is diverse, shouldn’t we be? Nelson & Rodgers (2006). A National Analysis of Diversity in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities. “Female student attrition in science and engineering has been attributed, in part, to a lack of female mentors and role models.”

7 Our student body is diverse, shouldn’t we be? % Females % Males StudentsFacultyS/F ratioStudentsFacultyS/F ratio Math Chemistry Physics Biological Sciences Economics Computer Science Astronomy Psychology Political Science Sociology Table 1. Gender Distribution of BS Recipients vs. Role Models BS degree data are for 2000, from NSF; faculty data are FY2002 except chemistry (FY2003) and astronomy (FY2004) = biased beneficially = biased negatively

8 Our student body is diverse, shouldn’t we be?  ~50% of all doctorate degrees in the USA are earned by women; however, women constitute only 39% of full-time faculty nationally (women earn 40% of doctorate degrees in science & engineering but make up only 28% of full-time faculty)  The most prestigious academic positions are occupied by even fewer women  Only 24% of academic full professor positions are held by women nationwide (19% in science and engineering fields) : Huang (n.d.). Gender Bias in Academia: Findings from Focus Groups

9 Nelson & Rodgers (2006) DisciplineMales (white)Males (Asian)Females (all)Males (URM) AsstPhDsratioAsstPhDsratioAsstPhDsratioAsstPhDsratio Chemistry Computer Science Math Astronomy Physics Economics Political Science Sociology Psychology Biological Sciences Table 2. Assistant Professors and PhD Attainment (1993–2002) in Science Disciplines (% indicated; ratio is % Asst Professorships/PhDs; URM = underrepresented minority) = biased beneficially = biased negatively

10 Table 3. Biased hiring results in other biases, e.g., membership in the National Academy of Sciences (compiled , NAS data): MalesFemalesM/F Ratio Psychology :1 Evolutionary Biology3694 Ecology4886 Plant Biology5086 Social & Political Sciences44315 Mathematics Engineering79326 Economics60230 Chemistry Physics Additionally: ► Only 40 of the 802 Nobel Laureates (5%) have been women (all fields). ► The first woman to win a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie (Physics, 1903); there have been no female members added in Physics since.

11  non-academic positions: Racial bias in hiring Researchers sent fictitious resumes in response to 1,300 help-wanted ads listed in the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune. Each resume was randomly assigned either a very white-sounding name (Emily Walsh, Brendan Baker) or a very African-American-sounding name (Lakisha Washington, Jamal Jones). Bertrand & Mullainathan (2004) Amer. Economic Review 94: 991. Results:  applicants with white-sounding names are 50% more likely to get called for an initial interview than applicants with African-American-sounding names.  white job applicants with higher-quality resumes received 30% more callbacks than whites with lower-quality resumes. African-American applicants received only 9% more callbacks for the same improvement in their credentials

12 Letters of recommendation: common pitfalls  Letters for men tend to be longer than those for women.  Letters for women tend to highlight teaching and training over research.  Letters for women tend to discuss their personal details more that those for men. Trix & Psenka (2003) Discourse & Society 14: 191

13 Picking the short list:  Having more than one female or minority candidate de-emphasizes their ‘uniqueness’.  Be open to the idea that there is more than one way to measure excellence.  Look for inconsistencies between letters and CV to check for biases.

14 The Interview  Questions not to ask?  A packet of general information will be provided to send to short list candidates that covers child care, partner benefits, and other information regarding the region, etc.  You are allowed to answer any question from a candidate.  Reach outside your department to find faculty to meet with diverse candidates at a social event.

15 Financial resources at UConn:  Faculty Excellence & Diversity Program (FEDP) Office of the President and Provost  Deans may apply to FEDP for full funding of salary and benefits of eligible, qualified candidates for the life of the appointment.  Provides assistance in the recruitment of qualified tenure-track candidates who possess a strong record of scholarly accomplishments and other talents which demonstrate that the candidate would enhance the diversity of the School/College.

16 To qualify for FEDP money:  Job description and ads must include at least one of the following statements:  1. Contribute through research, teaching, and/or public engagement to the diversity and excellence of the learning experience.  2. Integrate multicultural experiences into instructional methods and research tools.  3. Apply understanding of issues such as diversity and multiculturalism to scholarship.  4. Provide leadership in developing pedagogical techniques designed to meet the needs of diverse learning styles.  The candidate must then demonstrate an ability to work effectively in the context of diversity through unique skills and talents.  Remember to ask all candidates about their diversity qualifications. ODE.uconn.edu

17 Language for announcing positions  In addition, proactive language can be included in job descriptions to further indicate a department’s commitment to diversity. This addition could make the position more attractive to female and minority candidates.  Examples include:  The college is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.  The University is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.  Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. ‘Advance’ Handbook (University of Michigan)

18 Recent job ad with FEDP language

19 Where to send ads?  Cast a broad net to have many candidates.  Ads sent to specialized organizations (i.e., Journal of Blacks in Higher Education) – can give an impression of openness, even if the main ad is in the most read journal for your field.   Be open to other opportunities to find candidates – i.e., networking through conferences. Phone contact is an excellent method.

20 Advertising positions broadly can reduce net cumulative employment discrimination. Bendick (1996). Discrimination against racial/ethnic minorities in access to employment in the United States: Empirical findings from situarion testing. Geneva: International Labour Office. Discrimination level

21 Resources available to you  ALTERR web site  clas.uconn.edu/about/alterr.html  Office of Diversity and Equity  ODE.uconn.edu  Human Resources  hr.uconn.edu  International hires  International Service and Programs (DISP)

22 In summary:  Intellectual life is for everyone.  There are excellent women and minority faculty candidates in the applicant pool.  Pro-active recruiting works to ensure a critical mass of otherwise under-represented groups at UConn.

23 Your experiences?  Can you tell us your successful techniques to share with other search committees to help in the faculty search process?  Questions?


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