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Hiring, tenuring, and promoting statisticians in a mathematics sciences department SIGMAA of Statistics Education and the ASA-MAA Joint Committee on Statistics.

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Presentation on theme: "Hiring, tenuring, and promoting statisticians in a mathematics sciences department SIGMAA of Statistics Education and the ASA-MAA Joint Committee on Statistics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hiring, tenuring, and promoting statisticians in a mathematics sciences department SIGMAA of Statistics Education and the ASA-MAA Joint Committee on Statistics

2 Hiring Statisticians Carolyn Cuff, moderator /hiringstatisticians.ppt

3 Patti Frazer Lock Cummings Professor of Mathematics Chair, Dept of Math, CS, and Stats St. Lawrence University Canton, NY (NE of Lake Ontario, upstate NY)

4 Douglas Norton Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences Villanova University Villanova, PA (outside of Philadelphia)

5 Lila F. Roberts Dean, College of Information and Mathematical Sciences Clayton State University Morrow, GA (outside of Atlanta)

6 St. Lawrence University : Private non-denominational liberal arts college Approximately 2000 students Highly selective college in the Northeast Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

7 Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics : 13 full-time faculty members (no adjuncts) 3 – 4 statisticians 3 computer scientists 6 – 7 mathematicians Average number of math majors per graduating class: 40 (almost 10% of the graduating class) Average number of statistics minors per graduating class: 25 (more than 5% of the graduating class) Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

8 Intro Stats Course : Applied data analysis. Heavy use of statistical software. Not calculus based. Counts as an elective toward the math major. Viewed by department as entry to the statistics discipline in same way calculus is entry to math discipline. Second most frequently taken course at St. Lawrence (after Intro Psych). Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

9 Experience hiring statisticians : First statistician hired: 1983 Second statistician hired: 2002 Third/Fourth statisticians hired: 2008 Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

10 Augustinian, co-educational, Roman Catholic institution that welcomes students of all faiths Founded in 1842 Located 12 miles west of Philadelphia on 254 acres in the heart of Philadelphia's suburban Main Line Fall 2008 fulltime undergraduate enrollment of 6,425, from 45 states, Puerto Rico, and 48 foreign countries; ~10,000 total incl. grad. & PT 545 fulltime faculty members, student/faculty ratio 11:1. Ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report in the Best Universities-Masters category in the northern region for nearly two decades Villanova University

11 In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Serves students in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Business: most student contact hours of any department on campus 30 full-time faculty; ~10-12 adjuncts per semester ~25-40 majors per class, ~120 total majors in any academic year ~30 Math minors graduating per year No Statistics major or minor; most majors take one or more Statistics courses Villanova University

12 Two Master’s programs: MA in Mathematics, MS in Applied Statistics Enrolments ~25-45 per program per semester Each Master’s has a combined “5-year program” in combination with the undergraduate BS in Mathematics MS in Applied Statistics has over 50 years of experience and interaction with several Philadelphia area pharmaceutical companies: Student internships and jobs Employees take courses, pursue degrees Faculty work as consultants or on joint projects Working statisticians teach as adjuncts Villanova University

13 5 statisticians: Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors 2 hired in the past 5 years One statistician moved to another university; one faculty member who taught both mathematics and statistics undergraduate and graduate courses retired The department decided to advertise for and hire two statisticians Villanova University

14 Statistics hires: recent experience It took us three tries! As a department of more mathematicians than statisticians, we were more accustomed to the big hiring meetings in January (JMM) rather than in August (JSM) We advertised primarily in Statistics contexts: American Statistical Association, INFORMS; but also MAA, AWM We interviewed at the Joint Statistical Meetings, successfully in Toronto 2004 Villanova University

15 Lila F. Roberts, Dean College of Information & Mathematical Sciences Clayton State University 4-year comprehensive university in the University System of Georgia (formerly a two-year college) Approximately 6000 students Degrees: 2 Master’s Degrees, 4-year Bachelors, 2- year Associates, 1 and 2 year Certificates Most diverse public university in the Southeast (US News & World Reports): 66% minority, 72% female Large percentage of non-traditional students Two Departments: Information Technology, Mathematics (includes Statistics & Math Ed) Math Majors & Faculty: Approximately 60 majors, 15 full-time faculty

16 Previously… Chair, Department of Mathematics (2003- 2008) Georgia College & State University, Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University Approximately 6000 students Degrees: Master’s & Bachelor’s Very traditional (and homogeneous) student population Math Majors: Approximately 114 Full-time Math Faculty: about 13 full-time Before I departed, there were 2 faculty statisticians (I hired 2 within the last 5 years; another did not receive a positive pre-tenure review and received a terminal contract)

17 At each: Clayton State University and Georgia College & State University High percentage (at least 60%) of workload effort is on teaching. Scholarly activity requirement includes peer- reviewed publication (broad scholarship definition includes scholarship of teaching and learning). Service…LOTS of service.

18 Where do you advertise openings? (where do Statisticians look for academic jobs?)

19 ASA’s Amstat News and website ( University of Florida’s employment website ( Joint ad in Chronicle of Higher Education Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

20 Lila F. Roberts, Clayton State University AmStat News American Mathematical Society SIAM MAA Association for Women in Mathematics Chronicle of Higher Education HigheredJobs ( University of Florida Statistics Job Announcements U. of Washington Dept. of Statistics Employment Opportunities

21 How does the rather smaller potential applicant pool play a part in your search processes? What are the difficulties that you’ve encountered and how have you dealt with them?

22 Lila F. Roberts, Clayton State University Potential for a lack of (primarily gender) diversity in the pool. Many applicants in small pool primarily interested in a research environment. Many applicants in small pool have poor English speaking and comprehension skills. More competition to make a hire.

23 Statistics hires: difficulties Two attractive alternatives to newly-minted PhDs: More research-oriented academic positions (pushed hard by thesis advisors at research-oriented institutions) Industry and government positions with better pay scales The salary discrepancy plays into both of these One in-house disincentive: graduate course teaching at night Villanova University

24 Statistics hires: addressing the difficulties Find a good fit We essentially need people who could be at a more research-oriented institution but who prefer an institution such as ours: specifically want the blend of emphasis on teaching with expectation of and support for research Be persistent and patient! Wait for the right people Conversations with the Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs to address salary discrepancy issue Conversation with job candidates about the previous conversations; emphasize the positives that compensate for lower salary Villanova University

25 We interview candidates earlier We network as much as possible We are willing to have a search stretch over multiple years Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

26 Salary Structure We pay statisticians more than we pay mathematicians, but less than we pay computer scientists. University-wide, the starting salary structure is: – Mathematicians and Everyone Else – Statisticians – Computer Scientists and Economist Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

27 Lila F. Roberts, Clayton State University Problem: My experience is that there has been a perception by university administrators of little or no value-added for having a statistician in a mathematics department, which makes it very difficult to compete in making hires.

28 Retention What are your tenure and promotion criteria? How do you accommodate statisticians?

29 Statisticians after the hire: Tenure and promotion Tenure criteria: no specific percentages of teaching, research, service Without excellent teaching, the conversation does not continue Increasingly higher research and publication expectations Application-oriented research alone will not suffice, regardless of volume; contributions to the theory or tools of the discipline are expected On the other hand, application-based publications, when part of an overall research program that does include “pure research,” do count, discounted somewhat, but significant because of our Master’s program in Applied Statistics Villanova University

30 Statisticians after the hire: Retention Balance of teaching: from introductory courses for liberal arts majors through courses for majors to methods, theory, and special topics courses for graduate students Support for travel to meetings Reduced teaching loads Consulting opportunities available and encouraged, within the university and with local industry Remember both: there is a lot we have in common, and there is something different about the statisticians! Mathematical Sciences is an inclusive umbrella for what we have in common, but Statistics is not just another branch of Mathematics. Villanova University

31 Tenure Criteria—Clayton State University Teaching: 60% –Instruction of Students: 25-40% –Planning, Course/Program/Materials Development: 20-35% Service: 15-30% –Institutional Service required Scholarship and Professional Development: 10- 25% –Peer-reviewed publication required for tenure and promotion (May include work in teaching and learning)

32 Role of consulting and other service work— Clayton State University Consulting or other applications of professional expertise counts in the evidentiary category of Scholarship & Professional Development

33 Publications—Clayton State University Applications-oriented publications, as long as they are peer-reviewed, are valued at least as highly as pure-research. Collaborative work in an interdisciplinary context are very highly valued because it directly addresses strategic mission of University.

34 Evaluation of statistical research by non-statisticians Clayton State University Considerations: –Real world applicability (applied work valued highly), –Peer-review, –Applicability to teaching and learning, –Impact (to much lesser extent)

35 Lila F. Roberts—Clayton State University Retention of Statisticians in a Math Dept. Overwhelmed with “little” consulting projects –Frustration with effort not being acknowledged as important enough for co-authorship –Frustration with “assumption” by colleagues that the statistician should be willing to do a “little” analysis for no recognition –Frustration with the notion (reality?) that more senior colleagues asking for help have the power to deny the statistician tenure and/or promotion if he/she does not assist in a “little” analysis.

36 Lila F. Roberts—Clayton State University My Recommendations Be up front with the needy colleague—tell him/her the amount of time this could take and how you also need to be able to produce papers. Try to work out a collaborative arrangement by which you can get a co-authorship (or at least a written acknowledgement in the paper) If you can’t come to an agreement by which you get recognition for the work (either as service or scholarship), DON’T DO IT. If you feel comfortable talking about your decision with your department chair, you should do so.

37 Tenure Criteria and Process Excellence in teaching, research, and service required. Teaching is the highest priority, but evidence of peer-reviewed scholarship is necessary for the granting of tenure. Scholarship is broadly understood: all evidence of staying active in the discipline counts. The department votes, then a tenure committee from across the disciplines votes. Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

38 Tenure Criteria for Statisticians Consulting counts! Interdisciplinary work is not just accepted, but encouraged and celebrated. Applications-oriented publications count at least as much as “pure research”. Department chair must be on board with this: Dept chair makes the case to non-statisticians in dept and on tenure committee. We require outside review, and one outside reviewer must be statistician at a liberal arts college. Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

39 Keeping the Statistician Happy, Part 1 Make sure all members of your department respect the discipline and appreciate the differences between math and stats. Do not hire a statistician and then decide that only theorem/proof papers count. Do not hire a statistician and then decide that courses are only valuable if they contain significant mathematical content. Do not hire a statistician and then expect him/her to (necessarily) teach mathematics courses. Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

40 Keeping the Statistician Happy, Part 2 The Intro Stats course is key. Very Important! Applied data analysis course NOT a math course NOT calculus based NOT a remedial course Value to math majors acknowledged Taught (well) in your department and not all over campus Viewed as valid entry to the stats discipline Serves as feeder to other stats courses There should BE other stats courses! Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

41 Keeping the Statistician Happy, Part 3 Find a way to make consulting work. One course reduction per year? Co-authored papers? Student “research assistants”? Whatever works in the specific case. Be aware that this is extra time that statisticians (and often computer scientists as well) have to spend that mathematicians do not. Patti Frazer Lock, St. Lawrence University

42 Notes on Evaluation of Academic Statisticians under

43 Support for the Statistician in the Mathematics Department SIGMAA StatsEd ISOSTAT network –List serve –Meetings at Joint Statistics Meeting (usually Sunday night) –Mentoring group –Tenure and Promotion ASA Stat Ed section

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