The College of Liberal Arts Gender Council was active from May 2010 to August 2011, during which time members formed subcommittees to examine productivity, mentorship, dual career hiring, graduate student affairs, and climate issues involving lecturers.
Working through the Council, the Office of Research & Graduate Studies produced reports on lecturers and mentorship in the College of Liberal Arts. We also conducted in-depth investigations of measures of productivity and dual career hiring, which informed our thinking about two topics that remain critical in faculty hiring: promotion and retention.
The following reports stemmed from the Gender Council initiative:
Aware of the college’s dependence on Non-Tenure Track faculty (henceforth, NTT faculty), concerned about the well-being of Non-Tenure Track faculty in the college, and curious to know about the overall “climate” for Non-Tenure Track faculty in the college, Associate Dean Esther Raizen asked Megan Seaholm (Lecturer, Department of History) to create a task force to study the situation and, if appropriate, make recommendations. Seaholm asked Karen Kelton (Senior Lecturer, French & Italian), Wayne Hickenbottom (Senior Lecturer, Economics), Lindsay Hale (Lecturer, Anthropology and Religious Studies), and Tom Vessely (Senior Lecturer, French & Italian) to join her in what would be called the “COLA Lecturer Task Force.”
In 2007, and again in 2010, the Dean’s Office requested information from COLA departments regarding their mentoring practices. We provide here a synopsis of the information received from the departments in 2010, and conclude with some comments based on our observations and research that may help frame future conversations on mentoring in COLA.
Sandra Black, Professor, Department of Economics Ann Cvetkovich, Professor, Department of English, Center For Women’s and Gender Studies Wendy Domjan, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology Karen Grumberg, Associate Professor, Department of Middle Eastern Studies Randy Lewis, Professor, Department of American Studies Rebecca Lewis, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology Al Martinich, Professorship, Department of Philosophy Sharmila Rudrappa, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology Cinzia Russi, Associate Professor, Department of French and Italian Megan Seaholm, Senior Lecturer, Department of History Dana Stauffer, Lecturer and Research Fellow, Department of Government
Lauren Ratliff, Senate of College Councils (2009-2010)
Chelsea Adler, Senate of College Councils (2010-2011)
Christina McCoy, Spanish and Portuguese
Ex officio members:
Susan Heinzelman, Director, Center For Women’s and Gender Studies
Esther Raizen, Associate Dean for Research, College of Liberal Arts
Lauren Apter Bairnsfather, Executive Assistant, College of Liberal Arts
Productivity: The goal is to define productivity at the departmental level in the interest of establishing and recognizing best practices. The assessment of productivity has implications for promotion and tenure and for merit increases. Members of the subcommittee on productivity have been interviewing Liberal Arts department chairs since fall 2010 and continue this work in spring 2011.
Members: Al Martinich, Professor, Philosophy Sandra Black, Professor, Economics Rebecca Lewis, Assistant Professor, Anthropology Sharmila Rudrappa, Associate Professor, Sociology Jennifer Wilks, Associate Professor, English Graduate Student
Mentorship: The council sees the need to improve mentorship at all levels from graduate students through full professors. The second stage of this project is now underway, with members of the subcommittee on mentorship conducting interviews as part of an IRB-approved study.
Members: Ann Cvetkovich, Professor, English Randy Lewis, Associate Professor, American Studies Karen Grumberg, Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern Studies Lauren Apter, Institutional Research Analyst, College of Liberal Arts
Graduate Student Affairs: What began as a project with a specific gender bent has progressed into an examination of the situation of liberal arts graduate students in general. The subcommittee on graduate student affairs held its first open forum for graduate students on February 18, 2011. The event was attended by students from social sciences and from humanities programs. Several suggestions from graduate students are under consideration in the Dean's office.
Members: Sue Heinzelman, Director, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies Megan Seaholm, Lecturer, History Cinzia Russi, Associate Professor, French and Italian Christina McCoy, Graduate Student, Spanish and Portuguese Chelsea Adler, Undergraduate, Senate of College Councils
Dual Career Hires: The council will look into the question of whether it is possible to systematize the way that dual career hiring is done in the College of Liberal Arts, and the climate issues associated with such hires. We have received IRB approval for this project and intend to move forward with it by Fall 2011.
Members: Esther Raizen, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts Dana Stauffer, Lecturer and Research Fellow, Government Wendy Domjan, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Psychology Debbie White, Lecturer, Linguistics
Lecturers: The newest action item to be added to the Gender Council's portfolio is a study of lecturers. The goal is to achieve a general picture of the situation of lecturers in Liberal Arts and to make relevant policy recommendations. This work follows an examination that was done at the University level nearly 10 years ago, which has resulted in positive changes for some but not all lecturers.
Members: Megan Seaholm, Lecturer, Department of History, Karen Kelton, Senior Lecturer, French & Italian, Wayne Hickenbottom, Senior Lecturer, Economics, Lindsay Hale, Lecturer, Anthropology and Religious Studies, Tom Vessely, Senior Lecturer, French & Italian
For additional information on the Liberal Arts Gender Council, please contact Lauren Apter Bairnsfather, Executive Assistant, Office of Research & Graduate Studies.