ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Achieving Fairness in Promotions to Full

Research on bias in academia has focused more on tenure and less on promotion to Full Professor. This week’s feature article from the Chronicle of Higher Education is an exception, describing a study of 2000 promotion to full cases across 10 universities. The study found several potential sources of bias that tend to affect women and underrepresented individuals (BIPOC) more than their colleagues, including bias against interdisciplinary research and service and the undervaluing of mentoring work. These contribute to lower rates of promotion to Full for women and underrepresented individuals.

Recommendations for P&T committees include creating a diverse committee, training members about bias, and creating a more structured evaluation process. Recommendations for candidates for promotion include asking for specific written explanations when a promotion packet is not advanced to the next level of review, third-party comparisons to prior packets to address shifting standards, and collecting alternative metrics to demonstrate one’s contribution and impact on projects. We urge all involved to learn about research into the academic promotion process in order to decrease bias in engrained practices and policies here at Michigan Tech, as well as to enable the career progress of all of our faculty.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu, and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

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