Tag: Higher Ed

Items related to systems within higher education and the academy. Ivory tower.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Beyond Productivity Metrics: Call for a Paradigm Shift in STEMM

In this essay, a group of scientists advocates for paradigmatic change in the academic scientific enterprise. Specifically, they point to biases in STEMM measures of success, normative standards that support a subset of scholars and narrow the career pathways for others, and call out those in positions of power for engaging in advocacy performances rather than substantive change. They offer several ways to“pivot the paradigm”. First, address the gendered, raced, and classist biases in the “publish or perish” model that relies on impact scores to assess value. Second, expand measures of scientific value to encourage non-publishing pathways (i.e., applied sciences, public dissemination, podcasts) that acknowledge the critical need for researchers with expertise to engage in broader communities (i.e., policy, training). Third, implement multidimensional and networked mentorship to support a ”publish and flourish” model of STEMM excellence. Fourth, engage in creative, innovative ways to dismantle discriminatory systems to instead promote equity, diversity, and inclusion with effective accountability mechanisms. Finally, invest the resources to promote belonging, safety, and well-being at the research group, departmental, institutional, and funding levels. We applaud this far-reaching call for transformative change to realize justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the academy.

Today’s feature was shared with us by Amy Marcarelli. 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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. . 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Chicken or the Egg: Is pay in a field low because women enter it or because women tend to prefer lower paying jobs?

We recently acknowledged March 15th as equal pay day, the date when women’s pay for the prior year finally equals what men earned. In other words, women must work 2-½ months longer to make the same amount and Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous women have to work even longer. Why? A popular explanation is that women are attracted to lower paying fields. This is a logical fallacy. Research in 2016 found that “when women moved into occupations in large numbers, those jobs began paying less even after controlling for education, work experience, skills, race, and geography.” These include STEM fields, such as biology.

Conversely, as fields attract more men, pay increases and the field gains prestige (e.g. computer programming) as noted in this and another extensive analysis. In academia, as women increased from 14% to 42% of faculty, the average salaries of new assistant professors fell by 8% in that field according to England et al 2007. Additional research has tracked attitudes, showing that as the number of women increases in a field, that field becomes labeled as “soft” (Summary, Light 2022) and “men become markedly less interested in pursuing a career in that field of study” (England 2007). This research culminates in “substantial evidence that employers placed a lower value on work done by women.” At Tech, we can counter this pervasive societal gender bias by directly examining how we value (with communication, recognition, and compensation) the work of our talented women 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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Groundskeeping leadership style: leading to support the advancement of others

Dr. Beronda Montgomery, in “Academic Leadership: Gatekeeping or Groundskeeping?” encourages academic institutions to rethink the kind of leader hired to lead academic units. Rather than fostering gatekeeping, or the mentality that the leader is measuring individual traits and performance to appraise if someone is worthy of advancement or leadership, Montgomery suggests choosing leaders who promote “groundskeeping”. In groundskeeping, leaders focus on systems-engaged framing of the academic landscape that supports the development of individuals towards cooperative goals. Groundskeeping leaders identify and remove barriers to success, including structural inequities, creating a more facilitatory, friendly, and equitable environment. Groundskeeper leaders more effectively enable organizational innovation and change, while gatekeeping leaders tend to protect the organizational status quo.
Today’s feature was shared with us by A3B. 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, which is 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Public Statements are Not Actions

This is Black History month; next month is Women’s History month. We celebrate by highlighting the first black woman to earn her Ph.D. in physics in the U.S., Willie Hobbs Moore, who was also an electrical engineer and received her degree in physics from the University of Michigan in 1972. Dr. Moore is known for a number of achievements including bringing Japanese manufacturing practices to Ford in the 1980s, working in the field of molecular spectroscopy, and supporting STEM education for minority students. 

Dr. Moore was able to break through a glass ceiling but, unfortunately, fifty years later this glass ceiling remains for many minorities. This IEEE article suggests institutions need to move beyond public statements expressing solidarity with the Black community to examining the different types of anti-Black violence that  is tolerated within their own campuses, such as beginning with engineering education and practice. This examination should include what the authors call the “engineering ecosystem” and the “three realms of experience” that Black students must navigate within this ecosystem (mainstream culture, Black culture; the status of the oppressed minority). 

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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: High school chemistry textbooks fail to advance positive role of women in field

Many young people are introduced to professions like Chemistry in high school and textbooks play a major role in informing students about the discipline and the people who work within it. An article in Chemistry World shines a light on what happens when textbooks are biased in their representation. A study of four widely used Chemistry texts in the UK and Ireland found that of 105 historic figures named in the books, only 4 were women, all Nobel Prize winners. Men mentioned in the books include non-scientists such as Julius Caesar, Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, and artist David Hockney. Two of the four textbooks did not mention a single woman. Of 131 images, only 16 were of women alone. Only one of those was a known woman, Dorothy Hodgkin – one of the Nobel winners, compared with 52 identifiable men. The textbooks included many images of women doing domestic work such as shopping or laundry.

This study reinforces a pattern observed in a study of US college Chemistry textbooks which found that male names appeared every 4 pages while female names appeared every 250 pages. As college educators, we can redress this in part by being particularly mindful of avoiding books with these kinds of inequities when we choose college textbooks for our classes. As Dr. Claire Murphy, lead researcher on the UK study stated, “The biases we have observed are not unique to a single publisher, textbook or curriculum. They are also not unique to chemistry.”

Today’s feature was shared with us by David Flaspohler, chair of the Advocates 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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Recommendations for LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

Creating more inclusive academic communities and making equity and diversity hallmarks of campus culture are lofty goals. What are the actual practices that can make such goals concrete features of university life? A recent essay in CBE-Life Sciences Education makes the case that inclusivity requires thoughtful, proactive strategies. Specifically, the authors advance fourteen actionable recommendations for creating more inclusive academic relationships and environments for LGBTQ+ individuals in the life sciences. The recommendations provide strategies for inclusive practices in the classroom, on campus, in research spaces, and at conferences. They address issues of language, naming assumptions and alternatives, a variety of practical advocacy actions, teaching activities and materials, and research design and protocols. These recommendations are meant to stimulate further discussion, recognizing the ongoing need to adapt normative expectations and commonplace practices in order to create productive, inclusive academic spaces and communities.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE 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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Supporting Indigenous Students

As we work to diversify our student body, we need to reflect and adapt commonplace practices to be inclusive of the needs of students from different backgrounds. Today’s Roundup features a study of stresses related to self-beliefs, ethnic identity, and cultural congruency experienced by Native American undergraduates and how we might adapt to better support these students.  Among the changes suggested to better support these students are increased access to advising, mentoring by older students, and encouraging joining clubs and other social groups. In the classroom, we can support Native American students by creating improved cultural understanding, a collaborative learning environment, and a communal rather than competitive environment in which students are evaluated on information mastery rather than relative grading dependent upon peer performance. This shift to a “learning community” benefits all students and reduces feelings of isolation and stress, which leads to better outcomes for everyone.

Today’s feature was shared with us by 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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Gender Inequities in Academic Medicine and the Life Sciences

You may have read the article in the New York Times that came out recently about women physicians earning 2 million less over their lifetimes than men physicians.This study and a variety of research topics on gender inequities within medicine and the academic life sciences are discussed in a recent Freakonomics MD podcast led by Dr. Bapu Jena of Harvard University. For example, the tendency of men researchers to “upsell” their research contributions within their academic papers with superlatives like novel, unique, and unprecedented is one factor thought to contribute to differences in citation rates, which are key drivers of pay differences between men and women. The podcast addresses other issues that have significant repercussions for equity in career advancement in STEM fields. It is well worth a listen.

Today’s feature was shared with us by Robert Hutchinson. 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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.

Project Implicit: A Virtual Session on Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making.

We will be hosting a virtual session on implicit bias presented by Sylvia Perry, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University from Project Implicit. The objectives of the Education Session are to raise awareness of our biases; to explore how researchers measure and understand identity-based biases; and to provide actionable steps that we can take to prevent and mitigate the impact of biases. We invite you to join us for this important discussion about how hidden biases we carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes and stereotypes may be influencing our decisions and leading to unintended consequences.

Register Now! We will provide a free copy of the book, “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”, by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald for a limited number of Tech faculty and staff registering for the Project Implicit event on a first come, first served basis. Complimentary copies of the book will be available to pick up in the Tech Bookstore in the MUB. You will receive an email with further instructions regarding pick-up when the books arrive. If you have questions, contact the ADVANCE Office at: (906) 487-2519 or advance-mtu@mtu.edu

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: The importance of leaders developing support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This week’s article from the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education explores the importance of academic leadership in developing support for diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) among faculty. Academic leaders with more visibly favorable attitudes towards diversity positively influence faculty in their awareness and support for DEIS. This research suggests that this may be especially important for faculty who don’t often question the status quo of policies and practices that retain historic systemic bias. This article provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how we, along with our academic leaders, express favorable attitudes towards DEIS efforts and help our institution to make progress in this valued area. Although this study focused on academic leadership, it highlights opportunities we may have for influencing attitudes about DEIS in our professional and personal leadership roles.

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, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.