Category Archives: WISEblog

The WISEblog category is for communications relating to general topics of interest or concern to WISE members. Campus and community issues of concern can also be posted here, like work-life balance, childcare, and career-path discussion.

Audrey Mayer becomes Assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion

After a University-wide search, Audrey Mayer (SFRES) was selected for and has accepted the position as assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion. Mayer’s role in this position began in May 2018. While serving as assistant to the provost, she will continue in her position as associate professor of ecology and environmental policy.

In her new position, Mayer will provide leadership for campus-wide diversity-enhancement efforts, including the President’s Diversity Council. She will also serve as Michigan Tech’s representative for external groups such as the American Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the Michigan Associate of State Universities (MASU) and King-Chavez-Parks (KCP).

Mayer is associate professor of of Ecology and Environmental Policy in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Tech and a past co-director of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) at Michigan Tech.


Michigan Tech Pre-School

From their website:

Michigan Tech Preschool is a non-profit, cooperative preschool serving children ages 3-5. It is a fully-licensed preschool, and the teachers meet all state certification requirements for early-childhood educators. Michigan Tech Preschool is open to all interested families. Non-English speaking children are welcome.

For more on childcare options, click here.


Conversation-Community-Collegiality, C3 University Lunches Since 2015

“We thought it would be nice to provide an opportunity for relaxed interaction across campus,” says Faith Morrison, member of the Steering Committee for the C-Cubed (Conversation-Community-Collegiality University Lunches) group, which was started in 2015 and continues each fall and spring semester. Norma Veurink adds “In our teaching and support roles with students, we always seem to be in discharge mode. We need a venue to recharge with colleagues.” Nilufer Onder contacted Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, who, it turns out, was already working with a pair of University Senators on a related idea. It all came together for Thursdays and Fridays beginning in 2015.

“It,” that came together is the C-Cubed University Lunches. Faculty, staff, and their guests are invited to buy lunch (buffet is offered) or bring their lunch to the MUB Alumni Lounge on Thursdays and Fridays and to share conversation and lunchtime with colleagues. “We’re providing the invitation, table cloths, a cash buffet, and the University provides a few perks (complimentary coffee, tea, cookies, and fruit),” says Morrison. “All the attendees need to bring is conversation, community, and collegiality (C3)!”

The price of the buffet lunch will be $12 (beginning in fall 2018) and the menu will vary. Brown-baggers are welcome, as are those who wish to purchase lunch from the MUB Commons or the Khana Khazana on Fridays. The lunch event is from 11:30-1:30 both days. Due to renovations of the Alumni Lounge, C3 will start several weeks into the fall 2018 term.  Watch Tech Today for the exact starting date.  All faculty and staff and their guests are welcome.



Tips and Best Practices from the Michigan Tech Diversity Literacy Online Workshop

Thank you to Michigan Tech’s Patricia Sotirin and Sonia Goltz for permssion to post this list from the 2014 Diversity Literacy Online Workshop

Diversity Literacy Workshop:  Best Practices

Unintentional Bias

  1. Recognize the influence of stress and time pressures on decision‐making processes. If possible, schedule selection and advancement processes with an eye to minimizing semester and professional demands on committee members and provide a generous window of time for committees to deliberate.
  2. Establish decision criteria related to position requirements and professional qualifications before reviewing candidate applications.
  3. Encourage selection and advancement committees to seek additional information in order to clarify ambiguous priorities, criteria, and information. At the same time, be careful to apply the same criteria and requirements for all candidates.
  4. Identify and focus on specific position criteria rather than discussing a broader and more general sense of “fit” with the department.

Selection Bias

  1. Avoid evaluations based on inferences that may mask subtle biases. In particular, do not make offer decisions based on what the committee assumes or suspects about the candidate’s motives, preferences, or likely actions.
  2. Clarify whether gendered assumptions about roles or positions are evident and strive to compare candidates on the basis of actual accomplishments and qualifications. This is particularly important in assessing leadership and professional potential.
  3. Use a structured interview schedule for each candidate interview. If additional questions are asked of a particular candidate, these should be noted so that the committee can decide how or whether the additional information is useful and comparable to information available for other candidates.
  4. Word position announcements using gender neutral language and identify both mainstream and population‐specific venues for placing the announcement in order to ensure a pool with at least 25% minority and female candidates.
  5. Question vague, evaluative comments made by committee members to find out what specific issues or concerns underlie such comments. Vague feelings and suspicions, anecdotal information, and interpretations based on perceptions should be explored so that these comments can either be substantiated or reconsidered.

Advancement Bias

  1. Set up specific standards for advancement progress and assess all faculty periodically for advancement potential based on non‐subjective criteria (number of courses taught, cumulative teaching scores, number of publications, grant levels, etc.).
  2. Be vigilant about identifying and minimizing unconscious bias in advancement decision‐making processes. Provide P&T committees with time and information and encourage members to avoid distractions and focus on predetermined advancement‐relevant criteria.
  3. Assess the subtle accumulation of disadvantages across all faculty periodically. Pay attention to systematic differences among groups of faculty such as salary, space, research resources, teaching assignments, awards, and committee assignments.


From the NY Times: Women at work subject to more, and harsher, criticism

From the New York Times, September 27, 2014:

A NEW study by the linguist and tech entrepreneur Kieran Snyder, done for Fortune.com, found two differences between workplace performance reviews given to men and women. Across 248 reviews from 28 companies, managers, whether male or female, gave female employees more negative feedback than they gave male employees. Second, 76 percent of the negative feedback given to women included some kind of personality criticism, such as comments that the woman was “abrasive,” “judgmental” or “strident.” Only 2 percent of men’s critical reviews included negative personality comments.

For the whole article, see the New York Times website.



Nancy Auer’s Sturgeon Book Among Michigan’s Most Notable for 2014

The Library of Michigan has chosen WISE member Professor Nancy Auer’s book “The Great Lake Sturgeon,” coedited with Dave Dempsey, as one of the 2014 Michigan Notable Books.

Twenty books made the list, ranging from Jim Harrison’s “The River Swimmer” to a pie cookbook to a collection of Upper Peninsula poems and stories.

See the whole article in Tech Today on 8 January 2014.  Way to go Nancy!


New Michigan Tech Publication Examines Gender Balance Issues

Beyond the Glass Ceiling is a new student-edited feminist publication at Michigan Tech where writers can examine gender balance issues.  As reported in Michigan Tech News:

Beyond the Glass Ceiling is the successor to the former TechnoBabe Times, a publication largely housed in the humanities department a decade ago. Graduate student Katie Snyder wanted to revive the tradition, with encouragement from faculty, leading to the new publication.

Visit the Michigan Tech News story for more information or go to their Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-The-Glass-Ceiling-Mich-Tech-Newspaper/216829025108704