RSS

Tag Archives: qualifications

The Coming University Trainwreck

Discrimination is the new normal.

An Ivy League professor on why colleges don’t hire more faculty of color: ‘We don’t want them’

In “The five things no one will tell you about why colleges don’t hire more faculty of color,” a piece first published in the Hechinger Report, Marybeth Gasman took on a common question: Why aren’t college faculties more racially diverse? 

It’s a question gaining increased urgency from student protesters demanding change on campuses nationally.

While giving a talk about Minority Serving Institutions at a recent higher education forum, I was asked a question pertaining to the lack of faculty of color at many majority institutions, especially more elite institutions.

My response was frank: “The reason we don’t have more faculty of color among college faculty is that we don’t want them. We simply don’t want them.” Those in the audience were surprised by my candor and gave me a round of applause for the honesty.

Given the short amount of time I had on the stage, I couldn’t explain the evidence behind my statement. I will do so here. I have been a faculty member since 2000, working at several research universities. In addition, I give talks, conduct research and workshops and do consulting related to diversifying the faculty across the nation. I have learned a lot about faculty recruitment over 16 years and as a result of visiting many colleges and universities.

First, the word ‘quality’ is used to dismiss people of color who are otherwise competitive for faculty positions. Even those people on search committees that appear to be dedicated to access and equity will point to ‘quality’ or lack of ‘quality’ as a reason for not hiring a person of color.

Typically, ‘quality’ means that the person didn’t go to an elite institution for their Ph.D. or wasn’t mentored by a prominent person in the field. What people forget is that attending the elite institutions and being mentored by prominent people is linked to social capital and systemic racism ensures that people of color have less of it.

Second, the most common excuse I hear is ‘there aren’t enough people of color in the faculty pipeline.’

It is accurate that there are fewer people of color in some disciplines such as engineering or physics. However, there are great numbers of Ph.D.’s of color in the humanities and education and we still don’t have great diversity on these faculties.

When I hear someone say people of color aren’t in the pipeline, I respond with ‘Why don’t you create the pipeline?’ ‘Why don’t you grow your own?’

Since faculty members are resistant to hiring their own graduates, why not team up with several other institutions that are ‘deemed to be of high quality’ and bring in more Ph.D.s of color from those institutions?

If you are in a field with few people of color in the pipeline, why are you working so hard to ‘weed’ them out of undergraduate and Ph.D. programs? Why not encourage, mentor, and support more people of color in your field?

Third, I have learned that faculty will bend rules, knock down walls, and build bridges to hire those they really want (often white colleagues) but when it comes to hiring faculty of color, they have to ‘play by the rules’ and get angry when any exceptions are made.

Let me tell you a secret – exceptions are made for white people constantly in the academy; exceptions are the rule in academe.

Fourth, faculty search committees are part of the problem.

They are not trained in recruitment, are rarely diverse in makeup, and are often more interested in hiring people just like them rather than expanding the diversity of their department.

They reach out to those they know for recommendations and rely on ads in national publications.

And, even when they do receive a diverse group of applicants, often those applicants ‘aren’t the right fit’ for the institution. What is the ‘right fit’? Someone just like you?

Fifth, if majority colleges and universities are truly serious about increasing faculty diversity, why don’t they visit Minority Serving Institutions — institutions with great student and faculty diversity — and ask them how they recruit a diverse faculty.

This isn’t hard. The answers are right in front of us. We need the will.

For those reading this essay, you might be wondering why faculty diversity is important. Your wondering is yet another reason why we don’t have a more diverse faculty. Having a diverse faculty — in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion — adds greatly to the experiences of students in the classroom. It challenges them — given that they are likely not to have had diversity in their K-12 classroom teachers — to think differently about who produces knowledge. It also challenges them to move away from a ‘white-centered’ approach to one that is inclusive of many different voices and perspectives.

Having a diverse faculty strengthens the faculty and the institution as there is more richness in the curriculum and in conversations taking place on committees and in faculty meetings. A diverse faculty also holds the university accountable in ways that uplift people of color and center issues that are important to the large and growing communities of color across the nation.

Although I have always thought it vital that our faculty be representative of the nation’s diversity, we are getting to a point in higher education where increasing faculty diversity is an absolute necessity and crucial to the future of our nation.

In 2014, for the first time, the nation’s K-12 student population was majority minority. These students are on their way into colleges and universities and we are not prepared for them. Our current faculty lacks expertise in working with students of color and our resistance to diversifying the faculty means that we are not going to be ready anytime soon.

I’ll close by asking you to think deeply about your role in recruiting and hiring faculty. How often do you use the word ‘quality’ when talking about increased diversity? Why do you use it? How often do you point to the lack of people of color in the faculty pipeline while doing nothing about the problem?

How many books, articles, or training sessions have you attended on how to recruit faculty of color?

How many times have you reached out to departments with great diversity in your field and asked them how they attract and retain a diverse faculty?

How often do you resist when someone asks you to bend the rules for faculty of color hires but think it’s absolutely necessary when considering a white candidate (you know, so you don’t lose such a wonderful candidate)?

Rather than getting angry at me for pointing out a problem that most of us are aware of, why don’t you change your ways and do something to diversify your department or institution’s faculty?

I bet you don’t, but I sure hope you do.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2016 in The Definition of Racism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sanders Hits Electorate Issue With Clinton Dead Center

Bernie Sanders just laid out the reason many Progressives are hesitant to support Hillary Clinton. It is in no way that she isn’t qualified, However it is that “conservative” Democrat and connections to Wall Street thing.

Bernie Sanders: ‘Something Is Clearly Lacking’ In Hillary Clinton’s Judgment

“I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make.”

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Sunday questioned rival Hillary Clinton’s temperament for the highest office in the land.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Vermont senator clarified his criticism of the former secretary of state last week, in which he said she isn’t “qualified” for the White House.

“The point that I was making, which is absolutely correct, is that if you look at where she is getting the money from Wall Street, another powerful special interest, she voted for the war, she cited Henry Kissinger, in a sense, as a model for her,” Sanders said. “I think those issues will tell the American people that in many respects, she may have the experience to be president of the United States. No one can argue that. But in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.”

In a separate interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders again took a swipe at Clinton and her qualifications as president.

“I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make,” he said.

The two candidates jockeying for the Democratic presidential nomination both spent the weekend campaigning in New York, which holds its primary contest on April 19. According to a Fox News poll released Sunday, Clinton leads Sanders 53 percent to 37 percent in the state.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Democrat Primary

 

Tags: , , , ,

DeRay for Mayor!

It appears that DeRay Mckesson, one of he mainstream players in Black Lives Matter is a serious politician, with a solid platform on what he would do as Mayor of Baltimore. I think most people have been underestimating his understanding and grasp of what the job entails because of his youth. Baltimore, just like any major city, is an ugly beast to run with many conflicting interests and embedded issues. The people who are successful at big city leadership tend to be part Gandhi and part Hitler. However…

He has done his homework.

Is DeRay Mckesson for real?

When DeRay Mckesson, a 30-year-old Black Lives Matter activist, filed at the last moment for Baltimore mayor, the city’s political establishment was well justified in asking, is this guy for real? Is he going to run a legitimate campaign, or is he going to tweet a bunch and lap up the love in the national media?

Tweet a bunch, he has done, though one gets the impression that’s like saying he’s breathed a bunch in the last couple of weeks. Love in the national media? Check. Starting with a story in the New York Times and, an hour later, a beyond-fawning profile of his decision to run by a Washington Post reporter who had embedded with his proto-campaign, and then including accounts in The Atlantic, Slate, NPR, The Guardian etc., he’s been everywhere.

But he’s done something else, too, and that’s issue an extensive set of policy proposals on education, economic development, public safety, health, the environment, arts and more that at least rival — and in some cases easily surpass — those from so-called mainstream candidates in their depth and scope. They are ambitious and leave gaps in some key points, particularly in terms of how the city is going to pay for them or get lawmakers in Annapolis and Washington to support them where necessary, though Mr. Mckesson is hardly the only candidate to be guilty of that sin. But what’s surprising about the platform, given how recently Mr. Mckesson has arrived on the scene, is the depth of knowledge it displays about how things have been done in this city and how they could be done differently. His ideas aren’t always the right ones or necessarily better than those proffered by other candidates, but they’re no joke either.

Though Mr. Mckesson is running as an outsider, his proposals are in certain respects less radical than what other candidates are proposing. City Councilman Carl Stokes, for example, wants to require that all developments awarded incentives like a payment in lieu of taxes or tax increment financing include a community benefits agreement. Mr. Mckesson, by contrast, wants to encourage such agreements, not require them, while “rigorously” evaluating TIFs and PILOTs to ensure they are necessary and that their costs and benefits are clearly spelled out. He notes the limitations presented by the city-state co-appointment of city school board members, but unlike businessman David Warnock, he doesn’t call a hybrid elected/appointed board, nor full mayoral control of the schools, asstate Sen. Catherine Pugh suggests. Mr. Mckesson wants a $15 minimum wage — but on the state level, not just in the city.

As might be expected based on his activism since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Mr. Mckesson goes farther than other candidates in some of his ideas for police accountability. For example, he advocates eliminating the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights altogether — a goal that is unnecessary and probably counter-productive, in that it could foreclose the possibility of meaningful reforms. But in other respects, he doesn’t. Like several other candidates, Mr. Mckesson advocates for beefing up Baltimore’s Civilian Police Review Board, but he does not go so far as Councilman Nick Mosby to propose making seats on it elected positions. Mr. Mckesson wants to decriminalize certain nuisance crimes like spitting and open-container violations, and to shift the war on drugs to one centered on public health principles rather than criminal justice. But he doesn’t suggest ending arrests for simple possession of marijuana, as attorney Elizabeth Embry does.

Mr. Mckesson’s plans reveal a grasp of the minutiae of city government. His ideas for using city contracting to generate more jobs for city residents rest on detailed knowledge of how City Council PresidentBernard C. “Jack” Young‘s local hiring ordinance works. He is clearly versed on the latest problems that have cropped up for Baltimore — for example, the unexpected impact of tax incentives for development on state school funding formulas — and on innovative strategies from other cities, such as an effort in San Francisco to seed college savings accounts for children….Read The Rest Here

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Not the Education System That’s Broke

[MISMATCHstats]You hear this refrain frequently – that American companies can’t find qualified or educated workers. With the recent exposure that many companies automatically exclude the unemployed as potential employees – it’s becomming incresingly obvious that it is not the education system that is the problem…

It’s the companies themselves.

Some years ago many companies started using automated search engines which sorted resumes looking for keywords. The growth of the Internet has also meant the growth of potential resumes which a company can choose from. Keyword searches are based on the faulty idea that someone who is qualified for a potential position will include those words in the resume. So for instance, a candidate with an ITIL, Six Sigma, or PMI certification would include those terms in the resume. Since real work skills, accomplishments, and experience don’t translate to such simpleminded analysis – the impact of this was to devalue the experience of anyone who could actually do the job, and raise the value of folks who became certification whores.

Leading to the surreal environment where the self proclaimed “father of the Internet” couldn’t get hired for a technical job in the industry he created – or a guy who had actually designed and built bridges over rivers for 25 years…

Is suddenly “unqualified” for a job to design and build bridges, because he hadn’t built a bridge over a creek.

Enabled by the power of the computer, Human Resources folks were able to get very precise in developing requirements for potential hires. This meant developing skills criteria where no one, who wasn’t already doing the job for the hiring company (and usually even the person in the job couldn’t qualify for), could ever fit. Years ago, I took a job with a company which had developed a proprietary technology which was only utilized at that time in 3 other places in the world, including DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – which is a small group of really smart guys working on super secret technology projects), and MIT being two of the three other places. My advantage? I had at least read about it in technical publications. Recognizing that the pool of folks who knew anything about the technology was exceedingly small – the company had an aggressive internal education program to bring employees up to speed.

Today, companies don’t want to invest in training employees – believing that the alphabet soup of outside certification agencies is somehow going to produce qualified employees. It doesn’t, what it produces is a lot of employees with the common toolkits to work – which is a large distance from having the real functional skills.

Being in the tech industry means getting approached by headhunters several times a week, sometimes on resumes that are 10 years or more old. My last name is the same as a company which produces a very sophisticated software system. For years I’d get calls from breathless headhunters looking for programmers familiar with the system. Never occurred to these folks that if I was the guy who had created the system, and CEO of the company bearing my last name…

WTF would I be looking for a junior or mid-level programming job? Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 28, 2011 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

SAT Scores Tank

The Writing/Reading part of the College Test has hot new lows. “Merde” – we are producing more conservatives!

One of the drivers of this is likely the fact that 27% of those taking the SAT don’t speak English as a first language. 10 Years ago that number was 19%.

I’m not a big believer that the College Tests, the SAT and tit’s competitor the ACT indicate anything more a than acculturation to the education model. Change the model, and you change the “important” skills. The issue here is we have a system which encourages kids to go to college, even though we aren’t creating jobs for them when they graduate. Perhaps the “problem” in American Education is finding a way to make it more reactive to market demand?

And perhaps we need on hell of a lot more Scientists and Engineers, and an economy which rewards people with those skills.

SAT Scores Fall as Number of Test-Takers Rises

Average SAT scores fell across the board this past year—down 3 points in critical reading, 2 points in writing, and 1 point in math.

This year, 1.65 million students in the high school graduating class of 2011 took the college-entrance exam, up from 1.6 million for the class of 2010, according to results released today.

The increase in test-takers can lead to a decline in mean scores, the College Board says, because more students of varying academic ability are represented.

Regardless of the drop in mean scores, according to a press release from the New York City-based College Board, the test’s sponsor, “there are more high-performing students among the class of 2011 than ever before.”

Each section of the test is scored from 200 to 800, with a 2400 for all sections combined being perfect. Critical-reading scores in this year’s report compared with last year’s dropped from 500 to 497, math from 515 to 514, and writing from 491 to 489, for an overall score change from 1506 to 1500—all statistically significant. Since 2007, the first year that College Board June cohort data are available, critical reading and math scores have each had a 4-point decline, while math scores have remained stable.

The new total test-taking figures show the gap further narrowing between the SAT and the rival ACT, which unveiled its numbers last month with 1.62 million students in the class of 2011 taking the test, an all-time high for the Iowa City, Iowa-based testing company as well. Last year, the College Board began including all test-takers through June of their senior year and did so again.

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 14, 2011 in General

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: