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Diversity in Higher Education: Creating Equity in Evaluation of Faculty

May 6, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT


Despite efforts to improve hiring practices to diversify the faculties of colleges and universities in the U.S., a lack of strong attention to retention practices may negate progress. At predominantly white institutions and in fields where faculty members are still mostly white and/or male, including Environmental Studies and Sciences, barriers to retention and promotion most strongly impact faculty whose identities do not match the ‘norm’ of a professor expected by students. Barriers include bias in teaching evaluations by students, the burden of hidden labor done to support diversity efforts on campus, and discrimination against research areas of high interest to faculty who are members of historically under-represented groups. In the webinar, Valerie Banschbach, the president-elect of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, will present an overview of areas of bias in faculty evaluations that impact retention and promotion. She will summarize key findings drawn from the substantial peer-reviewed literature on biases in student evaluations of teaching.  During the webinar, she will discuss strategies to cope with and overcome barriers, with a goal of envisioning how to change structures in higher education to become more equitable.