The most consequential decisions regarding faculty careers are decided collectively by peers, including tenure, promotions, and annual merit pay raises. The shared decision making inherent in faculty governance is a type of collaboration that faculty experience in unequal ways.
While most departments have formal procedures and written policies, academia remains dominated by informal ways of functioning that allow gender and racial inequalities to persist. UMass ADVANCE survey results indicate that women faculty are less clear on personnel processes than men, and women faculty members from underrepresented racial minority groups are the least clear on tenure and promotion processes. Women faculty are often uncertain about their next career steps.
Creating equitable practices around shared decision-making will improve transparency and trust among colleagues, supporting the inclusion and retention of women faculty and faculty of color, especially those at junior ranks. How can governance be reinvented to be more equitable for women faculty and faculty of color?
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Kanelee, E.S., E. Mickey, and L. Smith-Doerr. 2022. “Setting the Stage for Equity in Faculty Shared Decision-Making.” University of Massachusetts ADVANCE.