Scads of stuff I don’t have time to blog adequately…
Johns Hopkins Provost Kristina Johnson was nominated by President Obama to be under secretary of the Department of Energy in mid-March. From the email press release:
She is a distinguished researcher, best known for pioneering work — with widespread scientific and commercial application — in the field of “smart pixel arrays.” Last year, she was awarded the John Fritz Medal, widely considered the highest award in engineering and previously given to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Westinghouse and Orville Wright. She is an entrepreneur and has served with distinction as dean of engineering at Duke and, since 2007, as provost at Johns Hopkins.
This conference was established to facilitate dissemination and exchange of hypothesis-based research on interventions and initiatives that broaden participation in science and engineering research careers. The conference is designed to create a dialogue among behavioral/social science and education researchers, evaluators, and faculty in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields who participate in intervention programs. Graduate students in these fields are strongly encouraged to attend. Workshops, sessions, and posters will communicate effective strategies from successful STEM intervention programs, present results from empirical research studies, and synthesize the translation of research findings into practice on STEM learning, undergraduate research, graduate education, and student retention.
Tenure is an individual accomplishment that can be all consuming and absorbing twenty-four-seven for the first decade or two of an academic career. Tenure is also like gambling in a casino or joining a fraternity, and a tenure case is like a hunk of Swiss cheese, as I’ll explain below. Here are nine facets of tenure and the tenure process, including potential pitfalls and suggestions for success that I wish I’d known when I started as a mechanical engineering assistant professor.
Registration is now open for the 2009 LEAD: Leadership Excellence for Academic Diversity Workshop for Science and Engineering Department Chairs. The workshop is June 22-23, 2009 in Fayetteville, AR. To help support faculty or department chairs with limited resources, there is a travel fund application. LEAD is a series of national leadership workshops, offered annually, for department chairs, deans and emerging leaders in science, engineering and mathematics (SEM), which address departmental and university culture and the professional development of faculty.
And this link I’ve been holding onto since February 12…Sexual Harassment and Group Punishment, from Inside Higher Ed. Gary Rhoades writes about required sexual harassment training and the question of whether it is effective, especially short online training modules. He notes this isn’t the only area in which faculty members are required to submit to training, citing the example of human subjects research training. Near the end he asks this question:
…given the premise that sexual harassment has been and continues to be a phenomenon that we need to address and reduce, if not eliminate, how can such change be effected?
This question leads to my third observation, which is that the change we seek requires an exercise of political will and an excising of cultural ills. With regard to the former, the policies and laws are in place to enable supervisors to act fairly yet aggressively when sexual harassment takes place. If we provide and cultivate the mechanisms to enable the reporting of what research suggests is an underreported behavior, then the structures are in place if academic (and other) administrators at various levels will systematically and appropriately be receptive to reports of harassment, forcefully pursue those cases, and perhaps most important of all, be evaluated by their own supervisors according to whether they do so. With regard to the excising of cultural ills, we must all take responsibility to embed in our daily lives a pattern of interaction that clarifies, monitors, and maintains boundaries of appropriate behavior. Among the cultural ills we need to address head on is not only sexual harassment (and a range of hostile and chilly climate issues), but also the academic cultural norm of not confronting the bad behavior of peers. An argument could be made that as a profession academics are much better at disputing colleagues’ scholarly positions and ideas than we are at sanctioning the behaviors of peers…It is our responsibility as a profession, to embed in our consciousness and in our daily practice a vigorous commitment to and promotion of a profession free from sexual (and other forms of) harassment. Fulfilling that responsibility (which runs much deeper than public but relatively superficial, virtual steps like requiring everyone to undergo training) will better enable us as a profession to benefit and learn from increasingly diverse populations of colleagues and students, thereby more fully realizing our potential as an academy and as a society.