faculty

Film on Stanford prison experiment resurrects questions on ethics in psychology

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New film renews attention on a study that is still taught in college -- and that resonates to some in light of ethics debates in psychology.

Essay on how new Ph.D.s may want to consider careers in the federal government

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James M. Van Wyck interviews Alexandra Lord, who left a tenure-track position in history for a career in government -- and is glad she made the switch.

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Lawmaker calls for Central Connecticut State U to fire professor with criminal history

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Amid calls for his termination, Central Connecticut State suspends professor who's had skirmishes with the law -- even though none of the crimes and alleged crimes relate to teaching or publications. When professors break the law, what should a college do?

Essay explains new hashtag campaign to draw attention to the diversity of professors and their appearance

OneLogin’s recent recruitment campaign showing diverse engineers on billboards in the San Francisco Bay Area inspired a viral hashtag: #ILookLikeAnEngineer.

Frustrated by the microaggressions we experience as “nontraditional” faculty, we started a new hashtag: #ILookLikeAProfessor. The flurry of photos, retweets and horror stories since last Thursday suggests that we are not alone in experiencing entrenched stereotypes and bias -- both subtle and explicit.

  • The female professor mistaken for an undergraduate. She was grading homework, not doing it.
  • Male teaching assistants assumed to be the professor.
  • Faculty members of color assumed to be the custodian.
  • Asian professors assumed to be Chinese food delivery drivers.

We are not making this up.

These are real posts from real people -- real professors in diverse fields across the United States -- who do not fit the stereotype of a 60-something, white male professor, usually in tie and tweed. Extra credit if glasses and a beard came to mind.

With the start of the new academic year just around the corner, it’s worth remembering how much the professoriate has changed over the past half century. The civil rights movement, feminism, gay rights, the Americans With Disabilities Act and more transformed many aspects of society, including the academy. It’s time for our assumptions about faculty to catch up with reality.

So, who are we?

We are economists and art historians, musicians and engineers, chemists and sociologists, poets and mathematicians.

We are black, brown and white -- and every shade in between.

We come in all shapes, sizes and proportions.

We are feminine, masculine and androgynous -- and sometimes we look different one day to the next.

We are queer, straight and questioning.

We speak many languages, and some of us have accents.

We have voices high and low, loud and soft.

We wear suits and jeans, hiking boots and high heels.

We have dreads and dyed hair -- and yes, some of us do have beards.

We wear glasses and contacts, ties and scarves, kipot and hijabs.

We have earrings, tattoos and piercings -- only some of which you can see.

We are partnered and single, parents and child-free, caregivers and neighbors.

We are Christian and atheist, Muslim and Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist, pagan and agnostic.

We are athletes and bookworms, hikers and artists, musicians and chefs, gardeners and dog walkers.

In other words, we look just like you.

We look like professors because we are professors. It’s long past time that we ditch the stereotype.

Sara B. Pritchard (@SaraBPritchard) is associate professor of science and technology studies at Cornell University and a Public Voices Fellow at the Op-Ed Project.

Adeline Koh (@adelinekoh) is a director of a digital humanities center at Stockton University and associate professor of literature there.

Michelle Moravec (@professmoravec) is associate professor of history at Rosemont College.

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Coke Funds Scientists Who Shift Obesity Debate

Coca-Cola is funding and providing support to a new group, the Global Energy Balance Network, that supports researchers who say that the best approach to obesity is exercise, without a focus on diet, The New York Times reported. Many scientists question this view and have been unaware of Coke's involvement with the group, which comes at a time when Coke sales (excluding diet drinks) have fallen and many experts are trying to discourage consumption of sugary soft drinks. Coke is not only supporting the new organization, but providing grants to support the work of two of the group's founding members, for their work at the University of South Carolina and West Virginia University. A statement from Coke said: “We partner with some of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and physical activity. It’s important to us that the researchers we work with share their own views and scientific findings, regardless of the outcome, and are transparent and open about our funding.”

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Judge rejects move by U of Illinois to dismiss Salaita lawsuit

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Federal judge, in victory for Steven Salaita, refuses to dismiss lawsuit charging U. of Illinois with violating his free speech and contract rights.

Say It Ain't So, Indiana Jones

Did archaeologists from the University of Missouri at Columbia steal dozens of artifacts from a national forest? The Associated Press reported that R. Lee Lyman, professor and chair of archaeology at Missouri, was charged with second-degree theft, second-degree malicious mischief and making false or misleading statements to a public servant regarding an investigation into missing artifacts from Washington State. Matthew T. Boulanger, a research specialist, also has reportedly been charged. The men allegedly took some 93 artifacts -- including arrowheads and other byproducts of toolmaking -- without permission from the Umatilla National Forest and Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness in southeastern Washington during a 2013 research trip. The artifacts, taken from seven different sites, were protected by the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Dave N. Schmitt, a researcher affiliated with Southern Methodist University, also faces charges and has pleaded not guilty. He told the Columbia Daily Tribune that the charges are “a thorn in our side and completely unfounded.” Lyman and Boulanger were arraigned in July but did not enter a plea. Lyman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Boulanger said he had no comment "regarding pending legal action."

The investigation report cites an article the men wrote about the research trip. It says that no excavation was done but some artifacts were collected because they were visible and could be removed by passersby, according to the Associated Press. A university spokesman said the university was aware of the charges but couldn’t comment further.

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Judge Blocks Law School From Terminating Tenured Professor

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The Charleston School of Law says it can't afford to pay a tenured professor. But a judge is blocking her termination as her lawsuit works its way through the courts.

Journal article speculates that Crick and Watson would have difficulty today publishing findings on DNA

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Article speculates that their landmark work on DNA, if evaluated by today's standards, might not have found a journal.

Duquesne U adjuncts object to possible threat not to rehire those involved in union drive

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Duquesne U. adjuncts are angry over what they see as a thinly-veiled threat not to rehire those colleagues involved in a long-running union drive.

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