Oct 30, 2020
In Part Two of my interview with a successful woman of color humanities professor, we continue our discussion about tenure and promotion, the problematic nature of student evaluations and peer reviews, and what she wishes her institution would do differently. If you are feeling alone on your campus as you struggle with these issues as a woman of color faculty member, we want to remind you - you are not alone in feeling alone.
On Peer Reactions
Peers, when they come and review and evaluate, see how difficult and challenging the topics taught are and respect the approach. This highlights the importance of multiple lenses on teaching. But it also highlights the importance of knowing who to ask to evaluate your teaching, who will be sympathetic to the style and material of the class.
Overall, the teaching evaluations and student evaluations were always a problematic part of the tenure process, regardless of the institution. The institutions are looking at the things that stand out, which are the outliers; instead of seeing it as bimodal, they are seeing the negative.
What do you wish your institutions had done differently?
Being true to declarations of being there for people of color on their campus. It’s a lot of words and not much action.
How did you put evaluations in context during reviews?
Initially, there is trust in the review, but eventually, you learn to address what you know the concerns will be – the outliers. You learn you have to be strategic and contextualize the experiences into the larger narrative of racism and sexism.
“I’m writing an appeal instead of writing an article.”
This is why a lot of people leave - it is too much work to undo the isms that are part of the review of their teachings, or hostility in classrooms.
Case study on course evaluation forms about a Black woman professor at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). https://effectivefaculty.podia.com/evaluating-the-teaching-effectiveness-of-black-women-faculty
Listen to Part 3 of this interview to hear more about how denying promotions to black women faculty of color sits with the current push on campuses to deal with their own anti-blackness.
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