GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 159-9
Presentation Time: 10:50 AM


BRIGHAM-GRETTE, Julie, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 611 N. Pleasant St, Morrill Science Center II, Amherst, MA 01003

One key to a healthy academic department involves forcing faculty to openly discuss issues of equity across the demands of teaching, research and service. This can be extremely difficult, sometimes embarrassing, but also extremely important to personal academic fulfillment and workplace climate. If Faculty are to share the academic mission of the department, it’s critical that everyone feels important, invested, and involved in how to balance individual talents and expertise. Workload assessment is key to recognizing and appreciating that all faculty do not all share the same strengths. How do we reach a level of equity so that everyone feels valued? To get there involves creating a safe culture for dialog in which all faculty feel valued. Faculty should not see themselves has an independent enterprise evolving only their research team and grants. Rather, the most successful departments also reward and encourage out of silo thinking and the co-teaching of courses that maximize faculty expertise with shared credit for instructions and mentoring. Department actions should increase transparency and the perception of fairness among all department faculty and increase the likelihood that assistant and associate professors are retained and advanced. In addition, its important to value teaching, service, and research differentials in our merit system to make faculty work more visible and for faculty feel more valued by their colleagues. This immediately translates into a deeper connection to the department and the institution.