Re: what was that?


Subject: Re: what was that?
From: Kevin Austin (kevin.austin@videotron.ca)
Date: Tue Aug 16 2005 - 19:28:33 EDT


Since it has come up ... but I can only speak from one point of view,
that of my experience.

Concordia University fulltime faculty have had a Collective Agreement
for about 20 years. If the college / university is not organized as /
with a labor collective, then much of the following may have no
meaning. (Academics have been loathe to join 'unions' for fear of
losing their individual freedoms. Doe anyone know the percentage of
colleges / universities in the USA, Australia, UK, Europe and Canada
which are unionized?) Without strong collective agreement bargaining
powers, much else about the system is 'off'.

I sit on the highest independent hiring overview committee in the
University and have had the opportunity to review the hiring
processes of more than 150+ fulltime faculty in a fulltime base of
900+.

Every department has a hiring protocol and procedure document which
is University approved to address the issue of gender imbalance in
the University, department by department. These documents fill 2 full
drawers in a filing cabinet.

The approved procedures are followed assiduously and double and
triple-checked at the the of the Department and Faculty, and twice at
the University level. About 1 file in 10 or 15 gets returned for
clarification regarding procedure or possible irregularity. In two
years, I have seen only one departmental recommendation rejected.

I would contend that at Concordia University, there is no specific or
systemic gender prejudice. People are not hired on the basis of color
or gender. They hired through a rigorous process of posting, dossier
evaluation (by an elected sub-committee), short-listing, interviews,
reasoned reports and recommendations, which have to approved at four
more levels of the University.

The statement about implied systemic and individual bias and
prejudicial hiring based upon race and gender needs to be fully
supported in my view, not by anecdotal evidence, but by demonstrating
how the hiring procedure(s) have been poorly implemented or abused.

Within many Collective Agreements, it is considered normal that
decisions can be contested, but they can be contested on 'procedural'
grounds, not on the basis of the decision. A person may not like the
outcome, but if it is arrived at following the prescribed (and
proscribed) procedures, it cannot be (easily) contested.

Best

Kevin

PS Just off-the-record, Concordia's fulltime faculty hiring record
for the past 2 years has been about 70% female, 70% non-european in
origin.

At 14:05 -0700 2005/08/16, James Phelps wrote:
>--- Linda Seltzer <lseltzer@alumni.caltech.edu> wrote:
>
> > So I do take seriously the matter of white males with
> > less talent, ability and education getting all of those plum
> > academic jobs with full benefits while women are
>> "free-lancers."
>
>It might prove at least entertaining reading someone's attempt to
>substantiate the "less talent, ability" bit ... not so sure about
>the "less education" either. The "male" and "white" features might
>be easier. :>)
>
>-Jim Phelps
>
>
>
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