Monthly Archives: November 2018

Hope to see you tomorrow

coffee cup Just a reminder! Women Faculty Forum invites faculty of all ranks & genders to discuss graduate student advising tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Hopkins Club. Stop by any time between 8:30-10:30 to enjoy coffee and colleagues–and to chart a course for the kind of graduate advising we want our students to have. Want to browse around this topic? Here you go:

  • lots of readings here, including a new (11-26-18), data-focused article from Nature Ecology & Evolution
  • what the NAS has to say about all this here (see #11)
  • goals JHU set for itself for 2020 (that’s 13 months away) here (see #4 and #5).

Remember, children are welcome to come along.

Thanks again to the KSAS deans’ office for the coffee, breakfast treats, venue, and support.

Faculty coffee on Wednesday: graduate student advising

coffee cupFaculty of all ranks & all genders – please join WFF for coffee and treats anytime between 8:30-10:30am this Wednesday, Nov 28, at the Hopkins Club, courtesy of Dean Wendland’s office. Stop by for 10 minutes or stay for a while.  Hope to see you!

 

Graduate Student Advising is the discussion topic for our coffee hour. Here’s an UPDATED working list of related articles:

  1. Suggestions for how to “diffuse the hierarchical and dependent relationship between trainees and faculty” at JHU (October 2018)
  2. Mentoring Grad Students: Advising Statements (Chronicle)
  3. Drew Daniel on vulnerability and responsibility for advisors, particularly in the humanities job market (bullyblogger)
  4. K.A. Amienne, “Abusers and Enablers in Faculty Culture” (Chronicle)
  5. Leah H. Somerville, “What Can We Learn from Dartmouth?” (Science)
  6. Kathleen E. Grogan, “How the entire scientific community can confront gender bias in the workplace” (Nature Ecology & Evolution)
  7. Dana Bolger, “Betsy DeVos’s New Harassment Protect Schools, Not Students” (NYTimes) [quick stat: 34% of sexual assault victims drop of out of college]
  8. Rape, Assault, Harassment, and Discrimination: Entitlement at Dartmouth
  9. JHU Ten by Twenty (see goals #4 and #5)
  10. What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy (Chronicle)
  11. “How a Department Took on the Next Frontier in the #MeToo Movement” (Chronicle)
  12. National Women’s Law Center, “Three Reasons Why Betsy DeVos’s Draft Title IX Rules Would Hurt Survivors”
  13. Lucy Taylor, “Twenty Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started my PhD” (Nature)

What’s next for gender equity at JHU?

At the Where We Stand event a few weeks ago, over 50 students, staff, faculty, and administrators brainstormed ways that KSAS and WSE can put the National Academies of Science recommendations into action.

The suggestions belimg_1358ow seems to coalesce around three key themes:

  1. Normalize the conversation around these kinds of problems:
    • make it normal in your department to just low-key call out someone who does something inappropriate
    • have OIE give out case studies that show what happened to a person who broke the rules. And then discuss the case studies.
  2. Rather than focusing on negative rules and prohibitions (“don’t do this, don’t do that”), foster conversations about our values as an academic community.
  3. Foster flexibility & mixed-rank, mixed-department communication at all levels (student and faculty). Wriggle out of the fiercely vertical, hierarchal, and narrow organizational structure we are accustomed to.

We hope you’ll read through these ideas with your own department in mind, and that you will share the suggestions that might work for your own corner of Hopkins academic culture.

NAS rec #1 inclusive environments + #15 entire community responsible

  • Importance of training, like bystander training—for all departments
  • Help students understand better how to report anonymously
  • Have a clear, more transparent process when it comes to reporting transgressions
  • Publish & make the campus aware of the different actions that the institution is taking part in when it comes to addressing issues.
  • Provide faculty training on gender harassment
  • Bring to light aspects of the culture that are derogatory, excluding, or bigoted, and explain why they can be harmful—especially things that are not clear at first glance.
  • Better ways of reporting microagression/minor sexist comments that don’t lead to them being dismissed.
  • Implement situations that enable pronoun sharing
  • Peers can be in a better position to hold one another accountable because inappropriate behavior often isn’t occurring in a formal setting
  • Mandatory consent education and bystander intervention training for all students in all Hopkins programs
  • Normalization of addressing issues (calling out problematic behaviors/pronouns)

NAS rec #2 Address gender harassment + #6 Support target

  • We feel uninformed—especially if a colleague comes to us, or if it’s us. We have training on what to do with student concerns, but not faculty & staff situations
  • Simplified version of these processes
  • Advocate for target, separate from the investigator
  • Publicize possible outcomes of these processes. People might not come forward bc they think they might ruin someone’s career or get them kicked out of school. If you need to change your class schedule, how to do it. Show what mechanisms exist to get out of a bad situation.
  • Improve advocacy for reporting students
  • Skepticism about the effectiveness of OIE is prevalent
  • We need ways to alter existing hierarchies (PI, instructor, supervisor)

NAS rec #3 Move beyond legal compliance to address culture and climate

  • Facilitate & encourage and bottom-up approach. If I’m in lab, and someone says something uncool, I need to say something. Express to each other that we support each other. Once things start to change, we can push it toward legal barriers.
  • By encouraging this change in our communities, we are able to encourage change to the legal system through our own environments.
  • For example, a lot of students don’t know the history of the person, Johns Hopkins. More discussions about that topic so more people understand and think about what THEY stand for.
  • Sexual harassment gets weighted more than other things that same person might be doing. But if the sexual aspect is not severe enough, the rest of his egregious behavior gets overlooked because it’s not in OIE’s expertise. Thus the problem gets chopped up into very, very tiny pieces. This person then looks not as toxic as he actually is.
  • We need a more holistic approach toward . . . professional bullying, sexual harassment, etcetera.
  • Put another way: What about a person who does something that approaches sexual assault, among many other inappropriate, but not officially actionable, things. The assault is deemed not an assault. But it’s awash in all these other actions that contribute to a hostile environment. What do we do?
  • What are our values as an institution, and how do we cultivate them? How do we help these values thrive?

NAS rec #4 transparency & accountability + #7 strong, diverse leadership

  • Communicate about ways faculty are held accountable
  • Suspension w/o pay
  • Losing people for your lab
  • Losing space, moving your office
  • Taking away equipment
  • Taking away role (ex, DUS)
  • Length of time for OIE to address a case is too long.
  • What if you are KSAS but your PI is SOM? Answer: OIE serves everyone.
  • How do 3rd party reports work? Answer: OIE reaches out to the person who experienced it, and sometimes they respond, or not.

 

NAS rec #5 Diffuse the hierarchical & dependent relationship between trainees and faculty

  • Train us on how to advise/mentor
  • Have an open conversation with grad students about expectations and roles—but not written as a contract. Instead, make it a flexible document to get conversations going
  • Mentoring committees for people at all stages
  • More than one person for a grad student and postdoc to go to.
  • More money for junior people, like postdocs and grad students, so they depend less on their PI
  • Peer mentoring – advanced grad students working with grad students earlier in their careers
  • Department ombundsman to go to, someone who would not be writing letter of rec
  • What are some creative ways to implement accountability? Take away money in response to bad behavior?
  • Have conversations about roles, typical paths, power dynamics, and so ont hat normalize the discussion
  • In person training (around sexual harassment or discrimination, for example)—not online
  • Back away to say, this is everybody’s work and everybody’s responsibility
  • [Two points that I didn’t quite catch when I was taking notes, sorry: Communicate from leadership level that . . . and something about ways to support people who want to come forward] img_1282

Rape, assault, harassment, and discrimination: entitlement at Dartmouth

In the words of Sasha Brietzke (who earned her BA at JHU in 2014), a second-year graduate student in Psychology and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Dartmouth:

3 professors [Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen] resigned or were allowed to retire. They did not act in isolation. They earned a sense of untouchability from a system that rewarded them for their entitled behavior through tenure and endowed chairs.

Universities need to protect people, not institutional reputation. Universities need to support victims, not do damage control. Universities need to be concerned about lost talent, not lost endowment.

Two reminders from 300+ pages of NAS research:

  • 58% of female academic faculty & staff have experienced sexual harassment
  • The most potent predictor of sexual harassment is organizational climate

Get to work, university administrators. Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 10.03.44 PM

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/11/15/lawsuit-describes-century-animal-house-dartmouth-college/OVtrcSKDRJFTAWdvOWsyfL/story.html

NAS rec #5:  Diffuse the hierarchical & dependent relationship between trainees and faculty

“The most potent predictor of sexual harassment is organizational climate” (NAS report, x).

Those of us who advise graduate students are powerfully positioned to rethink and reorient our academic organizational climate.

We encourage you to share the notes below with your colleagues and department chair. Also, faculty (all ranks, all genders) are invited to continue the discussion at coffee hour Wed 11/28/18 from 8:30-10:30 at the Hopkins Club.

Related sources (these were on the discussion table at Where We Stand, along with Vision 2020, the 2017 Report Card, and the NAS report):

  1. Lucy Taylor, “Twenty Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started my PhD” (Nature)
  2. Mentoring Grad Students: Advising Statements (Chronicle)
  3. Drew Daniel on vulnerability and responsibility for advisors, particularly in the humanities job market (bullyblogger)
  4. “How a Department Took on the Next Frontier in the #MeToo Movement” (Chronicle)
  5. K.A. Amienne, “Abusers and Enablers in Faculty Culture” (Chronicle)
  6. Andrea Long Chu, “I Worked with Avital Ronell. I Believe her Accuser.” (Chronicle)

Ideas from the DLC and Where We Stand events on how to get this moving at JHU:

Ways to restructure advising/mentoring relationships:

  • Train us on how to advise/mentor
  • In person training (around sexual harassment or discrimination, for example)—not online
  • Provide mentoring committees for people at all stages
  • Set up a peer mentoring network – advanced grad students working with grad students earlier in their careers
  • Offer more money to junior people, like postdocs and grad students, so they depend less on their PI
  • Provide students with mentoring from faculty outside the thesis committee
  • Give PhD candidates not just one but two supervisors; be sure there is more than one person that a grad student or postdoc could go to
  • Create safe harbor committees by discipline
  • Create a department ombundsman to go to, someone who would not be writing letter of rec
  • Think of creative ways to implement accountability for faculty. Take away money in response to bad behavior?
  • Back away to say, this is everybody’s work and everybody’s responsibility

Ways to conduct advising/mentoring relationships:

  • Have open discussions with students during orientation to address certain gender differences between the faculty and student groups
  • Have an open conversation with our advisees about expectations and roles—but not written as a contract. Instead, make it a flexible document to get conversations going
  • Have conversations about roles, typical paths, power dynamics, and so on that normalize the discussion
  • Conduct 360-degree evaluations for faculty
  • Assess mentors/advisors—this is a key part of their job, for which they should be accountable