Just a reminder! Women Faculty Forum invites faculty of all ranks & genders to discuss graduate student advisingtomorrow (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 of all ranks & all genders – please join WFF for coffee and treats anytime between 8:30-10:30am thisWednesday, 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:
The suggestions below seems to coalesce around three key themes:
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.
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.
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]
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
“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 hourWed 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):