File Cabinet

coffee cup

For resources on graduate student advising, please scroll down to the coffee cup.

apple-3256487_1920For resources on Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs), scroll even further to the apple.


Resources on Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  1. 2018 JHU Campus Climate and Sexual Violence Survey: Principal Findings (Mar 2019)
  2. Notes on Graduate Student Advising Coffee Hour (Jan 2019)
  3. University Response to New Proposed Title IX Regulations (Jan 2019)
  4. Notes toward implementing the NAS recommendations at JHU (October 2018 Where We Stand event)
  5. Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (download free PDF of NASEM report, 2018)
  6. An Equity Study of the Tenure-Line Faculty in Arts and Sciences at Columbia University (2018)
  7. Ten Years Later: A Report Card for Vision 2020 (Apr 2017)
  8. JHU Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) 2017 Annual Report
  9. Ten by Twenty: A Vision for Johns Hopkins by the Year 2020 (updated 2017)
  10. JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion (Nov 2016, updated Mar 2018)
  11. JHU Report on Faculty Composition (Sep 2016)
  12. American Physical Society LGBT+ Climate in Physics (2016 – committee chaired by Michael Falk from WSE)
  13. Child Care Subsidies at JHU’s Peer Institutions (2015)
  14. Dual-Career Couples at JHU’s Peer Institutions (2015)
  15. Women’s Centers at JHU’s Peer Institutions (2015)
  16. Brown University Provost’s Memo on Family-Friendly Scheduling (2015)
  17. Yale Women Faculty Forum website (thank you for all the inspiration)
  18. 2006 Vision 2020 Final Report (163 pages) (Sep 2006
  19. The full report is well worth reading but if you are pressed for time, read the Executive Summary (14 pages)

coffee cup


Graduate Student Advising was the discussion topic for in our November 2018 coffee hour. Here is a working list of resources.

  1. “Three research-based lessons to improve your mentoring” (Science Mar 2019) and “A CV of Failures” (Nature)

  2. November 2018 Faculty & Admin Coffee Hour on Graduate Advising: Notes
  3. Suggestions for how to “diffuse the hierarchical and dependent relationship between trainees and faculty” at JHU (October 2018)
  4. Mentoring Grad Students: Advising Statements (Chronicle)
  5. Drew Daniel on vulnerability and responsibility for advisors, particularly in the humanities job market (bullyblogger)
  6. K.A. Amienne, “Abusers and Enablers in Faculty Culture” (Chronicle)
  7. Leah H. Somerville, “What Can We Learn from Dartmouth?” (Science)
  8. Kathleen E. Grogan, “How the entire scientific community can confront gender bias in the workplace” (Nature Ecology & Evolution)
  9. Leonard Cassuto, “On the Value of Dissertation Writing Groups” (Chronicle)
  10. Kathryn R. Wedemeyer-Strombel, “Graduate School Should be Challenging, Not Traumatic” (Chronicle)
  11. Allison Antes, “First law of leadership: be human first, scientist second” (Nature)
  12. Dana Bolger, “Betsy DeVos’s New Harassment Protect Schools, Not Students” (NYTimes) [quick stat: 34% of sexual assault victims drop of out of college]
  13. Rape, Assault, Harassment, and Discrimination: Entitlement at Dartmouth
  14. JHU Ten by Twenty (see goals #4 and #5)
  15. What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy (Chronicle)
  16. “How a Department Took on the Next Frontier in the #MeToo Movement” (Chronicle)
  17. National Women’s Law Center, “Three Reasons Why Betsy DeVos’s Draft Title IX Rules Would Hurt Survivors”
  18. Lucy Taylor, “Twenty Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started my PhD” (Nature)
  19. Alexandra M. Lord, “Ex-Academics Still Aren’t Being Consulted on Graduate-Education Reform” (Chronicle)


Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) were the discussion topic for our happy hour in May 2018.

  1. Kristin Doerer, “Colleges Are Getting Smarter About Student Evaluations. Here’s How.” (Chronicle 2019)
  2. Nancy Bunge, “Students Evaluating Teachers Doesn’t Just Hurt Teachers. It Hurts Students.” (Chronicle)
  3. Leah Wasburn-Moses’, “We Make Tenure Decisions Unfairly. Here’s a Better Way.” (Chronicle 2018)
  4. Kristina M. Mitchell and Jonathan Martin, “Gender Bias in Student Evaluations,” (PS: Political Science & Politics). See also Mitchell in Slate: “Student Evaluations Can’t Be Used to Assess Professors” (2018)
  5. Victor Ray, “Is Gender Bias an Intended Feature of Teaching Evaluations?”  (Inside Higher Ed 2018)
  6. Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman has a lot to say about teaching effectiveness; here’s an excerpt from a 2016 article on his work
  7. In 2015, Ben Schmidt created a webpage called Gendered Language in Teaching Evaluations, where you can search for terms used at and sort for gender.
  8. Bob Uttl, Carmela A.White, Daniela Wong-Gonzalez, Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related” (Studies in Educational Evaluation 2017)
  9. The Innovative Instructor’s post “Learning from Student Evaluations” (April 2017) draws on recent work from Carl Wieman and Sarah Gilbert on STEM teaching practices inventory and links to a helpful guide to SETs from Vanderbilt.
  10. David Kember, Doris Y. P. Leung & K. P. Kwan, Does the Use of Student Feedback Questionnaires Improve the Overall Quality of Teaching?” (Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Ed 2002)
  11. Yining Chen & David B. Hoshower, “Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness: An assessment of student perception and motivation” (Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Ed 2003)

And more on teaching

Elizabeth Alexander‘s essay “The Anxiety of Authority isn’t about SETs, but it is about how we are perceived as professors, as gendered and racialized (and so on) persons, and as authority figures. It was published in 1994, when Professor Alexander was the only African-American woman teaching undergraduates at the University of Chicago. This essay is about teaching, students, isolation, and the different kinds of knowledge, logic, pedagogy and sustenance that she calls upon. Alexander, currently at Columbia, was recently named the next president of the Mellon Foundation.

Gary Gutting‘s op-ed “Why Do I Teach?” worries openly about the point of teaching. After all, the students will forget what they learned: “The standard view is that teaching imparts knowledge, either knowing how (skills) or knowing that (information).  Tests seem important because they measure the knowledge students have gained from a course.  But how well would most of us do on the tests we aced even just a few years ago?”

He continues: “I’ve concluded that the goal of most college courses should not be knowledge but engaging in certain intellectual exercises. . . . College education is a proliferation of . . . possibilities: the beauty of mathematical discovery, the thrill of scientific understanding, the fascination of historical narrative, the mystery of theological speculation. We should judge teaching not by the amount of knowledge it passes on, but by the enduring excitement it generates. Knowledge, when it comes, is a later arrival, flaring up, when the time is right, from the sparks good teachers have implanted in their students’ souls.”

And if this is the point of what we do as university faculty, then what would a meaningful SET look like?

Mark Edmundson, “Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?” takes another approach. The first in his family to go to college, he is worried about what does not happen in the classroom. Here the problem is not the measurement of teaching; it’s the lack of something useful to measure: “The students and the professors have made a deal: Neither of them has to throw himself heart and soul into what happens in the classroom.” Students see their rewards of their work in the future tense: a degree, a job; the intellectual work of a given course is a side dish if anything at all.

Edmundson continues: “The faculty, too, is often absent: Their real lives are also elsewhere. Like most of their students, they aim to get on. The work they are compelled to do to advance—get tenure, promotion, raises, outside offers—is, broadly speaking, scholarly work. No matter what anyone says this work has precious little to do with the fundamentals of teaching.”

“The Cosmos and You” offers something quite different: questioning & learning that far exceeds the course dimensions–and surely, therefore, any SET: “For his lecture course at Dartmouth last summer, ‘Astronomy 3: Exploring the Universe,’ Prof. Yorke Brown gave a quiz at week’s end. ‘Any questions?’ he asked, just before one on the life cycle of stars. Just one. Johanna Evans, an English major, wanted to know: ‘How do you keep from despairing at the immensity of space and the smallness of us?’ Professor Brown acknowledged that it was ‘a beautiful and important question,’ but, he wondered, could it wait until after the quiz?” Read on to see their email exchange .  .  .  .

One last take on the work of university education and, by extension, the challenge of measuring how well we’re doing it.  Judith Butler‘s 2013 commencement address at Magill takes on, in 8 minutes, all the big questions about why we learn and think and explore: “Ideally, we lose ourselves in what we read, only to return to ourselves transformed, and part of a more expansive world. In short, we become more critical and more capacious in our thinking and in our acting….”