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Effectively Advocating for Diversity and Excellence in Faculty Searches Using Film

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Mini-Workshop on Bias in Faculty Searches

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.537.1 - 22.537.5



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Paper Authors


Coleen Carrigan University of Washington, ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change

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Coleen Carrigan’s research interests focus primarily on the socio-economic, historical relations of power which determine the value of women’s labor. In her undergraduate and graduate studies, and in her positions at the Women’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor and University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, she has performed independent and collaborative research on women’s labor value, the sexual and racial divisions of labor as well as institutional transformation and best practices for the advancement of underrepresented groups in academia. She has communicated her findings in research papers, grant proposals, public presentations, short films and in journal publications. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Luce Foundation and the University of Washington Labor Center. She earned a Masters in Socio-Cultural Anthropology for her work on the historical and social relations of reproduction in Bahia Brazil. In her doctoral research in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Washington, she continues to engage feminist critical race theory and participatory, ethnographic methodologies in her examination of unexamined bias and politics of reproduction in cultures of technology.

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Effectively Advocating for Diversity and Excellence in Faculty Searches Using FilmWe like to think that faculty are objective and able to impartially evaluate others’abilities and potential. However, the next generation of engineering scholars ischosen through evaluation processes that can underestimate the qualifications ofgroups historically underrepresented in the academy. Stressing the importance ofsearch committee skill-building, this presentation will include a screening of ashort film depicting a faculty search committee meeting at a research-intensiveuniversity. This film and its accompanying facilitated discussion guide weredeveloped to provide the tools, resources, and skills that faculty need to serve aschange agents in the diversification of faculty. It has been adapted for widespreaddissemination at national science and engineering conferences with funding fromthe Luce Foundation.The session will begin with an overview of research on unexamined bias andcognitive errors that underestimate the qualifications of women and minorities inacademia, thus stalling efforts to diversify the faculty. The facilitator will alsopresent research on the role change agents play in interrupting common forms ofbias in evaluation settings. After viewing the film, participants will learn how thefilm can be effectively facilitated to help colleagues deconstruct bias and becomechange agents within their departments. Since many decisions at universitieshappen at the department level, change agents have considerable opportunity forinterrupting biases and holding colleagues accountable in transformational ways.The process of hiring engineering faculty must change if we want outcomes thatreproduce something other than the status quo. As Richard Tapia has noted, thehiring process is one of the most traditional, conservative processes in academiatoday. This film is intended to transform it. Audience members will receive aDVD copy of the film as well as a facilitation guide on how to effectively sharethis unique visual tool and its lessons.

Carrigan, C. (2011, June), Effectively Advocating for Diversity and Excellence in Faculty Searches Using Film Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17818

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