Written/Unwritten by Patricia A. Matthew
Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure

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This is to say that there is danger in thinking you “get it,” when that might not be the case. This volume, consequently, will help inform me as an administrator and as a human being...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The academy may claim to seek and value diversity in its professoriate, but reports from faculty of color around the country make clear that departments and administrators discriminate in ways that range from unintentional to malignant. Stories abound of scholars--despite impressive records of publication, excellent teaching evaluations, and exemplary service to their universities--struggling on the tenure track. These stories, however, are rarely shared for public consumption. Written/Unwritten reveals that faculty of color often face two sets of rules when applying for reappointment, tenure, and promotion: those made explicit in handbooks and faculty orientations or determined by union contracts and those that operate beneath the surface. It is this second, unwritten set of rules that disproportionally affects faculty who are hired to "diversify" academic departments and then expected to meet ever-shifting requirements set by tenured colleagues and administrators. Patricia A. Matthew and her contributors reveal how these implicit processes undermine the quality of research and teaching in American colleges and universities. They also show what is possible when universities persist in their efforts to create a diverse and more equitable professorate. These narratives hold the academy accountable while providing a pragmatic view about how it might improve itself and how that improvement can extend to academic culture at large.

The contributors and interviewees are Ariana E. Alexander, Marlon M. Bailey, Houston A. Baker Jr., Dionne Bensonsmith, Leslie Bow, Angie Chabram, Andreana Clay, Jane Chin Davidson, April L. Few-Demo, Eric Anthony Grollman, Carmen V. Harris, Rashida L. Harrison, Ayanna Jackson-Fowler, Roshanak Kheshti, Patricia A. Matthew, Fred Piercy, Deepa S. Reddy, Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez, Wilson Santos, Sarita Echavez See, Andrew J. Stremmel, Cheryl A. Wall, E. Frances White, Jennifer D. Williams, and Doctoral Candidate X.

 

About Patricia A. Matthew

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Patricia A. Matthew is associate professor of English at Montclair State University.
 
Published October 3, 2016 by The University of North Carolina Press. 313 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by James H. McDonald on Nov 29 2016

This is to say that there is danger in thinking you “get it,” when that might not be the case. This volume, consequently, will help inform me as an administrator and as a human being...

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