gendre/minority vs discipline

Mon, 6 Jun 1994 18:18:01 -0500

Your recent post about gender/minorities vs discpline being
like comparing nuclear weapons to food preference, reminded me of
apoint I would like to make in this vein:

When academic hiring is planned, the department needs not onlyh
to consider the teaching needs of the department in terms of
discipline, but also research needs and other things.
It is the other things that make gendre/minorities important.
If one of roles as a university professor is to act as a role
model for students, then it is critical that a reasonable
representation of the population should be reflected in the
faculty. If that representation is not representative, then
can really cry discrimination because a department is trying
to solve that imbalance as well as trying to fill a disciplinary
need. When they finally decide they may decide to weight
the role model need as more important than the discipline need.

Along the same lines, it behooves departments to look to the
futur4e to select discliplinary needs over the long term.
recently many canadian departments have been refilling old
disciplinary categories with the same specialty not realizing
that 10 years from now there may be no need for what they just
hired and great need for some other types.

one more point: with regard to discipline (which some what
contradicts the point just made above): how many academics
are doing the same things they were 10 years ago? most
evolve as their careers progress. assuming that the person you
hire is very good-excellent, they can move into whatever disciplinary
gaps may open up. therefore as long as the minority candidate is
good, the disciplinary needs should be well covered in time.