Panel Session

Strategies for Building Collegiality and Addressing Climate Concerns
Friday, March 22, 2019

This panel integrates two key topics that are important for faculty success. Intersections of gender, race, class, and nationality shape experiences and understandings of collegiality and climate. That is ‘difference’ needs attention in discussions and evaluations of collegiality and climate concerns. Collegiality is often included as a performance requirement for promotion and tenure, but the behaviors synonymous with collegiality are frequently unwritten within the academic community as well as being poorly defined in the literature. In fact, the 1999 American Association of University Professors (AAUP) statement on collegiality favors restricting a faculty member's evaluation to teaching, scholarship, and service arguing that vigorous debates are essential to academic life. Adding collegiality as a yardstick, the AAUP argues, risks “ensuring homogeneity” and limiting academic freedom. Collegiality is linked to climate concerns. Climate is a major issue addressed in the literature, particularly focused on faculty of color. Faculty of color often face a negative racial climate, such as subtle discrimination, lack of diversity, or unfair treatment, within their departments and universities that impacts job satisfaction and retention. Feelings of ‘otherness’ and barriers to tenure and promotion also impede faculty of color in their careers. Climate issues affect all faculty because the environment can enable or impede productivity. How can faculty and especially women and racial/ethnic minority faculty strategize to deal with less than collegial or adverse climate concerns and succeed? What advice/suggestions would you provide, and would that differ considering the intersections of gender, race, and/or class?


Dulcy Abraham, Professor, Civil Engineering

Andy Hirsch, Professor, Physics

Karen Plaut, Dean, College of Agriculture