More Than 400 Faculty Members Participated in Implicit Bias Workshops to Date
Feb 19, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Institute Diversity and Georgia Tech’s ADVANCE Program, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development, are offering two additional 90-minute Implicit Bias Workshops for tenured and tenure-track faculty on February 22 and February 28.
The workshops are designed to increase awareness of the impact of implicit bias and to facilitate equitable decision-making across myriad processes related to faculty evaluations.
Since 2016, more than 400 faculty members — nearly half of all tenured and tenure-track faculty at Tech — have attended an Implicit Bias Workshop. Among those surveyed, 97 percent of participants would recommend the workshops to a colleague.
"Recruiting the best faculty to Georgia Tech requires careful consideration of candidates," remarked David A. Bader, chair of the School of Computational Science and Engineering. "Based on the best practices our faculty learned at the Implicit Bias Workshops, we improved our hiring processes and engaged in active dialogue that aimed to strengthen our ranks by discussing our evaluation criteria deliberately and embracing diversity in every aspect."
The workshops provide an introduction to the concept of implicit bias and how these unconscious, automatic mental processes may impact behaviors such as the evaluation of candidates during faculty searches and/or reappointment, promotion, and tenure (RPT) decisions. They also cover empirical research on vitaes, letters of recommendations, and teaching evaluations to illustrate the impact of implicit bias on decisions, and offer effective practices and strategies for faculty search and RPT committees.
“Faculty have reported to me improvements in their hiring and RPT processes with an eye toward more objective evaluations of candidates,” said Julie Ancis, associate vice president for Institute Diversity and co-facilitator of the workshops. “The Implicit Bias Workshops encouraged faculty to think of ways they could apply constructs and strategies such as critical review of letters of recommendation to their work.”
Ancis also developed a comprehensive training program for the facilitation of the Implicit Bias Workshops, consisting of reading materials, group discussions, and workshop observations and processes. Five faculty and academic professionals recently completed the program: Harris Dimitropoulos, associate professor, School of Architecture; Laura Hollengreen, former assistant provost for academic advocacy and conflict resolution, Office of the Provost, and former associate professor, School of Architecture; Robert Kirkman, associate professor, School of Public Policy; Mark Mitchell, associate director, Georgia Tech Research Institute; and Michelle Rinehart, associate dean for academic affairs and outreach, College of Design.
“The training program meetings and discussions were rich,” added Ancis. “It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a collaborative and enjoyable group at Georgia Tech who are committed to minimizing bias in decision making.”
During this semester, Implicit Bias Workshops will be led by Ancis; Paul Benkeser, senior associate chair and professor, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; and new facilitators Dimitropoulos, Kirkman, Mitchell, and Rinehart.
To learn more and to register for one of the Implicit Bias Workshops, visit www.advance.gatech.edu/implicit-bias-workshops.