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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

This university does not discriminate based on....

I recently came across the following (I delete the name of the school)
and also add my own comments in caps as they relate to UMCP hiring
of professors.


X-University, located in YZ, in hiring professors
does not discriminate on the basis of

race

color . COULD AN HBCU DISCRIMINATE AGAINST WHITE PROFESSORS?

religious HAS NEVER COME UP. COULD A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL DISCRIMINATE ON THIS BASIS?

creed  I LOOKED UP HOW IT DIFFERS FROM RELIGIONS- CREED COULD BE ANY SET OF BELIEFS. WHAT IF ONE OF CANDIDATES BELIEVES ARE REPREHENSIBLE BUT WOULD NOT INTERFERE WITH THEIR JOB? JUST ASKING.

age  WHAT IF YOU WANT SOMEONE THERE LONG-TERM?

gender. COULD A WOMEN'S (MEN'S) SCHOOL DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MEN (WOMEN)?

gender identity or expression  I THINK THIS IS A NEW ONE TO
COVER TRANS AND SIMILAR THINGS. ITS NOT SEXUAL ORIENTATION WHICH IS BELOW.

national origin  HAS NEVER COME UP. EVEN SO, I WOULD NEVER HIRE A WISIAN. See here for why.

marital status WE CAN"T EVEN ASK IF THEY HAVE A SPOUSE WHICH MAY BE HARD FOR TELLING THEM SOME SELLING POINTS OF THE AREA- GOOD FOR MARRIED PEOPLE? GOOD FOR SINGLE PEOPLE? COULD A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL HOLD AGAINST THEM THAT YOU WERE LIVING WITH SOMEONE BUT NOT MARRIED TO THEM?

ancestry I CAN"T IMAGINE THIS COMING UP.

present or past history of mental disorder I"M SURPRISED ABOUT THIS ONE SINCE I WOULD THINK HAVING A PRESENT MENTAL DISORDER IS RELEVANT TO THE JOB. THEN AGAIN, GODEL AND CANTOR PROB HAD SOME MENTAL DISORDERS.

learning disability  HAS NEVER COME UP.  I HAVE NEVER EVEN SEEN A GRAD STUDENT WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY SO IT MIGHT NOT COME UP FOR A WHILE. 

physical disability HAS NEVER COME UP. I CAN SEE IT COMING UP.

political belief  HAS NEVER COME UP. I WONDER IF IT COMES UP MORE IN A POLYSCI OR HISTORY DEPT.

veteran status HAS NEVER COME UP. COULD A MILITARY SCHOOL PREFER VETERANS?

sexual orientation  HAS NEVER COME UP. BUT COULD.

genetic information THIS MAY BE RELEVANT  IN THE FUTURE. PERHAPS THE NEAR FUTURE. SCARY?

non-position-related criminal record. WHICH CRIMES ARE POSITION RELATED? THIS COULD BE A LEGAL QUAGMIRE . MURDERING SOMEONE IN A BAR FIGHT IS NOT POSITION RELATED BUT MURDERING A STUDENT WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT A GRADE IS. OTHER CASES MAY NOT BE AS CLEAR CUT.


9 comments:

  1. I bet you have met graduate students with learning disabilities.

    As for a present mental disorder, I think the point is that "ability to perform job functions" is the important factor. Yes, some mental disorders may make you less likely to be able to perform your job functions, but the mental disorder is not the reason.

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  2. I am not sure how you know you have never seen a graduate student with a learning disability. I suspect by that point, many people have learned to manage or hide their disability so that it's not obvious to others.

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    Replies
    1. Ah good question and of course you are correct that there may have been a grad student with an LD who didn't tell me.
      So let me clarify what I DO know

      At UMCP a student with an LD can get this certified and get extra time on exams (double-time or time-and-a-half is common). Such students must of course tell me this and present the proper forms.

      I have never had a grad student present such forms to me. But indeed. there may be one who was LD but either not in a way to get more time OR didn't want it.

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    2. "I have never had a grad student present such forms to me."

      Seriously? I have certainly seen a number of such requests from grad students. Maybe once every year or two, maybe 1% of the students. But it happens. And it should. If you have never seen this, this raises disturbing questions about UMCP. Are they that good at keeping LD students out of their programs, or are they discouraging them to ask for accommodations?

      And what does "has never come up" mean? Never run across such cases? It was never explicitly raised by anyone in a discussion about a hiring case? Or the issue has not crossed your mind?

      These are real issues. You need to engage with them properly.

      Delete
    3. In all cases where I said `it never came up' I originally meant that it never came up in discussion.
      In all such cases it also never crosses my mind.
      I suspect that for almost all of them it never
      crossed anyeones else mind either.

      Nationality and ancestry I never even thought about until I saw this list and I am sure my colleagues feel the same way.

      LD (the issue I think you are more concerned with)
      has never come up in that nobody who we knew was LD
      every applied. If someone with an LD who told us he
      or she was LD applied I doubt we would hold it against them.

      As for the question of graduate students I have not had a grad student in a class who told me he was LD
      but maybe others have- you have piqued my interest, I'll ask around.

      Delete
  3. "Religious educational institutions are exempt from the federal laws that EEOC enforces when it comes to the employment of individuals based on their particular religion."

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  4. Why do they hide their disabilities instead of trusting the university policy against discrimination? Because being learning disabled is not the same as being stupid.

    I imagine many of the other categories have "never come up" for the same reason.

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  5. Many of these are violated implicitly. I was once talking with the chair of one of major schools and he said that he would not hire someone who would not participate in social life even if the candidate's research is awesome. I think the same applies to other things as well, no one will say that we didn't hire this guy because he is black, they would find other excuses, or more often they would not even notice that they are implicitly biased against the candidate without knowing. There is enough competition between good candidates that no one can show that you hired a worse researcher or teacher compared to other ones, it is a very subjective process, and as a result all these kind of implicit biased play a role. When faculty members vote on who they should hire they are not required to explained why they preferred candidate A to candidate B and their votes represents often what kind of person they want to interact with. So when you are saying these have not come up in discussions it doesn't mean that these factors do not implicitly bias the decision about who you hire.

    Also I imagine it would be very hard for someone who supports Donald Trump to find a faculty position. Do you disagree? Or say someone who doesn't believe in some of the values that faculty members at your department hold dear. If Larry Summers can loose his job because of expressing his views surely there is discrimination against those disagree with some of PC beliefs. Freedom of speech is more fundamental than every other right and it should be protected event for bigots, but there is a trend towards restricting what people can express and discuss and it is accelerating. Openness to be challenged by ideas is being replaced by PC. We don't have freedom of expression if we cannot express ideas that offend some people. The ideal for universities and enlightenment was that let them express whatever they think and we will counter it with our better arguments and the truth will come out and that is being replaced by let's not have a discussion since it might offend someone.

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  6. We should adopt a policy that whenever we have candidates who are more or less as good, we should hire the one who increases diversity among faculty.

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