The goals of promoting collegiality and holding faculty members accountable for their behaviors toward one another are both laudable and much needed. But many challenge the idea that collegiality can be objectively assessed via standardized matrices and direct attention instead to ways that institutions militate against collegiality. It is important to note that in choosing this profession aspiring scholars/educators have envisioned as the core of university life the rigorous pursuit and advancement of knowledge in a creative, intellectually challenging environment. They aspire to make a difference in the world. What disillusioned academics have found instead are grueling workloads, job insecurity, inadequate compensation, a capricious and opaque system of institutional rewards and punishments, a worksite mired in conflict, and administrative bloat and ineptness. The problems resulting from entrenched institutional policies and practices that at best can be described as deeply flawed are now compounded by strained resources, diminishing public support, and a relatively new competing paradigm that positions the enterprise of public education as a business venture rather than a common public asset. Budget cuts, institutional red tape, inequitable work loads, demands to publish, and mind-numbing committee work are now commonly shared sources of stress for faculty members across types of institutions. Intensified public attacks on the work university faculty is an additional stressor. In such an environment, collegiality, which is fundamentally about how faculty members treat one another, is significantly compromised.
Bad faculty behaviors in academic institutions are exacerbated by the fact that the lynchpin for attempts to maintain a civil, collegial atmosphere in the university worksite is the departmental chair, someone who is oft times a former faculty member who is given tremendous responsibility and power but who possesses minimal administrative skills, receives very little training for the job, and holds limited power within the larger institution. Worst, yet, in dealing with departmental faculty bullies and even exhibiting bullying behaviors themselves, mid-level administrators may in fact be part of the problem, not part of the solution. University Human Resources departments (often stated in university policies and procedures manuals as the best place for faculty members to report bullying and seek redress) may also be perceived by faculty members as ineffective and more interested in protecting the institution than the well-being of victims of bullying.
Conducting an evaluation of individuals' social interactions in absence of full consideration of the institutional and administrative policies, procedures, and contexts in which the performance of their responsibilities occurs is inherently hypocritical, conceptually unsound, and bad social science. Usage of standardized collegiality metrics for promotion or merit considerations further erodes one of the purported strengths of the academy: academic freedom, discourse, and dissent.
Understanding and promoting collegiality in the Ivory Tower is an important but complex matter. Assessments of collegiality pose particular issues of concern to female educators. Any institutional evaluation of a female faculty member's collegiality must include consideration of workplace-embedded gender inequities, gender stereotypes, women's professional communication styles, and the institutional contexts in which women conduct their business. The facts clearly warrant such consideration: women educators earn less across academic disciplines and at every level of teaching, they hold lower ranks and fewer positions of power within their educational institutions, they are bullied more and supported less than their male counterparts, they endure longstanding institutional policies that are inherently anti-family, and gender stereotypes, discrimination and evaluation bias continue to impede women's advancement in the workplace.
In conclusion, attempts at capturing collegiality on a standardized matrix designed for efficient assessment of an individual's performance of their responsibilities and then using that measurement in faculty evaluations is an ill fated endeavor with little promise of improving the working conditions of female faculty members. As a largely female-dominated profession art educators need to conduct and disseminate research that focuses on how female educators’ experiences within varied institutional contexts, pre-k through post-secondary, impact their productivity and performance. The most relevant studies from the discipline of art education addressing this concern are either a quarter century old (Rush, 1989) or they just don't dig into workplace inequities impacting female academics (Milbrandt & Klein, 2010). Most of all we need to understand how our own workplace conditions shape our social interactions and both facilitate and impede our success.
Endnote: The Holy Grail - Red-Herring title for this post captures my thoughts about attempts to assess collegiality in terms of any faculty member's behaviors, male or female.
AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees. (2013). Women in the Professional Workforce. http://dpeaflcio.org/professionals/professionals-in-the-workplace/women-in-the-professional-and-technical-labor-force/
American Association of University Professors. (1999). On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation. (Position Statement of the AAUP, adopted November 1999). http://www.aaup.org/report/collegiality-criterion-faculty-evaluation
American AssociAtion of University Professors. (April 2012). Academic freedom and tenure: Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Southeastern Louisiana University. http://www.aaup.org/NR/rdonlyres/87B69D3C-788E-437A-A613-9B7D5A694DFE/0/ULSystemReportApril2012.pdf
American Association of University Women. (2013). The simple truth about the gender pay. Washington, DC: AAUW. http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/
L. C. Backer. (June 17, 2013). Collegiality as factor in personnel decisions. . . But only for faculty. [Blog post on the Pennsylvania University Faculty Senate Blogsite: Monitoring University Governance]. http://lcbpsusenate.blogspot.com/2013/06/collegiality-as-factor-in-personnel.html
J. L. Buller. (February 1, 2013). The Collegiality Assessment Matrix: Its time has come. [Blog Post in Magna Publications: Academic Administration]. http://www.magnapubs.com/blog/academic-administration/addressing-issues-of-collegiality-in-faculty-evaluation/
Cheston, D. (2010). Is tenure really necessary? Some colleges are doing fine without it. [Commentary. The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy]. http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2420
Cipriano, R. E. (2011). Collegiality and civility in higher education. In R. Ciprano Facilitating a collegial department in higher education: Strategies for success (pp. 5-28). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Cipriano, R. E., & Buller, J. L. (2012). The Collegiality Assessment Matrix: Its time has come. Academic Leader, 28(1), 5-6. http://www.atlasleadership.com/ATLAS_Leadership_Services/CAM_and_S-AM_files/CAM%20Article.pdf
Crace, J. (October 1, 2013). Janet Beer: 'higher education is not a progressive environment to work in'. [Blog post in online Magazine: The Guardian Higher Education Network]. http://email@example.com&l=350_HTML&u=2800151&mid=1059027&jb=34&CMP=&et_cid=51698&et_rid=6658765&Linkid=%27Higher+education+is+not+a+progressive+environment+to+work+in%27
Cook, S. G. (2004). Mothers in the faculty pipeline. Women in Higher Education, 13(8). http://www.wihe.com/printArticle.jsp?id=18562
Easterling, W. V. (n.d.). Collegiality: A singular concept? Definitions and conceptualizations of collegiality in the U.S. and internationally. [White Paper from the Indiana University Center for Teaching and Learning]. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/2539/Easterling_Collegiality_A_Singular_Concept.pdf?sequence=1
Ginsberg, B. (2013). Wasteful and inept administrators are ruining our colleges. In Minding the campus: Reforming our universities [Online publication]. http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2013/01/wastefuladministrators.html
Griffith, D. B. (n.d.) Responding to workplace bullying, the role of HR. [Higher Ed Jobs, online site]. http://www.higheredjobs.com/articles/articleDisplay.cfm?ID=461
Guttman, L. (December 8, 2004). Lack of tenured female profs prompts 'U' to rethink tenure system. The Michigan Daily News [Online version]. http://www.michigandaily.com/content/lack-tenured-female-profs-prompts-u-rethink-tenure-system
Hopkins, N., Bailyn, L., Gibson, L.,& Hammonds, E. (2002). The status of women faculty at MIT: An overview of reports from the Schools of Architecture and Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and the Sloan School of Management. http://web.mit.edu/faculty/reports/overview.html
McKay, R., Huberman Arnold, D., Fratzl, J., & Thomas, R. (2008). Workplace bullying in academia: A Canadian study. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 20(2). http://bulliedacademics.blogspot.com/2010/03/workplace-bullying-in-academia-canadian.html
McElveen, N. M., Leslie, P., & Malotky, D. (2006). Ethical issues in faculty conflict. Teaching Ethics (Fall 2006), 33-56. http://www.uvu.edu/ethics/seac/McElveenEthical%20Issues%20in%20Faculty%20Conflict.pdf
Milbrandt, M. K., & Klein, S. R. (2010). A survey of postsecondary art educators' workplace concerns, Visual Arts Research, 36(1), 85-96. DOI: 10.1353/var.2010.0008
Nichol, M. (n.d.). Collegial vs. Collegiate. http://www.dailywritingtips.com/collegial-vs-collegiate/
B. Sutton. (August 22, 2007). Latest tips for surviving workplace assholes [Blog post]. http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/08/the-latest-tips-1.html
Quinterno, J. (2012). The great cost shift. New York, NY: Demos. http://www.demos.org/sites/default/files/publications/
Raineri, E., Frear, D., & Edmonds, J. (2011). An examination of the academic reach of faculty and administrator bullying. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(12), 22-35. http://www.ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol._2_No._12%3B_July_2011/4.pdf
Reis, R. M. (n.d.). Tomorrow's professor Msg.#980 Will I drown in committee work? [Online. Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning. Tomorrow's professor mailing list: Desk top faculty development, one hundred times a year.] http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=980
Rockquemore, K. A. (April 12, 2010). Pick your battles. Inside Higher Ed. http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/winning/winning13
Rush, J. C. (1987). Male and female: Patterns of professional behavior in the university. Art Education, 40(3), 22-24 & 33-35. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3193053
R. Schuman. (April 26, 2013). Take your “love it” and shove it [Blog post in her blog: pan kisses kafka]. http://pankisseskafka.com/2013/04/26/take-your-love-and-shove-it/
R. Schuman. (October 24, 2013) “I Quit Academia,” an important, growing subgenre of American essays [Blog post]. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/10/24/quitting_academic_jobs_professor_zachary_ernst_and_other_leaving_tenure.html?google_editors_picks=true
Schmidt, P. (2010). Workplace mediators seek a role in taming faculty bullies. [Chronicle of Higher Education, online, June 8, 2010]. http://chronicle.com/article/Workplace-Mediators-Seek-a/65815/
Simpson, R., & Cohen, C. (2004). Dangerous work: The gendered nature of bullying in the context of higher education. Gender Work and Organization, 11(2). http://dspace.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/3771/1/Gender%20work%20and%20organization2.pdf
Thorton, S., & Curtis, J. A Very Slow Recovery: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2011-12. (Summary of AAUP Study). http://www.aaup.org/reports-publications/2011-12salarysurvey
Vedder, R. (2011). University of Texas faculty workloads vary widely. [Post to the blog site Educational Equity, Politics & Policy in Texas, June 4, 2011].
von Hippel, C., Wiryakusuma, C., Bowden, J., & Shochet, M. (2011). Stereotype threat and female communication styles. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(10), 1312-1324. doi: 10.1177/0146167211410439. and http://facweb.northseattle.edu/avoorhies/Gender/Readings/Relationships/Stereotype%20Threat%20and%20Female%20Communication%20Styles.pdf
Weeks, K. (n. d.). Collegiality and the quarrelsome professor. Lex Collegii [Online Newsletter for Higher Education]. http://www.collegelegal.com/lccolleg.htm
Williams, J. C., Alon, T., & Bornstein, S. (2006). Beyond the ‘Chilly Climate’: Eliminating bias against women and fathers in academe. Thought and Action, (Fall 2006), 79-96. http://www.nea.org/assets/img/PubThoughtAndAction/TAA_06_09.pdf
Wimmer, S. (2009). Views on gender differences in bullying in relation to language and gender role socialization. Griffith Working Papers in Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication, 2(1), 18-26. http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/145289/2.-Wimmer---Gender-differences-in-bullying.pdf
Workplace Bullying Institute. (n.d.). Why U.S. employers do so little. http://www.workplacebullying.org/individuals/problem/employer-reaction/
Wylie, A., Jakobsen, J. R., & Fosado, G. (2007). Women, work, and the academy: Strategies for responding to 'post-civil rights era' gender discrimination. The Barnard Center for Research on Women. http://feministphilosophers.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/bcrw-womenworkacademy_08.pdf
Yamada, D. C. (2000). The phenomenon of 'workplace bullying' and the need for status-blind hostile work environment protection. Georgetown Law Journal, 88(475), 477-536. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1303690##