Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Assessing Collegiality in the Workplace: Holy Grail or Red Herring?

Universities can be notoriously un-collegial places to work. This is especially true for women in academe. Earlier, I wrote about mommies in academiaToday's post builds on that post and examines how discussions and initiatives about collegiality in educational settings impact females in academia. Today's post mirrors and extnds my December 2013 Women's Caucus column for the NAEA (National Art Education Association) NAEA NewsThe image below expresses my own thoughts about women's work in the ivory stable; the detail is a little pun for my art ed friends. 
Milking the Red Herring. (2013)
From Peasant Woman Milking a Cow. (13th century England)

Detail: The Holy Pail

The term collegial is derived from the root word college, and from the Latin word collega, meaning “colleague”Rightly so, an expressed desire for respectful, supportive, engaged colleagues permeates schools' and universities' mission statements and evaluation policies. By all accounts, collegiality amongst faculty members is seen as essential for the productivity and well-being of an educational institution and the people who work there. But the fact is, toxic co-workers and incivility pollute academic departments across the US. Noncollegial co-workers bully their fellow faculty members and students, gossip, complain incessantly, resort to threats and personal attacks to get their way, refuse to share equitably in menial departmental tasks, and execute a host of other destructive behaviors in pursuit of their own needs. Universities are legally empowered (and some would argue morally obliged) to evaluate and hold faculty members accountable for their collegiality (or lack of). Apparently, the jerk-problem in academia has gotten so bad that there is currently an initiative afoot (and for sale) to assess an individual faculty member's collegiality in university settings as a criterion for promotion.

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 resourcesdiminishing 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 inequitiesgender stereotypeswomen'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.


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. But the image is deliberately of a female for obvious reasons. The close-up detail of the "You Gotta Have Art" button is a nod to and a bit of insider-humor for my colleagues in my profession, art education.

Blogs are awesome in that one can add to anything written, written even years ago as this blogpost was originally written by me in 2013. I'm adding to this post a reference to a recent (2019) news article that is particularly relevant to my former place of employment. The article, published in our local newspaper, recounted the efforts and ultimate success of a female working at my former university as she sought and received salary equity. In one of the articles I read in the local paper, professor McDonaugh recounted what she was told by the Director of the unit at the time (a female Director). When she requested a salary equity raise, her Director told her that she didn't need to be paid as much because she didn't have a family to support. That statement became part of professor McDonaugh's lawsuit. Salary equity is a peripheral issue to the problems of assessing the collegiality of females in the workplace, but they are all part of the same system that I described in this blogpost...a system that...well, you already know.

Ziterman, B. (June 27, 2019). UI professor who sued over gender-based wage discrimination gets back pay, raise. Champaign, Illinois: The News Gazette. https://www.news-gazette.com/news/ui-professor-who-sued-over-gender-based-wage-discrimination-gets/article_d14ebb61-2a83-5087-bf02-c7acac0626df.html

Sources for this blog

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://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/oct/01/janet-beer-oxford-brooks-university-interview?j=51698&e=kleinsheri353@gmail.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

Delacruz, E. M., & Rees, J. (2013). Assessing Collegiality in the workplace: Holy Grail or Red Herring? NAEA News December 2014, 55(5), 18. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01606395.2013.11518711

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

Felps, W., Mitchell, T. R., & Byington, E. (2006). How, when, and why bad apples spoil the barrel: Negative group members and dysfunctional groups. Research in Organizational Behavior, (27), 175–222. doi:10.1016/S0191-3085(06)27005-9

Flaherty. C. (June 14, 2013).  Tenure's Fourth Rail. Inside Higher Ed.

Fontes, T. (2013). New Test to measure faculty collegiality produces some dissention itself. [Post on the website of the American Association of University Professors. Also appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2013]. http://aaup-hofstra.org/uncategorized/new-test-to-measure-faculty-collegiality-produces-some-dissension-itself/

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

L. P. Hollis. (December 5, 2012). Not just child’s play: Bullying & higher ed [Blog post (based on findings from her book on bullying in higher education) to Not in Our Town; Working together for Safe, Inclusive Communities].http://www.niot.org/node/6470

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

Hurtado, S., & DeAngelo, L. (2009). Keeping senior women at your college. Academe, September-October, 2009. [Online journal of the American Assiciation of University Professors]. http://www.aaup.org/article/keeping-senior-women-your-college#.UmLdu46gR8s

Hurtado, S., Eagan, K., Pryor, J. H., Whang, H., & Tran, S. (2012). Undergraduate teaching faculty: The 2010-2011  Heri faculty survey. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. http://heri.ucla.edu/monographs/HERI-FAC2011-Monograph.pdf

Iosue, R. (2011). Colleges and universities should operate more like businesses. Forbes (August 16, 2011) [Online].  http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2011/08/16/colleges-and-universities-should-operate-more-like-businesses/

Jaschik, S. (2012). Teaching, stress, adjuncts. Inside Higher Ed. [Online journal]. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/new-survey-faculty-activities-and-attitudes

Jaschik. S. (2012). Job satisfaction and gender. Inside Higher Ed. [Online journal]. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/12/

Jaschik, S. (2012). Tenure on the line at Wayne State. Inside Higher Ed. [Online journal]. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/23/faculty-accuse-wayne-state-trying-kill-tenure-rights

Johns, M. L. (2013). Breaking the glass ceiling: Structural, cultural, and organizational barriers preventing women from achieving senior and executive positions. Perspectives in Health Information Management (Winter 2013), 1-11. http://perspectives.ahima.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/BreakingtheGlassCeiling_final.pdf

Johnsrud, L. K., & Rosser, V. J. (2012). Faculty members' morale and their intention to leave: A multilevel explanation. The Journal of Higher Education, 73(4), 518-542. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1558425

Johnstone, D. B. (2010). Financing higher education: 
Who pays and other issues. In P. G. Altbach, & R. O. Berdahl, & P. J. Gumport, Eds., The American university in the 21st century: Social, political, and economic challenges. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 3rd edition. 

Jones, J. B. (March 26, 2013). Is there a bully in your department? [Blogpost in Chronicle of Higher Education, Professional Hacker]. http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/is-there-a-bully-in-your-department/47809

Keashly, L., & Neuman, J. H. (2010). Faculty experiences with bullying in higher education: Causes, consequences, and management. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 32(1), 48–70. http://www.ccas.net/files/ADVANCE/Keashly_Bullying.pdf

Koenig, A. M., Eagly, A. H., Mitchell, A. A., Ristikari, T. (2011). Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-Aaalysis of three research paradigms. Psychological Bulletin, 137(4), 616–642. https://www.uni-klu.ac.at/gender/downloads/FP_Koenig_Eagly_2011.pdf

Lane. T. (August 19, 2012). On leaving academe [Blog post]. http://chronicle.com/article/on-Leaving-Academe/133717

Little, A. M. (2008). Academic workplace bullying: run away, indeed!  [Blog post (June
27th 2008) in Historiann: History and Sexual Politics, 1492 to the Present.] http://www.historiann.com/2008/06/27/academic-workplace-bullying-run-away-indeed/

Lutgen-Sandvik, P. (2006). Take this job and . . . : Quitting and other forms of resistance to workplace bullying. Communication Monographs, 73(4), 406-433. Retrieved from http://www.unm.edu/~plutgen/Lutgen%20Sandvik%202006%20Resistance%20to%20Bullying%20CMM.pdf
Mayberry v. Dees. 663 F. 2d 502, US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit. (1981). http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/663/502/147065/

McCann, B. S., Russo, J., Benjamin, G., & Andrew,  H. (1997). Hostility, social support, and perceptions of work. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 2(2), 175-185. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.2.2.175

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

Sandler, B., & Hall, R. (1991). Campus climate revisited: Chilly for women facility, administrators, and graduate students. Report to the Association of American Colleges. http://www.hws.edu/offices/provost/pdf/campus_climate2.pdf

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##