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Transparency in hiring, promotion, etc.

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:21 pm
by Lee Ann Fujii
Following the DA-RT "discussion" makes it appear that the only area where the discipline as a whole has not been transparent enough is replication and data access, whatever those terms mean.

Since we seem to be stuck on the topic of transparency, why not broaden the discussion to other areas of the discipline where "more" transparency might help, such as:

- Hiring
- Promotion
- Salary levels and merit raises
- Article review processes

As a discipline, our ability to replicate a mostly white academy has been impeccable. What is the secret to this success? How have we managed so beautifully to pay female new hires less than their male counterparts who are hired at exactly the same time and with equivalent records? How have we managed to keep the issue of the diversity sidelined in every faculty meeting about hiring and even in discussions about the state of gender inequalities in the discipline? What is it about our taken-for-granted belief in "merit" that enables us NOT TO SEE how raced and gendered our hiring, promotion, and review practices are? Or perhaps "transparency" itself is the problem, this idea that we can see through to the essence of what a "thing" really is--whether that "thing" is a data-set, an interview transcript, a page from the archive, or a job candidate--if we could only remove that which obscures our vision. Perhaps the real crux of the problem is the assumption that what blocks our view comes from without, rather than from within. Perhaps what we really need is more sober reflection. And a simple admission: that if we wanted to see without blinders, we could.

Lee Ann Fujii
University of Toronto