Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2018).
The authors look at how the intersection of gender and race influences pretenure faculty members’ perceptions of the clarity of tenure expectations. The authors also seek to identify potential predictors (assessment of mentoring, relationships with peers, feedback on progress toward tenure, and of fairness in tenure decision making and evaluation) of perceptions of tenure clarity for four intersectionally defined groups, including historically underrepresented minority women (URMW). The authors use an intersectional perspective and the gendered and racialized organizations’ theoretical lens to interpret the results. The data set comes from the Harvard University Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education survey of tenure-track faculty job satisfaction (2011 and 2012). Bivariate results reveal no significant differences in URMW’s perceptions of tenure clarity compared with all other faculty members. However, findings show that compared with white men (WM), URMW are less satisfied with the relationships with peers and with the fairness in the evaluation of their work. Moreover, they are also less likely to agree that mentoring is effective, that tenure decisions are fair, and that messages about tenure are consistent. The multivariate results indicate that the proposed explanatory model does not explain URMW’s perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations as well as it explains white women’s and WM’s perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations.