March 29 Day 386: The Fourth Bucket

Teaching. Scholarship. Service. The triumvirate of academic success.

Why is it that collegiality remains a fourth unspoken bucket? Historically, collegiality was used to exclude women and faculty of color from academic success. And the practice seems to be alive and well today. It is disappointing.

Disagreement and opposing viewpoints can be valuable. You do not have to like or even agree with someone to believe that they meet the requirements for promotion. Yet time and time again, I hear of cases where personal differences, having nothing to do with the promotion standards, are aired by colleagues during promotion considerations.

We need people willing to speak uncomfortable truths. Yes, they can be “difficult,” “uppity,” or “angry.” But they make us better.

You know the saying “well-behaved women seldom make history.” Well they don’t seem to have a better shot at promotion. And that just isn’t right.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America 2021-2022. Past-President of MAA 2023.

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