Faculty invited to expert talk on forging a more equitable workplace

OMearaFaculty are invited to a talk by Dr. KerryAnn O’Meara, internationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion in faculty affairs with a particular focus on organizational practices that support and limit the full participation of women and under-represented minority faculty. O’Meara, director of the ADVANCE Program at the University of Maryland College Park, will speak on “Leading Equity-Minded Reform of Academic Divisions of Labor: What We Can and Should Do Now” at 1 p.m. Sept. 26 in 101 Olscamp Hall.

Her talk is sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender Equity, the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society as part of the Women’s Networking Circle, a series focused on professional development for BGSU women faculty. Attendance is free, but registration is requested.

O’Meara is a professor of higher education, associate dean in the College of Education at Maryland College Park and president-elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Her BGSU talk will help faculty and academic leaders to think through how and why important work among their faculty may be taken up, assigned and rewarded in ways that privilege some and disadvantage others. She will share the latest social science research on implicit biases as they relate to divisions of labor, and discuss evidence-based practices for mitigating uneven workloads and the conditions that can be fostered to create more equitable workload and reward systems.  

She is the principal investigator of the Faculty Workload and Rewards Project, an NSF-funded research project to work with academic departments on workload equity. Her research has shown that many faculty and academic leaders experience the way in which teaching, mentoring and service work gets done in the academic workplace as unfair. Some faculty step forward repeatedly to do more than their fair share of campus service or administrative roles while others shirk collective responsibilities. The system is also not strategic, she says. Important work done on behalf of the institution is invisible and unrewarded, and there are few benchmarks or standards to acknowledge exemplary performance. Women and under-represented minority groups engage in a greater share of campus service and mentoring work and face career penalties and dissatisfaction as a result.

Widely published, O’Meara consults with universities on promotion and tenure policy reform, faculty development programs and organizational practices that sustain equitable workloads. She has completed both longitudinal and randomized control trials on faculty retention and workload reform projects, showing positive results from evidence-based interventions. See her essay “Undoing the Can of Worms” in Inside Higher Ed.

Those who need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to participate may contact Accessibility Services by email at access@bgsu.edu or by phone at 419-372-8495 in advance of the event.