Rising care demands created by COVID‐19—specifically those brought on by remote working, a lack of childcare, and the virus’ particular risk to aging populations—are disproportionately incurred by women and impede their ability to work. The starkness of gender differences in productivity and its visibility during this time provokes a rethinking of how faculty will be evaluated for tenure and promotion during the pandemic and beyond it.
COVID-19 and Faculty Equity
This reference list contains studies about the impact of the pandemic on faculty workload and productivity and reports and research on institutional interventions to address equity. It also includes some selected references about the impact of stress, burnout, and workload inequity on important faculty outcomes such as productivity and advancement. This document will be update as new research emerges.
The University of Michigan ADVANCE Program developed this brief which summarizes policies, practices, and strategies for enhancing equity in institutional responses to COVID-19.
This brief from UMASS Amherst ADVANCE outlines different kinds of faculty activities that have been impacted by the pandemic and can be documented in various evaluative settings (e.g., faculty activities reporting, COVID-19 impact statements).
Here, we examine ways in which COVID-19 is amplifying known barriers to women’s career advancement. We propose actionable solutions, which include the formation of a Pandemic Response Faculty Fellow or Pandemic Faculty Merit Committee (PFMC), new/revised tenure and promotion metrics created by the aforementioned committee, and a framework to ensure that the new metrics and policies are adopted college-wide. We also caution against the popular tenure clock quick fix that poses a potential threat to a diverse future for academia.
Although there are several overarching concerns, COVID-19 presents distinct challenges to differently situated faculty members, calling attention to and potentially widening individual and institutional equity gaps. Thus, as campuses set about problem-solving they must keep equity1 front and center. Below, we draw on various news sources2 to describe how institutions are responding to COVID-19 in relation to faculty support and evaluation. We also take the liberty to suggest responses that have not been widely discussed, but that we view as worthwhile considerations.
After outlining relevant literature on gender equity in higher education, we present our university case study, including next steps and ongoing challenges for the UMass ADVANCE team. We aim for this reflection to inform equity programs and diversity efforts in higher education more broadly as we navigate this current moment.
Women's journal submission rates fell as their caring responsibilities jumped due to COVID-19. Without meaningful interventions, the trend is likely to continue.
This op-ed considers potential consequences of COVID-19 tenure delays.
A survey conducted by De Gruyter's Insights Team has found that the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown has left academics with less time for research and busier than ever - with women most severely affected.
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the submission rate to scholarly journals increased abnormally. Given that most academics were forced to work from home, the competing demands for familial duties might have penalised the scientific productivity of women. To test this hypothesis, we looked at submitted manuscripts and peer review activities for all Elsevier journals between February and May 2018-2020, including data on over 5 million authors and referees. Results showed that during the first wave of the pandemic, women submitted proportionally fewer manuscripts than men.