What do you think? An Open Thread

What are the issues grabbing your attention? 

Are there conferences this summer or in the fall that we should know about?

Or just tell us something you think is interesting or fun or unusual.

We’re working on some past suggestions about changes we might make.  Havinv guest bloggers is one, and we may do that.  I advanced the idea of a “Hall of Shame” for conferences that exclude women, but we have thought probably not. 

We may well post a resource page, with publications about forming search comittees, reviewing files, etc.  I started looking at some of the excellent resources on the web, including a handbook at UMich.  Here’s an interesting passage from that source you might want to comment on:

Initial Discussions of the Search Committee’s Charge should:

-verify that its charge includes particular focus on equitable search practices, and the goal of
identifying outstanding women and underrepresented minority candidates for the position.

• articulate the fact that diversity and excellence are fully compatible goals and can and
should be pursued simultaneously.

• identify selection criteria and develop the position description prior to beginning the search.

• establish plans for actively recruiting women and underrepresented minorities prior to
beginning the search.

• review practices that will mitigate the kinds of evaluation biases that social science research
has identified that result in unfair evaluations for women and minority candidates.

• include discussion of how the plans to represent the school or department’s commitment to
and strategies for hiring and advancing diverse faculty are integrated into the strategies.
This may be of particular concern for departments that have few or no women or
underrepresented minority faculty. In these cases, it may be helpful to develop long-term
strategies for recruiting diverse faculty. For example, the department might consider inviting
women or minority faculty to give talks and then inviting them to apply for positions the
following year.

Does this sound like a conversation your department (or office) could or would have?