Query: Best Practices in expectations for promotion, tenure

From a reader keen to ameliorate implicit biases. (The query-author is in the USA, but of course, respondents in other countries likely have relevant insights.)  Feel free to link to helpful websites or online documents if you have more to say than can fit into a blog comment:

I have a question for those who teach at public/regional comprehensive universities or other places with a 4/4 teaching (or trimester equivalent) teaching load. What are the research expectations for tenure? What are they for promotion to associate professor (in the case where those are different)? And what are the expectations for promotion to full professors? Finally, how are those expectations expressed? Mostly I am concerned that the sorts of implicit and explicit biases in these decision making events are miminized. I’m looking for best practices.

Art Activism: Bedding Out

Liz Crow, artist and activist, is starting a revolution from her bed.

BEDDING OUT emerges from the current welfare benefits overhaul, which threatens many with poverty and a propagandist campaign that has seen disability hate crime leap by 50%.

“I wear a public self that is energetic, dynamic and happening,” explains artist-activist Liz Crow. “I am also ill and spend much of life in bed. The private self is neither beautiful nor grownup, it does not win friends or accolades and I conceal it carefully.

“But for me, along with thousands more, this new system of benefits demands a reversal: my public self implies I don’t need support and must be denied, whilst my private self must be paraded as justification for the state’s support. For months, I have lain low for fear of being penalised, but the performer is beginning to re-emerge. Instead of letting fear determine who I am, I’d rather stare it in the face.” BEDDING OUT is a performance in which I take my private self and make it public, something I have not done in over 30 years. On this stage, for a period of 48 hours, I am performing the other side of my fractured self, my bed-life. Since the public me is so carefully constructed, this will be a kind of un-performing of my self.

“I want to show that what many people see as contradiction – what they call ‘fraud’ – is only the complexity of real life. This is not a work of tragedy, but of in/visibility and complication; a chance to perform my self without façade.”

Join her live over the next 48 hours!

Fat shaming from Peter Singer

Peter Singer – perhaps unsurprisingly – has some opinions about fat people.

Things don’t bode well from the beginning:

We are getting fatter. In Australia, the United States, and many other countries, it has become commonplace to see people so fat that they waddle rather than walk.

That’s objective rational discourse right there. But it gets better. Singer’s main argument is that people who weigh more should have to pay more to fly. Says Singer:

I am writing this at an airport. A slight Asian woman has checked in with, I would guess, about 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of suitcases and boxes. She pays extra for exceeding the weight allowance. A man who must weigh at least 40 kilos more than she does, but whose baggage is under the limit, pays nothing. Yet, in terms of the airplane’s fuel consumption, it is all the same whether the extra weight is baggage or body fat.

And you can imagine how it goes from there. Fat people cost more. Fat people are a drain on resources. Fat people should have to pay for it. He concludes:

Many of us are rightly concerned about whether our planet can support a human population that has surpassed seven billion. But we should think of the size of the human population not just in terms of numbers, but also in terms of its mass. If we value both sustainable human well-being and our planet’s natural environment, my weight – and yours – is everyone’s business.

So clearly what we should do is make sweeping generalizations about “the overweight”. Then we should engage in some not-very-subtle fat shaming, in which we blame individuals for what is clearly a social phenomenon, and demand more money from those who can often least afford it. Flying can then become just another thin privilege.

While we’re at it, we should probably charge disabled people more to fly, given the extra airline resources it can take to get them to and from their assigned seat, and the extra weight of any assistance devices they might need. We will probably, for similar reasons, also charge the elderly more. And don’t even get me started on parents that travel with children.

Or we could try not listening to Peter Singer. That works too.