7 thoughts on “FAQ for site visits

  1. One of the things that I was really happy to see on the APA site was that, “Those trained to be site visit team members are diverse with regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and other social categories”. That’s rad, and it’s really what we need to be going in in academic philosophy. But I’m wondering a bit about what actually goes on with the site visits, and about something that doesn’t show up in the FAQ. In the CU case, for example, did the team just target the *obviously terrible* problems in the vicinity of (het-cis-white) sexual harassment, and the issues about disciplinary boundary policing? Or was the visit concerned more broadly with the exclusionary practices that show up commonly in philosophy. I don’t know if this is sort of thing that can or should come out in a public forum, but I’m wondering if the site visits target a full range of climate issues, even where the report focuses more narrowly on one or two issues (perhaps for pragmatic reasons, or perhaps even for reasons that are unique to a particular case)? If its aim is broader, I wonder if anyone has a sense of how the results that don’t show up in the reports are communicated to departments, deans, etc. It looks like the goal is to work on the broader class of institutionalized practices of exclusion, and that really is super awesome! But I found it interesting, given the overwhelming structures of exclusion surrounding race, trans* issues, and disability, that there was no discussion of these issues in the report (unless I missed it, I must admit I read it pretty quickly on Friday afternoon).

  2. This is based on the training, rather than knowledge of this particular case. There is a big constraint on the report: it cannot make particular individuals identifiable, even as having complained without specifics of complaint. (Due to risk of retaliation, as well as general need for confidentiality.) This makes it very hard to be specific about problems affecting very small social groups. In addition, because they’re aware of their small numbers, members of these groups may be especially hesitant to mention incidents that might be traced back to them (even with these assurances). This means that the mechanism is much more limited when it comes to groups that are extremely underrepresented in the field.

    But I did notice the report made it clear there were some issues with accessibility.

  3. Did the report focus on het-cis-white sexual harassment? Or is that just what you have gathered about the Colorado problems from other sources?

  4. Good point. The report is not specific about this. Which is probably a part of the strategy for protecting confidentiality.

  5. Thanks for the quick reply, I missed those remarks so I’ll go back and look more closely! Like I said I’m totally stoked about the program, and I’m really glad that people I respect and admire are doing this really great work. I was just trying to get a sense of what is being done and what sorts of things are being attended to!

  6. My sincere worry is that “protecting confidentiality” can be used as a bad faith (or dressed up as a good faith) reason for focusing only on (cis het white) women. There’s certainly been a history of such problematic, narrow focus in white feminism.

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