ADEPT 2.0 is designed to help members of faculty committees avoid bias in decision-making in academic evaluations and to help prepare candidates applying for promotion and tenure.
Activities (fictional scenarios and games) are linked to an annotated Bibliography of research focusing on a broad range of forms of bias related to gender, minority status, choice of publication venues, preference for interdisciplinary research, assignment of service activities, allocation of resources, mentoring, disability and more. The Resources section includes links to Georgia Tech information.
About Biases and Procedural Issues
Issues that commonly arise during Promotion & Tenure review fall into two general categories: BIAS 3 a : BENT, TENDENCY b : an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially : a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment : PREJUDICE c : an instance of such prejudiced (1) : deviation of the expected value of a statistical estimate from the quantity it estimates (2) : systematic error introduced into sampling or testing by selecting or encouraging one outcome or answer over others. synonyms: PREDILECTION, PREPOSSESSION, PREJUDICE, BIAS and PROCEDURAL The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines the adjective PROCEDURAL as follows: of or relating to procedure; especially : of or relating to the procedure used by courts or other bodies administering substantive law. . Learning about the differences between these two categories will help in identifying the particular issue.
ADEPT activities adopt the definition that “bias implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing.” On this basis, reasoned policies or actions based on open faculty deliberations that entertain diversity of views, or consistently derived, explained, publicized and applied institutional objectives are not biased because they represent reasoned, fairly judged, corporate responses. However, it is recognized that some individuals may not agree with such reasoned policies or actions because they may not coincide with their own closely held personal views.
Bias involves unreasoned judgments or actions that reflect preferences or predilections, typically held by individuals and expressed either in overt or subtle ways. This is the definition of bias that is of most concern in mentoring, P&T deliberations and career development. Common forms of bias include, but are not limited to, unreasoned preferences related to:
- Allocation of financial, space and equipment resources
- Assignment of graduate students
- Assignment of committee and other service duties
- Economic Status
- Engaging in interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary research
- Forums for publishing and presentation
- Religious affiliation/preference
- Selection of mentors and methods of guidance
- Selection of review committee representations
- Teaming versus independent investigation
- Utility and expectations of mentoring processes
A significant objective of this instrument is to assist in identifying unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment (i.e., bias) that might affect faculty development and case deliberations in P&T processes, how to guard against expressing it, and how to respond appropriately to it when manifested.
ADEPT activities will adopt the definition that procedural issues are those that relate to policies and procedures that are listed in Institute, College and Unit guidelines or in the Georgia Tech faculty handbook, with the understanding that Unit policies/procedures must be consistent with College policies/procedures, which in turn must be consistent with Institute level policies/procedures. We will also assume that issues that relate to best practices guidelines are of procedural type. An objective of this instrument is to assist in identifying and understanding procedural issues for purposes of P&T evaluations, and to make available resources and information regarding such issues.