ADEPT Library

To assist you in your self-study about bias and procedural issues in the Promotion & Tenure Review process, the Promotion and Tenure Advance Committee Bibliography team has compiled an annotated bibliography of sources on bias in evaluation. It is organized by topics and includes descriptions of items, applicable keywords, and links, when possible. It supplements information about evaluation available in the Georgia Tech Resources.

Bibliography of Bias in Evaluation

Georgia Tech Resources

Some research findings summarized in the Georgia Tech Resources Bibliography appear in the follow up analysis sections of the simulated meeting activity in the ADEPT instrument.

About Biases and Procedural Issues

Issues that commonly arise during Promotion & Tenure review fall into two general categories: BIAS and PROCEDURAL. Learning about the differences between these two categories will help in identifying the particular issue.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines BIAS as follows:

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.

PREDILECTION implies a strong liking deriving from one's temperament or experience (a predilection for horror movies). PREPOSSESSION suggests a fixed conception likely to preclude objective judgment of anything counter to it (a prepossession against technology). PREJUDICE usually implies an unfavorable prepossession and connotes a feeling rooted in suspicion, fear, or intolerance (a mindless prejudice against the unfamiliar). BIAS implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing (the common bias against overweight people).

This instrument will adopt the definition above 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:

  • Age
  • Allocation of financial, space and equipment resources
  • Assignment of graduate students
  • Assignment of committee and other service duties
  • Disability
  • Economic Status
  • Engaging in interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary research
  • Ethnicity
  • Forums for publishing and presentation
  • Gender
  • Race
  • 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.

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.

This instrument 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.