Values - Addressing Service Inequities

The goal of the Values Initiatives:

The goal of Values is to provide tools and support to establish equitable faculty workload distributions that recognize, reward, and value all faculty.

Equitable Service Distribution

While there has been an increasing emphasis on service, it is widely believed these efforts have not resulted in a more equitable distribution of service.

What is the value of service to faculty and the institution?

Service on campus can help the institution function more equitably and help faculty develop leadership skills. Service in the profession and community can support faculty in their teaching and professional activities as well as provide a sense of belonging and giving back.

What did the previous ADVANCE IT-Catalyst grant reveal about institutional service-related barriers to career advancement for women faculty?

Our previous work showed that at SF State there is

  • Inequitable distribution of service by faculty
  • The university-wide devaluing of service 
  • A lack of clarity and consistency about the role of service in Retention, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP)

Why is it important to address inequities at the institutional level? 

It is important to address these service inequities to minimize the impact of implicit bias and gendered stereotypes on faculty workload to improve the retention and advancement of women faculty.

Are service-related workload inequities more prevalent at particular points in a faculty member’s career?

Service is one component of the evaluation of faculty as they progress through the “academic life cycle” from assistant to associate to full professor. The service expectations vary across these steps/stages as well as across disciplines. 

In recent years tenure-track assistant professors have been increasingly urged to avoid service so as to focus on their teaching and service. Those that want to participate find themselves at a disadvantage in the RTP process as it can impact their research, scholarship, and creative activities productivity.

Is there a cookie-cutter solution for every department? 

No. The expectations for service is embedded in particular disciplines making it impossible to develop a single solution for every department. That makes it critical to involve the department in examining their own service practices and to make service transparent to all members of the department.