Retrenchment, Day 10

I have already mentioned that retrenching 27 people at the bottoms of several departmental rosters tends to disproportionately eliminate early-career faculty who were teaching a lot of the survey courses and who may have been more up to date on some of the most recent advances in their fields and also in new developments in teaching. This is not universally or necessarily the case, of course. It is as possible for a tenured full professor to be keeping up with the latest developments and to be excited about new educational technologies and practices. But statistically, there may be a case there. Similarly, another thing that has been said about this retrenchment is that it is disproportionately eliminating women and minorities. And statistically, this is also demonstrably true. Fewer of BSU's more recent faculty hires have been middle-aged white males like myself. So as far as measures of diversity and equity go, BSU will be taking a step back toward the 1970s, if not the 1950s.

Of course, just as there are some tenured full professors who keep up with their field and pedagogy, there are some middle-aged white males who work to incorporate diversity in their courses. I teach decolonization and highlight issues of race and class and women's issues in my history courses. A recent contingent history instructor who covered for my colleagues during their sabbaticals was a young white male, but he was an effective advocate and teacher of equity and diversity. So I don't think it's true that the people who are left will try to lock down a conventional, "master narrative" worldview. Although, I have to admit, the contingent instructor and I will both be gone, once the retrenchment goes into effect.

Link to YouTube: