Recommendation letters of faculty candidates for positions in chemistry and biochemistry at ua
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Recommendation Letters of Faculty Candidates for Positions in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UA. Vicki Wysocki ([email protected]) Department of Chemistry Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Toni Schmader Department of Psychology. Inspired by published study.

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Recommendation letters of faculty candidates for positions in chemistry and biochemistry at ua

Recommendation Letters of Faculty Candidates for Positions in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UA

Vicki Wysocki([email protected])

Department of Chemistry

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Toni Schmader

Department of Psychology


Inspired by published study
Inspired by published study in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Exploring the color of glass: letters of

recommendation for female and male

medical faculty

FRANCES TRIX AND CAROLYN PSENKA

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

Discourse and Society, 2004, Vol 14(2): 191–220


Reason for concern chemical engineering news 2005 44 38 39 female fac in chemistry
Reason for concern? in Chemistry and BiochemistryChemical & Engineering News, 2005, 44, 38–39. (% Female Fac in Chemistry)


Ua faculty search 2003 2004
UA Faculty Search 2003-2004 in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Applicants

Chem Biochem

  • Men: 236 165 71

  • Women: 46 25 21

    Percentage 19% 15% 30%

    Women


Wysocki research group
Wysocki Research Group in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Nationally (Chemistry) Women

Ph.D. 33%

M.S. 46%


Methods
Methods in Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Letters transcribed and analyzed with LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry Word Count) to count the number of standard word categories.

  • Counts for each applicant were averaged within category and across letter writers to create aggregate variables. Categories with very low frequencies were not included.


Categories examined
Categories Examined in Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • # of letters

  • Word count

  • Achievement words (e.g., try, goal, win)

  • Communication words (e.g,, talk, share)

  • Positive feelings (e.g., happy, joy)

  • Negative emotions (e.g., hate, worthless)

  • Tentative words (e.g., maybe, perhaps)

  • Certainty words (e.g., always, never)


Additional categories
Additional Categories in Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Grindstone traits

    • hardworking, motivated, effort

  • Ability traits

    • smart, talented, able

  • Standout adjectives

    • best, superior, excellent

  • Research terms

    • experiment, funding, studies

  • Teaching terms

    • teaching, mentor, educate


Differences in qualifications no
Differences in in Chemistry and BiochemistryQualifications?No


Gender differences in and language
Gender differences in # and language in Chemistry and Biochemistry?

ChemBiochem

# of letters Yes (3.3/3.8) No

Length of letters No No

Achievement No No

Communication No No

Positive feelings No No

Negative feelings No No

Tentative words No No

Certainty words No No


How do linguistic categories created correlate with one another
How do linguistic categories created correlate with one another?

  • more standout words (best, superior, excellent)

    • significantly more ability words

    • significantly fewer grindstone words

  • more language about teaching

    • less language about research

    • more tentative language (maybe, perhaps)


How do linguistic categories created correlate with one another1
How do linguistic categories created correlate with one another?

Among Women:

  • If more grindstone words (hardworking, effort)

    • marginally less language about research

  • If more ability words (smart, talented)

    • less language about teaching


How are qualification variables related to being interviewed or offered a position
How are qualification variables related to being interviewed or offered a position?

  • None of the qualification variables correlate with being invited or offered a job except…...

    • those who received invitations tended to be out of grad school for fewer years

    • among men, those who are given job offers have significantly more fellowships


How are linguistic variables related to the applicant s status
How are linguistic variables related to the applicant’s status?

those with longer letters of recommendation are more likely to be invited for an interview


Additional categories showed difference
status?Additional Categories” showed difference

  • Grindstone traits

    • hardworking, motivated, effort

  • Ability traits

    • smart, talented, able

  • Standout adjectives

    • best, superior, excellent

  • Research terms

    • experiment, funding, studies

  • Teaching terms

    • teaching, mentor, educate


Were there gender differences in how letter writers described candidates
Were there gender differences in how letter writers described candidates?

Chem Biochem

Grindstone traits No No

Ability traits No No

Standout adj. Yes No

Research terms No No

Teaching terms No No

(excellent, superior, best)


Women less likely to be interviewed
Women less likely to be interviewed? described candidates?

NO

if they applied

consider statistics of small number of applicants

consider that women in department questioned why women weren’t on the interview schedule


Conclusions
Conclusions described candidates?

Search committees should be aware that letters may have differences (male vs female candidates) in spite of similar qualifications


The Greatest Threat to the described candidates?

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Henry Blount, NSF

The Face of

American Science

Is Not the Face of America


2005 GRC (14%F) described candidates?


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