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The Fight for Tenure an Uphill Battle for Minoritized Faculty

Black and other minoritized faculty have long complained about an implicit bias in the tenure and promotion process. That is why it came as no surprise when the tenure denial of Dr. Paul C. Harris, an education professor at the University of Virginia (UVA), struck a chord among minoritized groups during the summer of 2020. This incident galvanized the nation into a fight for his tenure and many others like Dr. Harris. Seen as a biased tenure review for many, Dr. Harris’ appeal with UVA’s Faculty Senate Grievance Committee saw a groundswell of support, with thousands signing a letter demanding “Tenure for Paul.”
In this webcast replay, Dr. Harris will be in conversation with Dr. Jamal Watson, editor-at-large at Diverse, about his particular case.

After the conversation with Dr. Harris, the program will follow with a panel discussion of faculty experts about the perils that faculty of color face in the tenure and promotion process.

Editor’s note: Since the original airing of this program, July 1, 2020, Dr. Harris received tenure at UVA.

  • Dr. Harris’ academic journey.
  • When Dr. Harris realized his tenure was in jeopardy.
  • Dr. Harris’ transition from a non-tenure to a tenure track and his appeal process.
  • Signs of unfair treatment in the tenure process.
  • Racial Battle Fatigue: what minoritized faculty and students go through.
  • The lack of policy and fine guidelines.


“We’ve got a responsibility to help our colleagues understand that the journals that we publish in are as important as anything that they’re doing, because if they marginalize our scholarship, then we’re marginalized.”


Dr. Paul Harris Set to Receive Tenure, Promotion After UVA Officials Reconsider Case – Read it here.

The Peculiar Tenure Denial of Dr. Paul Harris – Read it here.

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