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The Fight for Tenure: An Uphill Battle for Minoritized Faculty

Jul 1st, 2020

The tenure denial of Dr. Paul C. Harris, an education professor at The University of Virginia has galvanized the nation. Support for Dr. Harris’s appeal to UVA’s Faculty Senate Grievance Committee is growing with thousands signing on to a letter demanding “Tenure for Paul”. Black and other minoritized faculty have long complained about an implicit bias in the tenure and promotion process.

In this webcast, 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.

  • 1:00-1:30 p.m. Conversation with Dr. Paul C. Harris
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Discussion about Tenure with Panel


Dr. Paul C. Harris,
Education Professor, The University of Virginia

Prior to joining the Curry School of Education and Human Development faculty at the University of Virginia, Dr. Harris served as a high school counselor for several years. His practice, research, teaching, and service are conducted through a paradigm shaped by equity and access. His research agenda includes two foci: 1) Improving the college and career readiness of underrepresented students and the role of school counselors in this process; and 2) The identity development of student athletes, with emphasis given to Black males.

Dr. Donna Y. Ford,
Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University

Dr. Donna Y. Ford is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Human Ecology and Kirwan Institute Faculty Affiliate at The Ohio State University's College of Education and Human Ecology. She is in the Educational Studies Dept., Special Education Program. She returned to OSU in Aug. 2019.Professor Ford was formerly an endowed chair at Vanderbilt University in the College of Education. Dr. Ford has been a Professor of Special Education at the Ohio State University, an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky. Professor Ford earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Education (educational psychology) (1991), Masters of Education degree (counseling) (1988), and Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and Spanish (1984) from Cleveland State University. Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) the achievement gap; (2) recruiting and retaining culturally different students in gifted education; (3) multicultural curriculum and instruction; (4) culturally competent teacher training and development; (5) African-American identity; and (6) African-American family involvement. She consults with school districts, and educational and legal organizations on such topics as gifted education under-representation and Advanced Placement, multicultural/urban education and counseling, and closing the achievement gap. Professor Ford has written over 300 articles and book chapters; she has made over 2,000 presentations at professional conferences and organizations, and in school districts.

Dr. Mary Howard-Hamilton,
Distinguished Research Professor, Indiana State University

Dr. Mary F. Howard-Hamilton is the Bayh College of Education Dr. Lotus Delta Coffman Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at Indiana State University. She received the Presidential Medal from the Association for the Study of Higher Education in November 2018 and was a recipient of the Contribution to Knowledge Award from the American College Personnel Association in 2017. Indiana State University awarded her with the Presidential Medal for Exemplary Teaching and Scholarship and the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award in 2015. She also received the Bayh College of Education, Holmstedt Distinguished Professorship Award for 2012-2013. Dr. Howard-Hamilton received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from The University of Iowa and a Doctorate of Education, Ed.D., from North Carolina State University. Dr. Howard-Hamilton has served as a higher education student affairs administrator for 15 years and a full time faculty member for 24 years. She has spent her entire professional career in higher education for a total of 37 years working at eight institutions.

Dr. Chance W. Lewis,
Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Chance W. Lewis is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Additionally, Dr. Lewis is the Executive Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Education Collaborative which is publishing a new generation of research on improving urban schools. Dr. Lewis received his B.S. and M.Ed. in Business Education and Education Administration/Supervision from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Lewis completed his doctoral studies in Educational Leadership/Teacher Education from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Lewis currently teaches graduate courses in the field of Urban Education at the UNC Charlotte. His experiences span the range of K-12 and higher education. From 2006-2011, Dr. Lewis served as the Houston Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Education at Texas A&M University. In 2001-2006, he served as an assistant professor of teacher education at Colorado State University. During the 1994-1998, Dr. Lewis served as a Business Education teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish Schools (Baton Rouge, LA), where he earned Teacher of the Year honors in 1997.

Dr. James L. Moore III,
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, The Ohio State University

Dr. James L. Moore III is the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University, where he is also the EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the College of Education and Human Ecology and inaugural executive director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male. From 2015 to 2017, he served as a program director for Broadening Participation in Engineering in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, and, from 2011 to 2015, he was an associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion, where he managed numerous programs and units, including the Morrill Scholarship Program, ODI Scholars Program, Young Scholars Program, Upward Bound of Columbus, Upward Bound of Wooster, Community Outreach, Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male, and Administration/Special Programs. Dr. Moore received his B.A. in English Education from Delaware State University and earned both his M.A.Ed. and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (a.k.a., Virginia Tech). As a scholar, he has a national- and international-recognized research agenda that focuses on the following: (a) how educational professionals, such as school counselors, influence the educational/career aspirations and school experiences of students of color (particularly African American males); (b) socio-cultural, familial, school, and community factors that support, enhance, and impede academic outcomes for preK-20 African American students (e.g., elementary, secondary, and postsecondary); (c) recruitment and retention issues of students of color, particularly African Americans, in preK-12 gifted education and those high-potential college students in science,technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors; and (d) social, emotional, and psychological consequences of racial oppression for African American males and other people of color in various domains in society (e.g., education, counseling, workplace, athletics, etc.)

Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider,
Consultant and Senior Fellow, AGB Consulting

Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider was an executive vice president at Norfolk State University where he also served as interim president. Following an 18 month hiatus, he served as president of Thomas Nelson Community College from 2008 to 2011 before a second retirement. Dr. Schexnider is a former chancellor of Winston-Salem State University and has held faculty and administrative positions at Southern University, Syracuse University, The Federal Executive Institute, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Wake Forest University. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the J. Sergeant Reynolds Award for Outstanding Service in Public Administration, the Grambling State University Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alpha Phi Alpha Distinguished Educator of the Year Award, and he was inducted into the Grambling State University Hall of Fame. Dr. Schexnider earned a BA from Grambling State University and a MA and PhD from Northwestern University, where he held Norman Wait Harris, Ford Foundation, and Woodrow Wilson fellowships. He has served on the boards of Excelsior College, Virginia State University, and Virginia Wesleyan College.


Dr. Jamal Watson,
Editor-At-Large, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Dr. Jamal Watson is an award-winning journalist. He has held numerous roles at Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. He has been a senior staff writer, executive editor and is currently the editor-at-large. He has written for the publication since 2005. A native of Philadelphia, Watson earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Theology from Georgetown University, a master's degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, a master's degree in Higher Education from the University of Delaware and a master's and a Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including The Baltimore Sun and USA Today. He is the author of a forthcoming biography on the Reverend Al Sharpton and is on the graduate school faculty at Trinity Washington University.

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