Why it’s important to support Brandeis faculty
As we near the end of the semester, this editorial board would like to thank our professors for all of their hard work. We appreciate all you have done in persevering through the unusual educational environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, working hard to give individualized attention to your students, and showing up to each class with enthusiasm and energy. It is especially important to note that faculty of color face even more challenges than their co-workers, such as racism and providing unpaid labor in the form of sitting on Diversity Equity and Inclusion committees, hosting events and panels on topics such as anti-racism and diversity, and supporting students of color who face similar issues.
Within the past year, the number of faculty members and administrators has dwindled: Many administrators left in the spring of 2022, the Computer Science department has lost many professors, and half of the Women and Gender Studies department faculty are on leave for the fall 2022 semester, per the WGS website . That being said, this board raises the question of where the faculty and administrators have gone and, more importantly, what caused them to want to leave Brandeis.
As an institution that is widely known for its value of social justice and impact, there is a disparity between what is advertised and what is the reality. Per a Sept. 13 editorial , “a student told the Justice that she tried to get involved with the Department of Psychology’s anti-racism committee in April 2022 only to be informed that the committee had not met since fall 2020 and was unofficially disbanded.” A similar action plan was approved by the Department of Biology where they committed to “ “increase the diversity of our faculty.” The department has hired several new professors since the approval of the plan, and yet the department still does not have a single Black professor.
It is vital to the success and well-being of the University to advocate for the safety of its faculty members, regardless of their race, gender, or ethnicity. A good place to start would be to reinvigorate the action plans that were previously in place to prevent such discrimination, which includes the Anti-Racism Plan and the Black Action Plan.
This board calls on the University to uphold their promise of social justice and to take action to ensure all faculty are treated fairly, regardless of race and sex, and compensated equally. This board hopes that the University’s faculty members recognize how grateful we are for you; we see you, we hear you, and we will advocate for you to get the work environment you deserve.