Reports from Committees in this Division
1. Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession (= COGSIP)
James Uden, Chair; Jeanne Neumann, Incoming Chair; Co-Chair, Jason Nethercut
Membership (dates in parentheses are the end of that member’s term)
James Uden (Chair, 2020)
Jeanne Neumann (Incoming Chair, 2021)
Jason Nethercut (Incoming Co-chair, 2022)
Anne Duncan (2020)
Serena Connolly (2020 – NB stepped down from the committee mid-year)
Sarah Nooter (2021)
Caroline Bishop (2022)
Christopher Chinn (2023)
Anna Peterson (2023)
Aaron Seider (2023)
Overview of activities in 2019
The Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession (COGSIP) was particularly active in 2019. The major activities were the following:
(i) SCS Report on the harassment survey
It was resolved at the SCS in 2019 that the release of the results of the COGSIP Survey on Harassment and Discrimination should be accompanied by a short report outlining the reasons for the survey, its main findings, and the significance of the results for our discipline. This report was produced collaboratively by members of the committee over February-April 2019, with members writing in teams of two. This work was coordinated by COGSIP member Jason Nethercut, and the final version was edited by chair James Uden with input from co-chair Jeanne Neumann, VP of Professional Matters Barbara Gold, Helen Cullyer, and the chairs of CODIP, the WCC, and LCC. The final version was published online in May 2019, as part of the monthly newsletter of the SCS.
(ii) Childcare/ Dependent Care
Another of the committee’s stated goals in 2019 was to become a stronger voice of advocacy for childcare at SCS meetings. This issue affects all classicists who are parents, but it has a particular impact upon classicists in precarious academic positions, parents on graduate student stipends, single parents, and same-sex parents who may or may not be supported by their institutions. A subcommittee consisting of Anne Duncan, Serena Connolly, James Uden, and a graduate student from Columbia University, was formed to formulate a set of proposals. In April, a list of suggestions was drawn up by the committee and submitted to the SCS, to be shared also with the AIA. Two of the suggestions – having a lactation room at the hotel and having a section in the local arrangements guide on childcare and activities for kids – were in place for the first time at the 2020 SCS meeting in Washington DC.
iii) Joint Annual Meeting Harassment Policy
COGSIP commented on drafts of the joint SCS/AIA annual meeting harassment policy, which was put in place for the first time in 2020. According to new procedures, an ombudsperson was also on premises for the first time at SCS 2020 in order to facilitate reporting of any incidents of harassment; there was also a rapid response team at the SCS meeting.
iv) CAMWS/ BYU
COGSIP played a role in protesting the decision of the CAMWS executive committee to hold their 2023 annual meeting on the grounds of Brigham Young University (an institution whose honor code forbids ‘homosexual behavior’). COGSIP sent a letter to current SCS President Mary Boatwright in support of the protest coordinated by Christopher Polt and Ted Gellar-Goad. The CAMWS decision was subsequently rescinded.
v) Bystander Intervention Training
COGSIP co-sponsored and helped prepare the SCS proposal for three workshops on anti-harassment bystander intervention training to be held at the 2020 SCS meeting. These workshops were organized by Sarah Teets (Virginia) and Erika Zimmermann Damer (Richmond) and led by the DC-based group Collective Action for Safe Spaces. The workshops were useful but poorly attended; perhaps they got lost in the shuffle and needed to be more prominently announced and highlighted on the official program.
Activities for 2020
COGSIP resolved at the 2020 annual meeting to continue our role in child and dependent care, exploring new resources for classicists who are parents, and drawing renewed attention to resources within the SCS that are currently under-recognized or underused. One of the ideas suggested to the committee was an informal forum for parents to communicate with each other at the SCS. Suggestions included group text messaging through Groupme, a channel on Slack.com, or a Facebook page. Because of issues of legal liability, COGSIP realizes that this forum should not be under the official aegis of the SCS. The committee hopes to pool ideas in 2020 for how best to establish this goal.
In order to draw attention to this and other initiatives, COGSIP also resolved to organize a panel featuring 4-5 speakers at the 2021 SCS in Chicago on the theme of childcare and dependent care. The current plan is to structure talks around ‘past, present, and future’ and have classicists share experiences of parenting in the discipline. We also hope to invite a Chicago-based (non-Classicist) childcare advocate. The speakers (yet to be chosen) may also offer advice for negotiating parenting benefits, reflections on the changing perception of scholars as working parents over time, and insight from beyond the discipline about the changing face of parenting in academia. It is hoped that the panel will communicate information about what the SCS is currently doing on this issue and offer guidance about what other resources are desired and likely to be used.
COGSIP will also continue to do publicity about the harassment survey and the issues raised as a result of the survey.
COGSIP will continue to liaise with WCC, LCC, CODIP and Contingent Faculty on various issues (interviews, pronouns on badges, fees).
2. Committee on Contingent Faculty
Tim Heckenlively, Chair; Elizabeth LaFray, Incoming Chair; Co-Chair, Chiara Sulprizio
Timothy Heckenlively, Chair (outgoing)
Elizabeth LaFray, Chair (incoming)
Chiara Sulprizio (Co-Chair)
K. Sara Myers
Barbara Gold, ex officio
Note: Ben Wolkow resigned from this committee just prior to the Annual Meeting. Rob Groves (University of Arizona), has volunteered to complete his term.
- Data Collection
- SCS Blog – The first blogpost sponsored by our committee is now posted on the SCS website. This will be a bi-monthly series highlighting the successes of contingent faculty within the SCS. The initiative is coordinated by Chiara Sulprizio, Salvador Bartera, and Andrew Scott.
- Roundtables – Mike Lippman, a former committee member, and Tim Heckenlively sponsored a roundtable, “Advice for Contingent Faculty” at CAMWS 2019 as part of our outreach to other organizations. Elizabeth LaFray and Tim Heckenlively led a roundtable at the 2020 SCS Annual Meeting on “Fostering Graduate ‘Success’ in a Contingent Market.” Though not jointly hosted, this roundtable was coordinated with the Graduate Student Committee.
- As in years past, we hosted a reception for contingent faculty at the SCS Annual Meeting.
- CAMWS Affiliated Group – Based on input from committee members, CAMWS will be hosting a reception for contingent faculty at their annual meeting in Birmingham. We envision that this will be a first step toward the formation of an “Affiliated Group.” Principally, this will be an opportunity for support, mentoring, and visibility. It would also be able to bring concerns and questions through its annual reports at the CAMWS Executive Committee and Business meetings.
- Identified the Delphi Project (Pullias Center for Higher Education, USC) as a potential source of funding. This information has been forwarded to Helen (unfortunately, this is not a good fit for the SCS because these grants are to benefit specific institutions, and SCS tries to develop policies and provide support to help all contingent faculty at all institutions).
- Tim Heckenlively met with the President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a non-partisan education advocacy think-tank based in DC. Their most recent website, howcollegesspendmoney.com, is beginning to explore and expose issues of interest to contingent faculty.
- Mentoring has been discussed within several groups at the SCS generally this past year (e.g., WCC, CSJ, LCC, Mountaintop). We put this initiative on hold for 2019, but we anticipate moving forward in 2020. Chiara Sulprizio will be coordinating.
- Survey – Our very concise demographic survey was launched just before the annual meeting. It is a Google form that asks for name, email, and basic employment type: non-tenure but effectively permanent, non-tenure without expectation of renewal, and course-by-course adjuncts. We believe this will help guide our committee in setting future initiatives and help SCS generally in targeted fund-raising.
- CAMWS – CAMWS has agreed to share the demographic information on contingent faculty available in their membership database. We expect to receive this in early January.
- Email list – Our survey allows people to provide their email voluntarily. We are contemplating an email list (hosted on Mailchimp vel sim.) that would allow us to communicate directly with interested followers. CAMWS has also offered to send an invite to this list to their membership.
- See above, Networking #3.
- Continue with initiatives already in progress
- Move to discussion of contingency itself as the broader issue, not only specific contingent communities
- Use input from survey to better direct advocacy issues and support for contingency
- Make space in meeting (in Exhibit Hall) for non-academic/ alt-ac opportunities
3. Committee on Diversity in the Profession (= CODIP)
Victoria Pagán, Chair; Sanjaya Thakur, Incoming Chair; Co-Chair: Christina Clark
Other Committee Members:
Sasha-Mae Eccleston (outgoing)
Dan-el Padilla Peralta (outgoing)
Barbara Gold, ex officio
At the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, the committee reviewed 13 applications for the Minority Scholarship; 4 were awarded unanimously, and 1 alternate was also selected. Results have been conveyed to Helen Cullyer.
We support the proposal by president-elect Shelley Haley to name the Minority Scholarships after Frank Snowden, Jr. and Anna Julia Cooper.
The committee proposes that the SCS Nominating, Program, and Goodwin committees have a voting member who is from a historically underrepresented minority group; details of this proposal and the mechanics of implementation are in progress.
The committee seeks more data from the SCS about the composition of membership, hiring practices, representation in SCS governance, student demographics, and other areas. They will work with the Contingent Faculty Committee on this.
The committee discussed how the shifting job market schedules and methods of interview will affect minority candidates, who are especially vulnerable to negative impacts. They will seek to work with the Committee on Career Planning and Development on details.
After four years, the committee has finally been able to establish a three-year membership rotation. We would like to thank outgoing members Sasha-Mae Eccleston and Dan-el Padilla Peralta for their four-year terms that helped ensure continuity. They will be replaced by new members Paul Properzio and Dominic Machado. Chair Victoria Pagán will be replaced by Sanjaya Thakur and the incoming co-chair will be Christina Clark.
4. Committee on Career Planning and Development (= CCPD)
Cynthia Bannon, Outgoing Chair; Katharine von Stackelberg, Incoming Chair;
John Dillery, Co-Chair
2019 Committee members in attendance at the meeting, 4 January 2020:
Cynthia Bannon* (outgoing Chair)
John Dillery (incoming co-chair, 2020-22; not present)
Katharine Von Stackelberg (Incoming Chair, 2020-22)
Victoria Pagán (CODIP)
James Uden (COGSIP)
Barbara Gold (VP Professional Matters)
and by special invitation Erik Shell
* = term ending
During 2019 the CCPD pursued three initiatives.
1. At the meetings in January 2019, the committee finalized its Statement on Career Diversity. In the spring, the SCS board adopted it under a new title, Career Paths, with minimal editing, now posted here https://classicalstudies.org/scs-news/scs-board-statement-endorsing-variety-careers-classics-phds
2. The Committee also revived its coordination with the AIA, welcoming two AIA representatives, Betsey Robinson and Ted Peña. This spring, Betsey and Ted reviewed the SCS Placement Guidelines and suggested minor revisions which the committee endorsed to bring the policy and practices of both organization into line. https://classicalstudies.org/placement/placement-service-guidelines
3. A subcommittee of this committee crafted a superb, updated edition of Careers for Classicists: heartfelt thanks to Cathy Connors, Helen Cullyer, Keely Lake, and John Paulas for doing the hard work of writing and collaborative editing. https://classicalstudies.org/career-advice-graduate-students-and-others
The placement service also continues to host “Going on the Market . . . and what comes before” by Joy Connolly. https://classicalstudies.org/going-marketand-what-comes-joy-connolly
When the committee met on 4 January 2020, we worked on one small issue and three big ones, voted on all of them, and generated appropriate action items.
1. The CCPD revisited the Placement Service’s stance on advertisements from religious institutions within the scope of 42 USC 2000e-2(e) when they consider candidates’ religious affiliations, religious beliefs, and/or willingness to support, incorporate, or accommodate the tenets of the institution’s affiliation in teaching and/or research. In 2018, we revised the Placement Guidelines to require these institutions to be up front about such practices and to include in their job postings information and links to any relevant documents (https://classicalstudies.org/placement/placement-service-guidelines). In 2020, at Helen’s suggestion we discussed whether or not the SCS should continue to post job ads from these institutions.
Vote: The Committee agreed unanimously that it should continue to do so, for two related reasons. Since such institutions play a large role in supporting Latin and Greek education, we want to keep them within the Classics family, so to speak, as well as its professional organization. Posting religious ads also allows the Classics community and the SCS at least some measure of supervision and the possibility of influencing their practices and protecting candidates from discrimination.
Action Item: To strengthen its position, the committee unanimously decided to revise the Placement Guidelines (B6) so that the instructions to these religious institutions read “must” rather than “should.”
2. The CCPD also reviewed data from the Placement Survey, gathered and analyzed by Erik Shell https://classicalstudies.org/placement/scs-newsletter-july-2019-placement-report. Committee members were concerned with the low response rate from institutions: only 20% report hiring outcomes. Victoria Pagán (ex officio CODIP) proposed a carrot and stick approach: the Placement Service would add to the fee it charges institutions a “deposit” of $100 (or some amount to be agreed on later), to be refunded after the institution completes the survey. Erik Shell was willing to do the bookkeeping necessary to implement such a deposit. At the meeting of the Committee on Professional Matters on 5 January 2020, Helen Cullyer confirmed that the financial system could make it work.
Vote: The committee voted unanimously for this incentive mechanism.
3. At its meeting, the CCPD renewed its discussion of the question whether the Placement Service should to continue to organize and host interviews at the annual meetings. During the fall we reviewed and exchanged emails about the results of the survey, collected and analyzed by Erik Shell https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ebfwk7iexk42aji/AACPuYHvjmU4QCQwFY2phr-ha?dl=0
(A digest of our email discussion appears below). In January, we were influenced by the response of job seekers who supported the change by a significant majority, although the transition on-site to distance interviews brings significant challenges.
- Would the SCS lose its ability to promote the ethical hiring practices, especially if (as is likely) some institutions revert to pre-placement service days and hold interviews at the meetings in hotel rooms?
- Would attendance at the meetings decline, reducing their inclusivity and depriving Classicists of a big-old-meeting where you could run into anybody?
- Since the change would uncouple interviews from the meeting schedule, institutions could pressure candidates to respond to offers, effectively limiting their options; this pressure would have an outsize effect on candidates from underrepresented groups.
Vote: Nevertheless, we voted unanimously for a transition from on-site to distance interviews and decided on several measures to address our concerns.
Action Item: During Spring 2020, the committee will formulate a transition plan, in coordination with Erik Shell and Helen Cullyer, to present to the Board a plan for this transition over several years.
Action Item: Reinforce the existing guidelines that candidates not be required to respond to a job offer until the end of January—this rule is to be presented on the webform that institutions fill out to place an ad and to be highlighted on the Placement Guidelines webpage.
Action Item: Add to the web form that institutions fill out to post an ad fields to specify the format of their interviews and a date range during which the interviews take place (Erik Shell).
4. The Committee endorsed the idea of creating a linked-in group as an additional forum to bring together Classicists both in the professoriate and outside it. Erik Shell agreed to make this happen.
Finally, as an addendum, a new issue came up at the Meeting of the Committee on Professional Matters: the profile of the networking event. Apparently, some people were put off by the need to sign up, although signups were only for logistical planning. Others worried about not being able to stay for the entire time window. Helen Cullyer offered to revise the information to indicate that drop-ins were welcome and that one does not need to stay for the entire period of time.
CCPD email discussion about transition from on-site to distance interviews
This memo digests the email discussion by the CCPD of Erik Shell’s memo on changes to the placement service, i.e. transition from on-site to distance interviews and split of the CCPD committee into two committees (academic jobs, jobs outside the academy).
Committee agrees about moving interviews in this direction but
- prefers a flexible model that incorporates both on-site and distance interviews (e.g. possibly more than one interview room at the meetings)
- seeks to know more of the evidence that led to the proposal
- recommends putting it to a vote of the full membership
Concerns about the transition include
- the impact of free-for-all scheduling on candidates
- decrease of the SCS’ ability to sway institutions to follow guidelines
- decrease in attendance at meetings by contingent faculty and graduate students—winning internal funding often depends on having an interview
Committee supports retaining a single committee that functions as a career-inclusive group.
Committee also supports the placement service giving more attention to careers beyond college and university teaching—continue the networking event and do other events.
Ted Peña has brought the memo to the AIA’s governing bodies and will return their comments.
Ginna Closs contributed a link to this timely article—the SCS is ahead of the curve on bedroom interviews (!) while Erik’s memo follows the progress of the AHA on eliminating interviews at their annual meeting.
5. Committee on Professional Ethics
Barbara Gold, Chair
This committee did not meet at the SCS this year because there were no pressing issues to discuss. For the first time this year, there was an ombudsperson at the meeting and a joint (with AIA) rapid response team to address any urgent situations that might arise. A number of issues have arisen informally throughout the year relating to hiring practices, plagiarism, misogynistic and racist statements on Twitter antithetical to SCS values, unprofessional treatment of authors by a journal, intradepartmental difficulties, intellectual property rights, and complaints about unfair treatment by members of departments; these were handled on an informal basis by the Vice President for Professional Matters and did not rise to the level of formal complaints. Other complaints or discussions involving plagiarism, guidelines, anonymous blogs and emails, harassment, and disturbing incidents arising from the 2019 annual meeting demanded the attention of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee has continued to revise our Professional Ethics Statement, which has been posted on the website in its latest form.
6. Classics Advisory Service
Jeffrey Henderson, Director
The Classics Advisory Service (CAS) advises threatened classics and archaeology programs in universities, colleges, and secondary schools in North America and abroad, and works (sometimes in coordination with regional associations) with their faculty, students, alumni, or parents as needed in order to reduce or eliminate the threats. The CAS does not mediate or otherwise involve itself in internal disputes but rather presents to higher administrators the perspective of an international professional organization.
Since its last report the CAS has acted in response to requests for advice or assistance from threatened classics programs in six US universities, one of them a graduate program, and one secondary school; has followed up on actions taken in prior years; and remains in communication with colleagues at several other institutions regarding potential threats. The secondary program, threatened with elimination, was buoyed by a large outpouring of protest from students and parents along with the CAS, and is hopeful that the threat will not be enacted. In two of the university cases, the threats have been averted; in three others no final action has been taken. Ongoing cases have at least not deteriorated. In one case, disputes internal to the program seem to be a factor in encouraging the administration to move against it by suspending graduate admissions pending program reorganization. Given the current vulnerability of humanities programs everywhere to diminishment or elimination, the CAS urges faculty to do their best to manage internal differences of opinion so as not to weaken their program or put it in administrative crosshairs.
In addition to assisting threatened programs, the CAS also advised about various academic and curricular norms and standards; on the selection of visitors for college and university external reviews; and on concerns raised about administratively devised assessment criteria, both program- and promotion-related, that seem ill suited to the discipline of classical studies.
The Director has found that self-studies leading to external reviews are usually very helpful for classics programs in maintaining, enhancing, or defending their institutional stature, in no small part because our field is exceptionally solidary and maximally constructive both collegially and in upholding agreed ideals, standards, and practices, nationally as well as internationally. As a rule, administrators take advice from faculty at other schools more seriously than the same advice from their own faculty and are highly sensitive to the kinds of advocacy that the CAS can bring to bear. Programs should therefore consider requesting an external review if such reviews are not regularly scheduled, and they are urged to alert the CAS in cases of threats actual or potential. The CAS cannot assist if we are unaware of the threat.
During the 2020 annual meeting, the Director described the CAS in a well-attended panel on the future of classics and archaeology programs, reviewing typical threats to programs and the approaches that have proven to be helpful. But fewer than half of the attendees were aware of the CAS or its activities. The Director plans therefore to update the website and make it more easily discoverable.
Finally, the CAS wishes to emphasize the importance of every sort of data about classical and archaeological studies programs nationally, both for programs creating self-studies and preparing for external reviews, and for CAS in working with threatened programs and their higher administrations. We urge every program to respond to requests for data from SCS and other national organizations whose advocacy of the humanities includes classical studies, and to let us know what sorts of data would be useful to add.
7. Professional Matters Committee
Barbara Gold, Chair
This committee met on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 9-10:30 a.m. (which is our regular meeting time so that Chairs of all the committees in this division can report on their activities and events at the meetings). The committee is comprised entirely of Chairs of the other committees in the Professional Matters division and also Jeffrey Henderson, Director of the Classics Advisory Service. Present were Cynthia Bannon, James Uden, Sheila Murnaghan (ex officio), Helen Cullyer (ex officio), Barbara Gold (Chair), Timothy Heckenlively, Jeffrey Henderson, Victoria Pagán. Also present as guests were incoming chairs of some committees in this division, Jeanne Neumann, Elizabeth LaFray, and Katharine von Stackleberg.
All reports from the committees in the Professional Matters division are included in my report (see above) so I will not reiterate most of the information found there. Each of these committees has many developing and exciting items on their agendas.
The main accomplishment of Professional Matters this year was the decision to hire an ombudsperson who would be present at the annual meeting to handle any urgent complaints. This was done, and she was able to talk to people during the course of the meeting. We also formed a joint rapid response team comprised of SCS and AIA members.
The Professional Ethics Statement continues to be revised, and the latest version has been posted on the website. A statement on Harassment for the meeting that was drawn up in conjunction with COGSIP and WCC is now printed in the SCS Meeting Program. There is a box to check on the registration form indicating that each registrant has read and agreed to the conditions in the Harassment Statement.
The committees in the division have been very active this year. Two of them again held receptions at the meetings (Diversity, Contingent Faculty). Career Planning and Development also held meetings with Classicists who have PhD’s and are working outside of academia and graduate students (the Career Networking Event). The Liberal Arts Chairs group and the Chairs of PhD departments continue to coordinate to discuss topics important to all, including preparing graduate students for careers outside of Classics and also for teaching at Liberal Arts colleges.
The Contingent Faculty Committee has roundtables and events at regional meetings (CAMWS and CAMWS-SS, CAAS), are doing a bi-monthly blog about successes among contingent faculty, and are working on ways of mentoring and supporting contingent faculty (along with many other committees working on mentoring). They note that now roughly three-quarters of all faculty positions across the US are untenured. Contingent faculty are now taking on more and more responsibilities: for example, the entire executive committee of CAMWS-SS was recently made up of contingent faculty. The committee (via the SCS) has sent out a short survey in order to try to collect better demographic data on contingent faculty.
The Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession (COGSIP), together with the WCC and LCC, issued a report on the harassment survey; this was published in the May 2019 SCS Newsletter. They have advocated for childcare and dependent care (partnering with WCC and SCS) and will be running a panel at the 2021 meeting on childcare; they have assisted with the SCS harassment policy that was in place for the 2020 meeting; and helped to prepare for the bystander intervention training workshops at the 2020 SCS.
The Committee on Diversity in the Profession (CODIP) reports that there were a good number of applications for the Minority Scholarship awards (13); 4 were awarded. The committee advocated for naming some scholarships after (e.g.) Frank Snowden, Jr. and Anna Julia Cooper; for having voting representatives from historically underrepresented minority groups on some SCS committees; and for collecting more data on such things as membership, hiring practices, representation on SCS governance, and student demographics.
The Committee on Career Planning and Development (CCPD) now has two new members from AIA. The committee has finalized a Statement on Career Diversity (Career Paths), has revised the Placement Guidelines, and a subcommittee has produced a new Careers for Classicists. The committee discussed and continues work on several issues: ads from religious institutions; getting a better response to the Placement Survey; and (a project for 2020) developing (with Erik Shell) a proposal for the phasing out of onsite job interviews at the SCS meeting.
Jeff Henderson for the Classics Advisory Service has continued his valuable work with colleges and universities (and even a high school) as Classics Departments are increasingly threatened; some of his interchanges with schools go on for an extensive period of time. He urges departments that need help to contact the CAS as early as possible, to keep in mind how valuable department reviews can be, to be aware of the importance of data collection, and to try to manage internal differences of opinion so that they themselves and not administrators can exert control over their departments.
It is important for all the committees, but especially for COGSIP, CODIP and Contingent Faculty, that they be able to make connections with the many other groups who are working towards the same goals and to use the collective energy to make some real progress. For example, COGSIP is working closely with WCC and LCC on harassment; CODIP is working with Mountaintop and others on issues around diversity and inclusion. We also need to be able to work with AIA on many issues.
Most of the committees have now set up a system of senior and junior co-chairs so that there will be a smooth transition from one year to the next and some historical memory. I am very grateful to the committee chairs, co-chairs and members for all the thoughtful work they have put into our very real concerns this year, and I look forward to working with them over the next year.
Barbara Gold, Vice President for Professional Matters