After 23 years of serving as a UNC faculty member in the geography department, Altha Cravey is suing the University on the basis of gender discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, Cravey claims she has not achieved the status of full professor because UNC administrators did not appreciate her feminist-focused research. Cravey specifically identified Chancellor Carol Folt, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kevin Guskiewicz and geography department chairperson Michael Emch in her case.
The title of full professor offers many benefits such as a salary increase and higher esteem as a professional, but the road to get there is challenging.
“It’s very complicated,” said Debashis Aikat, an associate professor in the School of Media and Journalism. “The first level is your colleagues. In academia, you are evaluated by your peers. But, in academia, things are a little more complicated, if you will. In some cases, they will kind of vote by secret ballot, but it goes through many rounds. First you go through your local department then it goes through the college.”
Leslie Parise, professor and chairperson of biochemistry and biophysics in the School of Medicine, also said outside evaluators with no connection to the candidate are required to review the faculty member’s resume so the process has some objective elements. Parise has seen how this application process played out in her own department.