Deanships and Diversity

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There are currently between 10-15 active law school dean searches being conducted around the country. It’s no secret that women, people of color, and every other category of academic short of a white male are under-represented in the higher reaches of academe. The research on women, and this is just as likely to be true for other groups, shows that one factor is the difference in application rates. Men will typically apply for positions without concern that they do not have the traditional or even requested experience. Women, on the other hand, will talk themselves out of applying because they can see all the ways in which they are not qualified for the job. This includes lack of intermediate administrative positions (such as Academic Dean). Women are also often outside of the referral network so are not as often nominated or asked to apply. Under the theory that it’s hard to get a job for which you don’t apply, I would urge anyone reading this with an interest in academic administration to apply for these openings by sending your CV and a letter of interest. And if you don’t get a job, apply again. Among other things, applying brings you to the attention of the search firms who will know about you the next time something comes along. There is no downside.

— Anonymous Dean Search Committee Member

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