Invisible labor and the Associate Professor: Identity and workload inequity (2022).

ABSTRACT. Many professors, especially at the associate level, say yes to service requests despite the pervasive advice to “just say no.” Much of this service constitutes “invisible labor” that diverts time and energy from efforts required to advance to the full professor rank. Based on in-depth interview research with 25 tenured professors, this article outlines how different groups of faculty negotiate invisible labor, highlights institutional inequities that unevenly determine patterns of invisible labor, and connects invisible labor to broader neoliberal forces. For women faculty of color in particular, a “no” is not always respected by more powerful institutional actors, and the individualized emphasis on “just saying no” to service brings with it both individual and collective costs. This article suggests that institutional and cultural change may ameliorate the racialized and gendered inequities associated with invisible labor more effectively than the individualized advice to “just say no.”

Gordon, H. R., Willink, K., & Hunter, K. (2022). Invisible labor and the associate professor: Identity and workload inequity. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Advance online publication.

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