i. Employee and Professional Benefits Summary for Faculty Appointment Candidates
We recommend that, as part of the hiring process, you direct candidates to the college’s online benefits plan descriptions. The Faculty Handbook, Section III, also offers summaries of the benefits programs, plus additional information on other faculty resources and services. Further questions should be referred as appropriate:
- the Benefits Administrator, 597-4478;
- the Payroll Manager, 597-4479; or
- the Housing Coordinator, 597-2195.
Please note that new faculty hires or their partners may consult with the Manager of Spouse/Partner Resources, 597-4587, for advice about employment opportunities in the area, as well as other transition issues.
None of the employee benefits described except FICA (Social Security and Medicare) apply to faculty with less than half time appointments.
Candidates for non-visiting part-time appointments should be referred to the Faculty Handbook, Section III-P, for regulations and benefits that pertain to such appointments.
The College reserves the right to modify, amend, or terminate any policy, practice, or benefit, as conditions warrant.
ii. Special Funds for New Faculty
In addition to divisional research and travel funds that are made available to all faculty members and renewed on an annual basis, new faculty members are sometimes provided with seed funding—either start-up funds or special research funds—at the time of hire. The distinction between these two kinds of funds is described here below.
Start-up accounts are sometimes established to provide new faculty members with funds to outfit laboratories or to purchase the kinds of special equipment, supplies, or access to data needed to facilitate their teaching and research. The chair of the hiring department or program should help the candidate produce a budget, carefully itemized, and submit it to the provost’s office for approval before the offer letter is signed. The chair should set realistic expectations and advise the candidate of existing resources, such as shared equipment, that may be at the candidate’s disposal without cost. In addition, the chair should communicate with the provost’s office and the facilities department—again, before the offer letter is signed—about any office, lab, or studio renovations that might be necessary to accommodate the new faculty member. Capital costs are considered as part of the overall hiring package.
Start-up funds can be spent at any time during the faculty member’s first three years at Williams, for the original purposes designated. The three-year spending period is intended, in large part, to promote and enable early faculty career development. That is, start-up funding is meant to support an active research program at the very start of a tenure-track appointment. It is also a financial bridge upon which to produce scholarship and prepare applications for external grants. To ensure internal equity, unused start-up funds (e.g., savings realized on large equipment purchases) do not remain available for use as discretionary research funds. Start-up funds are granted for specific purposes. Significant changes to the spending plan should be discussed with the department or program chair and ultimately approved by the dean’s office.
Should circumstances arise that may delay the acquisition of equipment, supplies, or data for which start-up funds were awarded, a faculty member should consult with the dean of the faculty. Requests to rollover unused start-up funds in such circumstances into the fourth year of appointment may be granted. Written requests for such extensions should be submitted to the dean by January 1 of the third year and should include an updated budget and timetable. Spending caps will sometimes have to be imposed on rolled-over start-up accounts, since the arrival of new faculty each year typically adds to the overall budget load. Extensions of spending on start-up accounts beyond the fourth year of appointment are not granted.
Special research accounts, as distinct from start-up accounts, are sometimes established to provide new faculty members with a discretionary research budget during their first few years at the College, to be used for professional travel, teaching or scholarship as the need arises. The dean of the faculty and the new faculty member agree at the time of hire on an amount to be added to these accounts annually for a set number of years. Unspent balances can accumulate and be rolled over without limit, even after the original term of agreement, as long as the faculty member is employed at Williams. When the balance is exhausted, the account is closed.
On institutional and/or unintended bias:
- Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2004). “Are Emily and Brendan more employable than Latoya and Tyrone? Evidence on racial discrimination in the labor market from a large randomized experiment.” American Economic Review, 94(4), 991-1013. http://www.jstor.org/stable/view/3592802
- Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2000). “Aversive racism and selection decisions: 1989 and 1999.” Psychological science, 11(4), 315-319. http://pss.sagepub.com/content/11/4/315
- Moody, Joann. Faculty Diversity: Removing the Barriers. Routledge: New York and London, 2012. See especially “Cognitive Errors That Contaminate Academic Evaluations and Block Faculty Diversity” and “Negative Bias and Positive Bias,” 3-55.
On stereotype threat:
- Cohen, Geoffrey, and Claude M. Steele. “A Barrier of Mistrust: How Negative Stereotypes Affect Cross-Race Mentoring.” In Improving Academic Achievement: Impact of Psychological Factor on Education, ed. Joshua Aronson (Academic: San Diego, 2002), 303-28. http://science.williams.edu/files/2011/11/cohen-2002.pdf
- Steele, Claude. “A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance.” American Psychologist, Vol 52(6), Jun 1997, 613-629. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/amp/52/6/613/
On faculty/institutional diversity:
- Ahmed, Sara. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Duke University Press, 2012.
- Guttierez y Muhs, Gabriella, et al, eds. Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academe. University Press of Colorado: Boulder, 2012.
- Hale, Frank W. Editor. What Makes Racial Diversity Work in Higher Education. Stylus, 2004.
- Moody, Joann. Faculty Diversity: Removing the Barriers. Routledge, 2012.
- Smith, Daryl. Achieving Faculty Diversity: Debunking the Myths. AACU, 1996.
- Turner, Caroline Sotello Viernes. Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees. AACU, 2002.
Other institutions have websites with useful examples of hiring strategies and practices, sometimes tailored to particular underrepresented groups (e.g., women in the sciences). Chairs of search committees are encouraged to explore some of these websites; the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity can provide suggestions tailored to the challenges of particular units.