A new assistant professor writes:
PGR has now guided me through grad school and two market cycles. Thanks for the all the hard work.
I wanted to mention that I’d witnessed/heard of a lot of discussion-worthy practices related to demographic attributes of candidates, especially gender and race. (Demoralizing example: office assistants in the cubicle next to mine trying to guess the ethnicity of candidates from their surnames, which they appeared to be recording in the candidates’ dossiers.)
I’d love to know both people’s considered views and actual practices, particularly concerning whether departments should/do (a) ignore non-academic demographic attributes, (b) consider them in order to pursue/encourage applications from certain demographics, (c) weight demographic attributes but only as a tie-breaker, (d) weight demographic attributes so that an academically superior candidate might be turned down in favor of one with certain demographic attributes, or (e) weight demographic attributes so that a candidate who would normally not be viewed as sufficiently qualified is hired anyway because of demographic attributes.
I will, as usual, give strong preference to non-anonymous comments, though given the sensitivity of these topics may permit some anonymous postings. Post only once; comments may take awhile to appear, even if approved.