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Faculty and staff are invited to attend a January 11, 2019, lecture by higher education diversity expert Christine Stanley on the issue of invisible labor.

Invisible labor is broadly defined as the expectation and pressure that many faculty and staff from underrepresented groups feel to serve as role models, mentors, and advisors to students and to meet the institutional need for diverse representation on committees, at meetings, and in departmental or office activities.

Stanley is vice president and associate provost for diversity emerita at Texas A&M University and a nationally recognized expert on diversity in higher education. Her visit is intended to help raise awareness about the issue and provide guidance for addressing inequities.

Stanley’s lecture will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Strong Hall Room 101. It is sponsored by the Office of the Provost in coordination with the chancellor’s commissions.

“College and university mission statements espouse the value of a diverse campus environment,” Stanley said. “Research literature is clear that having a diverse faculty does make a difference––in terms of student engagement and retention, campus climate, role models, courses and curricula, research, teaching, and preparing students for civic and social responsibility, among others.”

Yet, she said, the number of minority faculty and students continues to lag, resulting in a heavier burden as they are more often called upon to lend their experience and expertise to campus endeavors.

“The visible or invisible presence of a few or many minoritized faculty on a college campus does not come without cost and labor,” she said.

Stanley said her presentation “will share current research on invisible labor in the academy, with particular emphasis on the experiences of minoritized faculty in predominantly white colleges and universities, and draw implications for institutional policies, practices, and processes.”

An afternoon workshop and discussion will be held for invited academic and campus leaders.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,