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Identity-Based Labor Task Force

What is Identity-Based Labor?

“Drake defines hidden labor activities that advance the University mission that are often ignored or not proportionately valued in annual evaluations, promotion, and compensation and may negatively impact work-life balance, physical and mental health, and/or retention. These activities occur within the context of employment that individuals perform in reposnse to the implicit or explicit demands from stakeholders (administrators, students, alumni, community members). Identity-based labor often disproportionatley burdens groups historically underrepresented in higher education.”

-Faculty Senate Compensation Committee, 2019

"While identity-based labor can be a concern for all faculty, it seems clear that some faculty members are expected to undertake service activities because of their race, gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity, or backgrounds, these faculty members are called upon to serve in ways, and to degrees, that other faculty members are not."

-Hidden Labor Evaluation in Tenure and Promotion Process Task Force

Access the Identity-Based Labor Report released in 2022. [pdf]

What is the Identity-Based Labor Taskforce?

The Taskforce is a group of faculty leaders with representatives from every college, convened under the leadership of the Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion. It serves as a consulting group for tenure and promotion committees and academic unit leadership, through deans and department chairs, as they explore ways to address identity-based labor.

Our charge: to research the issues and make recommendations for policy and guideline changes that can be adopted to remediate issues of identity-based labor by the various colleges, through determining best practices in acknowledging and valuing this type of labor within promotion and tenure processes, as well as supporting faculty who routinely engage in identity-based labor.

The taskforce is working to create collaborative communication around practices and process changes with the aim of shifting the Drake University eco-system so we begin to normalize accounting for, but also increasingly mitigate, identity-based labor (and hidden-labor); both university-wide and at the unit level.

History to present initiatives:

  • 2019: Drake University Climate Assessment findings lead the Arts and Sciences Council and Faculty Senate to draft a memo urging the creation a taskforce to evaluate and make recommendations surrounding identity-based labor.
  • Fall 2020: Provost Sue Mattison commissions a taskforce to explore identity-based labor, as well as bias in teaching evaluations.
  • 2020-21: Throughout the 2020-21 academic year under the leadership of Dr. Erin Lain, a team of faculty researches and produces an an extensive report on hidden- and identity-based labor in higher education; the report includes a comprehensive literature review, relevant Drake data, and research on best practices.
  • 2021-22: A second iteration of the taskforce continues in 2021-22, under the leadership of Dr. Jen Harvey and begins to engage faculty in every college to raise awareness and generate a collaborative dialogue about identity-based labor.

What's happening now:

  • Spring 2022: An anonymous survey designed by the Taskforce to provide a more granular picture of how identity-based labor affects faculty at Drake was created and disseminated; a report will be forthocoming (Summer 2022) to be used as a resource for ongoing college-level work.
  • Fall 2022: Processes for sharing out college-level engagement with and responses to identity-based labor findings will be developed; with the aim of elevating best-practices and creating transparent and accountable structures. 
  • Fall 2022: The Taskforce will re-convene in a third iteration and take up work on the issue of bias in student evaluations; it will also continue to work with faculty leadership working to develop strategies and practices to redress identity-based labor in their units.



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