minority grad student-majority faculty collaboration: what is your experience?
Two weeks ago, I suggested that some racial disparity in the professorial ranks might be due to low rates of co-authorship between the m faculty of PhD programs and minority graduate students. The theory is that these collaborations provide a stream of publications that sustain people through the job market, mid term review and tenure review while their own research takes time to get started. Thus, if faculty aren’t offering co-authorship opportunities, it would create systemic differences in academic labor market outcomes.
The discussion focused on this theory. Now, I’d like to solicit personal experiences to help me assess the extent (or lack of extent) of this problem. I am encouraging PhD faculty and minority graduate students to discuss their co-authoring experiences. In my own case, I was made two faculty co-authorship offers in graduate school. One professor became quite ill. However, recently we’ve reconnected and I think we can restart the project. The other partner was highly contentious so that didn’t work out. Thus, at the end of graduate school I had zero co-authored articles with faculty.
During my ten years at Indiana, I can remember making four co-authorship offers to minority students. One was successful. You can read a short article at the Journal of Social Structure about our work on data visualization and there is a longer piece in the works. A second offer was followed up on, but it required methods expertise that I couldn’t offer and the student reverted to normal survey based research. So that’s my bad. A third was worked on a little before the student went into post-doc land and was never seen again, while a fourth offer was simply never responded to.
It is unclear to me if my experience is typical or atypical. That is why I think it is important to have people provide their own experiences.