The Many Harms of SETs in Higher Education


In this paper I call attention to the problem of continuing to rely on SETs for hiring, reappointment, promotion, and award decisions in higher education, including the problem of continuing to permit the use of SETs despite the clear and explicit acknowledgement of their problems. I argue that to do so manifests a failure to acknowledge the weight of the actual and potential harms of SETs. I then provide an outline of such harms in order to clearly convey not only the weight but the extent of such harms, especially on marginalized job candidates, pre-existing faculty, administrators, and non-privileged students. I conclude by arguing that, given all of the foregoing, the use of SETs should be abolished for hiring, reappointment, promotion, and award decisions in higher education.

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