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December 01, 2004 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-01

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 1, 2004 - 3

ON CAMPUS
LSA dean delivers
'State of the
College' address
LSA Dean Terrence McDonald and
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Edu-
cation Robert Megginson will address
students, faculty and staff and take ques-
tions about the state of the College of
Literature, Science, and the Arts today.
This "State of the College" address will
take place in the Pendleton Room of the
Michigan Union at 6 p.m. The dialogue
will focus on the current and future ini-
tiatives the college is taking.
Exhibit focuses on
AIDS in S. Africa
An exhibition today unites major
South African artists to address the issue
of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. The
works represent a new artistic activism
and incorporate a spectrum of insight-
ful perspectives and creative media.
The exhibition is being shown in room
0520 of the Osterman Common Room
of Rackham Graduate School, from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m.
'U' scientist to
discuss health
patterns of Latinos
Hector Gonzalez, an assistant
research scientist in the Department
of Epidemiology, will speak about the
ways in which the association between
social status and health of Latinos
runs contrary to expectations. Mexican
Americans have health outcomes similar
to or better than non-Hispanic whites,
despite higher risks for poor health. The
presentation will discuss this paradox
along with research on the health of older
Mexican Americans.
The event will take place today from 3
to 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the Public
Health Building.
CRIME
NOTES
Laptop stolen
from Ed. building
A caller reported a stolen laptop
computer to the Department of Public
Safety on Monday. The computer was a
laptop, and the caller said it was taken
from the School of Education at 610 E.
University Ave. on Nov. 23. DPS has no
suspects in the case.
Scrolls stolen,
porn accessed at
School of Ed.
A caller reported to DPS on Mon-
day that two Chinese scrolls were
stolen from the School of Educa-
tion and a computer was accessed to
download pornography there.
Patient threatens

* patrons at family
medical center
A patient was escorted out of Bri-
arwood Family Medicine at 1801 Bri-
arwood Circle on Monday. The patient
was reportedly making threats to
patrons at the practice.

Study finds strong
link between race,
employer response

C alif

researcher finds Arab Americans

most likely to face job discrimination

By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter

Employment agencies often discriminate against
job applicants on the basis of their names, said
researcher Sirithon Thanasombat, who presented the
results of a Discrimination Research Center of Cali-
fornia study yesterday in Hutchins Hall.
The study, titled "Names Make a Difference," is
the DRC's third report concerning the temporary
employment industry. Between August and Novem-
ber 2003, the DRC sent 6,200 resumes to temporary
employment agencies throughout California. Though
the resume applicants were fake, they all possessed
equal qualifications. The goal of the study was to find
out whether identifiably ethnic names on the resumes
affected the rates at which the agencies would grant
e-mail or telephone responses.
The report states that applicants from some ethnic
groups received responses from agencies with greater
frequency than white applicants or applicants of other
ethnic groups.
The state of Michigan is ranked third in number of
complaints in the United States.
"This (report) is a snapshot of employer behavior
in the real world today," said Thanasombat, program
coordinator of the DRC. " And though this study was
limited to temp agencies and entry-level positions,

stereotypes still come up in legal firms and other
upper-level employment."
The names that were compared in the study derived
from five groups: Asian Americans, Latinos, blacks,
Arab Americans/South Asians and whites. Response
rates from the agencies varied between each of the
groups, as well as between men and women in certain
groups.
Overall, names that were stereotypically associ-
ated with Arab Americans/South Asians and Asian
Americans received lower response rates from job
agencies than identifiably ethnic names of any other
group, suggesting that members of these ethnic groups
experience persistent discrimination in employment
because of their names Latinos received the highest
response rate with 33 percent, followed by whites and
blacks with 32 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Thanasombat speculated on the reasons behind
the differences.
"We think the Latinos came out first because it
was thought that they had bilingual skills, which is
especially important in California," she said. "The
backlash against Arab Americans and South Asians
in the aftermath of September 11 could also explain
their low response rate."
The study also concluded that the number of civil
rights violations claimed by employees has increased
in the last three years, but Asian Americans tended to

MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
California researcher Sid Thanasombat speaks in Hutchins Hall yesterday regarding research
findings showing the evidence of hiring disparities based on names on applications.

file lawsuits less often than other groups. Thanasom-
bat said this indicates that employers can and do dis-
criminate against Asian Americans without fear of
legal repercussions, which explains the low response
rate.
While the average response rate was higher for
women than for men in all groups, the gap was par-
ticularly evident with Arab Americans/South Asians
and whites. But the other groups showed smaller
gender gaps. The response rates for black men and
women mirrored the statewide rate of 31 percent
and Asian American men and women fared equally
poorly.
These results indicate that race is a bigger factor

in employment discrimination than gender, but that
those agencies that look beyond racial lines often dis-
criminate based on gender stereotypes, Thanasombat
said.
"It is really scary that this type of discrimination
exists," said Chad Doobay, a Law School student
who attended the presentation. "I was surprised by
the gender difference - the fact that there is a gender
bias just further shows that we have a lot of work to
do to achieve equality."
As an extension of this research, in the future, the
DRC plans to use equally qualified pairs of people to
explore the different types of employment discrimi-
nation in the United States.

'U' makes gains in hiring female scientists, engineers

By Andrew Perrine
For The Daily
The list of widely known scientists is
dominated by men, but a University pro-
gram is working to break this mold.
The ADVANCE program seeks to
increase the number of female science
and engineering professors at the Univer-
sity, and as the five-year program passes
its halfway point, some women faculty
are saying it is accomplishing its mission.
Hiring of female professors in science

high-priority packages reach their desti-
nations faster and more efficiently.
Cohn added that she was also able
to include her assistants - all of them
female - in a conference held by the
Institute for Operations Research and the
Management Sciences, giving them valu-
able experience in the world of academia.
However, Cohn stressed that her experi-
ence is not representative of the experience
of women faculty members as a whole.
"The problem is not solved.," she said.
An ADVANCE report published this
year also warned
that because the

ences" felt the departmental climate was
"colder and less positive" than either
their male colleagues or females in other
departments such as the humanities and
social sciences.
Computer science Prof. Martha Pol-
lack said bringing women faculty togeth-
er and having open conversation is key to
improving an unfriendly work environ-
ment and feelings of isolation.
Pollack is a member of Science and
Technology Recruiting to Improve Diver-
sity and Excellence, a committee that
advises departments on ways to identify
qualified women and minorities for faculty
positions. She explained that ADVANCE
attacks the problem of changing institu-
tional climate "by raising awareness and
bringing in new women faculty."
"That in itself will make a huge differ-

ence," she added.
Abigail Stewart, a professor ofpsychol-
ogy and women's studies and a principle
investigator in the ADVANCE project,
said, "The most important resource is of
course the science and engineering facul-
ty themselves - men and women - who
have worked hard to understand how to
make improvements in this area."
ADVANCE is trying to ameliorate
the difficulties faced by male and female
faculty members as they attempt to bal-
ance their professional duties with raising
children.
Cohn, a mother of two, pointed out
the difficulty in not being able to attend -
meetings with her male colleagues after
5 p.m. because she is obligated to pick up
her children from daycare.
ADVANCE hopes to improve Univer-

sity policies that give modified duties to
faculty who must care for infants and to
make it easier for women professors with
children to get tenure. Also, ADVANCE
aims to provide on-site childcare.
Engineering junior Stephanie Ritok
said the gender of her professors makes lit-
tle difference to her. "There's still the same
amount of knowledge. It doesn't matter to
me if they're male or female," she said.
While the improvements in female hir-
ing since 2001 are significant, the differ-
ence between today and 20 years ago is
greater. Engineering junior Evan Quas-
ney said his mother, a member of the
University's class of 1978, was-part of the
extreme minority of female students in
the civil engineering department. "There
were no female professors at all that she
knew of," he said.

and engineering
has increased sig-
nificantly since
2001, according to
leaders of the proj-
ect, which is fund-
ed by the National
Science Founda-
tion. In 2001, only
20 percent of pro-
fessors hired by the
University were
women, while this
year that figure has
risen to 40 percent.
As a result, the

LC T 7 %

You're not going
to have women
deans if you_
don't have more
tenured faculty."
- Amy Cohn
Engineering Professor

2002-03 academic
year was the first
full year affected
by ADVANCE,
"it is too soon to
draw conclusions
about ADVANCE
project efforts to
recruit and retain
women scien-
tists from these
numbers." But by

female-to-male ratio of professors in sci-
ence and engineering, an area historically
dominated by men, is increasing.
Industrial and operations engineering
Prof. Amy Cohn said the ADVANCE
program has made a tangible difference
for her, adding that in her first three years
at the University have "largely been phe-
nomenal."
Through ADVANCE, Cohn received
the Elizabeth C. Crosby Award, a grant
that helped her hire graduate and under-
graduate research assistants who help her
efficiently complete her last research proj-
ect. Cohn's project involved ensuring that

actively recruiting
young female pro-
fessors in the sciences, ADVANCE also
hopes to put more women in positions of
power in the science departments.
"You're not going to have women
deans if you don't have more tenured
faculty," said Cohn. "You're not going
to have women tenured faculty without
increasing numbers in junior faculty."
While programs that award money can
sometimes spark resentment, Cohn said
she hopes that ADVANCE instead fosters
open discussion.
ADVANCE reported that a survey
conducted prior to the program's start
indicated that women in the "hard sci-

I

THIs DAY
In Daily History
City Council tries
to raise penalty
for pot possession
Dec. 1, 1989 - Members of the
Ann Arbor City Council attempted to
raise the city's $5 penalty for poses-
sion of marijuana to $25 for a first
offense, by placing a measure on an
upcoming ballot.
Mayor Gerald Jernigan said the
standing law sent the wrong message
to the city. "It makes Ann Arbor look
like a drug-permissive community,"
he said.
Goups opposed to the law such as the

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