Reconsider Denial of Tenure

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We write to express our concern and dismay regarding the failure to grant tenure to Dr. Ashley Woodson, Assistant Professor and the William A. and Jean S. Stauffer Faculty Fellow in Education.    In supporting her, we note that she has published over 17 peer reviewed and other research papers, presented at dozens of professional conferences and frequently invited to guest lecture.  In the past couple of years she has received external funding in excess of 40k, and has received the AERA Social Studies Early Career Award (2020) from her own Division.  In 2018, Dr. Woodson received the following recognitions regarding her teaching and mentorship:   the College of Education Faculty Commitment to Diversity Award, Dean’s Faculty Leadership Fellow award, and a student award for mentorship.  Similar awards are present for previous years.  With regards to service, she sits on several editorial boards of major academic journals to include Urban Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, etc.  In terms of University Service, she sits on no less than 10 University committees of which she has served in leadership in 3.  This is the record of a star, devoted to her profession and dedicated to rendering the best she can. 


The fact that her tenure was denied based upon student evaluations is even more troubling when we consider the reality that such evaluations frequently have been demonstrated to be biased and highly skewed against women in general, and black women in particular The negative evaluations are especially high when the professor is dealing with trigger issues of white privilege, racial inequity, and collective guilt. (Most recently see Nguyan 2017 for example.) As these are the very types of courses taught by Professor Woodson, at a predominantly White University, it appears quite apparent that this is indeed what is happening here.   


 We urge you to reconsider granting her tenure based upon her strong record of scholarship, student engagement, and service.


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