Equity, Organizations, and Data Visualization
Within any organization people fall through the cracks. For example, employees turnover, citizens fail to vote, students dropout, and the needy fail to access services that have been set aside for them. In some cases, people fail to succeed within an institution because they lack the motivation and/or acumen. In other cases, people possess the acumen and motivation necessary to be successful, but they still fall through the cracks. In such cases a change in the way the institution is designed can improve outcomes. For example, paid sick leave can lower turnover and less burdensome voter id laws can enhance voter turnout. Thus, the first aim of this course is to answer the following question: How can we design institutions so that the people working in them and the clients being served by them can have a fair chance at success? While answering this question we will undoubtedly discover that we have different ideas about what fairness means and collectively we will have to think about how we can respectfully navigate these tensions within the classroom and in broader society. The second aim of this course is to use data and data visualization to map out equity and inequity. Equity is a somewhat elusive concept, and the power of data visualization is that it can make what is elusive and seemingly invisible visible. Learning and utilizing the data visualization software Tableau will be central to the course.