Friday, November 03, 2006

Gender Equity lagging in U. S. Higher Ed.

The AAUP study on tenure and salary rates for male and female faculty at colleges and universities across America link. It shows fairly depressing numbers, with women faculty lagging seriously in both tenure track positions, achieving tenure and salary equity.

Related articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 3, 2006 issue:

AAUP Study link, includes this quote:

"Women face more obstacles as faculty in higher education than they do as managers and directors in corporate America," according to the report. Women have not been "welcomed into the faculty ranks," says the report, and they confront an "inequitable hurdle" when it comes time to apply for tenure. If higher education continues hiring, offering tenure, and paying women at the same rate it does now, says the report, it will take decades for women to "reach parity."

The X-Gals on balancing career and family (these women are writing with pen names, but all are post-docs in sciences). This article contains some nice time management ideas for either gender link

Here is a summary of this articles thoughts for time management, with my occasional comments in brackets[]:

Write down a plan and stick to it. In any given week, most of us have multiple projects, grants, experiments, classes, and other work to manage. It is easy to procrastinate or, worse, become completely paralyzed and unable to move forward. So write down your major goals for each current project. Then write down reasonable ways to achieve them on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. Then collate all of that information into a weekly to-do list. (snip)

Have a routine and be efficient. It is important to have a set schedule in order to both effectively plan your work days and fit in time for family and a hobby or two. (snip)

When in doubt, farm it out. [she means delegate jobs or parts of jobs where you can] (snip)

Get at least one hobby that is not work related. [ah, wise woman!]

Don't do it all. Do just enough. [you go, girl!]

Avoid drama, seek fulfillment. If you reach a point where you are disgruntled, frustrated with failure (perceived or real), or often complaining or blaming others for your unhappiness, then go back to your original priorities. Are the decisions you have made so far jibing with your priorities? If not, own up to it and start making decisions that do.

That might mean applying for a different job, saying "no" to new responsibilities, revising your schedule and routine, or simply changing your attitude. The only way to find fulfillment in the things we decide to do is to make sure we actually enjoy whatever it is we are doing. (snip)

I suggest you read the whole article, no matter which gender you are, but I find these women very heartening.

Harvard is offering more faculty posts to women, but fewer are accepting link Larry Summers' legacy, perhaps? The report describes some of the things Harvard is doing to try to make it more welcoming to women:

it says that while a number of steps have already been taken to increase the number of women, more should be done.

Among the steps already taken, the report notes that Harvard began offering women eight weeks of maternity leave, as of last July, and that its Standing Committee on Women has held several receptions and lunches to help new female professors feel comfortable.

In the coming year, the report says, a more formal mentor program will be established. Twenty-five senior women will act as mentors to groups of 12 junior women, meeting for lunch once a semester. The mentors will not be in the same disciplines as the tenure-track professors.

"Junior faculty members," says the report, "often have questions or concerns that they are uncomfortable raising with colleagues in their department, especially those who might be serving on their promotion committees."

And, in the name of Title IX, to achieve gender equity in sports, James Madison University cuts women's teams sports, in addition to men's sports, link The article goes on to discuss Title IX:

Gender-equity advocates argue that applying Title IX's proportionality prong is a choice, not a necessity. If its application harms male and female athletes, they say, then universities ought to find other ways to comply with the law. The advocates are also frustrated that colleges are using gender-equity law as an excuse for cutbacks they are making for a variety of reasons.

"Title IX is being blamed unfairly for institutional decisions that have to do with priorities and finances," says Judith M. Sweet, a longtime gender-equity expert and recently retired senior vice president for championships and education services at the National Collegiate Athletic Association. James Madison had other options for achieving compliance, she says.

One alternative would be to rein in spending on big-budget sports like football. For example, rosters that are typically close to 100 — James Madison's is 99 — could be brought closer to National Football League size, 53.

"It's called downsizing," says Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. "The money that you would save would go a long way toward supporting other sports."

But football is one of the few college sports that generates significant revenue, and athletics officials are reluctant to trim their rosters. They do not want to disarm their teams unilaterally, and new divisionwide legislation from the NCAA that would cap rosters seems like a long shot.

I remember when the Equal Rights Amendment was being debated around the states, and the biggest argument against it, the one that really got people riled up, was: "Oh my gosh! We'll have to have unisex bathrooms!" Well, that's what all of us have at home, and in my law school building, there are 2 unisex bathrooms in addition to the gender-specific ones. Nobody fainted or has protested about them. After all these years, we still have gender equity problems. Too bad the ERA failed!

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