[EAS]Half-Time Tenure Track

pjk peter.kindlmann at yale.edu
Wed Jan 10 00:28:08 EST 2001

Mail*Link® SMTP               Half-Time Tenure Track

Dear Colleagues -

This strikes me not only as an important policy opportunity for
appointing women in academia, but in generalized form for
appointments in fields where competition from industry is
particularly intense, where the necessary leading-edge resources
cannot be maintained in academia. Such competitive tensions will
continue to increase.

Institutions have differed widely in their innovativeness and
success in using adjunct appointments for sustaining faculty
representation and educational offerings in such competitive
fields. And they will differ further yet once tenure becomes less
of a binary divide.


Date: 1/9/2001 11:39 PM
From: reis at stanford.edu
       "desk-top faculty development, one hundred times a year"


The following article looks a relatively new approach to the 
work/family balance issues faced by an increasing number of both men 
and women academics.  My thanks to Karen Schmeelk-Cone of the 
University of Michigan for calling it to my attention.


Rick Reis
reis at stanford.edu
UP NEXT: Building the Faculty We Need: Colleges and Universities 
Working Together

			Tomorrow's Academic Careers

	       ---------------- 711 words ----------------


Half-Time Tenure Track Could Level Professorial Playing Field
Nov. 13, 2000

University Park, Pa. -- Despite the increased numbers of women 
receiving Ph.D.'s, the percentage of tenured women faculty in U.S. 
colleges and universities has increased at a snail's pace, but a 
proposal for a half-time tenure track might not only allow more women 
to compete, but also provide an equitable solution for all untenured 
faculty with work/family issues, according to a Penn State researcher.

"Women have failed to rise in academics because traditionally, the 
ideal professional worker is someone who works for 40 years with no 
career interruptions, taking no time off for childbearing or 
child-rearing," says Dr. Robert Drago, professor of labor studies in 
Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts.

However, the childbearing years coincide with the tenure track years. 
Although women enter graduate programs in roughly equal proportions 
with men, they hold fewer than 15 percent of all tenured academic 
posts," says Dr. Joan Williams, professor of law, American 
University. "Women are much less likely than men to receive tenure. 
The rate for women receiving tenure in 1995 matched that of women in 
1975, but the rate for men increased from 46 to 72 percent in the 
same time period."

Recently, some institutions have implemented policies to aid 
childbearing couples. These policies may include parental leave 
policies, reduced workloads for new parents, or temporary stoppage of 
the tenure clock.

"However, raising a child takes 20 years, not one semester," says 
Drago. "American women, who still do the vast majority of child care, 
will not achieve equality in academia so long as the ideal academic 
is defined as someone who takes no time off for child rearing."

In the November issue of Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 
Drago and Williams propose a redefinition of the ideal academic 
worker. Their proposal offers proportional pay, benefits and 
advancement for part-time work. In essence, a part-time tenure track.

They suggest, "Any tenure-track faculty member with care-giving 
responsibilities for children, elderly or ill family members of 
partners could, with sufficient notice, request that he or she be 
placed on half-time status for a period of one to twelve years. 
Workload, including teaching, research, advising and committee work, 
would also decline by half."

The tenure clock would run at half-time, but so would salary, 
benefits and advancement.

"Given the financial penalty involved, we expect that most academics 
would use the part-time policy for between two and six years," says 

A faculty member who went half-time for two years would have a tenure 
decision at the end of seven years rather than six, and the maximum 
time for a tenure decision would be a set number of years. The 
researchers suggest 12, but admit that if individual institutions 
thought that was too long it could easily be altered.

The researchers believe that restrictions need to be placed on those 
wishing to use the part-time track to deter researchers from going 
part-time simply to accrue more research time. However, they do think 
that health or personal circumstances that limit an individual's 
ability to work full time during the tenure years should be 
considered reasonable grounds for the part-time track.

 From the university viewpoint, the proposed half-time tenure track 
poses no additional costs, especially if the cost-savings are 
returned to the departments to provide teaching coverage. The 
half-time track would also eliminate under-the-table practices that 
offer child-rearing time at full pay to women but not to men under 
the guise of maternal disability pay.

According to Drago and Williams, children are better viewed as a 
long-term commitment than as a disease. They also note that recent 
surveys show that fathers are increasing their expectations and 
desire to be active parents.

"At present, academics have only two alternatives: work long hours 
and, with luck, get tenure, or refuse to work those hours and take 
the consequences," says Williams.

If both parents could reduce hours without the penalties that now 
accompany part-time work, more families would choose a slower career 
path, rather than have one spouse work time and a half while the 
other drops off the career path.

"A half-time tenure proposal would also benefit colleges and 
universities," says Drago. "Current practices artificially reduce the 
talent pool by eliminating a hefty percentage of qualified candidates 
- most mothers - from reaching for or achieving tenure."

EDITORS: Dr. Drago is at (814) 865-0751 or at drago at psu.edu by 
e-mail. Dr. Williams is at (202) 274-4245 or at 
williams at wel.american.edu by e-mail.

TOMORROW'S PROFESSOR LISTSERV is a shared mission partnership with the
American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) http://www.aahe.org/
The National Teaching and Learning Forum (NT&LF) http://www.ntlf.com/
Note:  Anyone can SUBSCRIBE to Tomorrows-Professor Listserver by sending
the following e-mail message to: <Majordomo at lists.stanford.edu>

subscribe tomorrows-professor

To UNSUBSCRIBE to the Tomorrows-Professor send the following e-mail message
to: <Majordomo at lists.stanford.edu>

unsubscribe tomorrows-professor

This message was posted through the Stanford campus mailing list
server.  If you wish to unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the
message body of "unsubscribe tomorrows-professor" to majordomo at lists.stanford.edu

More information about the EAS-INFO mailing list