Statement of the Problem:
A 2001 statement by the AAUP gave the statistic that in 2000-2001 36 percent of full-time faculty in US institutions of higher learning were women, compared with 22.5 percent in 1975. Women remain disproportionately represented within instructor, lecturer, and unranked position with more than 57 perent of those holding such positions being women. Yet in contrast, among full professors, only 26 percent were women. In addition, women remain significantly underrepresented at research institutions. In 1998 approximately 50 percent of the faculty at two-year institutions were women, while at doctoral institutions, a mere 18 percent of the full professors were women. In addition, a salary gap exists at all ranks and institutional types, with the highest gap at the rank of full professor. Finally, among full-time faculty women, only 48 percent were tenured, while 68 percent of the men were tenured.
These statistics convinced the AAUP to propose that universities adopt policies and practices regarding institutional assistance for family responsibilities such as family leaves, modified teaching schedules and stopping the tenure clock. Since the reality is that women still assume more responsibility for child rearing than do men, it is hoped that changes such as those suggested will eliminate some of the barriers to a woman’s progression through her academic profession. You may read the AAUP statement at www.aaup.org/statements/reports/re01fam.htm.
The Committee began its work by looking at the possible stoppage of the tenure clock. However, in trying to decide the reasons for a stoppage of the tenure clock, the committee found that there were other issues involved that arise out considerations addressed by the AAUP statement. It seemed that the University needed policies that would address these other issues.
The Rank Salary and Tenure Committee proposes that the following be adopted
1. Policy on Extending the Probationary Period for Tenure
2. Policy on Reduction in Duties for the Birth of a Child
3. Policy on Reduction in Duties for the Adoption of a Child
4. Policy on Reduction in Duties for Family Care
The obvious alternative was to make no proposals for providing institutional assistance for family responsibilities. Once this alternative had been rejected, there were alternatives too numerous to mention that were considered in arriving at the proposals in their final forms. Among the question generating alternatives to be considered were
1. Whether the stoppage of the tenure clock should be automatic for some reasons or not.
2. Whether there should be a maximum number of years the tenure clock may be extended or not.
3. Should the reduction in duties for the birth of a child be automatic?
4. For how many semesters should there be a reduction in duties for the birth of a child, and who chooses the type and duration of reductions?
5. Should there be limit on the number of times the reduction in duties for the birth of a child should be automatic?
6. Should Visiting faculty members have the same access to these reductions as Active Status faculty members?
7. Can the policy on reduction in duties for the birth of a child be written in a way that will treat all faculty members the same?
8. How should men faculty who have children be treated in the policy-should there be a difference in their treatment from that of women faculty members?
9. Questions 3-8 for the policy on reduction in duties for the adoption of a child.
10. What constitutes a family member?
11. Should reductions for family care be automatic-how long should they be?
It is expected that the policies in these proposals will help provide for an equitable atmosphere in which women will be tenured and promoted in the same percentage as men.