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22 April 2008


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Christy P

There was a follow-up article to this press release in the SL Tribune in which they mention the U's generous family leave policy that allows professors to take off 1 semester with nearly full pay for the birth or adoption of a child. The article doesn't mention that it doesn't include those of us in the School of Medicine. The current policy for the med school is up to 6 weeks leave at partial pay depending on your rank. You are also allowed to use your accumulated vacation and sick time. This is far better than what was in place when I had Z - I was allowed to use my vacation and sick, which since I hadn't yet been at the U for a year, meant that I was back full-time 5 weeks post-partum. Z attended many meetings in a sling and spent a lot of time in my lap.


I have a problem tenure in general. For one, I don't know of many other fields where you can work for several years and then be guaranteed employment. It also creates a culture of entitlement among tenured professors. It pressures younger investigators to fit in to the culture of academia - this actually produces more homogeneity and stifles academic debate rather than protecting it, as tenure is expected to. The fact that women must be so productive early on at the expense of other things in their lives seems yet another reason to abolish tenure.

Regarding the baby issue, you write: "Although male faculty are 21 percent less likely than male doctors to have a baby in their households, female faculty are 41 percent less likely than are their female physician counterparts." As I read this, it is not simply a question of female professors having fewer children, but fewer professors having any children. This fits with my experience - there is a self-selection process that goes on as well. I have met numerous women in academics who simply do not want to have children (and not just the womyn's studies professors). There are different goals, personalities, and self-image of people who go into these various fields. Not everyone to be sure, but I believe it plays an important role.

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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