News

Harvard Law School Makes Online Zero-L Course Free for All U.S. Law Schools Due to Coronavirus

News

For Kennedy School Fellows, Epstein-Linked Donors Present a Moral Dilemma

News

Tenants Grapple with High Rents and Local Turnover at Asana-Owned Properties

News

In April, Theft Surged as Cambridge Residents Stayed at Home

News

The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Nontenured Women Voice Complaints

Women Would Decline Posts if Asked Again

By Cheryl R. Devall

Almost two-thirds of nontenured women faculty would not encourage prospective nontenured faculty with other good offers to accept jobs at Harvard, while over two-thirds of men in similar positions would do so, according to a recent survey of Harvard junior faculty.

The same survey indicates two-thirds of female junior faculty would not accept their initial job offers at Harvard again, as compared to nearly one-half of the men.

The survey was conducted by Professor Ursula W. Goodenough '64, chairman of the Faculty Standing Committe on Women, and Cathy Spatz Widom, associate professor of Psychology and a member of the committee.

Over 50 per cent of the nontenured faculty members who received the survey responded to it.

Goodenough said the impetus for the survey came after the committee read the University's Affirmative Action reports. "We looked at the numbers and they said a lot of women were being hired, but we knew the question didn't lie in the number of women here."

"We were told women were mostly teaching and not doing research, teaching largely in introductory courses, and without graduate students," Goodenough said. "We wanted to know if these things were true and how women faculty felt about it."

Partial results from the ten-page survey were published in the December 1976 Radcliffe Quarterly. The Quarterly article emphasized the section of the survey which examined nontenured faculty attitudes toward their jobs.

But other sections of the survey indicated that within each field, there were no significant differences between men and women in academic duties.

"I think it was significant that the bulk of the questionnaire was the same. It shows that men and women are doing the same things, but women aren't liking it." Goodenough said.

Goodenough and Widom said in the report Harvard should not only attempt to hire more women, but should also focus on "creating a more satisfactory and meaningful experience for women who are here."

Such results can be achieved only through the efforts of the senior faculty, Goodenough said. "I think that a lot could be done if a much more enthusiastic approach to Affirmative Action were taken," she said.

"Much could be done at Harvard to communicate to the senior faculty that having women and minority faculty here could be exciting and a great asset to the community."

The Faculty Standing Committee on Women and the Office of Research and Evaluation distributed a similar questionnaire to teaching graduate students.

Goodenough believes this survey will report similar results. "We felt it was very important to ask graduate students here the same questions," she said. "It would add much more strength to what we're saying."

The Committee on Women will compile a complete report on its findings when it receives an analysis of the graduate student survey.

The committee also plans to meet with groups of junior faculty and graduate students to supplement the questionnaires with personal opinions on both the positive and negative aspects of nontenured faculty standing at Harvard, Goodenough said

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags