You be the judge, and be sure to read the comments–the first one is from a SUNY Buffalo faculty member. Here are the numbers for tenure and promotion at SUNY Buffalo, where according to Inside Higher Ed, Provost Satish Tripathi has tenured 90% of male candidates, but only 75% of female candidates from 2003-08:
[Sex bias] is not [restricted to] an isolated incident at Buffalo, according to a group of professors who recently studied campus data about tenure considerations spanning 2003 to 2008. They say their analysis, released in February, shows that the provost and president have favored awarding tenure to men at a higher rate than to women.
During the five-year period, 144 non-tenured assistant professors — 91 men and 53 women — were considered for tenured associate professor positions. Nearly a quarter of all female candidates were not promoted, in comparison with 10 percent of all males.
Of the 50 women who gained approval from the president’s review board, the provost then denied tenure to 9 (18 percent). In contrast, he denied tenure to 3 of the 76 men (4 percent) who had board approval. He also overturned the negative recommendations for 9 of the 15 men (60 percent) who had not been approved by the board, effectively granting them tenure. He did not do the same for any women. The president has never reversed the provost’s decision.
Got that? He reversed positive tenure decisions for women who had won tenure votes in their departments, colleges, and then from the president’s review board. Conversely, he reversed negative decisions against male candidates! Patriarchal equilibrium, much? This tracks exactly with comments from Nancy Hewitt published on this blog in one of my very first posts from January 2008:
[S]ex alone appears to correlate with being denied tenure, especially in the Dean’s or Provost’s office. Hewitt related some recent tenure cases involving some of her former students. The details varied, but all three women were denied tenure by administration higher-ups even after winning departmental support (and in two out of three cases, it was a unanimous vote by their departments.) I’ve heard dispatches from the front that sound quite similar, and Squadratomagico has blogged about the same disturbing trend in her department’s recent tenure cases. Hewitt followed up in further comments that “it seems clear that there is a growing backlash–especially at the dean’s and provost’s level–against women faculty and women’s history [or] women’s studies at many institutions.”
Historiann has her own strange, sad experience with this phenomenon–but I’ve got to bale some hay right now so I’ll tell you all about that in Part II, tomorrow! Stay tuned, kids–as they say, “same bat time, same bat channel!”
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