21 May 2006

Title IX in science?

Many scientists (both men and women) have proposed the idea of enforcing Title IX in academia. Here is an article from the perspective of a chemist. The idea is to replicate the success of Title IX in high school and college sports.

It's a good idea in principle, but I see some problems. In particular, athletic teams have a very high turnover rate and there isn't much at stake. Unless you have a nationally ranked basketball or football team, athletic teams are not a big part of the university budget. In contrast, university faculty jobs are lifetime tenured positions. For a Title IX plan to work, I think we would have to give up the tenure system. If you have an all-male math department, what are you supposed to do? Hire women for the next thirty years? Hire adjunct women professors?

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