By Adam Hartmann
Arizona Daily Wildcat
A small percentage of the UA's paychecks go to female full professors, according to a report by the American Association of University Professors.
The report, part of which was published in the April 20 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, surveyed faculty salaries as well as gender specifics at universities nationwide.
Tweleve percent -- about 77 out of 666 full professors Ä at the University of Arizona this year are women, according to university records.
Carol Bernstein, president of the local chapter of the AAUP, said she thought the small percentage could be because women face pressures in achieving tenure that go unrecognized by the university administration.
"There's no recognition of two biological phenomenons: progeny and matrimony," Bernstein said.
Bernstein said she has been considered for tenure-track positions in the past, but did not apply for them because she had three children.
"I could have completed for some of these positions, (but) I decided not to," Bernstein said. "You want to accommodate the biological needs of faculty and this has not been done."
But J.D. Gracia, faculty chairman, said the UA instituted a policy last year that allows male and female faculty to delay their tenure process by a year to take care of family concerns.
Julia Annas, a philosophy professor, said the disparity between female assistant professors and female full professors simply means that fewer women are in the tenure-track system.
The difficulty women have in achieving tenure depends upon the subject, Annas said. For example, non-science subjects such as philosophy might be easier for women to handle because they do not require laboratory time, she said.
"That makes it easier to cope with children's schedules," Annas said. "It doesn't make it easy, though."
Barbara Atwood, a law professor, said her first child was born just as she began working toward tenure at the University of Houston, which forced her to work on a scholarly article with her small son alongside.
"(I) couldn't spend as much time as I wanted with him," Atwood said. "Those are difficult choices to be faced with."
Elizabeth Roemer, an astronomy professor, said women faculty also face pressures other than children when trying to achieve tenure positions.
She said she entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1946 as a 17-year-old freshman and found she was one of six women in a 400-stu dent class. Many of the students in the class were naval veterans who already had significant training, which forced her to work harder, she said.
"That was the priec that many women of my generation paid," Roemer said, adding that she thought it was unacceptable in her day for women to pursue academic careers.
"My mother thougth I was working much too hard," Roemer said.
She said she has also sensed an attitude at the UA that women faculty are supposed to be easier on their students, that female faculty are students' mothers or grandmothers.
If women faculty are not pushovers, they receive unfavorable evaluations from their students, which can impact tenure decisions, she said.
But Garcia said he thought the disparity is a result of gender biases which begin at a very early age.
"I don't think the female professors are any softer than the male professors, (and) I don't think it's the lab time that is the problem," Garcia said. "This society urges young females not to excel in math compared to the males."
Hanna Cortner, a resources professor, said female colleagues have told her that students have evaluated them unfavorably often because of their clothing.
Cortner also said she thought the committees that grant tenure tend to judge women faculty according to more stringent criteria.
"(They) tend to look a little harder at women sometimes," Cortner said.
She said she has heard people mention female faculty members and then defend them by insisting that they are talented.
"I find that kind of an interesting coupling," Cortner said. "You wouldn't say that about a male professor."
But Andrew Silverman, a law professor, said that while he could not speak on the issue university-wide, he felt the College of Law considers men and women equally in terms of tenure.
"Those who have come in have generally fared well in the tenure process," he said. Still, he called the 12 percent figure "shameful" and said it should be improved.
Kathryn Bayles, a speech and hearing sciences professor, said women faculty have to make sacrifices in an attempt to achieve tenure. She said she stayed home when her children were born and then went for her doctorate, but said she could have worked around her two children.
"I think I could've done it, but what you do is, you give up other things," Bayles said. "The process burns people out a little bit."
In another assessment, the report also states that UA full, associate and assistant professors make an average of $53,700 a year, while Arizona State University professors earn an average of $48,900 and Northern Arizona University professors average $41,200.
Garcia said he thought the UA boasted higher salaries because the school competes more for the best faculty in certain areas.
"The competition for our people has been pretty fierce," he said. "If our salaries weren't competitive, our people would simply leave." Read Next Article