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Equity v. parity

Patricia S. Bowne pbowne at execpc.com
Thu Jul 27 13:17:34 EST 2000

C. J. Fuller wrote:
> Our department is now going through a search for a "nutrient and gene
> expression" assistant professor.  All four of the candidates who have/will
> interview are males.  At least two of them have minimal teaching
> experience.  Given that we have a strong teaching expectation here, does
> this mean that the rest of us (mostly female) will have to pick up the
> slack at the expense of our research programs?

People without teaching experience can be excellent teachers, very 
quickly, if they're rewarded for putting the time into it. I think a 
bigger potential source of trouble is how the new hire's position is 
being defined. I was talking just last week to someone from a large 
university, who told me that only FOUR faculty in his department teach 
-- and all four of those will retire within the next ten years -- and 
even in the face of that, half of the people the department hired this 
year were brought in with the promise that they would not have to do any 

If universities keep devaluing teaching at this rate and hiring mainly 
people who don't want to teach, then it seems unavoidable that some of 
those people who don't want to teach will have to do it. It's sad, 
because there are lots of great young scientists out there who *do* want 
to teach. They apply to small colleges like mine, some of them because 
they know they'll never get tenure or be treated as equals in a 

Pat Bowne

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