Friday, July 14, 2006

Gender Disparities Among Higher Education Faculty Demand Attention

by Julie Saad

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Lawrence Summers, the former Harvard University president who resigned earlier this year, gained notoriety for his controversial remarks on women in science. It was also publicized that the number of women faculty offered tenure had declined every year since Summers assumed the presidency in 2001. While the situation at Harvard received significant media attention, gender disparities among faculty are not unique to that institution. In fact, the trend is national.

Since 1974, the American Association of University Professors has collected data to measure trends in gender equity among full-time faculty members at public and private institutions of higher education. Historically, women have been underrepresented among the highest academic ranks and tenured positions, and have faced a significant salary gap. Despite minor improvements, inequities persist.


Saad is a graduate student at American University, where she is working on her Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Women, Policy, and Political Leadership.

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