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Spoiled September 25, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in feminism, science.
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I had a discussion the other day with someone about dual-career couples in academia.  Specifically, I was talking about a couple that had been hired, only it had become apparent after some time that the lagging spouse was actually a better researcher than the leading spouse.  At some point, the person I was talking to interjected to tell me that having to hire both members of a couple was essentially part of the whole entitlement mindset that is a problem in this country.

I was rather floored.  I knew I’d seen comments like this online, but I was very surprised to hear it from someone in person.  I was especially surprised that they seemed unaware of how this affects women disproportionately to men.  They also seemed to be unaware that this was being used as a strategy at many places to attract better researchers.

But then, that doesn’t seem to matter.  Diversity is apparently not a goal for everyone.  I hate being in situations where I am reminded of this, but it sure explains a lot when people are willing to come out and be so blatant in their commentary.

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Comments»

1. feMOMhist - September 26, 2012

sigh MFRU had two spousal hire CFs during my grad school days. One of each M/F. It was SHOCKING the difference in how the woman was treated as compared to the man. I should note neither was a slouch, just not the super star the spouse was.

I think outsiders don’t really grasp what academic employment looks like. We don’t get golden parachutes and very few people get super high salaries. Spousal hires are just an industry specific perk

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2. nicoleandmaggie - September 26, 2012

Our university is out in the middle of nowhere. Spousal hires mean that we can get two much higher quality people than we could attract if we only hired one person. (And we don’t offer TT positions to spouses who are unlikely to be tenured, but we do try to get lecturer or VAP positions, or failing that, we work hard to tap our contacts in the rest of the university for admin positions or in the few private companies outside the uni.)

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