Female Faculty

May/June 1998

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Female Faculty

Christine Benjamin

With women undergraduates now outnumbering men (3,283 to 3,267 this year), campus critics have grown impatient with the fact that Stanford's faculty is 82 percent male. At a February rally, the new Women's Coalition for Gender Equity criticized the University's recruitment and tenure records. In March, speakers at the Stanford chapter meeting of the American Association of University Professors echoed those concerns.

The University says it has been working to fix these problems. In 1993, it reported that only 13.3 percent of tenured Stanford profs were women and acknowledged that the University lagged behind its counterparts. Senior assistant provost Cathy Gillam says an updated report in May will show some progress.

One problem, Gillam says, is the declining rate of turnover since mandatory retirement was outlawed in 1990. Of 1,200 tenured faculty, there are fewer than 50 openings a year. Gillam says Provost Condoleezza Rice plans to put a spotlight on "the place where power really lies" – the departments that do the hiring. Rice also will spearhead a May 14 Faculty Senate discussion about women's recruitment, development and working conditions.

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