criteria for promotion

James B. Hutchins jbh at anat.UMSMED.EDU
Wed Aug 11 19:04:18 EST 1993

In article <1993Aug11.003230.14097 at> nishir at writes:
>The following question has come up in discussions here, and I would like to
>have input from the rest of you out there.
[stuff deleted]
>Should time taken out to raise a child/ family be factored into promotion
[stuff deleted]
>Should we give a "break" to people who have chosen to have families?  Should
>quality of output be emphasized to a greater extent for these than quantity? 
>Should it be possible for to extend the evaluation time (time to
>tenure/promotion) if you've got a family?  What is fair?
>Please reply only by posting.

First of all, to establish my credentials, I do not have children, and my
wife and I cannot have children, so I hope that would eliminate anyone
thinking this is a self-serving answer.

Yes, family should be taken into consideration, as should any other
individual factors which might arise.  The Promotion and Tenure
Committee does not really have that many people to look at in a
given year (cf. Medical School Admissions), so I'm uncomfortable
with the idea of 'quotas'.  Why can't each of us be considered as
individuals?  Yet, I know that I must have 20 papers to be considered
for promotion.  Not 18 good papers, or 30 lousy ones, but 20.  How
stupid.  No one seems to want to take responsibility for decisions any
longer; P&T committees have abdicated their jobs and given their work
over to study sections and the editorial boards of journals.

So, in brief, I believe that consideration *should* be given to family
responsibilities, taking a year off to work in a homeless shelter, or
anything else that might arise in the individual's life that would make
the committee see them as an _individual_.

Disclaimer: I come up this year, so don't anyone tell the P&T committee
here what I just said :-).


Jim Hutchins                    []     E-Mail: jbh at
Asst Prof of Anatomy            []     Asst Prof of Neurology
Univ Mississippi Med Ctr        []     Jackson, MS

More information about the Womenbio mailing list