job searches

muriel lederman mstorrie at
Thu Jan 30 15:48:14 EST 1997

Having also served on search committees, my experiece is that the greatest
difficulty is having members understand exactly what "affirmative action"
means. They seem to come at it with the idea that they will be forced to
hire someone who is less than ideal for the position, just to fill a
"quota" that they may think is meaningless. (Many men have zero
appreciation for the importance of women faculty to women students -
they've never had a woman literally crying in their office saying that she
feels she's locked into getting married when it's clear that she'll be
following her soon-to-be husband around the country and no one cares about
her career aspirations.) It really helps to get them to say, out of their
own mouths, "Affirmative action means that if two people are equally
qualified for the job, the offer gets made to the representative of the
under-represented group." If they say it often enough, they might start to
believe it. Muriel

Muriel Lederman           lederman at     540.231.5702 (phone)
Department of Biology                         540.231.9307 (fax)
Interim Coordinator, Biological Sciences
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg VA 24061-0406

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