The University Record, September 12, 1994

Funds will help female faculty ‘catch up with their scholarship’

By Jane R. Elgass

Establishment of a program designed to enhance the scholarly agenda for tenured and tenure-track women faculty on the Ann Arbor campus has been announced by President James J. Duderstadt.

“The Career Development Fund for Women Faculty,” Duderstadt says, “is an opportunity to acknowledge female faculty members’ service and give them an opportunity to catch up with their scholarship.”

Establishment of the fund implements one portion of the Michigan Agenda for Women, set forth by the president last spring. The fund was created in response to recommendations by faculty women, the President’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues and others.

Duderstadt says that studies have shown that because only 20 percent of the tenured and tenure-track faculty at the University are women, “they often carry a disproportionate share of service commitments.”

These commitments involve student advising; department, college and Uni-versity committees; dissertation committees; program development; conference planning; and professional and other service to the University and wider community.

“While we are pleased to see women increasingly represented on committees,” the president explains, “we also believe the University must make efforts to respond to these disproportionate service responsibilities.”

Duderstadt says the program parallels the Minority Faculty Development Fund that was established “because faculty of color also bear a disproportionate share of service commitments.”

He also notes that the program is an “interim measure. When we reach the point at which the number of U-M women faculty is commensurate with the available pool, the need for the program will be re-examined.”

The program will be administered by the Office of the Provost beginning this fall.

The awards, which consist of discretionary accounts of $5,000 each, will be available to women faculty to support graduate students, for travel, or for books, computers or other purchases relating to scholarship, research or creative activity.

Recipients of the funds will be determined by a three-member faculty committee using both their scholarship and their service records as criteria.

“Service” is defined broadly as any professionally related activities, other than classroom teaching, that draw the applicant away from her scholarly or creative agenda.

Up to 20 awards will be made each term, with funding from the Presidential Initiatives Fund.

The deadline for the first award cycle is Oct. 3, with announcement of the recipients no later than Oct. 31. Simple, two-page applications, to be accompanied by a vita, are available from Susan Lipschutz, Room 3052, Fleming Administration Building, 764-0151.