Monday, December 1, 2014

'Faculty Fathers'

Inside Higher Ed
December 1st, 2014

There’s a reason that most of the faculty work-life balance literature focuses on being a mother in academe: It’s hard. And Margaret W. Sallee, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, isn’t trying to diminish that truth with her new book, Faculty Fathers: Toward a New Ideal In the Research Universityout now from State University of New York Press. Instead, she’s trying to add other, key and increasingly balance-seeking voices to the conversation – those of faculty dads. Sallee bases her anecdote-heavy manuscript on interviews with 70 faculty dads across disciplines at four research universities, along with interviews with a handful of administrators who focus on professor work-life issues.
The feelings and experiences that emerge aren’t homogeneous; they differ by discipline, institution and, of course, individual. But there are patterns nonetheless, all of which suggest -- as Sallee asserts – that the still-gendered university continues to “favor and indeed perpetuate ideal worker norms and hegemonic masculinity.” Male professors at all four institutions said that their regular work hours and other fixed responsibilities encroached on time with their families. And while institutions had family-friendly policies for major life events, they said, there were few to no such policies to help them find everyday balance.

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