Inside Higher Ed
July 28th, 2015
At first, social media was a way for Joshua Eyler, director of the
Center for Teaching Excellence at Rice University, to process what was
happening to his family. His wife, Kariann Fuqua, a non-tenure-track
instructor of writing and communication at Rice, had been diagnosed with
a form of chronic pain that erased her ability to so much as hold a
pencil for any length of time, let alone maintain a sense of normalcy.
So Eyler shared their story in a blog that caught lots of attention from fellow academics and ended up in the Houston Chronicle.
But last week, Eyler’s social media activity took a pointed turn
when the couple’s insurance provider denied Fuqua an experimental but
promising treatment. Since that time, the Twitter hashtag #forKariann
has gathered lots of support and highlighted gaps in insurance coverage
that affect faculty families even at elite institutions, as well the
struggles of faculty members living with chronic pain.