18 February 2010

The two-career family - profs in the ivory tower

A couple of things I see problematic about favouring couples are first of all, it perpetuates the norm of coupledon as being the more acceptable marital status. Candidates who are single are probably finding it more difficult to find jobs that lead to academic careers, although once they get a foot in the door they may find that finding a partner with similar goals is easier. All in all, what this emphasis on marriage is leading to is a wider economic division in society, as those already advantaged in the workplace (through marriage or social network) take up more of the scarce resources, leaving less for those struggling to achieve higher levels in their career. It's favouritism to have the needs of some couples looked after by the university, if places are not available for both within one institution, or within one city. Out in the real world, that's what it's like - two people, two careers, and compromises so that both get some of what they want out of life. Making it too easy for some, while ignoring the plight of those who get left behind - worse yet under the guise of merit - is unforgivable.

I did submit this comment this morning to the Montreal Gazette but was told, when I inquired, that it might be a tech problem, relating to my own computer. So I placed another comment to another article there, with no problem. This seems to me to be rather a controversial issue, about spouses being encouraged to take up professorships at the same university, and I was surprised to see only one response posted.

Universities see benefits to hiring spouses as profs
By Misty Harris, Canwest News Service
Montreal Gazette
February 16, 2010