It Isn’t Over: The Continuing Under-Representation of Female Faculty

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University of Michigan, Center for the Education of Women

The under-representation of women is a serious issue for institutions of higher education; despite the efforts of the women’s movement and years of affirmative action, women remain a minority in academia. This is not a new problem, but it is a persistent one. This study examines data from a 1996 faculty survey updated in late 2004 with current employment information at a Research Extensive institution in the Midwest. Progress is examined of women and men over the ensuing nine-year period, studying tenure attainment, promotion to full professor, and attrition. Results indicate the situation for women in this university vis-à-vis their male colleagues is grim and, without change to the status quo, the disparity will persist and likely worsen. Recommendations for changes in policy and practice, informed by this study may aid in turning the tide for academic women.

women in higher education, higher education faculty, faculty representation