DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICY There s a Policy: Nobody Bats an Eye at Babies Being Born… Using Institutional Policy Discourse to Reframe Tenure & Parenting for the Next Generation Jennifer L. Allie Department of Educational Leadership & Policy University of UtahAssociation for the Study of Higher Education–Conference Paper Session – November 19, 2011
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICY Theoretical Framework: Feminist Critical Discourse Policy Analysis • Gender is one of the primary frames of difference used in framing social relations. • How is dominance discursively produced and/or resisted (Lazar, 2005)? • How are we negotiating and challenging dominant ideologies and power structures? • Where are the possibilities for cultural change?Lazar, M. (2005). Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power and Ideology in Discourse.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICY Why Feminist Critical Policy Analysis? …and so I think there needs to be a really higher threshold set for men…Because I don t know of one man who s used it as it was intended. I m sure they exist…I haven t met any of them yet. .. Hey there s a policy out there. I m gonna take advantage of it… (Melody, 2010) Fathers are reluctant to use parental leave when offered because it is contrary to the ethic of the male breadwinner. Mothers are afraid to use the policies that only women use for fear they will be treated as less serious about their work than men. (Mason, 2011)Mason, M.A. (2011). How to Change Workplace Culture on Parenting. Chronicle of Higher Education. January 12, 2011
Educational Leadership & Policy Culture of Tenure: – Institution evaluates faculty member s ability to meet the expectations of the discipline during a pre-defined pre- tenure probationary period (e.g., teaching, service, research). – During the pre-tenure years, faculty seek clues about the value of…their work 1. – Meeting expectations of tenured faculty and demonstrating collegiality, or being a good village elder2.1) Fairweather, J.S. (2002). The Mythologies of Faculty Productivity. Journal of Higher Education, 73(1)2) Youn & Price (2009). Learning from the Experience of Other: The Evolution of Faculty Tenure and Promotion Rules in Comprehensive Institutions. The Journalof Higher Education, 80(2), 204-237
Educational Leadership & Policy Tenure as a Symbol, Ideology, and Power – Tenure as rite of passage 3, 4. – Rules of tenure become signifiers of the organizations members shared values2. – Tenure as power through governance authority, as well as authority to appoint, promote, tenure faculty within the discipline1,3,4.3) Verrier (1992). On Becoming Tenured: Acquiring Academic Tenure at a Research University.4) Verrier (1994. Perceptions of Life on the Tenure Track. Thought and Action 9(2)
Educational Leadership & Policy Parental-Leave Policies and Changing the Academic Culture Transforming the academic workplace into one that supports family life requires substantial changes in policy and, more significantly, changes in academic culture 5. At present, academics are offered only two alternatives: work long hours and (with luck) get tenure, or refuse to work those hours and take the consequences. 6.5) AAUP. (2006) Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work6) Drago & Williams (2000). A Half-Time Tenure Track Proposal. Change November/December 2000.
Educational Leadership & Policy Work-Life Policies in the Academy • The nature of academia, like anything else, is that when they re competing, they pay attention 4. • New faculty parents report not utilizing policies out of fear of being penalized7,8,9, • Faculty are more prone to take advantage of policies that are well advertised and appear as an accepted part of department and institutional culture7,8,9,10.7) Comer (2009). Changing Tables and Changing Culture. Composition Studies, 37(2)8)Hollenshead et al (2005). Work/family policies in higher education: Survey data an case studies of policy implementation. New Directions for Higher Education(130).9) Pribbenow et al (2010): The Tenure Process and Extending the Tenure Clock. Higher Education Policy 23(1)10) Quinn et all (2007). Enabling Family-Friendly Cultural Change. Change 39(4)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYResearch Questions1. How does institutional policy discourse shape the construction of tenure throughout the policy process of adopting a formal paid parental leave policy?2. How does institutional discourse confront or sustain the culture of tenure for parent- scholars?
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICY Methods: • Critical Feminist Policy Discourse: – Evaluate discourse of parental leave policy process at Western University (2004-2007) – Identify and critique the historic and social environments framing tenure and parenting on the tenure track – Critique the (re) production and construction of tenure for parent-scholarsAllan, E. J. (2010). Policy Disourses, Gender, and Education: Constructing Womens Status. New York, NY: Routledge.Lazar, M. M. (2005). Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power and Ideology in Discourse. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYFeminist Critical Discourse Data Analysis
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYFindings:• Ideology of the Committed, Visible & Collegial Scholar• Competing Discourse of Leveling the Playing Field and The Discourse of Abuse• There s A Policy: Nobody Bats an Eye at Babies Being Born
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYThe Committed, Visible & Collegial Academic: [m]y department chair told me that while I could request unpaid leave, I would not be respected if I did so (Faculty Response to Institutional Survey, 2003). I asked for a reduced teaching load for a semester based on my previous teaching…My request was declined…In fact some of my colleagues asked me how I was going to run a research lab if I took 6 weeks maternity leave (Faculty Response to Institutional Survey, 2003). I did receive some comments from colleagues who said things like "I waited untilafter tenure to have kids" (Faculty Response to Institutional Faculty Survey),2003
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYThe Committed, Visible & Collegial Academic:Presumptions about Time Away Colleagues may also be called upon to sacrifice by having tocover the classes of the person on leave…students willsuffer if no tenured or tenure-track professor is teaching theircourse…graduate students suffer through the absence ofsomeone who could guide their research (FacultyGovernance Sub-Committee Response to Women s CommissionPolicy Proposal, 2005). You didnt plan this well. This really puts a burden on our faculty."(Sarah, 2010)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICY The Committed, Visible & Collegial Academic: Use of Parental Leave Policy and Sustaining the Ideal Faculty Subjectivity I did research for the department to reshape our curriculum. So the one hour of the day when you re caring for a newborn when I could have done something like washed the dishes…I was doing research for the department (Sarah) And I felt like that especially as the so I was in my fourth year, and so I think Isecond year person that my presence felt like I kinda needed to be aroundwas in the department and not outside (Melody)of the department(Robert) there were things that I probably wouldn t have done having tenure that I feltoh, okay, I d better do, because Dr. B and Dr. A are going, so I don t wantanyone to think that I m not doing that (Melody)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYCommitment and Tenure Culture:Policy SolutionsModified duties will include being excused from teaching. Course reductions will notneed to be paid back at a later date…Even if the faculty member chooses to workpart-time during the semester of modified duties, she or he will not be compelled towork during this period. (Women s Commission 2005 report)Upon returning from the Family and Medical Sabbatical at Full Pay, the facultymember will teach more than their regular course load, so that over a period of oneacademic year they make up for the courses they failed to teach while on reducedduty. (Chair, Faculty Governing Board sub-committee)The faculty member will be released from professional duties during this period,but may choose to continue some professional activities (e.g., meeting students,doing research, participating in hiring or RPT decisions). (Institutional PolicyLanguage adopted 2006)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYThere s a Policy…Nobody Bats an Eye at Babies Being Born Just the fact that everyone knows I went on leave and it was sanctioned by theuniversity, that just makes a big difference right there. I just gets rid of any concernabout that being an inappropriate way of spending time.(Andrew, 2010)…because it s policy, it makes it more accepted, and people might grumble a little bitbut I think that it makes them act differently. I think it makes it seem like having ababy is the norm, not the exception, and taking time for that. So, I think that itcould have given me more time, or if I didn t take more time, it could also havedefinitely changed the culture. I think partly because my tenure case was so painful,but also because there s a policy that nobody bats an eye about babies beingborn in this department now.(Kim)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYLeveling the Playing Field:The Discourse of Abuse Finally, people from different quarters express concern that some faculty may abuse these policies, using them for professional advancement rather than to meet their substantial childcare responsibilities (Women s Commission Policy Proposal, 2004) …unscrupulous faculty will take parental leave even if they are doing little or no childcare and that policy language that requires attestation of primary care-giving responsibilities will not hinder abuse, but rather hinders use by trustworthy faculty (Faculty Senate Sub-Committee Chair, 2005) I think there needs to be a really a higher threshold set for men for – who take the policy. Because I don t know of one man who s used it as it was intended. I m sure they exist. I m sure there but, I haven t met any of them yet. And these are good guys, but they re just sort of like, Hey, there s a policy out there. I m gonna take advantage of it. I m gonna take a semester off. (Melody)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYDiscussion: • Framing of the Formal Parental Leave Policy at Western University situates benefits as entitlements for faculty as a means for legitimizing time away for childbirth – as well as legitimizing an extended tenure clock • Definition of the policy problem and framing of policy solutions is situated against and sustains construct of the ideal tenure faculty member • Faculty signal to policy on the shelf to discursively construct time away and time off the tenure clock as normative for parent-scholars • Ideology of the committed, visible, collegial and productive scholar creates tension on perceived individual agency in navigating the parental leave policy • Institutional and Individual discourse of abuse and primary care-giver roles creates a tension for male parent-scholars • Presumed that fathers not using policy as intended, but rather as a means to boost their scholarly productivity
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP & POLICYImplications and Significance: The only way things are going to change…is for women and mothers (and fathers and husbands…) to enter the ranks of the professoriate and start to change things from the inside. (Connelly & Ghodsee, 2011) • Policy process, solutions, and evaluations should challenge historic assumptions of the visible, committed, and productive academic – and the presumed incompatibility of these constructs with balancing personal roles, particularly for pre-tenure faculty members. • Institutions need to fully disentangle the assumptions regarding what it means to be committed, collegial, and visible • Perception that one s time away and time off tenure clock via parental leave policies can be used to boost one s scholarly portfolio needs to be disrupted. • Policy discourse that presumes these policies are being abused by men to boost scholarly records needs to be fully interrogated and disrupted.