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February 03, 1984 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-02-03
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from Page 1
"I think the situation at the Univer-
sity of Michigan is scandalous. There
are so few women in the sciences I can
ccunt them on two hands," she says.
Cowley said attempts to increase the
number of women faculty members are
"like beating your head against the
wall because the administration doesn't
Despite the University's explanation
that fierce competition for top women
professors keeps the number low,
Cowley says, the claim masks a lack of
"ASU is a place where things.are im-
proving "a lot. A place like Michigan is
living on its reputation," she says.
The University's reputation as a
male-dominated institution is prom-
pting female professors to think twice
about coming here, even if they are
recruited, according to Cowley.
"Most women I've talked to say
they'd think very hard before coming to
the University of Michigan. The image
outside U of M is that (the University
is) resistant to change in this area.''
University Regent Sarah Power (D-
Ann Arbor), one of the most vocal
proponents of increasing the number of
women on campus, says that despite all
the programs and goals, women are
still under-represented because the
University is not trying hard enough.
"The top administrators have not by
and large assigned (it) an adequately
high priority," Power says.
She points out that when the Univer-
sity really wants to attract someone, it
puts together a package that is hard to

Last year, for example, the Univer-
sity successfully lured Jon Cosovich
away from Stanford to head the
University's fund raising efforts, at a
price of $90,000.
"When we decide we want a Mr.
Cosovich to head a major capital cam-
paign, we get him and we get him par-
tly with money," she said.
Until Regent Nellie Varner (D-
Detroit) was elected, Power was the
first and only female board member.
"I have said there were ways in
which the regents were a men's club,"
Power says, adding that Varner's elec-
tion has made "a world of difference ...
because I believe there is no question
that women see some issues differen-
Varner, who owns a consulting firm,
has also been a University political
science professor and assistant dean of
the Rackham Graduate School.
Since joining the faculty in 1968, Var-
ner says she has seen increasing con-
cern about the status of women' at the
University, but she says there has been
little significant progress.
"I would like to think now that it's
certainly different for women coming
along - I hesitate to use the word 'bet-
ter,"' she said.
The University has increased its
number of women faculty by 42 this
year, which reverses a two-year decline
in the number of women faculty mem-
bers, according to the Affirmative Ac-
tion Office.
'Virginia Nordby, director of the of-
fice, said the percentage of tenured full
and associate professors is up this year,
although she is concerned about a drop
in female assistant professors, because
those positions are the first step towar-
ds tenure.
Despite the rise this year, Nordby
says,. "we are certainly not in the

forefront," compared to other schools.
One reason that women occupy fewer
than 20 percent of the University's
faculty positions is that the pool of can-
didates is relatively sparse. Female
high school students and college un-
dergraduates rarely go into the hard
sciences, and, by the time they reach
graduate school, the disparity between
men and women in those fields is
Between 1975 and 1980, only 38 per-
cent of the University's graduate
students were women, and women oc-
cupied only 25 percent of the position in
professional degree programs such as
law and medicine.
. Mary Ann Swain, a nursing professor
who was appointed associate vice
president for academic affairs last
year, said the lack of women in the
sciences "constrains the pool by the
time they're undergraduates," making
it extremely difficult to make up the
gap at the senior professor level.
"Women are still being channelled in-
to certain fields from the time they are
young girls," says Niara Sudarkasa,
one of the University's associate vice
president for academic affairs.
"There is still gender bias in
education . . . It must be worked on
from grade school. Until that's correc-
ted we will still have differences of
some magnitude of representation of
the two genders," she says.
According to Sudarkasa, who also
directed the Center for Afroamerican
and African Studies, women are more
sought after than blacks.
"The sensitivity of males in various
departments to recruitment of female
faculty is greater than for recruitment
of blacks," she says.
However, Sudarkasa says she sees
less gender. bias when the University
recruits blacks. And, although blacks
make up only 3 percent of the total

faculty, one-third of them are women.,
At the School of Engineering, only 23
percent of the undergraduate students
are women, although engineering dean
James Duderstadt says. the school is
trying to achieve a 50-50 mix for both
students and faculty.
"We are trying to track our faculty to
that ratio, (and we) are seeing a
significant impact," Duderstadt adds.
His goal is an ambitious one to say the
least, considering that women currently
fill only 2 percent of the faculty
positions in the school.
Maureen Finley, president of the
University's Society of Women
Engineers, says there is increasing ac-
ceptance of women in engineering and
technical fields, but she says women
are still considered out of place in
graduate school, where their male
colleagues outnumber them three-to-
"I don't think women in engineering
in general have set their sights (on the
need for) more women," she says.
But breaking into traditionally male
preserves such as the laboratory
carries a price for women - a feeling of
alienation and displacement as they
struggle to learn the "unwritten rules"
that keep them at a distance.
"Men don't realize the help they give
each other, says one woman professor,
who asked to remain anonymous. "In
some ways men feel more comfortable
talking to each other. They're nice to
you, but they have an easy
camaraderie with each other that they
don't have with me."
According to Eugenia Carpenter, a4
public health research scientist who co-
chairs the Academic Women's Caucus
that unconscious bias often affects
female students.
"Women students are getting a sub-
tle, nonverbal message (that) they
should not aspire to roles of leadership.

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Women at the University

Page 1

Why are women found in such small numbers in
tenured ranks and at administrative levels here at
the University? The problem affects both female
student population, who suffer from lack of role
models, and the female faculty themselves, who often
feel left out of the "Old Boys' Network." See this
week's cover story for a few of the answers. Cover,
photo by Doug McMahon.
Pop, punk & Price Pages4&5
There's something for everyone this week in Ann
Arbor. Soprano extraordinaire Leontyne Price treats
Hill Auditorium to some tasty American opera on
Saturday, while Billy Joel is busy rocking Crisler
with hits off his new Innocent Man LP. Those with
less refined taste may want to check out the always
charming Billy Idol when he hits Hill Thursday with
such masterpieces as "White Wedding" and "Dan-
cing With Myself."

14th Film Fest Page.6
The Annual Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival, the
oldest and largest of its kind, will feature the works of
amateur moviemakers from all over the world. The
Daily preview discusses the festival and what you're
likely to see if you attend the entertaining four-day
Happenings Pages 7-10
Your guide to fun times for the coming week in Ann
Arbor. Film capsules, music previews, thiater notes,
and bar dates - all listed in a handy-dandy, day-by-
day schedule. If that's not enough, there's some won-
derful food news too.
Trend and trash Page 11
Who could ask for more? New LPs from Cyndi
Lauper and Judas Priest are reviewed with all due
respect. A mish-mash of mindless, marketable music

comes from the unusua
noise from the usually t
Can you hear n
The Golden Rose pr
opera by the Who, is fu
story of the deaf, dumb
pinball comes to life c
Theater Thursday nigh
a play which takes a r
Mary Kelley directs t-
Rags to not-qui
Though he is now th
house in downtown Del
for an interview with t
tivating discussion o
meditation, as treated in

Friday, February 3, 1984
Vol. II. Issue 15
Magazine Editor:........ ........ Mare Hodges"
Sales Manager ................ . ...... Meg Gibson
Assistant Sales Manager .......... Julie Schneider

Weekend is edited and managed by students on the
staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar-
bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition
of the Daily every week during the University year
and is available for free at many locations around t-he
campus and city.

Weekend, (313) 763-0
Daily, 764-0552; Circula
tising, 764-0554.
Copyright 1984, The Mic

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Professor Ross: Fighting for an equal standard
14 Weekend/February 3, 1984




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