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March 30, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-30

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, March 30, 1987

The Michigan Daily

'U,'

practices

By Donna Jo Napoli
I've been asked whether or not I've felt
discriminated against as a woman faculty
member at this university.
Yes.
I could talk about experiences I have had
with individual male administrators, but
those anecdotes wind up to be so
embarrassing that just recounting them
makes me relive the humiliation.
Furthermore, those incidents are person-
particular, and thus deniable or debatable as
to whether or not they were manifestations
of sexism.
The heart of the matter is the undeniable
way in which women at this university as
a group are discriminated against, even if
there are individual exceptions. I will offer
three arguments to this end, all of which I
back up with data, and a fourth that I can
only give as conjecture.
Let's begin with sheer numbers. Here
are the figures on paid faculty
appointments on the Ann Arbor campus
over a three year period, broken down by
sex. These facts were supplied to me by
Susan Rasmussen, an affirmative action
compliance officer.

The total number of women in
professorial ranks is going up, but at a
snail's pace. And if one looks at the
percentages on the right, which are not
consistently going up, I think that saying
this university is sexist in its hiring
policies is an entirely tenable position to
take.
Let's turn now to salary. I will here
consider only those faculty members who
have a nine month appointment at the Ann
Arbor campus, since many twelve month
appointments belong to exceptionally high
paid male administrators and the inclusion
of twelve month appointment salaries
would skew the figures on male salaries, to
make them even higher than the figures I
offer below. I have collected financial
figures only, with no information about
the relative publishing rates or other
specifics of these faculty members. This is
because even if an administrator can argue
the relative merits of individual cases, the
fact is that across the board the particulars
of individual cases should balance out
between the sexes. Here are the figures for
the present year and the two preceding.
These figures were supplied to me by
Patricia McIntosh, a personnel information
analyst, on March 9, 1987.
Women's salaries across the professorial
ranks for the above three year period are
consistently lower than men's. Certainly
the issue of comparable worth arises here.
That is, many of the men included in this

sexist
survey are in the hard sciences, whereas
many of the women are in the humanities.
Thus one might argue that our society as a
whole values typical men's work more
than typical women's work, and that the
above figures reflect not sexism within the
university, but, rather, sexism within
society. I retort that if the university is
reflecting the society's sexism, then the
university is itself sexist. We expect better
from an institution that tries to lead society
into better paths.
Third, let us look at the rates at which
men and women are successful in a tenure
review. Again I will use the same three
year period. The data below is for the
LS&A only. My figures here were
supplied by Susan Rasmussen for the past
two years and by Elisabeth Bevins (the
secretary to Dean Walker) for the present
year. That is, these figures reflect the
decisions made in February, 1987, and in
the two previous Februaries.
The percentage of women that got
tenure in 1984-85 was quite heartening.
However, the percentages in the two more
recent years are problematic. Given the
rigorous standards applied at hiring and the
rigorous standards applied within

hiring
departments before a department actually
puts a person forward for tenure, we can
assume that those people put up for tenure
are the cream of the crop. If we want to
see more women on this campus, why
aren't we giving tenure to every single one
who is, in fact, among the cream? The
answer is self-evident.
The last argument I want to make is not
based on facts and figures, but on feelings.
If one could show that women in the
university in general feel that they have
been treated poorly because of their sex in
at least one instance where a university
administrator (including unit chairs) was
the cause of that feeling, this would be a
demonstration of sexist university policies.
(Notice that I am not limiting the
situations to ones in which only male
administrators are involved. Women, too,
can implement sexist policies, particularly
if they feel these are the accepted policies
of their employer.) I'd like to see someone
do a poll, asking only for a yes or no
answer from every woman faculty member
at this university. I urge that the poll be
only of a yes/no sort because I know
several women personally who have talked
to me about sexist incidents they've

policy
I love this University. I have loved
teaching the students here. I have never
taught anywhere where the classroom
experience was more exciting or more fun.
And I have certainly encountered some very
decent administrators, including chairs or
directors (such as Ian Catford, now
emeritus, but who I had the good fortune to
work with, and Elizabeth Douvan, the
Director of the Residential College) as well
as deans (such as Henry Pollack). But I
cannot say that being a woman faculty
member here has been a good experience in
general in dealing with administrators. I.,
hasn't.
I am the mother of five children, the
author of many articles and some
books, and someone who holds a position
of respect among linguists all over this
country and in many other countries. I
have a good self-image and many things
that should make me feel confident. Yet
whenever I have to talk to the director of
my program, no matter what the issue; I
get tense and afraid. I know that if I
disagree with him, he may well say
things to me that he has said to me in the
past. My experience has been to see
men who disagree or who propose
changes be labeled as aggressive, bright,
moving-ahead people. But when I have
disagreed or proposed changes, I have
been called uncooperative, headstrong,
and unrealistic (this last adjective ip
response to a proposal that the Program ill
Linguistics serve as an umbrella for: h
major in cognitive science _ something
major universities around the country
have been doing for years). One could
respond that my experiences have not beep
due to my sex. My answer is that I se
very few women in this university who
are in positions where they have the right
to effectuate changes - that is, very
few women in this university hold
administrative positions. Are all of us
uncooperative and headstrong?
This is the first of a two-part series

1986-87:
FULL
ASSO
ASSI
1985-86:
FULL
ASSO
ASSI
1984-85:
FULL
ASSO
ASSI

total
1078
491
588
total
1090
493
560
total
1107
484
559

women
81
96
164
women
79
97
156
women
72
93
161

%women
7.5%
19.6%
27.9%
%women
7.2%
19.7%
27.9%
%women
6.5%
19.2%
28.8%

1986-87
1985-86
1984-85

total men
4
13
18

%successful
50%
53.8%
50%

total women
4
7
4

%successful
50%
28.6%
75%

-rV1

average
median
average
median
average
median

FULL,1986-87
male female
$55914 $46914
$54300 $45316
ASS0,1986-87
male female
$42484 $37343
$40000 $36279
ASSI,1986-87
male female
$36004 $31941
$34425 $30000

FULL,1985-86
male female
$51621 $43828
$50000 $42082
ASSO,1985-86
male female
$38699 $34401
$36555 $33673
ASSI,1985-86
male female
$33073 $29266
$32016 $27067

FULL,1984-85
male female
$48138 $40880
$46600 $39200
ASSO,1984-85
male female
$36030 $32498
$34000 $31000
ASSI,1984-85
male female
$30534 $26685
$29144 $25000

encountered here, but who would feel
uncomfortable recounting these
experiences with anyone who wasn't a
personal friend. A woman does not easily
talk to a newspaper reporter about a
telephone conversation in which a male
administrator tells her that if she were his
child, he'd teach her how to accept the
answer no. A new mother does not easily
talk to a University ombudsman about her
chairman's remarking that the milk in her
breasts surely must taste terrific. I could go
on. I won't. g

Donna Jo Napoli is a
Professor.

Linguistics

onIwo't

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVII, No. 122 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily
represent the opinion of the Daily.
Support GEO demands

THE TEACHING ASSISTANTS RUN
THE daily operations of the
University. The University should
be willing to justly compensate the
indispensable services provided by
the TAs.
The Graduate Employee
Organization, the TAs' union,
demands that the University grant
the TAs a full tuition waiver, a
salary increase of 8 percent, paid
TA training in all departments, and
limits on class size. The University
rejected a salary increase and
offered a 3 year gradual increase in
the current tuition waiver that
would culminate in a full tuition
waiver. If the University and GEO
cannot reach agreement by April 8,
the TAs say they will strike.
The University's offer will leave
TAs with far less real purchasing
power next year. It will not cover
the skyrocketing rent in Ann Arbor
or the increasing cost of living.
Many graduate students can barely
survive at present. By decreasing
the real compensation of TAs, the
University will drive away many
fine graduate students.
Across the board TA training
and limitations on class size are
essential to the quality of
undergraduate education.
Undergraduates are currently
taught by people who are without
any teaching qualifications. The
University assumes that anyone

students andaundergraduates are
left with an overwhelmed,
floundering instructor who is at
best uncomfortable, at worst
terrified. This is not a positive
learning atmosphere for students
who are themselves overwhelmed
by the University. The
administration's rejection of the
demand for smaller classes
suggests a disregard for quality
undergraduate education.
It's in the best interest of
undergraduates to support the TAs.
If TAs cannot afford this university
they will go to another where full
tuition waivers are granted. There
are plenty of institutions to choose
from, in or out of the Big Ten.
Rising costs of attending the
University has the same effect on
graduate students as it does on
undergraduates. The higher the
cost, the smaller the pool of
applicants. A smaller pool of
applicants also has the potential of
adversely affecting the quality of
undergraduate education by
reducing the number of qualified
TAs.
If the TAs are forced to strike,
undergraduates should support
their instructors by boycotting
classes and attending the GEO
rally, April 1 at noon in the Diag.
This is not only a graduate
students' struggle. It is a struggle
for iindrrarin!1tefito at lPact

LETTERS
BMA:
To the Daily:
In his letter entitled, "Will
This Madness Ever Stop,"
(Daily, 3/19/87), Mr. James
Elliot makes some most unfor -
tunate assessments regarding
black medical students and the
Black Medical Association
(BMA). We are compelled to
respond.
Mr. Elliot questions the
credentials of some black
medical students. He should
understand that all students
attending the University of
Michigan Medical School are
qualified. The admissions board
can choose a class of 200 from
an abundance of qualified can -
didates. Furthermore, once
here, students of a class suc -
cessfully complete the same
exams and clinical requirements
to become quqlified doctors.
"Shouldn't it (the medical
school) be looking for good
doctors?" asks Mr. Elliot. We
believe it should and does seek
good doctors. Understand,
however, that scientific know -
ledge alone does not make a
good doctor. To be effective, a
clinician must consider the
patient in the context of that
patient's environment. To meet
the needs of a broad scope of
human condition requires an
equally diverse population of
medical students, some of
whom will be black.
Contrary to Mr. Elliot's
assertions, the BMA does not
promote racism or discriminate
against medical students on the
basis of color. The BMA is so
titled because of a concern for
issues impacting on Blacks.
The BMA enrolls non-black
members and extends invita -
tions to its events to all
medical students. The BMA
recently contributed to the
enrichment of medical students

just "make it so." To merely
say the Black and White
communities are equal, though,
ignores the vast disparity of
resources-wealth, education,
representation-between the
two. In this light, yes, there is
a definite need for more black
doctors to serve and to guide
the Black community toward

equality.
The Black medical students
on this campus are qualified.
They are needed in this society.
Through the BMA, they further
understanding of their concerns.
All they lack is our acceptance.
And before we can accept, we
must make the effort to
understand, make ourselves

available to listen.
-Gerard. Rudy,
Tom Magill
Lynn McDonald
Walter Sahijdak
Ronda Oran
Rhonda Alani
Alex Lin
Teri Spinelli
March 24

Black students are qualified'

Daily uses offensive, sexist
To the Daily: It wasn't a news story, feature,
or editorial; rather it was three
With all the articles on rape advertisements urging busines-
and sexism and the Daily's ses to advertise in the Daily.
efforts to recruit minorities and In three consecutive pages
women to the staff I was the large print in the ads said,
shocked and angered at what I "Use Us...We like it." "Take
read in the Daily this morning. Advantage of Us...We Want

adv

ertising

A4

You To" and "Pick Us
Up...We're Easy." This is
offensive, open sexism in
advertising and contrary to
what I expect of the Daily.

-Laura

A. Bischoff
March 26

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