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Abstract

This study reports the results of a survey of chief academic officers at AACU member institutions regarding the types of policies and practices they employ to assist dual-career couples. It examines the motivations, barriers, consequences, and policy implications of institutional responses to dual-career couples.

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... Two major national studies have shed light on the plethora of ways that postsecondary institutions seek to address and accommodate dual-career academic couples. The most comprehensive study on this topic was conducted by Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice (2000), who administered a survey to chief academic administrators of institutions in the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). This study served as the basis for their book, The Two-Body Problem: Dual-Career-Couple Hiring Practices in Higher Education (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2004). ...
... They found that 24% of all institutions and 45% of research universities had a dual-career couple hiring policy. In general, research universities are better equipped to help dual-career academic couples because they have more financial resources and positions than smaller institutions (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). Of all institutions with policies, 42% were in writing and 58% were "unwritten policies or practices" (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000, p. 294). ...
... In addition to surveying 9,000 faculty members, the researchers collected hiring policies from the universities and conducted interviews with administrators. This study covered many similar themes as the Wolf-Wendel et al. (2000) study, however it produced starkly different results, which might be a result of its focus on leading research universities. ...
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This research report engages literature on dual-career academic hiring and how it relates to faculty diversity, and highlights lessons from a qualitative study with 11 diverse academic couples in which both partners attained faculty positions at the same university through dual-career hiring processes. The report concludes with recommendations for administrators, researchers, and academic couples, and features quotes from the study’s participants.
... Compensation goes beyond salary and can include resources and support that help individuals make more successful transitions to the institution and faculty life (Tuitt et al., 2007). Supporting the professional needs of potential hires' partners often has been recommended as a way to promote faculty recruitment, particularly for women (Sorcinelli, 2000;Stewart, Malley, & Herzog, 2016;Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). ...
... According to a study of almost 400 American Association of Colleges and Universities, approximately a quarter of institutions have dual-career hiring policies, but most of these policies were informal and not in writing (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). Active support from institutions for partner employment was found to enhance how seriously offers were taken by candidates (Smith, 2000), and were more likely to result in a hire (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). ...
... According to a study of almost 400 American Association of Colleges and Universities, approximately a quarter of institutions have dual-career hiring policies, but most of these policies were informal and not in writing (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). Active support from institutions for partner employment was found to enhance how seriously offers were taken by candidates (Smith, 2000), and were more likely to result in a hire (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). ...
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Institutions looking to make headway into the persistent challenge of recruiting, hiring, and retaining a more diverse faculty are often looking for a playbook of best or promising practices to aid their efforts. While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for the context-specific challenges facing universities, research on promising practices and the experiences of underrepresented group (URG) faculty provide indicators of the necessary elements of programs, practices, and interventions to increase the institutional and national diversity of faculty.These recommendations for promising practice are grounded in the research literature and should help institutional leaders to structure their interventions to best tackle these challenges. These promising practices urge institutions to:• Foster relationships all along the faculty career pathways.• Democratize knowledge about processes, standards, and norms.• Rethink recruitment and hiring strategies.• Address the conditions of faculty retention and success.• Celebrate diversity regularly.• Expand definitions of excellence for faculty accomplishments.• Question the roots “objective” or “neutral” criteria internally and externally.• Ensure values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are deeply embedded in decision-making.This report offers suggestions and guidance for institutions, including the importance of conducting a thorough self-assessment, the danger of reaching for promising practices before identifying the root problems, and a framework for developing a holistic, comprehensive and systemic approach to institutional change for inclusion that addresses the systemic, structural, values and cultural dimensions simultaneously.
... College and university administrators find that consideration of candidates' dual career circumstances and concerns, estimated to be a factor in one in five appointments and resignations, may increase the potential to attract and retain the most desired academics (Burke, 1988;Ferber & Loeb, 1997;Wilson, 1996). However, only one in four American colleges and universities currently have either formal or informal policies for hiring spouses (Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). Even when such policies exist, typically employees or candidates at research universities, those who are in minority groups, and persons with advanced academic rank are the most apt to receive administrative support in accommodating their spouses' career goals. ...
... Institutions that have formal policies about spousal employment rarely know much about their implications as few studies have been conducted to examine outcomes on either institutional functioning or family dynamics. Few, if any, of the American colleges and universities that have dual-career policies have conducted any form of formal assessment of the effects of employing spouses (Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). ...
... Specifically, employees at Lake University are three times (3.187) more likely than employees at Upstate University to also have their spouses working there. These findings support other evidence of considerable variation in the degree to which university policy and personnel support dual appointments (McNeil & Sher, 1999;Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). But these variations might reflect the larger opportunity structure. ...
Article
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This study of 276 couples compares coworking couples, which means both partners work for the same university, with noncoworking couples, those couples in which only one partner is employed at a university. Among the employees at the two universities studied, one in seven dual-earner couples cowork. These couples are more educated and are less likely to prioritize one spouses' career over that of the other, as compared to noncoworking couples. Coworking is positively associated with work commitment and family success for husbands and with family and marital satisfaction for wives, especially for couples with graduate degrees. Findings suggest that employment of spouses can be beneficial to employees and institutions.
... Two studies (Fleig-Palmer, Murrin, Palmer, & Rathert, 2003;Hunt, 2009) examined dual career programs by surveying institutions about their dual career office. Another study (Wolf-Wendel, et al., 2000) presents a case study of these offices. ...
... While universities are likely to have a spousal accommodation policy (such as an EEOC statement stating that the institute does not discriminate against dual career couples) in order to attract top researchers, most higher education institutions do not have formal policies regarding dual career hires (Wolf-Wendel, et al., 2000). Typical strategies that universities employ to assist dual career couples include assisting the spouse or partner to find employment, hiring the trailing spouse in an adjunct or non tenure-track positions, creating a shared position, creating or finding an administrative position within the institution, and finding the trailing partner a tenure-track position (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). ...
... While universities are likely to have a spousal accommodation policy (such as an EEOC statement stating that the institute does not discriminate against dual career couples) in order to attract top researchers, most higher education institutions do not have formal policies regarding dual career hires (Wolf-Wendel, et al., 2000). Typical strategies that universities employ to assist dual career couples include assisting the spouse or partner to find employment, hiring the trailing spouse in an adjunct or non tenure-track positions, creating a shared position, creating or finding an administrative position within the institution, and finding the trailing partner a tenure-track position (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). Universities assist dual career couples in other ways such as through relocation assistance, maintaining a dual career office, providing access to career services, and providing administrative assistance. ...
... leaves contribute to faculty recruitment and retention goals (Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). But, while most (85 percent) of the 360 institutional respondents indicated that they would "do something" to assist dual-career couples, only 24 percent reported having formal policies (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). ...
... leaves contribute to faculty recruitment and retention goals (Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). But, while most (85 percent) of the 360 institutional respondents indicated that they would "do something" to assist dual-career couples, only 24 percent reported having formal policies (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). Similarly, a 1991 survey of 191 colleges and universities showed that, although most institutions had a policy regarding unpaid or paid leave for mothers at childbirth, fewer than one-half had policies covering job assistance for the spouse, accommodative scheduling, unpaid leave for fathers at childbirth, or on-campus childcare centers (Raabe, 1997). ...
... Effectively implementing family-related policies will likely improve both the recruitment and retention of women faculty in general, and of women faculty who are married and/or have (or want) children in particular (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). A single institution study shows that job and life satisfaction are more highly correlated among college and university faculty than among the general population, and that both men and women who are married and have children are concerned about dual careers, commuter marriages, and childrearing (Sorcinelli & Near, 1989). ...
... An increasing number of studies on dual career policies at US institutions have been conducted since the 1990s (Fleig-Palmer et al., 2003;Rusconi, 2002;Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). US institutions were more likely to establish dual career services if they were research-intensive universities or geographically isolated institutions. ...
... US institutions were more likely to establish dual career services if they were research-intensive universities or geographically isolated institutions. Research-intensive universities were more likely to provide such services due to the flexibility and the availability of resources, while geographically isolated institutions could enhance their attractiveness to potential applicants through offering dual career services in an area with limited job opportunities (Fleig-Palmer et al, 2003;Wolf-Wendel et al.,2000). Dual career services vary greatly across the institutions in terms of type and duration of services offered, eligibility to the programme, allocated staff and funding devoted to the service and stakeholder involvement (ibid). ...
... These applicants are offered additional services, such as tailored information and integration services for childcare, housing and professional advice with taxes and mortgage. This is similar to the USA, where partners of faculty hires were top priority (Fleig-Palmer et al., 2003;Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). ...
Article
The number of dual career couples in academia is growing due to the increasing proportion of women with a doctoral degree and the greater propensity of women to choose another academic as their partner. At the same time, international mobility is required for career advancement in academia, creating challenges for dual career couples where both partners pursue careers. This paper has two objectives: (a) to raise the increasingly important issue of dual career couples in academia and the gendered effect that the pressure for mobility has on career advancement and work–life interference; and (b) to present examples of recently established dual career services of higher education institutions in Germany, Denmark and Switzerland, responding to the needs of the growing population of dual career couples. Due to long established practices of dual career services in the USA, the European examples will be compared with US practices. This paper raises the significance of considering dual career couples in institutional policies that aim for an internationally excellent and diversified academic workforce. It will appraise dual career services according to whether they reinforce or address gender inequalities and provide recommendations to higher education institutions interested in developing services and programmes for dual career couples.
... 6 A survey of 360 universities found that policies can help, but the impact of these policies is not entirely clear. 7 Of those institutions with policies, 73% reported finding jobs for fewer than half of those they attempted to assist, compared to 88% of institutions without policies. A commitment of central administration resources seems to make a difference, but there are at least three variables that make each case unique: the seniority of the initial target of recruitment or retention, the needs and qualifications of the spouse or partner, and the availability of department resources. ...
... All three research units are housed at the Lamont campus.7 While some staff associates have substantially different job descriptions and qualifications than research scientists, the reported gender differences do not change significantly when staff associates are removed from the sample.ADVANCE YEAR 2 ANNUAL REPORT ...
... In a 2007 survey of academic family-friendly policies, although 65% of 189 colleges and universities had a formal policy allowing new faculty parents to stop the tenure clock, usually for a year, only 13% had a policy helping a spouse of the faculty to find a job (Wilson, 2008). Policies could include efforts to hire spouses for tenure-track or non-tenure-track positions (which could be temporary bridge positions), to create shared positions, and to take proactive steps to help spouses or partners find employment (Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). Helping spouses find local employment is the least controversial. ...
Article
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In this study, we examined possible gender differences in reasons for faculty attrition during the last 20 years at a small women's liberal arts college. The attrition rate was calculated from archival data collected through old college directories. As in earlier studies, the attrition rate was higher for women (31%) than for men (18.5%). Reasons for leaving the college were assessed in an online survey completed by 45 out of 66 tenure-track or tenured professors who left (excluding retirees). Work–family conflict was the most frequently cited reason for leaving, with disproportionately more women than men giving this reason. Open-ended responses revealed that work–family conflict typically referred to the difficulty of coordinating two careers. Female faculty who left were also significantly more dissatisfied than males with the support for balancing work and family life at the college. The need for colleges to create spousal policies to help faculty coordinate dual careers was discussed.
... 8 Si veda Rossi (2006;; Rossi e Mazzucchelli (2008a;2008b;); Donati (2005); Crompton, Lewis, Lyonette (2007); Gornick, Meyers (2003). 9 Per approfondimenti si veda: Compton, Pollak (2007;De Ruijter, Van der Lippe (2007); Drago, Black, Wooden (2005); Gornick, Meyers (2003); Konopaske, Robie, Ivancevich (2005); Loscocco, Spitze (2007); Maume (2006); Pixley, Moen (2003); Sayer (2005); Warren (2007); Winkler, Rose (2000); Winkler, McBride, Andrews (2005); Winslow-Bowe (2006); Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, Rice (2000); Zuo (2004). supportiva da parte delle famiglie d'origine e delle reti primarie e secondarie (Rossi, 2009;Rossi, Bonini, Mazzucchelli, 2011) -rappresentino certamente dati strutturali influenti e determinanti sull'orientamento al lavoro, l'organizzazione quotidiana e la possibilità effettiva di conciliazione dei nuclei familiari. ...
... In traditional societies like China, India, and Taiwan, women are responsible for taking care of household responsibilities including children. The strain is further exacerbated for women faculty members when their spouses are not in the same city due to the inability of institutions to house dualcareer couples ( Madhavan, 2001;Wolf-Wendel et al., 2000). On the other hand, Gupta (2004) found native citizens with children had significantly higher levels of job satisfaction, as compared with foreign-born faculty. ...
... Faculty are often hesitant to bring up personal life or discuss work-family issues in the workplace because they are afraid that their colleagues might doubt their commitment to career (Drago et al., 2006;Rice, Sorcinelli, & Austin, 2000). Work-family benefits, such as paid/unpaid parental leaves and tenure-clock extensions, have become widely available at academic institutions (Hollenshead, Sullivan, Smith, August, & Hamilton, 2005;Mayer & Tikka, 2008;Quinn, Lange, & Olswang, 2004;Spalter-Roth & Erskine, 2005;Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, & Rice, 2000). Yet there is concern that work-family culture influences the willingness of faculty to take advantage of these benefits (Drago et al., 2006;Hollenshead et al., 2005;Spalter-Roth & Erskine, 2005). ...
Article
Using data collected on tenure-line faculty at a research-intensive Midwestern university, this study explored predictors of faculty job turnover intentions due to a desire for a better work–family balance. We adopted Voydanoff’s theoretical framework and included demands and resources both within and spanning across the work and family domains. Results showed that work-related demands and resources were much stronger predictors of work–family turnover intentions than family-related demands or resources. Specifically, work-to-family negative spillover was positively associated with work–family turnover intentions, and two work-related resources (job satisfaction and supportive work–family culture) were negatively associated with work–family turnover intentions. On the other hand, family-related demands and resources (within the family domain or boundary-spanning from family to work) did not significantly predict work–family turnover intentions.
... 8 Si veda Rossi (2006;; Rossi e Mazzucchelli (2008a;2008b;); Donati (2005); Crompton, Lewis, Lyonette (2007); Gornick, Meyers (2003). 9 Per approfondimenti si veda: Compton, Pollak (2007;De Ruijter, Van der Lippe (2007); Drago, Black, Wooden (2005); Gornick, Meyers (2003); Konopaske, Robie, Ivancevich (2005); Loscocco, Spitze (2007); Maume (2006); Pixley, Moen (2003); Sayer (2005); Warren (2007); Winkler, Rose (2000); Winkler, McBride, Andrews (2005); Winslow-Bowe (2006); Wolf-Wendel, Twombly, Rice (2000); Zuo (2004). supportiva da parte delle famiglie d'origine e delle reti primarie e secondarie (Rossi, 2009;Rossi, Bonini, Mazzucchelli, 2011) -rappresentino certamente dati strutturali influenti e determinanti sull'orientamento al lavoro, l'organizzazione quotidiana e la possibilità effettiva di conciliazione dei nuclei familiari. ...
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... This policy patchwork is believed to greatly affect the mobility of hESC researchers; however, looking at SC research more broadly, researchers place considerably greater value on factors such as their personal lives rather than on the permissiveness or restrictions of research policy. Solving the Btwo body problem^ [19] and the availability of programs for spouses and children of researchers to successfully adjust to life in a new jurisdiction are essential for attracting and retaining SC scientists. Alongside these considerations, funding cannot be a bottleneck in this domain of research, like others in the biosciences, where innovation and advancement are key and sufficient funds are simply needed for scientific progress. ...
Article
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The migration of researchers across geographic borders, or "brain drain" as it is commonly called, remains an important issue for governments around the world as loss or gain of highly qualified personnel in research can have substantial social, economic and political consequences. In the present study we seek to examine the forces that drive international professional migration of stem cell (SC) researchers, for which variation of SC policy in different jurisdictions has previously been implicated as a driving force. Structured interviews were carried out with a purposive sample of SC researchers in the professoriate who had made international moves after postdoctoral work between the years 2001-2014, or were actively anticipating a future move. Participants were asked to rank motivators of international movement on a 5-point Likert scale and prompted to elaborate on their answers. The results suggest that career considerations, availability of research funding, and personal considerations are of high importance to the participants when considering an international move, while the permissiveness or restrictiveness SC research policy is of comparably lower importance. Participants also expressed that international movements are beneficial to scientific careers overall. The findings have important implications for policy and strategies to attract and retain members of the SC research community.
... A second phenomenon related to gendered family roles and unequal socioeconomic structures is that in heterosexual relationships, men's careers often take priority over women's: this often means that when location and relocation decisions are made, women's careers are subordinated to men's (Rosenfeld and Jones 1987;Wolf-Wendel, Twombly and Rice 2000;Stone and Lovejoy 2004). Numerous studies have documented this phenomenon across academic fields (Aisenberg and Harrington 1988;McElrath 1992;Primack and O'Leary 1993;Harper et al. 2001). ...
Article
This paper contributes new perspectives on the underrepresentation of female faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines by identifying how faculty themselves conceptualize or make sense of the problem. We conducted in-depth interviews with 19 STEM faculty members. The interviews were employed to identify discourses faculty engage in their explanations for underrepresentation. Work–family balance emerged as the leading theme, with participants identifying many challenges thereto. As participants discussed work–family balance, they engaged a discourse of choice to frame the challenges faced by female faculty members in particular. We relate the discourse of choice to the persistence of gender inequalities in STEM departments.
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