2001 Salary Survey
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Women in academia
Share of tenured chemistry faculty at top 50 universities still only about one in nine
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EDUCATION
October 1, 2001
Volume 79, Number 40
CENEAR 79 40 pp. 98-99
ISSN 0009-2347
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WOMEN'S PLACE IN RANKS OF ACADEMIA
More are full and assistant professors, but the number of associate professors dips

ALLISON BYRUM, C&EN WASHINGTON

Last year, C&EN conducted a survey to discover the number of women on the faculties of the top 50 chemistry departments (C&EN, Sept. 25, 2000, page 56) and found that they accounted for only 10% of those in the tenure track. To see what, if any, progress has been made, C&EN has repeated its survey for the 2001–02 academic year. Conclusion: Not much has changed; women still occupy only a small percentage of tenure-track positions.

C&EN surveyed the schools identified by the National Science Foundation as being among the top 50 investors in chemical research in 1999. The schools were contacted by e-mail, fax, or telephone. In each case, the numbers of tenure-track faculty holding full, associate, and assistant professorships with at least 50% of their salaries paid by the chemistry department for the 2001–02 academic year were obtained. These figures do not include emeriti professors or lecturers. The response rate was 100%.

PROFESSORS THREE SUNY Stonybrook's Nicole S. Sampson (left photo) with students Yin Ye (center) and Samidha Konkar (seated), (center photo) Wisconsin's Laura L. Kiessling, and Purdue's Jean Chmielewski (right photo).


Women now make up 11% of faculty members, compared with 10% last year. And while the total number of faculty positions is down just one, the number of women faculty members has risen by nine.

Last year's response rate was also 100%, but the lists of schools surveyed are not identical. New to NSF's 1999 list of the top university spenders on chemical R&D are Louisiana State University; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Pittsburgh; and the University of Virginia. Not making the 1999 list, but on it in 1998, were Colorado State University, the University of Georgia, University of Rochester, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Together, those schools had 10 women on the tenure track. The four schools that replaced them have nine.

Still, when this year's responses are tallied and compared with last year's data, it appears that women have made some small gains. The grand totals have changed slightly. Women now make up 11% of faculty members, compared with 10% last year. And while the total number of faculty positions is down just one, the number of women faculty members has risen by nine.

Women currently account for 7% of full professors, compared with 6% in the previous academic year. Women are 20% of assistant professors, up 2% from the year earlier. The percentage of women associate professors fell 1% to 20%. In straight numerical terms, the ranks of women full professors increased by five to 74, associate professors fell one to 46, and at 61 there are five more female assistant professors.

There have been some changes in the top five schools with the highest percentage of women on the total faculty. Rutgers remains in first place with its 10 women--half of whom are full professors--holding 26% of the faculty positions. Second place again goes to the University of Kansas with six tenured women, accounting for 25% of the faculty. Pennsylvania State University has moved into third place with six tenured women, up from four last year, who make up 20% of its faculty. Next come UCLA (10 women) and another newcomer to the top five, the State University of New York, Stony Brook (five women), both with a 19%-female faculty. Both schools have added one female faculty member since the last survey.

At the lower end of the spectrum, five schools tied for last. Johns Hopkins has one female assistant professor, who by herself accounts for 6% of the faculty. Northwestern, Stanford, and the University of Virginia also have one tenured woman faculty member each. Each woman makes up 4% of her respective faculty. SUNY Buffalo's lone female associate professor accounts for 3% of its faculty.

Allison Byrum from Vanderbilt University interned at C&EN this summer. She conducted the survey under the direction of C&EN News Editor Janice Long.

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