Well-intentioned policies to make achieving tenure more family-friendly actually have negative consequences for the salaries of college faculty, says a study co-written by University of Illinois labor and employment relations professor Amit Kramer:
“The norm in academia is that success requires the focused pursuit of academic work at the expense of other responsibilities, including family,” he said. “That suggests that the use of these policies may be detrimental to the career outcomes of tenure-track faculty members. In particular, evaluators may perceive stopping the clock for family reasons as an indicator that the faculty member lacks the commitment to his or her academic role. And that, in turn, may constrain their career prospects.”
This ‘unintended consequence’ should have been predicted (and my bet is that it was) by any rational adult who has worked in even a moderately competitive workplace (and academia in main line universities is anything but just moderately competitive.) This sort of thing is a fact of life among us monkeys, move on, nothing to see here! Trying to add some kind of anti-bias bias, as suggested later in the article, is nuts and will only make things worse.
If you want to provide this sort of benefit, do so knowing there will be ‘unintended consequences’ of this sort and allow your adult, professional staff figure out their own best path. I think providing more personal days per year and allowing them to accrue along with a reasonably strict use policy to offset impacts to the company / coworkers would be more fair and flexible.
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