wide childbirth policy is intended as a minimum standard; departments are encouraged to establish their own policies.

Stanford’s Chemistry Department established its own childbirth policy before the enactment of the university-wide policy. The Chemistry Department’s policy has an additional critical feature: it allows a student who is pregnant or is a new mother to reduce coursework and research activities for a period of 12 weeks while receiving the financial support of fellowships and assistantships.b

Both policies stress the continued importance of continued communication between students and their advisers. The policies aim “to support—not replace— the open communication and good will that should characterize the relationship between student and advisor.”c Both the Stanford Chemistry Department’s policy and the university-wide policy are among the most generous childbirth policies in the country; recently, Dartmouth University announced a similar policy for its graduate students.d


aM Peña (2006). New childbirth policy for female graduate students. Stanford Report, http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2006/february1/mom-020106.html; Stanford University. Stanford Graduate Student Handbook. “Childbirth Policy for Women Graduate Students at Stanford University,” http://www.stanford.edu/dept/DoR/GSH/childbirth.html.


bStanford University Chemistry Department. Letter to Graduate Students, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/pdf/Stanford_Policy.pdf?sessid=1602.


cStanford University. Stanford Graduate Student Handbook, ibid.


dR Wilson (2006). Dartmouth to provide paid leave to graduate students with new children. The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 16), http://chronicle.com/cgi-bin/printable.cgi?article=http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/05/2006051904n.htm.

fied duty schedules; lactation rooms; and family-friendly scheduling of critical meetings.

As described in Chapter 5, the mere existence of apparently family-friendly policies will not reduce the pressure on women faculty or their fear that family life will damage or even destroy their careers. Rather, to reduce the conflict between work and family that faculty members experience, faculties and their Senates must examine tenure guidelines and ensure that committees appropriately evaluate candidates who have taken parental leave. In addition, university leaders, including top administrators and department chairs, must adopt policies that recognize and mitigate the disadvantages imposed by caregiving.21

Create Methods for Evaluation and Accountability

Academic institutions must work jointly with scientific and professional societies and federal agencies for lasting change to occur. All three


K Ward and L Wolf-Wendel (2004). Fear factor: How safe is it to make time for family? Academe 90(6), http://www.aaup.org/publications/Academe/2004/04nd/04ndward.htm.

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