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wrote, “At the country’s big research universities, the vast majority of professors are men.”

Related to this is the fact that female faculty tended to be clustered in positions that were part-time, untenured, or at lower ranks. The number of positions off the tenure track—both part- and full-time—had grown dramatically over the past few decades (Anderson, 2002; Bradley, 2004). Comparing full-time to part-time positions, women were less likely to be found in full-time positions. In mathematics, for example, during the fall term of 2005, 37 percent of the part-time faculty at doctorate-granting institutions were women, while only 11 percent of the full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty were women, and only 24 percent of the full-time, non-tenure-track faculty were women (Kirkman et al., 2006).12

Women comprised a particularly small percentage of tenured scientists and engineers in universities and 4-year colleges in 2001 (NSF, 2006). In engineering, for example, the percentage of tenured faculty who were women was 6.2 percent (out of a total of 15,480 faculty). In mathematics and statistics, the percentage was 11.9 percent (of 10,610 faculty), and in the physical sciences, it was 11.1 percent (of 18,930 faculty). In computer and information sciences, the percentage was 17.7 percent (of 2,670 faculty). The biological and agricultural sciences had the highest percentage of tenured faculty who were women, with 21.7 percent (of 30,940 faculty).13

Finally, NSF noted in its biennial publication, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2000 (2000:59), that “within 4-year colleges and universities, female scientists and engineers hold fewer high-ranked positions than do their male counterparts. Women were less likely than men to be full professors and more likely than men to be assistant professors.” These findings were confirmed in the 2007 follow-up to that report (NSF, 2007). In a survey of the top 50 departments in several fields, Nelson (2005) found the percentages of women dropped off through the professorial ranks from assistant to associate to full professor in all fields except one.14 For example, in chemistry, women comprised 21.5 percent of assistant professors, 20.5 percent of associate professors, and 7.6 percent of full professors. In physics, 11.2 percent of assistant professors, 9.8 percent of associate professors, and 4.6 percent of full professors were women. In civil engineering, 22.3 percent of assistant professors, 11.5 percent of associate professors, and 3.5 percent of full professors were women (Nelson and Rogers, 2005).15


Doctorate-granting institutions are defined as Groups I, II, III, IV, and V. See Kirkman et al. (2006) for complete definitions.


Note these are small gains over 2001 data (compare with NSF, 2003b). The figures here do not agree with those in Table 1-1 due to differences in year of reference, sampling and nonsampling errors, and definitional differences.


The exception was computer science: 10.8 percent of assistant professors, 14.4 percent of associate professors, and 8.3 percent of full professors were women.


Data for chemistry are from 2003; data for physics and civil engineering are from 2002. Newer

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