Harvard Announces Help for Female Faculty

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.

Harvard University on Tuesday announced $7.5 million in enhancements for its employee work-life program as part of an effort to recruit and retain women faculty.

The enhancements, which include additional child care spaces at the university and grants to fund faculty research, were outlined in the inaugural annual report of the newly created Office for Faculty Development and Diversity.

“Harvard is at the beginning of a very long journey. While significant progress has been made here at Harvard this year, there is much work to be done to transform this institution,” says Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, the university’s first senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity. Hammonds is also a professor of the history of science and of African and African American studies.

Following practices set at Princeton and Stanford universities and the recommendations of Harvard’s 2005 Women’s Task Force, the university is aiming to support faculty, doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows who are balancing the demands of work and family.

These efforts include the creation of universitywide maternity/parental leave guidelines for faculty; the development of additional child care capacity on and near campus; a 53 percent increase in child care scholarships for faculty and staff; a 50 percent increase in annual operating support for the six Harvard-affiliated child care centers; and special funding to support the research and professional travel of junior faculty with family responsibilities.

“The desire to have and raise a family should never stand in the way of advancement opportunities at Harvard for any of our faculty, doctoral and postdoctoral scholars, or members of our staff,” says Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers.

The report also sets guidelines for the recruitment and promotion of women and underrepresented minority faculty. They include educating members of the search committee on best hiring practices and working with professional and women-affiliated societies such as the Society of Black Engineers.

The full report is available at http://www.faculty.harvard.edu

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