Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 18:26:19 -0500 (EST)
From: (Patricia Knezek)

	AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issues of 12/13/2000, ed. by Meg Urry and Patricia Knezek

This week's issues:
1. New editors of AASWOMEN listserv 
2. Topic of the month - class-action suits
3. Margaret Burbidge Luncheon at the January AAS - Sign up now!
4. Invitation to subscribe to STATUS
5. Open Letter to the AAAS about congressional fellowship requirements
6. Aspen Workshop: Compact Objects in Dense Star Clusters
7. Tenure-Track faculty position at Indiana University
8. Tenure-Track faculty position at Illinois Wesleyan Univeristy

1. New editors of AASWOMEN listserv

As many of you no doubt found out via the burst "Welcome" message from Meg
Urry last week, the editing of the AASWOMEN weekly newsletter has changed 
hands.  We would like once again to thank Priscilla Benson for doing such
an excellent job over the past few years.  Editing the newsletter will now
fall onto Meg Urry, the chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in 
Astronomy, and Patricia Knezek.  Both of us are currently astronomers working
at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and thus the listserv will be 
administered from STScI now.  We ask for your patience for a few weeks as we
work the bugs out of the system.  For the moment, if you have information 
you would like to see in a newsletter, please send the information to *BOTH*
Pat ( and Meg ( and we will see that the
information is included in the next weekly newsletter.  We plan to have an 
email address for the AASWOMEN newsletter set up shortly, and will let you 
know what the address is when it comes on line.  In the meantime, here is 
our first issue from STScI!  

2. Topic of the month - class-action lawsuits

As editors of the AASWOMEN weekly newsletter, we thought it might be
interesting to introduce a topic for discussion once a month or so.  The
subscribers would then send in their opinions, comments, and suggestions,
and we would include them in the newsletter.  For this first issue, we are
including below an article about a class action lawsuit brought against the
University of Washington.  We invite you to read the article, and tell us
what you think.  You may want to consider such questions as "What level of
action is appropriate in academia?  Should it be different for industry? 
What about government-funded institutions?".  Please send your responses to
*BOTH* and  We look forward to hearing from

From: Paula Szkody

Subject: Women's suit over UW pay likely to grow
       Women's suit over UW pay likely to grow 

       by Ray Rivera
       Seattle Times staff reporter (about Nov. 20, 2000) 

       In a rare move, a state court has certified a class-action
lawsuit against the University of Washington, opening the door for
       hundreds or possibly thousands of past and present women faculty
members to join in a claim alleging that the UW pays
       female professors less than men and is less likely to promote
them. The lawsuit highlights a lingering sore point on campuses
       across the nation where, according to various surveys,
disparities in salary and promotions continue to exist and in some
       instances have worsened since the women's movement brought wide
attention to the issue in the 1970s. 

       But while female professors have won spot victories in individual
bias suits, the courts have rarely certified class actions in
       faculty-discrimination cases, legal experts say. 

       That's because pay and promotion decisions usually differ from
department to department, limiting the number of potential

       "The scope and size of this could be a watershed in terms of
being the impetus other universities need to start addressing these
       issues," said Catherine Didion, president of the Washington,
D.C.-based Association of Women in Science, which has filed
       several briefs in gender-bias cases across the country. 

       Didion said she expects faculty members and administrators at
other universities to closely watch the case. 

       King County Superior Court Judge Glenna Hall signed the order
certifying the class action on Friday. The order says the
       class includes all female faculty members, including those at the
medical school, who were employed by the university after
       Aug. 18, 1994, at UW's campuses in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell. 

       The UW employs about 1,200 female faculty members, said Steve
Berman, the plaintiffs' attorney. He expects the action
       could have as many as 3,000 litigants. 

       The UW is considering whether to appeal the certification, said
attorney Michael Madden, who is representing the school. The
       case is set for trial on Jan. 14, 2002. 

       Eligible class members should be receiving letters beginning in
January explaining the lawsuit and giving them the choice of
       opting out, Berman said. 

       The 1994 cutoff date was set because of a three-year statute of
limitations from the time the first lawsuit was filed in 1997. 

       That suit was filed by Dolphine Oda, a professor of oral
pathology in the UW's School of Dentistry, Berman said. Darunee
       NaBadalung, Rigmor Persson, Ginger Powell and Hester Rumberg, all
dentistry-school faculty members, joined the suit

       The complaint alleges that discrimination against women is
systemic at the university. It quotes a 1997 UW report that states
       that white female professors earned nearly 19 percent less than
males while Asian female faculty earned 27 percent less. 

       The suit maintains that unequal promotions and hiring explain the
UW report's finding that only one in four professors on a
       tenure track were women, while 60 percent of nontenure-track
professors were women. 

       Tenured professors have better job security at universities and
earn the highest salaries. 

       Statistical comparisons performed by a plaintiff's expert also
found that of faculty members hired as assistant professors from
       1981 to 1986, the percentage of women who eventually made full
professor by 1997 was consistently 20 percent less than the
       percentage of their male colleagues. 

       "I think female faculty members have been hugely frustrated by
this problem, and they feel the university has largely ignored
       it," Berman said. But Madden claims salary and promotion
disparities can't be measured on a universitywide basis. 

       A UW-commissioned analysis found that women make less than their
male counterparts in some UW departments and more
       in others. The only statistically significant disparity was in
the College of Arts and Science's division of social sciences, in
       which male faculty members made $403 more per month than female
faculty members. But that difference disappears when
       specific disciplines within a school are considered, according to
the study. 

       At the same time, women made $378 more per month than men in the
School of Business. 

       Within the School of Dentistry, there was no statistically
significant difference, the study said. The analysis also found that
       promotions to associate and full professor between 1976 and 1995
were similar for male and female faculty members. 

       "The study essentially said we need to look school by school and
department by department to see if an overall disparity exists
       - and in fact, it doesn't," Madden said. 

       Berman said he doubts the quality of the data the university has
provided so far and expects to gain access to better data as the
       lawsuit proceeds. 

       In the lawsuit, Oda, a mother of two who has worked at the UW
since 1985, said she was paid less than male colleagues
       despite her long list of accomplishments that included
publication in more than 55 medical journals and 14
       distinguished-teaching awards from the dentistry school. She
claimed she was persecuted and humiliated for bringing up
       gender inequities to the dean of the school. 

       The other plaintiffs have similar stories. NaBadalung, an
assistant professor, said she was also paid less than her male
       counterparts, given a bigger teaching load and denied tenure. 

       Her research also suffered from a lack of mentors,
inaccessibility of senior male faculty members and lack of computer
       resources, the suit claims. 

       Powell, an associate professor who has been with the university
for more than 13 years, said she received lower merit-pay
       raises than less-accomplished male peers. She also said she was
passed over for promotion to full professor in January 1999
       despite credentials that matched or surpassed those of male
faculty members who were promoted to full professor. 

       Persson said she was also passed up for promotion in 1996. While
finally making research associate professor the next year,
       she has consistently made less money and has been given less
research time than male faculty members hired after her, the
       suit claims. 

       Rumberg taught oral and maxillofacial radiology for 16 years, but
her position was never funded 100 percent although she
       worked full time. Frustrated, Rumberg, who according to the suit
had been instrumental in developing the curriculum on oral
       radiology, finally left in June 1998 at a salary of $30,000 a
year. That's significantly less than less-qualified male counterparts
       were paid, the suit contends. 

       The UW settled a similar complaint in July. In that case, Dr.
Margaret Allen, a nationally prominent heart surgeon, claimed
       she was paid less than her male counterparts at the school. Allen
received $750,000 and resigned her position as part of the

       The American Association of University Professors reports average
salary disparities were greater in 1998 than in 1975. A
       salary survery conducted last year showed that, among full
professors at public universities, men earn 12 percent more than
       women. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a
report late last year acknowledging discrimination against
       female scientists. The inequities included fewer research dollars
and smaller laboratory spaces. 

       "For more than a decade, colleges and universities have been on
notice about and are fully aware of significant disparities in
       the compensation and promotional patterns between men and women
faculty," said Helen Davies, professor of microbiology
       at the University of Pennsylvania and past president of the
Association of Women in Science. "The lawsuit moving forward
       against the University of Washington may well mark the beginning
of legal action of women faculty brought to demand that
       they receive the equitable treatment guaranteed by federal and
state law."

3. Margaret Burbidge Luncheon at the January AAS - Sign up now!

Time is running out to sign up for the Margaret Burbidge luncheon at the
San Diego January AAS Meeting.  As of last Thursday, there were still a
few places left.  Please see below.  We look forward to seeing you there!

****Thursday, 11 January 2001, 12:00noon, Terrace Pavilion****

Margaret Burbidge will be honored for her outstanding contributions to 
astronomy and for her role in inspiring other women astronomers. A special 
luncheon will follow her talk at the Special Session sponsored by the 
Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy. This event, hosted by CSWA, 
AAS, AURA, AUI, NSF, CIW, and STScI, will include brief remarks by several 
invited guests. ***Anyone and everyone interested should plan to attend***. 
The cost will be $25 ($15 for postdocs, $7 for students). Seating is limited. 
Places must be reserved in advance by sending email to,
and an accompanying check (made out to the Space Telescope Science Institute, 
with the Memo notation "Margaret Burbidge Lunch") must be received by Meg 
Urry at STScI by 4 January 2001.

4. Invitation to subscribe to STATUS
From: Meg Urry

STATUS is a twice yearly newsletter published by the AAS on
behalf of the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.
The current editors are Meg Urry and Lisa Frattare of STScI,
where the newsletter is produced. The topics include not only
the status of women in astronomy but also in related fields
and in modern life generally. For a free subscription, send
your mailing address via email to

5. Open Letter to the AAAS about congressional fellowship requirements
From: Lynda Williams

Dear AAAS,

I would love to apply for a congressional fellowship. I think I am an
outstanding candidate and have much to contribute to my country in this
way. However, I do not have a Ph.D. I have a MS degree.
Nonetheless, because of my teaching and outreach experience both in
academic and public arenas,  I am highly qualified for this post. Is
there any other options for someone with an MS for this program?

I would also suggest that the Ph.D. requirement unfairly discriminates
against women who, as a group, are more likely to earn a MS degree in
physical sciences than a Ph.D. due to the cultural climate. I also
wonder how doing a Ph.D. Thesis can neccesarially prepare a scientist to
advise a politician any better than someone who has done ABT and has had
significantly more experience with the public constituency. I would even
further suggest that this sort of duty is perfectly suited for MS
scientists who may pursue careers as educators and science


Lynda Williams
Physics and Astronomy Department
San Francisco State University

6. Aspen Workshop: Compact Objects in Dense Star Clusters


Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen, Colorado

June 10 - July 1, 2001


Andrea Ghez (UCLA) 
Josh Grindlay (Harvard)
Vicky Kalogera (CfA)
Fred Rasio (MIT) 

A wide range of astrophysical problems of great current interest are
associated with the presence of compact objects (black holes, neutron 
stars and white dwarfs) in dense star cluster environments. The 
formation of many exotic systems (e.g., supermassive black holes, 
accreting compact objects in X-ray binaries, millisecond radio pulsars, 
compact binaries emitting gravitational radiation) can be triggered 
by dynamical processes taking place in dense stellar systems, and, in
turn, the presence of these compact objects can have a profound 
influence on the overall dynamical evolution of the star clusters 
around them. This workshop will bring together a number of theorists 
and observers working on many different but closely connected topics at 
the interface between dense star cluster dynamics and the physics of 
compact objects. 

For more information and a list of topics, go to

7. Tenure-Track faculty position at Indiana University
From: Phyllis Lugger


The Astronomy Department at Indiana University, Bloomington, invites
qualified applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position.  
Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent in Astronomy, Astrophysics,
or Physics; relevant post-doctoral experience is expected but not
required.  Our department offers a full set of degree programs from the
B.S. to the Ph.D. as well as a variety of introductory courses for
nonmajors.  We therefore value quality teaching as well as research.  
Indiana University is a partner in the consortium that operates the WIYN
3.5-meter telescope at Kitt Peak.  The department has access to several
other research telescopes and to opto-electronic instrumentation
laboratories.  Preference will be given to observational astronomers
whose research complements current activities and capabilities in the
department, especially WIYN, and to applicants who have familiarity with
telescope instrumentation.  See for
details of departmental activities and facilities.  Applicants should
send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a research plan, and
statement of teaching interests and should arrange for three reference
letters to be sent by January 15, 2001 to:

                                 Faculty Search Committee
                                 Indiana  University
                                 Department of Astronomy
                                 Swain Hall West 319
                                 727 East 3rd Street
                                 Bloomington, IN 47405-7105

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.  Indiana University is an 
affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

8. Faculty Position at Illinois Wesleyan Univeristy

llinois Wesleyan has a tenure-track opportunity, beginning Fall 2001, for 
someone hoping to teach physics at an undergraduate liberal arts institution. 
The ideal candidate will be one who values the mission of a liberal arts 
education, and has an affection for communicating the beauty and power of 
physics to undergraduate students. If someone is specifically looking to work 
with undergraduates, and maintain their scholarship, then they should examine Candidates with a Ph.D. in any subfield of 
physics or astronomy are welcome to apply. Illinois Wesleyan is a highly 
selective, residential, liberal arts institution of approximately 2000 
students.  Located in Bloomington-Normal (also home to Illinois State 
University), Illinois Wesleyan is one hour's drive west of Urbana (where 
potential collaborators reside) and two hours south of Chicago. If interested 
in opportunities for spouse or partner, please examine . This website includes a list of current 
openings at Illinois Wesleyan, as well as information about the community 
(e.g., Bloomington is also the international headquarters of State Farm 
Insurance) and links to nearby universities: Illinois State is only 9 blocks 
away from Illinois Wesleyan; Bradley University is 40 min west. Send c.v., 
three letters of recommendation, a one-page statement of teaching philosophy, 
planned research that can include undergraduate students and any other helpful 
materials to / Narendra Jaggi, Chair, Physics Department, 
Illinois Wesleyan, Bloomington, IL 61702. IWU is an Equal Opportunity Employer 
and encourages applications from women and minorities.