Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 13:03:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for April 18, 2003

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of April 18, 2003
eds. Meg Urry, Patricia Knezek, & Michael Rupen

This week's issues:

  1. Re-entering the career track
  2. Re-entering the career track: WIPHYS responses
  3. Re-entering the career track: another WIPHYS response
  4. The job of a mother
  5. Astronomical Journal Editor
  6. Vice Provost for Research, The Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  7. Vice President for Arts & Sciences and Dean of the Faculty, Columbia Univ.

    Women in Astronomy II: Ten Years After
   Pasadena, California June 27 - 28, 2003 

1. Re-entering the career track
>From: WIPHYS Apr. 15, 2003

[Eds. note: although this is directed at women in physics, we're 
  very interested in hearing back from astronomers as well! The WIPHYS
  responses appear as the next item.]

I have taken time off to have children and am currently working to 
re-enter the physics career track. Something I've noticed is that
there isn't much information, formal, informal, or even folkloric,
about how this can be done, or has been done in the past. I'd like to
motivate a discussion on wiphys about this topic of re-entry. To
this end, I've made a list of questions for people to consider and
hopefully reply to the list about.

Did you take a 'break' of a year or more in your career to raise 
children? If so, how did you get back into physics? Did you work 
part-time? volunteer with a research group? 

If you have children and did not take an extended leave from your 
career, would you have if re-entry programs or procedures existed? 

Do you think women physicist are lost from the pipeline because of 
re-entry issues?

Do you think the physics career track should be more flexible with 
regards to re-entry?

Do you have any thoughts on the ideal career path for physicist
who want 
to have children?

I'm looking forward to seeing the replies.
Elizabeth Freeland 

2. Re-entering the career track: WIPHYS responses
>From: WIPHYS Apr. 16/18, 2003

Note from the WIPHYS Moderator: thanks to all of you who
responded! This is obviously a hot topic for a lot of people. To
avoid repeating the questions, answers are listed together under
each question and the respondents identified by number at the end
of the posting.

 Did you take a 'break' of a year or more in your career to raise 
 children? If so, how did you get back into physics? Did you work 
 part-time? volunteer with a research group? 

1) No

2) Yes, I took a 15-year break of sorts. I left my Ph.D. Program in
nuclear physics when I became pregnant because my ob-gyn
thought I wanted to get pregnant and facilitated that without my
knowledge. OF course, I did not want to get pregnant at that time.
During those 15 years I taught physics part-time at several colleges
and universities. Every place I lived needed a part-time physicist on
their faculty. I even did a little research along the way. When I was
ready to work full-time, I went back to graduate school and earned
a Ph.D. in noise and vibration/acoustics in 1.5 years. When I
dropped out of my graduate program 15 years earlier, I rationalized
that a fresh Ph.D would be best to have when I was ready to work
full-time. I was right! Upon completion of my Ph.D I was hired
onto a tenure-track position in physics at the college where I had
been teaching part-time for the previous 6 years.

3) No, only 10 months, after my postdoc. I took two months
without pay when baby was born and then worked full time until
my baby was 6 months. Then I quit, once my project was finished. I
am still on "leave". I looked for a job during this period and will
start full time again in June. (How did you get back in?) I switched
to industry. I think industry is more realistic than academia in
terms of what is expected of professionals. Nobody assumes that
your life consists only of your job. (Did you work part-time?) no.
How can one do science in the competitive way that we do it part
time? (volunteer with a research group?) NO. I think working for
nothing is not a good idea in this climate, you are making a
statement that you are willing to do the same for less... and you are
a woman...

 If you have children and did not take an extended leave from your 
 career, would you have if re-entry programs or procedures
1) At the time, there were few women in the field and it was 
pretty clear that if I took a break that I would not be able 
to re-enter. There were times when I badly wanted to take a 
break, but I kept going instead. So, yes, I might have taken 
a break if the situation was different.

3) I would like to take 1 year per child and be able to go back on
track. That is impossible now. I don't know if I will have another

 Do you think women physicist are lost from the pipeline because
of re-entry issues?
1)yes Even staying at work while raising a child can sometimes 
pose a problem to the career path. 

2) Yes. However, I believe that re-entry can be greatly enhanced by
working part-time and volunteering in schools, after-school
programs, industrial labs, etc. whatever you can do to become a
known factor by those in a position to hire you when you are ready
to go back to work is all to the good. 

3) yes, but not only due to this

 Do you think the physics career track should be more flexible with 
 regards to re-entry?
1) YES! This is a pretty rugged field and there is little allowance
for breaks in a career - except for those lucky enough to get a
sabbatical. But sabbaticals are rather late for childrearing.

2) Everyone has to work out their own plan for the most part. 
Learning which companies and which universities have good track
records on hiring folks upon re-entry is paramount. And I do
believe graduate programs should begin to loosen up their
unwritten rules vis a vis taking time out to raise children .....for
either males or females.

3) yes 

 Do you have any thoughts on the ideal career path for physicist
 who want to have children?
1) This question bothers me. It reminds me of my freshman 
physics counselor who saw that I was a woman and promptly 
recommended that I go into biophysics so I wouldn't have to 
travel! After that, I did my own guidance counseling. To 
stay in this field, you have to like the work you are doing. 

2) There is no ideal career path that works for everyone. You have
to think through your situation and plan accordingly. Options are
always around you. Just look for them and ask questions of anyone
who can be helpful. Keep up your self-confidence . That will be so
helpful as you work out your own arrangements.

3) I wish I had an answer. The academic track is so competitive
that I don't see how anyone can take time off for anything. Plus, the
moment you mention children, if you are a woman, you lose points.
Note: my husband, who is a physicist too, and not a woman, will
take a few months off too when I go back to work. This will for
sure penalize his career too.

4) Well, I don't know about ideal, but I work in a small physics department
(nine faculty) at a large state university (26,000 students) with a great 
family atmosphere. Most of the faculty have kids and they range in age
from a baby to late 30's. Having meetings finish promptly when scheduled
so people can pick up kids is the norm, not the exception. We recently had
a departmental awards ceremony and banquet and both students and faculty
brought their young kids. There were about 15-20 children in attendance. 
These included the 18 month old daughter of one student who received his 
award carrying her. In general, the department is supportive of both
faculty and students who have kids in tow. I think this 'family' atmosphere
is probably similar to many other small academic departments and probably
some small companies as well. Sure, we still struggle for work/life balance,
but the sense of community extending to my job makes it much easier. Some of 
the senior faculty who have raised kids are extremely supportive of
encouraging faculty with young kids to make time for them. 

4) [cont'd] There is an NSF program called ADVANCE that is supposed to
address re-entry of women into the scientific work force. The
fellows program of this award has a category for re-entry.

Thanks to our respondents for today -
(1) Lynn Garren 
(2) Elizabeth S. Ivey 
(3) Isabel Echeverria 
(4) Heather Galloway

3. Re-entering the career track: another WIPHYS response
>From: WIPHYS Apr. 21, 2003

It's good to hear all the responses to the reentry problem from
women in physics. I have managed to stay in the workforce while
having 2 children, but not without an intense struggle. I think it's
great to have the ADVANCE program, but somehow I always fell
through the cracks. The time lags between PhD and tenure-track
job, or whatever, just always missed me. Originally I suppose it
was the POWRE grant program. I applied for that one when I 
resigned my first tenure-track job (which included a $100K lab)
after 3 years, to go home to my family (husband and 9 & 11 year
old boys, who lived 450 miles away). 

My husband and I had been very up front with that university about
the dual career problem, but things didn't work out. I went back to
work for $1000 per month for my old advisor near our home, for
the next year and applied for the POWRE grant to supply
resources and salary for the coming year. I didn't get the grant,
despite what was rated a very good research proposal, because, (as
stated in the review) I did not have the prospect of a permanent job. 

Another weakness cited was that they felt I was not independent
enough, since my grant was to pay salary while I worked in my
advisor's physics lab. They felt I relied on my advisor too much.
But I had no resources of my own at that point and hence no power
of my own! What else could I do and still live with my family? 
There were no other universities closer than 2-3 hours away. 
Anyway, ironically, the next year I landed a tenure track
appointment at a small undergraduate university where my husband
also works. I received $10K in start-up funds and a 'room,' no
existing lab equipment. I am not sure whether or not I'll be able to
get tenure, since my publications are sparse, because the teaching
load is high and my research has been interrupted to the point that
I've spent more time trying to set up labs than I've been able to do
research in them!! I think that I'll have to begin writing in the area
of physics pedagogy, so that I'll have something to publish. 

So, I don't know what will happen after next year, but we'll see. It
has certainly not been boring. For me the hardest part has been the
postdoc and job phase, along with the dual career problem (my
husband is a philosophy professor). I hope that others can find
more help and a much smoother path than the one I have been on! 

Peggy Hill

4. The job of a mother
From: Hashima Hasan

I think the mothers amongst us will be able to identify 
with this. We may be the world's greatest astronomers. 
but all said and done when it comes to our children we 
are nothing but slaves!

  - Hashima

[Eds. note: this has appeared in a huge number of venues, and is simply
  re-posted here; unfortunately it appears impossible to find the correct,
  original attribution.]

Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often
chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and
organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will 
include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some
overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on
rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel 
expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily,
until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also,
must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from 
zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from
the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face
stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously 
sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain
calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have
ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and 
mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an
embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of
a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always 
hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete
accountability for the quality ! ! of the end product. Responsibilities
also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years,
without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that
those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually
exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon
payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college
will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give 
them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme
is that you actually enjoy it and this wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement,
no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless 
opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your
cards right.

5. Astronomical Journal Editor
From: Robert Milkey

The American Astronomical Society is soliciting applications and nominations
of candidates for the position of Editor of The Astronomical Journal (AJ)
when the current Editor retires at the end of 2004. 

The Society seeks an individual with stature and achievement in the field of
Astronomy and Astrophysics, and with a reputation for honesty, fairness, and
consistency. This person should be capable of exercising proper editorial
judgment and effectively managing the editorial operations for the Journal, 
which includes managing an editorial office, and supervising the editorial
staff in this office. This person will also work with the University of
Chicago Press on the production and management of the Journal. 

The Editor of the AJ receives manuscripts for publication, assigns them to
referees, tracks the refereeing process for timeliness and fairness, makes
judgments on the suitability of manuscripts for publication based on the
referee's reports and author's revisions, and submits the accepted papers 
to the publisher. The Editor is also required to report on the state of the AJ
and prepare an annual budget for the editorial office at Publications Board
and AAS Council meetings. The Editor also participates in the development of
an overall operations budget for the AJ with the AAS Treasurer, Executive 
Officer, and UCP. 

The Society expects to compensate the Editor at roughly a half-time level and
will negotiate the level of effort for any other staff as required by the AJ
Editorial Office. The current operating structure includes an Associate
Editor, at the same location as the Editor, and additional staff as required
by the Journal Editorial offices. 

Candidates for this position should submit a cover letter, CV, and
bibliography to
  American Astronomical Society 
  2000 Florida Avenue, NW
  Suite 400
  Washington, DC 20009
  Email Submission Address:

  Attention: Leonard Kuhi, Chair, AJ Editor Search Committee 
Email submission of PDF files will also be accepted. 

Nominations for the position may also be sent to the same address. 

Selected candidates will be asked to provide evidence of institutional support
for their taking on the above editorial duties. 

The cover letter should address the candidate's qualifications, reason for
interest in the position, and ideas for the future of the AJ. In accordance
with the Bylaws of the Society, the Search Committee will make its
recommendations to the AAS Publications Board and AAS Council. The final
selection is made by the Council. Applications and nominations received
before 1 June 2003 will be given full consideration. AAE/EOE. 


6. Vice Provost for Research, The Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
>From WIPHYS Apr. 21, 2003

The University of Pennsylvania invites nominations and applications
for the position of Vice Provost for Research. This position is the
senior research officer of the University and is responsible to the
Provost for the development and implementation of policies and
procedures that promote research excellence across the University
and for the management of key elements of the research infrastructure. 
The Vice Provost will explore potential new areas for research and
oversee campus-wide planning efforts with respect to research and to
research facilities and support. S/he will provide leadership and
coordination of multi-disciplinary research programs; and represent
Penn to local and regional constituencies as well as to federal and
other funding agencies. The VP will assist in developing appropriate
linkages between the university and industry. The Vice Provost is
responsible for administering and coordinating a wide variety of
activities supporting research at Penn, including the Provost's Council
on Research, which represents the twelve schools of the University; the
Research Foundation; and the Research Facilities Development Fund. 

The search seeks candidates having an earned doctorate or its equivalent;
a strong personal record of funded research; thorough knowledge of the
operations and practices of a comprehensive research-oriented university;
and proven administrative competence. This full time position is available
July 2003. Nominations and applications will be reviewed immediately and
accepted until the position is filled. 

Nominations and applications, including curriculum vita with an
accompanying cover letter, may be sent, preferably electronically
    Barbara R. Stevens and Sharon Flynn Hollander
    Isaacson, Miller 
    202-682-1504 Tel 
    202-682-1272 - Fax

The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity
employer/educational institution and candidates of all backgrounds
are encouraged to apply.


7. Vice President for Arts & Sciences and Dean of the Faculty, Columbia Univ.
>From WIPHYS Apr. 21, 2003

Columbia University in the City of New York is seeking candidates
of exceptional scholarly and professional accomplishment for the
position of Vice President for Arts and Sciences and Dean of the
Faculty. As Dean, the individual would report directly to the
Provost and Dean of Faculties of the University. As Vice
President, the individual would report directly to the President, and
would be a member of the President's cabinet. As the chief
academic and operating officer of the Arts and Sciences, the Vice
President oversees over 700 full-time faculty and close to 13,000
students and is responsible for faculty recruitment and promotion,
instructional staffing, and financial and administrative management. 
The Vice President and Dean is responsible for the planning and
budgeting for the Arts and Sciences. The Arts and Sciences is
comprised of six schools administered by deans: Columbia College,
the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of
International and Public Affairs, the School of the Arts, the School
of General Studies, the School of Continuing Education, and 29
academic departments. The deans of those schools and chairs of
those departments report directly to the Vice President and Dean.

An earned doctorate with scholarly credentials suitable for tenure in
a department within the Arts and Sciences and a distinguished
record of teaching are essential requirements. Substantial prior
administrative experience is desirable.

Full applications should include a letter of application, a current
resume, and names, addresses and phone numbers of five
references. Screening of applications will begin on March 1, 2003,
and will continue until the position is filled.

Send applications to: 
  Barbara Stevens, Vice President and Director
  Isaacson Miller
  1275 K Street NW
  Suite 1025,
  Washington, DC 20005.
Electronic submission of application is strongly encouraged as well and 
should be sent to:,, 

Columbia University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer.