AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of November 5, 2010
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Response to Yale's Policy on Student-Professor dating

2. Encouraging Men to Advocate for Women in Astronomy

3. Low Percentages of Women Invited Speakers 


4. Tenure-Track Faculty Positions at MIT

5. Assistant Professor of Astrophysics, University of Missouri 

6. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

7. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

1. Response to Yale's Policy on Student-Professor dating
From: Victoria G. Laidler [laidler_at_stsci.edu]

[In the October 22, 2010 issue, there was an item from Meg Urry and Joan
Schmelz about Student-Professor dating that included Yale's policy -- eds.]

The post concerning Yale's policy on student-professor dating contained
the following statement:

"Undergraduate students are particularly vulnerable to the unequal
institutional power inherent in the teacher-student relationship and
the potential for coercion, because of their age and relative lack of
maturity. Therefore, no teacher shall have a sexual or amorous
relationship with any undergraduate student, regardless of whether the
teacher currently exercises or expects to have any pedagogical or
supervisory responsibilities over that student.

This statement as written assumes that all undergraduate students are
roughly 18-22, and entirely ignores the existence of nontraditional
students who may be returning to school as undergraduates later in life,
after having taken time off to bear and raise children, or serve in the
military, or work for a few years to save enough money for college.

Whether or not a blanket policy against teachers dating undergraduate
students is imposed, it would be nice if the language of the policy
acknowledged the existence of such students.

2. Encouraging Men to Advocate for Women in Astronomy
From: Ed Bertschinger_at_women_in_astronomy_blog

Men have an important role to play in promoting gender equity broadly in
astronomy and other gender-imbalanced fields. I was impressed by the
commitment of a few male colleagues whom I saw at Women in Astronomy III
last fall and would like to see more like them. Those who work for
improving the climate, work-life balance, career advancement and
opportunities for women find not only find great personal satisfaction,
but will enjoy competitive advantage in finding and recruiting
outstanding colleagues to work with. 

Some of my greatest pleasures this past year have come from working with
a group of extraordinary MIT women faculty in planning for a major
symposium celebrating women in science and engineering on the occasion
of MIT's 150th anniversary. In addition to organizing the conference, we
are preparing updates of the 1999 and 2002 reports on the status of
women faculty in science and other areas at MIT. Getting to know Nancy
Hopkins and other members of the National Academy of Science, and to
work with them in ways that celebrate and improve the status of women,
has been thrilling for me. I highly recommend such activities to anyone
who wants to make a difference. 

How can women encourage men to get involved? Just do it! Certainly all
academic leaders should be encouraged to meet with women students and
faculty and to learn about the steps they should take to improve their
organizations. Most male faculty members will take seriously requests
and concerns raised by students and will react positively to
encouragement that they and their department be more aware of and
supportive of climate, good mentoring, etc. Men benefit from
encouragement just as women do. When I met with a group of female
graduate students several years ago and asked, with some dismay, how I
could make a difference given all the problems that existed, their words
of simple encouragement had great impact. I carry them in my heart

Join the conversation at http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/.

3. Low Percentages of Women Invited Speakers 
From: Nancy Morrison (CSWA) [NMorris_at_UTNet.UToledo.Edu]

As another follow-up to the AASWomen special edition on the low
percentages of women invited speakers at astronomy meetings (25 Jun
2010), CSWA has enlarged the table given in the issue of Oct. 8 and
published a list of 21 recent conferences and workshops here:


For comparison, the page also lists demographic information gathered by
CSWA members. 

Additions to this list are still needed. We have two constraints: (1)
this list is for invited speakers only (not public lecturers,
contributed speakers, session chairs, etc.); (2) you need to identify
the gender of 100% of the invited speakers (for names that are ambiguous
and unfamiliar, a Google search usually helps). Please send the
information needed for each column in the table, if possible along with
a link to the conference web site, to the CSWA webmaster, Nancy
Morrison, NMorris_at_UTNet.UToledo.Edu .

4. Tenure-Track Faculty Positions at MIT
From: WIPHYS, November 4, 2010

Deadline is November 19, 2010

The Physics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (http://web.mit.edu/physics/) 
invites applications for faculty positions in a wide range of areas in physics
and astronomy. Faculty members at MIT conduct research, teach undergraduate and
graduate physics courses, and supervise graduate and undergraduate participation
in research. Candidates must show promise in teaching as well as in research.
Preference will be given to applicants at the Assistant Professor level.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and
a brief description of research interests and goals (the latter not to
exceed 3 pages) at


Applicants should also arrange for three letters of reference to be uploaded to
the same site. Only web submissions will be accepted. For more information, see
our ad in the October Physics Today, or online at

5. Assistant Professor of Astrophysics, University of Missouri 
From: WIPHYS, November 4, 2010

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Missouri
(http://www.physics.missouri.edu/) invites applications for a
tenure-track faculty position in astrophysics that will begin September
1, 2011. The position requires a Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience and
is at the Assistant Professor level, with competitive salary and
start-up funds.

While we are particularly interested in qualified applicants with
expertise in extragalactic infrared/sub-millimeter astrophysics,
outstanding candidates in any areas of astrophysics are encouraged to
apply. The successful candidate is expected to establish an externally
funded, vigorous research program, be committed to excellence in
teaching at all levels, and to contribute to the expansion of the
astrophysics program at the University of Missouri. 

The Physics & Astronomy Department has four astrophysics faculty whose
research interests include many observational and theoretical aspects of
interstellar and circumstellar matter in our own galaxy and beyond,
planetary disks and comets, as well as laboratory studies of cosmic dust
analogs. We also have active research programs in general relativity,
relativistic astrophysics and cosmology, in addition to a burgeoning and
very active astronomy education research program. 

Find application details at
http://hrs.missouri.edu/find-a-job/academic/position/100304/. Review of
applications will begin January 15, 2011. Questions should be addressed
to Marianne Friedman at (573) 882-3335 or FriedmanM_at_missouri.edu. 

6. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

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To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org . All material
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To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to


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If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

7. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.


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