October 30, 2002

ERIN O’CONNOR REPORTS FROM U. PENN. that it is openly discriminating against men in the form of “disincentives . . . to hire and promote men,” disincentives whose existence was admitted by the Provost.

Nothing really new here — I think most people who have served on faculty hiring committees have been told not to come back with a white male on occasion — but it’s interesting to see it openly admitted. O’Connor tells this story of her own:

When I was up for tenure, for example, I was told by a Penn administrator that based on my vital statistics, my chances looked very good. He told me point blank that if I were black, he would be able to guarantee me promotion, but that as a woman, the odds were very much in my favor. Such comments are often classified as harassment, but I was not being harassed. I was being told the truth, as ugly as it was.

Well, there you are.