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Exactly the type of thing that should not happen: Penn denied prof tenure for taking child-care leave

Well, this is not a good (as in feel good & happy) kind of story: Penn denied prof tenure for taking child-care leave.  The article, at Philly.Com says that this professor (Kristen Stromberg Childers) is suing U. Penn over the case.  

A grievance panel that reviewed her denial of tenure reported  that the chairwoman of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences’ personnel committee “inappropriately” wrote to the school’s dean that “committee members found it especially hard to judge productivity in light of Dr. Stromberg Childers’ family leave time and her junior leave.” The dean later said in a letter that it was “difficult to give a balanced assessment” of the professor’s productivity “because of the amount of family leave she has had.”

Really?  How about just assessing her without considering the amount of time she has been there but just her body of work?  That would be one option.  Another would be – rather than denying her tenure – to figure out how to assess her because that is your job.  Seems like people should not be denied tenure just because some evaluators have a probelm assessing people who take approved leaves.  I hope the policies and practices we are working on at UC Davis will prevent such nonsense.

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