Association of American Colleges and Universities On Campus With Women About Us
Contact Us
Campus Women Lead

Fall 2012/Winter 2013

Volume 41
Numbers 2-3

Challenges and Opportunities for Women's Leadership


Director's Outlook

From Where I Sit

Featured Topic

In Brief

Global Perspectives

Data Connection



For Your Bookshelf

About This Issue

For Your Bookshelf

[Printer Friendly]
Unlikely Allies in the Academy

Unlikely Allies in the Academy: Women of Color and White Women in Conversation, edited by Karen L. Dace (Routledge, $35.95 paperback)

“What makes cross-race alliances so unlikely?” Opening with this critical question, Unlikely Allies in the Academy proceeds to probe deeply into the dynamics of interracial alliances between white women and women of color in the academy. With chapters reflecting on this work from the perspective of white women and women of color, as well as coauthored chapters modeling conversations between women from either group, the volume attests to how the history of race and racism in the United States complicates and sometimes endangers attempts to develop alliances for greater racial justice. As its authors bravely testify using personal examples, such work is often painful—but can ultimately be as rewarding as it is acutely necessary.

Translating the work of difficult conversations into a written format, the book creates safe but nonetheless challenging space for readers to reflect on the difficult work of building sustained alliances across race. As the authors reveal the challenges, disappointments, failures, and joy they have experienced in cross-race alliances, they invite readers to learn from their experiences. Importantly, they also model the openness and honest self-reflection required to learn from one’s mistakes and build trust in the face of missteps, particularly those that white women may take when trying to be allies to their women of color colleagues. This book is a critical addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in the dynamics of interracial feminist alliances or the role those alliances play in creating more a more just academy.

Breaking Into the Lab

Breaking Into the Lab: Engineering Progress for Women in Science by Sue V. Rosser (New York University Press, $35 hardcover)

Multiple stakeholders have compellingly argued that diverse women’s participation in science is critical not only to building the twenty-first-century scientific workforce, but also to creating a scientific culture that benefits from the broadest range of possible perspectives. With this new volume, Sue V. Rosser points toward longstanding and newly recognized challenges that prevent American science from fully realizing these benefits. Threading personal anecdote with interviews of women scientists, Rosser illustrates the persistent nature of particular challenges to women’s participation in academic science and shines new light on topics of more recent concern, including challenges for senior women and gender inequity in patents. Her analysis makes a compelling case for more intentional strategies to include and retain women in scientific fields.

Like Rosser’s career, the volume sits at the intersections of science and women’s studies, drawing from the discourses of both fields. While tracing the arc of the standard pipeline model, it is nonetheless attuned to the diversity of women’s experiences and identities, as well as to the contradictions that can inhere within individual experiences. Such contradictions are apparent, for example, when Rosser recounts her experience with a faculty member who simultaneously mentored and harassed her. Wrenching accounts like these point toward a need that partially compelled Rosser to write the book: the need for more and better mentoring, including from male scientists. With key recommendations at the conclusion of most chapters, the book provides helpful guidance not only for potential mentors, but for women scientists and their institutions as well.    

Success on the Tenure Track

Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction by Cathy Ann Trower (Johns Hopkins University Press, $45 hardcover)

Drawing from research conducted by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), Cathy Ann Trower explores five areas that are critical to maintaining pre-tenure faculty satisfaction: clarity about the tenure process, work–life issues, research and teaching support, campus culture, and campus-wide leadership. The book combines data collected through COACHE surveys with information about exemplary practices at institutions that garnered high scores in each of these five areas. While acknowledging the need to revisit longstanding assumptions about tenure in the face of its uncertain future, the volume suggests a series of strategies that institutions can take to retain and support faculty on the existing tenure track.

Success on the Tenure Track takes a broad approach to examining faculty satisfaction across demographic categories, emphasizing that “what is good for women is good for men, and what is good for faculty of color is good for white faculty” (2). Nonetheless, Trower underscores that women and faculty of color experience differential impacts in some areas, a point that she makes particularly strongly with regard to women’s experiences related to work–life integration. In addition, the book features some exemplary practices designed specifically to support faculty diversity and opens with an introduction that explores current faculty demographics by gender and race/ethnicity. With this broad but nuanced focus, the book is a critical resource for administrators and other campus leaders interested in improving conditions for faculty on the tenure track, including women and faculty of color.

1     2    >>

Home | About OCWW | Contact Us | Archives
Copyright © 2018 Association of American Colleges and Universities
On Campus With Women All Rights Reserved.