will confront UMass trustees Friday in Boston
Holyoke (Mass.) Transcript-Telegram article on Tues, Jan 25, 1972
this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Freda/Holyoke1.htm
A group of persons plan to confront the trustees of the University of Massachusetts at their meeting Friday in Boston to demand the reappointment of Dr. Freda Salzman to the physics department on the Boston campus. She is a victim, they will assert, of discrimination against women.
In 1968, the trustees declined to rehire Mrs. Salzman, an associate professor at UMass since 1965, on the grounds that her husband held a tenured appointment in the same department.
After protests from women's rights advocates, a petition signed by 190 scientists throughout the country, and complaints filed by Ms. Salzman with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the trustees announced last month that they had rewritten their hiring and promotion policies to enable husbands and wives to serve on the same staff.
But they did not reappoint Ms. Salzman.
The ruling would not be applied retroactively, Umass President Robert Wood said after that meeting, "and Mrs. Salzman's case is not considered to be pending at the moment."
(Repeated calls by the Transcript to Wood's office asking for comments on the Salzman case have not been returned.)
Ms. Salzman asserts that the trustees policy change was not a change at all because, she states, "there never has been an official policy established by Trustee vote prohibiting simultaneous employment of close relatives in the same department.
"The established practice, she said, was to approve a limited number of dual appointments of couples in the same department, and since her original appointment, there has been no policy established changing that practice.
I was outspoken about the arbitrary and ruthless way some things were done on the Boston campus," she said, "so about two years ago, campus administrators began a move to get me out of there on the grounds of nepotism.
Ms. Salzman charged that the rules regarding married faculty members exist to keep women in low positions.
"When my husband and I were negotiating with the university for jobs," Ms. Salzman said, "the officials said they were reluctant to have a tenured couple in the same department."
So the university hires one member of the couple on a tenure basis and the other on a part-time basis, she said, "and that part-time job invariably goes to the wife."
The reason for hiring one person part-time, she explained, is that under guidelines set by the American Association of University Professors, when a faculty member has been employed for six years, he or she must either receive tenure or leave. This policy does not apply to part-time faculty members, she said.
"My husband and I got our PhD's within months of each other," Ms. Salzman said, "and we have done equivalent research. But no one asked, 'Which one of you wants the part-time job.' I was told that I would take it. I know of no case where the husband, rather than the wife, got the part-time job."
She continued: "I don't know just what the official explanation for the nepotism rule is, but in reality, it is used as a means to keep women down. Most academic women are married to men in the same field and so it becomes very difficult for them to find a job, and they are always willing to settle for less than they deserve."
In another major action, the trustees . . .
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