HEW May Enter Husband-Wife Hiring Debate
Holyoke Transcript-Telegram, 2/2/72
this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Freda/Holyoke3.htm
By Gena Corea
Dr. Freda Salzman, the UMass-Boston faculty member fired in 1969 on grounds that her husband held a tenured appointment in the same department, announced Tuesday afternoon that she would "definitely not" accept the temporary appointment offered to her by Chancellor Francis Broderick as announced Friday.
"It's a new appointment, not a continuation of my previous one," she told the Transcript.
"If I accepted it, that would be an acknowledgement of the legitimacy of my previous firing."
"If I sign a new contract," Dr. Salzman added, "that would jeopardize my claim for back pay, and I suspect that it would mean I'd have a position for a year and a half but I would not be getting my job back, which is what I'm fighting for."
Dr. Salzman said she would contact the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) representatives who are investigating her case to see what action will be taken next.
Dr. Salzman filed a complaint against Umass with HEW last May.
Chancellor Broderick, commenting on Dr. Salzman's charge that she was fired for political reasons, said, "I wasn't here then." After a pause, he added, "The charge comes cheap."
Dr. Salzman has asserted that she had a written agreement with the administrator who recruited her and her husband that she had a permanent position albeit without formal tenure.
That assertion, Broderick told the Transcript, is a "falsehood."
"No such statement exists," he said. "There is nothing like that."
Contacted Tuesday afternoon at UMass-Amherst where he is now associate dean of the graduate school, that same recruiting administrator, Arthur Gentile, explained:
*"Mrs. Salzman's appointment was a regular one but it was subject to review each year just as any non-tenured faculty member's would be. I think she had every reason to believe that as long as she performed the duties of her job adequately, she would be reappointed."
Asked if she had performed her duties adequately, Gentile replied, "At the time the appointment was terminated, the physics department did endorse her and did recommend her reappointment, so her peers apparently felt she was doing a good job."
Gentile said he helped to set up the Boston campus and did not oversee faculty performance.
*Legally, Gentile said, Dr. Salzman could be terminated with proper notice, at any time without any reasons given, but she did have every reason to believe she'd be reappointed if she fulfilled the obligations of her job.
Asked what new policy was voted on by the trustees concerning husband-wife faculty between the times the Salzmans were hired and the time Mrs. Salzman was told she could not work in the same department as her husband, the UMB trustees' chairman said Friday that the documents would be looked up in Amherst and would be made available to "responsible" persons.
Answering the same question Tuesday, Broderick said, "The university policy at that time was not to hire husband-wife teams in the same department, except for unusual cases."
At the beginning of Mrs. Salzman's fourth year, Broderick said, "It was the judgement of Chancellor Ryan that in view of his experience with the Salzmans, he did not want to ask for an exception to the nepotism rule."
(Ryan was Broderick's predecessor.)
*Gentile told the Transcript Tuesday, "I don't think Mrs. Salzman had the understanding, when she was hired, that each year she would have to be judged an exception to the nepotism rule."
Salzman supporters present the following chronology of events in the case:
--Mr. and Mrs. Salzman, each 12 years postdoctoral, are hired at Umass in the spring of 1965--he, full-time with tenure, and she, three-fourths time without tenure.
--Intensive struggles between Salzmans and administration over curriculum, faculty distribution, governance, hirings and firings, from 1965 to 1967.
--Memos in July, 1967 and April, 1968, from the first UMass-Boston Chancellor indicating his intent to exclude close relatives from the faculty as of September, 1969.
--The physics department submitted an unusually strong recommendation in the spring of 1968 for Mrs. Salzman's reappointment beyond her fourth year.
--The first chancellor sent a letter to Mrs. Salzman on Aug 31, 1968, (his last day in office) stating that her fourth year, just beginning, would be her last.
--From October, 1968 to January, 1970, the physics department made written and oral appeals to the second chancellor for Mrs. Salzman's reinstatement. All were rejected.
--A complaint filed with the Umass Tenure and Grievance Committee (TGC) by the physics department found unanimously in Mrs. Salzman's favor on Dec. 2, 1970 and called for her reappointment.
--The chancellor, citing allegations of nepotic practices by the Salzmans, rejected the TGC report five days later.
--The TGC unanimously reaffirmed its report on the Salzman case on Dec. 23, 1970.
--Mrs. Salzman filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) on Dec. 31, 1970.
--From Dec. 30, 1970 to Jan. 13, 1971, the chancellor denied to Mrs. Salzman and to the chairman of the physics department access to allegations of nepotic practices by the Salzmans.
--From January through September, seven letters were sent to Pres. Wood asking access to the allegations in order to prepare an appeal to him and the trustees.
--The faculty voted March 4, 1971, to support the actions of the TGC and the physics department and to ask the chancellor "in the strongest possible terms" to reconsider his decision not to grant access to the allegations.
--The faculty voted on March 24, 1971, to ask Wood and the trustees to reappoint Mrs. Salzman.
--On March 28, 1971, the New England Congress to Unite Women called for Mrs. Salzman's rehiring.
--The University Senate (students and faculty) voted on April 8, 1971, to adopt the TGC report.
--Mrs. Salzman filed a complaint May 3, 1971, with the Department of Health Education, and Welfare (HEW).
--The National Organization for Women (NOW) appealed to Wood and the trustees to reappoint Mrs. Salzman on May 19, and Sept. 29, 1971.
--The MCAD held an informal conference on the situation Oct. 21, 1971 at which the chancellor alleged that Mrs. Salzman had created turmoil in the university. This was a new charge.
--A petition calling for Mrs. Salzman's reappointment and signed by over 190 scientists in the United States and Canada was presented to the trustees Nov. 10, 1971.
--On Dec. 28, 1971, the trustees voted on a hiring policy which stated that qualifications would be the only criteria for hiring faculty; no action was taken on the Salzman case.
--Last Friday [Jan 28, 1972] at a trustees meeting, the chancellor offered to temporarily reappoint Mrs. Salzman but protests continued from Salzman supporters on the issues of tenure and back pay.
[*Note. On my copy of the original of this article I noted, "Prof. Gentile has verified (telephone conversation, Feb. 11) the accuracy of the three statements bracketed above and attributed to him." The three statements are the three paragraphs marked here with asterisks. -- George Salzman]
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