Award of Tenure
Finding 5-1: In every field, women were underrepresented among candidates for tenure relative to the number of female assistant professors. Most strikingly, women were most likely to be underrepresented in the fields in which they accounted for the largest share of the faculty—biology and chemistry.
In biology and chemistry, the differences were statistically significant. In biology, 27 percent of the faculty considered for tenure were women, although women represented 36 percent of the assistant professor pool. In chemistry those numbers were 15 percent and 22 percent, respectively. This difference may suggest that female assistant professors were more likely to leave before being considered for tenure than were men. It might also reflect increased hiring of female assistant professors in recent years (compared with hiring 6 to 8 years ago).
Finding 5-2: Given that the interaction between the gender of the candidate and the percentage of women in the tenure-track pool was statistically significant (p = 0.012), women appeared to be more likely to be promoted when there was a smaller percentage of women among the tenure-track faculty, resulting in a greater difference between men and women in their tenure success in departments with fewer female assistant professors.
Finding 5-3: Women were more likely than men to receive tenure when they came up for tenure review. When controlling only for field and gender of the candidate, we found that women were marginally more likely than men to receive tenure (p = .0567). Women received tenure in 92 percent of the cases (115 out of 125) compared to 87 percent of the cases for men (548 out of 633).
Finding 5-4: Discipline, stop-the-tenure-clock policies, and departmental size were not associated with the probability of a positive tenure decision for either male or female faculty members who were considered for tenure. Both male and female assistant professors were significantly more likely to receive tenure at public institutions (92 percent) compared to private institutions (85 percent; p = 0.029).
Finding 5-5: Eighty-eight percent of both male and female survey respondents stated that they knew their institution’s policy on tenure. Eighty-one percent of male faculty knew their institution’s policies on promotion. However, only 75 percent of female faculty respondents knew their institution’s policy on promotion, which is statistically significant (p = 0.02).