Union activist Debbie Green passed on a memo from the Brown University administration reminding Department Chairs and Program Directors that evening meetings and events cause problems for many faculty, especially junior faculty and women faculty members. Read the full memo.
Best Practices for Chairs and Directors
Recognize that 5:30 is not a time at which "everyone is free."
Acknowledge the challenges (logistically, financially, and interpersonally) that 5:30 events and late afternoon teaching blocks pose to faculty with family responsibilities.
Distinguish between programming meant to serve the broader community and programming meant to bolster the research capacity of the faculty. Programming in the latter category should happen during the workday.
Vary the times of workshops, seminars, and lectures so that the same people are not perpetually excluded.
Accommodate faculty with family responsibilities by creating opportunities for workday interactions (e.g. coffees, lunches) with visiting scholars. In particular, make sure that junior faculty with family responsibilities do not miss the professional development or networking opportunities essential for tenure.
Enfranchise faculty by making sure that departmental governance and other essential activities take place during the workday.
Advocate for family-friendly policies, including efforts to reconfigure the scheduling grid with new seminar times.