Nurturing feminine voices in public administration education

Material Information

Nurturing feminine voices in public administration education a study of women's tenure experiences and what they tell us about the next steps for advancing the academy
Nestingen, Lynn M. (Greiling)
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
x, 240 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Public administration -- Study and teaching ( lcsh )
Women college teachers -- Tenure ( lcsh )
College teachers -- Tenure ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 221-240).
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Lynn M. (Greiling) Nestingen.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
42618361 ( OCLC )
LD1190.P86 1999d .N47 ( lcc )

Full Text
Lynn M. (Greiling) Nestingen
A. A., Wisconsin Lutheran College, 1983
B.F.A., University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, 1987
M.P. A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1990
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Administration

This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Lynn M. (Greiling) Nestingen
has been approved
Linda deLeon

Nestingen, Lynn M. (Ph.D., Public Administration)
Nurturing Feminine Voices in Public Administration Education: A Study of Womens Tenure
Experiences and What They Tell Us About the Next Steps for Advancing the Academy
Thesis directed by Richard J. Stillman II
Academic tenure during the twentieth century evolved based upon two tenure values -
merit protection and procedural fairness. Since 1970, however, a third tenure value, gender
representation, emerged as a result of five key trends in the field. This study explores where the
field is regarding gender representation within academic tenure processes by describing the current
tenure experiences of women in public administration. Its purpose is to identify specific ways in
which individuals, institutions, professional associations, and feminist theory might nurture
feminine voices in public administration education. The researcher conducted in-depth,
phenomenological interviews of eighteen female faculty members who had been granted tenure,
had deflected from the tenure track, or had been denied tenure status in public administration
education. The respondents were identified using a snowball sampling technique. Transcripts
were coded, pattern-coded, placed in conceptual matrices, and analyzed using systematic analytical
Five key issues emerged from this research including the important role of adequate
tenure information and guidance, the difficulties associated with strained collegial relationships, a
presence of strong, career-oriented goals, the perceptions of discrimination, sexism, and
harassment in the tenure process, and the importance of pre-defined tenure expectations and
requirements. The central thesis of this study is that the critical challenge facing public
administration education involves balancing tenures new value, gender representation, within the
context of the twin traditional values, merit protection and procedural fairness. Recommendations
for individuals, institutions, professional associations, and theory address important alternatives
and ideas designed to nurture feminine voices in public administration education.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidates thesis. I recommend its

This dissertation is dedicated to my husband, Philip, my three young children, Erik, Kahn, and
Rebekah, and to my parents, Stewart and Judith Greiling.

The author gratefully acknowledges the time, patience, support, and scholarly expertise of Richard
J. Stillman II it has been a true privilege to work under his direction. Special thanks also to the
women who generously gave their time and cooperated in this research, to Linda deLeon and
Barbara McEldowney for assistance in editing, and to the University of Colorado at Denver
Graduate Research Opportunities Program for providing financial assistance for this research.

Current Trends and Statistics on Women in Higher Education.......9
Roadblocks and Building Blocks Affecting Womens Tenure Outcome..14
Need for Research on Women and the Tenure Process................18
Problem Definition...............................................22
Research Questions...............................................24
Research Methodology.............................................24
Definitions of Key Terms.........................................25
Research Strengths and Limitations...............................28
Organization of the Study........................................32
FAIRNESS AS CORE TENURE VALUES.......................................34
The Early History of Academic Tenure.............................34
The Role of Academic Tenure within the AAUP......................36
Processes and Procedures in Academic Tenure......................39
Debates and Criticisms of Tenure.................................43
Role of Tenure in American Higher Education......................46
REPRESENTATION AS A COMPETING VALUE..................................51
Absence of Female Voices in the Early Development of
Public Administration Scholarship................................52
Womens Emerging Recognition and Involvement in
Public Administrations Academic Profession......................57
The Recognition of the Missing Voice.........................58
Beginning Recognition of Womens Scholarly Excellence
by the Profession............................................60
The Rise of Women to Significant Levels of Professional Leadership .... 61
The Growth of Women as Practitioners in Public Administration....62

The Influence of New Feminist Theoretical Ideas Upon Public
Administration Education...........................................66
Diversity and Representation in Public Administration Education....72
Conceptual Framework...............................................81
Sampling Frame.....................................................85
Data Collection Procedures.........................................97
Transcribing Interviews............................................98
Coding, Pattern Coding, and Memoing................................99
Exploring and Describing Data.....................................101
Generating Meaning................................................102
Confirming Results................................................103
Three Tenure Profiles.............................................107
Tenured, One Institution.....................................107
Deflected Institution A, Tenured Institution B...............Ill
Deflected Institution A & B, Denied Institution C............113
Key Components of the Tenure Experience...........................117
Tenure Values................................................118
Tenure Strategies............................................120
Guidance and Support in the Process..........................127
Tenure Hurdles...............................................133
Differences Among Respondents Based on Tenure Outcome.............139
Tenure Advice.....................................................149
Key Issues........................................................152
Information and Guidance.....................................152
Collegial Relationships......................................154
Career, Family, and Social Goals.............................156
Sexism and Tenure............................................157
Tenure Requirements..........................................160
Implications for Individuals in Public Administration Education...163
Implications for Colleges and Universities........................167
Implications for NASPAA...........................................171
Implications for Feminist or Institutional Theories of Tenure.....175
Individual Recommendations...................................178
Institutional Recommendations................................179

NASPAA Recommendations...............................179
Theoretical Recommendations..........................179
Next Steps for Research: The Key Issues We Need to Study.179
A. INTRODUCTORY LETTER/CONSENT FORM............................183
B. INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT PROBES/LEADS...........................185
C. START LIST OF CODES AND DEFINITIONS.........................189
D. INTERVIEW SUMMARY FORM......................................191
TENURE EXPERIENCE...........................................201
HURDLES IN THE TENURE EXPERIENCE............................206
IN THE TENURE EXPERIENCE....................................209
THE TENURE EXPERIENCE.......................................212
TENURE EXPERIENCES TO OUTCOME...............................214
NO MENTION OF DISCRIMINATION................................215
INADEQUATE TENURE GUIDANCE..................................216
DENIAL AND KEY COMPONENTS...................................217
P. RESPONDENTS TENURE ADVICE TO WOMEN.........................219

1.1 Percent Full-Time Faculty Members by Gender and Rank, Fall 1995............... 10
1.2 Average Salary of Full-Time Instructional Faculty on Nine-Month
Contracts by Rank and Gender, 1993-94.........................................11
1.3 Faculty Members in Public Administration Programs by Gender; 1990-91..........12
4.1 Conceptual Framework for the Study of Tenure Experiences of Women in
Public Administration Academic Programs.......................................82

1.1. Tenure Status of Full-Time College Faculty Members by
Gender and Institution Type, 1995................................................ 11
1.2. Faculty Breakdown in the Public Administration Academy by Rank.....................13
1.3 Tenure Scenarios...................................................................27
2.1 Steps in the Tenure Process........................................................40
4.1 Sample Size and Description........................................................87
4.2 Tenure Deflection/Denial and Explanation...........................................88
4.3 Cross Case Display of General Descriptors..........................................90
4.4 Work, Education, and Tenure Background.............................................94
5.1 Tenure Deflection/Denial Factor and Key Deflection Elements.......................140

Higher education, by virtue of its missions and philosophies, upholds a standard designed
to foster student learning, promote economic growth, and challenge theoretical assumptions. In
support of this academic mission, faculty and administrators are enlisted to establish policies and
procedures. For American higher education, academic tenure serves as one of the most central
elements that colleges and universities use to carry out these academic goals and objectives.
Fundamentally, academic tenure serves to affirm academic freedom in the classroom, to provide for
due process rights, and to promote job security. Yet, as tenures value structure remains resolute,
new values emerge. For nearly six decades, academic tenure has been an entrenched part of the
American higher education scene and public administration education; however, within the past
three decades, new tenure values have taken the scene.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) first introduced the formal
notion of academic freedom and tenure in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom
and Tenure (hereafter referred to as 1940 Statement). This statement serves as the fundamental
canon for tenure among institutions of higher education. For academicians, the 1940 Statement
undeniably is one of the most important sources of support for merit protection and procedural
fairness as core tenure values. Through it, key elements of the academic setting such as classroom
discussions and faculty hiring, review, and promotion are protected. Yet, even as these tenure goals
are realized through tenure practices and policies within institutions and departments, important
new tenure values have emerged.

The central thesis of this dissertation is that the critical challenge facing public
administration education involves balancing tenures value structure. During the twentieth century,
academic tenure evolved based upon two tenure values merit protection and procedural fairness.
Since 1970, however, a third tenure value, gender representation, has emerged. Tenures new value
structure brings the academy to a critical juncture one that requires the field to promote and foster
a healthy balance between merit protection, procedural fairness, and gender representation. The
challenge for the academy is in balancing tenures twin traditional values with tenures new value,
gender representation. This dissertation seeks to understand the dynamics of gender representation
in academic tenure as a means for discovering ways in which the field might nurture feminine
Indeed, the formal notion of academic tenure serves as a continuous source for discussion,
inquiry, and debate among public officials, citizens, administrators, and faculty. In fact, tenure
debates surface in newspapers, on the internet, and in higher education circles (Leatherman 1996;
Wilson 1998; Magner 1995; Perley 1997; Kowalski 1997). For example, two articles in the
Chronicle of Higher Education, More Faculty Members Question the Value of Tenure
(Leatherman 1996) and Tenure Re-Examined (Magner 1995) point out the recent attacks on
tenure both from outside the academy as well as from within. Criticisms and debates address a
broad spectrum of areas, such as the rise in the proportion of part-time and adjunct professors on
campuses (Wilson 1998; Benjamin 1998), the role of tenure in academic settings (Leatherman
1996), the merits of post-tenure review (American Association of University Professors, Post-
Tenure Review, 1998), faculty independence in the classroom (Perley 1998; Finkin 1996) and the
prospect of restructuring the tenure process (Holden 1997). In general, these debates consistently

point toward discussion of specific tenure policies, procedures, and practices. At another level,
however, debates focus on issues related to values inherent in tenures goals and objectives.
One of the more prevalent areas of concern and debate that focuses on tenures inherent
value structure includes representation and diversity in higher education (Rossi and Calderwood
1973; Abramson 1975; DeSole and Hoffmann 1981; Tokarczyk and Fay 1993; Hensel 1990; Feldt
1990; Lieberman 1981; Theodore 1986; Caplan 1993; Maitland 1990). Invariably, as the academic
community examines tenure principles and practices so, too, are researchers and theorists
generating dialogue concerning representation and diversity of faculty members, staff, and students
in higher education.
Diversity initiatives are defined in an affirmative action statement formally endorsed by the
American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 1973 as the following:
.. .the further improvement of quality in higher education and the elimination of
discrimination on the basis of race or sex are not at odds with each other, but at one. What
is sought in the idea of affirmative action is essentially the revision of standards and
practices to ensure that institutions are in fact drawing from the largest marketplace of
human resources in staffing their faculties, and a critical review of appointment and
advancement criteria to ensure that they do not inadvertently foreclose consideration of the
best qualified persons by untested presuppositions which operate to exclude women and
minorities. (AAUP Diversity and Affirmative Action in Higher Education 1998)
Diversity initiatives address race, color, religion, sex or national origin and often entail
programs, policies, and initiatives directed at diversifying the student or staff population. Diversity
initiatives often fall under the auspices of affirmative action which is a set of public policies and
initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion,
sex, or national origin (Sykes 1998). Affirmative action policies are influenced heavily by federal
legislation and governed by laws such as the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States
Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, and others.

This research focuses on diversity or representation as defined by sex or gender. It
suggests that gender representation and diversity initiatives are an important part of the tenure
process and are now considered part of the tenure value structure. Gender refers to the differences
between men and women other than the basic physiological ones. It refers to specific social and
cultural patterns of behaviour, and to the social characteristics of being a man or a woman in
particular historical and social circumstances (Measor and Sikes 1992, 5).
Why is gender representation and diversity important in the academic setting? Three
perspectives address its importance. First, representation and diversity in gender allows the use of
multiple or different lenses in theoretical and/or practical approaches in the learning environment.
For public administration education this is especially important because it allows students to better
assess and understand public issues. Durbin, Ospina, and Schall (1999) state, We have found that
offering different opportunities for learning about the same phenomena through different lenses can
provide students with an integrated and meaningful learning experience (p. 32). Men and women
perceive issues differently and thus a womans perspective is important to achieving a well-rounded
learning experience for students. Diversity broadens the scope and spectrum of ideas and
information. This is important in the classroom because it supports the ideals of life-long learning.
Therefore, as the classroom becomes diverse through its faculty and staff, then, too, are students
learning experiences. Reality and social understanding from [different] perspectives imply
different ways of viewing the world; thus, the importance of gaining both an awareness of and an
understanding of [different] perspectives cannot be overstated... (Desjardins 1989, 5). Further, in
an article by Harris (1994), the author examines introductory Public Administration textbooks for
their inclusion on the scholarship on women. She suggests that even at this level,
.. .potential public servants will gain a greater understanding of work force diversity and
its implications for women, men, employee success, and organizational success. This will

help future public servants understand and value the differences between women and men
in the work force. Recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse workers should all be
enhanced due to greater understanding of the realities of the work environment. (Harris
1994, 85)
The recruitment, hiring, and retention of a representative and diverse faculty will also do
the same. It provides an opportunity for students to gain a healthy perspective and balance in the
classroom. AAUP, in fact, argues that the necessity of diversity is stronger in higher education
than in any other context, but only if diversity is understood as a means to an end (American
Association of University Professors, About AAUP, 1998). They further state, The ultimate
product of universities is education in the broadest sense, including preparation for life in the
working world. As part of this education, students learn from face to face interaction with faculty
members and with one another both inside and outside the classroom (American Association of
University Professors, Diversity and Affirmative Action, 1998). Diverse perspectives are integral
to the lifelong learning experiences of students. As today's world becomes globally interconnected,
the value of providing diverse perspectives in the classroom becomes even more important, ...few
individuals argue that higher education should not strive toward equal opportunity. Yet, in spite of
this apparent common ground, women and people of color remain under-represented among the
American professorate (Tierney and Rhoades 1993, 3).
Are students lens clouded without a diverse perspective offered by women? Are women
the only ones to offer a feminine perspective? These are difficult questions that are not understood
fully. The important factor, however, is that research does suggest there are different ways of
knowing (Belenky 1986) and viewing (Gilligan 1982). The field has an opportunity, for its own
sake, to optimize and offer different perspectives in the classroom. Wolf-Devine (1977) states,
Education is a key area in which cultural conflicts have been played out. One of the main
functions of schools is the transmission of culture from one generation to the next, and the question

of what sort of people we want the next generation of Americans to be is one that engages all of the
deepest issues that divide us (p. 36).
The second reason that gender representation is important for public administration
education, specifically, is advanced by Stivers (1990) in which she suggests that the field of public
administration currently lacks a feminist perspective (p. 49). Her research suggests that there is no
published theoretical work from a feminist perspective in public administration. The implications
of this, again, are that learners consequently lack a diverse perspective to theoretical and
administrative issues. This argument, however, further examines the faculty side of diversity and
suggests that without women in roles that allow for ongoing scholarly research, then the feminine
perspective in theory remains unavailable. Indeed, women and men view the world differently
(Gilligan 1982; Belenky 1986; Desjardins 1989; Chodorow 1978; Freidan 1963; Stivers 1990)
because of biological, social, or psychoanalytic reasons. Therefore, it becomes important for the
field to support and promote the opportunity for women to publish in the field. The ideal place,
then, for women to write and publish is in the academic setting. The end result, then, is a feminist
perspective in public administration theory and practice. Stivers (1990) suggests that a feminist
perspective can be shared as a fresh insight in discussing four important public administration
issues; the question of administrative knowledge, the model of the ideal public servant, the nature of
administrative discretion, and the dimensions of the administrative state. If given the opportunity
as tenured faculty, future feminine perspectives might address questions such as best administrative
practices, reinventing strategies, and other current public administration issues and approaches.
Third, the important role that women serve as mentors and role models to other female
students in public administration education should not be overlooked. While it should not be
assumed that everyone needs a mentor or role model to be successful, research shows that they are

important to career development, particularly in academic and/or organizational settings (Noe
1988). Successful careers, particularly academic careers, are almost always a function of
productive mentoring (Holzer 1999, 1). Even though there appears to be no universal agreement
or concise definition of mentoring, there is some agreement on its function. These functions might
include role modeling, enhancing both individual growth and advancement, counseling, friendship,
acceptance and confirmation, coaching, protection, and making the protege known to others, among
others (Gilbert and Rossman 1992).
For public administration, role models and mentors for students in public administration
education is especially important because of the significant occupational segregation that exists in
public service positions. Even though there are more female graduate students than males in public
administration programs, research continues to indicate that there are few women in top public
service management levels (Guy 1993; Hale and Kelly eds. 1989; Bullard and Wright 1993). Data
obtained from The Guide to Graduate Education in Public Affairs and Public Administration
(Donovan 1997) indicates that of 189 institutions reporting student demographics during Fall 1996,
there were 10,653 female students enrolled in masters degree programs in public administration
schools and 9,683 male students. Durbin, Ospina, and Schall (1999) also state that with a student
population of more than two-thirds female, .. .our curriculum failed to address either the
management issues involved or the needs of women as professionals in the field (p. 25). With
fewer women in tenured positions, then, there are missed opportunities for future female leaders.
Holzer (1999) suggests that while faculty members are expected to supervise and advise students,
this is not enough because they also have a commitment to serve as mentors. He also suggests that
faculty in public affairs have a particular obligation to mentor students at the masters and
doctoral levels because of the increased diversity among practitioners who are the very students in

the classroom. The important role that a diverse faculty serves as role models and mentors is
important if student success at all levels is an important goal for the academy.
For academic tenure, the practices and procedures do not escape (for better or worse) the
implications of diversity efforts among institutions in higher education. This means that the efforts
made toward retaining the integrity of tenure experiences and processes for a community of scholars
must now integrate procedures that do not inadvertently limit consideration of the best qualified
persons by beliefs and assumptions that may exclude women and minorities. Is this fair? Can the
process be opened to inclusion instead of inadvertent exclusion? If so, how and what can be done?
If not, what are the consequences to higher education and to the larger community of learners, or,
more importantly, to society? These questions give rise to the complexities inherent in balancing
academic freedom, procedural fairness, and diversity in the academy.
Why is this important for academic tenure? Balancing merit protection, procedural
fairness, and gender representation stands at the center point of who, when, where, and why one
enters and advances in the academy. Those who write about the increased scrutiny of tenure
suggest that the attack on tenure is fueled by factors such as increased politicization of elements
within academic institutions, diminished public confidence in the performance of colleges and
universities, especially over their quality of teaching, a nationwide debate about the purposes and
direction of higher education, and severe financial constraints (Smith and Associates 1973, ix). The
call from those within the higher education scene, as well as from outside the academy, is for a re-
examination of its purposes and functionsparticularly from those who see a so-called crisis in
American education. They suggest that a re-examination of the tenure process is a critical step
toward improving the quality of public higher education nationally (Kowalski 1997; Yates 1997).
In a time such as this, an examination of academic tenure, particularly a careful look at what

women tell us about their experiences, is not only timely, but essential to ongoing debate and
dialogue. Thus, this dissertation provides a critical examination of womens tenure experiences and
provides an opportunity for discovering ways in which the field might nurture feminine voices.
Current Trends and Statistics on Women in Higher Education
Womens roles in higher education, specifically as tenured faculty, point toward evidence
of disparity between male and female professors in terms of number, status, and salary. Three sets
of statistics support this notion. First, while it is often thought that the education profession is
female-dominated (that is, more women than men are found in the teaching profession), the U.S.
Department of Education provides data that portray higher education as the opposite. In fact, it is
evident that there are many more male faculty members than female faculty members who hold hill-
time teaching positions. For example, during Fall 1995, 360,150 (sixty-five percent) full-time
males served as faculty members as opposed to 190,672 (thirty-five percent) full-time female faculty
members (U.S. Bureau of Census 1996).
Figure 1.1 further breaks down full-time status by gender and rank to depict an academic
picture of the disparity in terms of rank. As indicated in the chart, during the Fall 1995, female
faculty held approximately eighteen percent of all professor positions and males held over eighty-
two percent. At lower ranks, such as instructor, the percentages were closer, fifty percent females
and fifty percent males. There was a slight difference in the lecturer position with females holding
more positions by eight percent. From this, we can see that more males held professor positions
than females, but women held just as many instructor and lecturer positions as males. Is there
disparity in rank? It is unclear if this disparity is due to the fact that there were more males than
females teaching in higher education, but this may have been the case. Certainly, if there were

more male faculty members, they would have invariably held more positions all around. The
indication was, however, that there was greater disparity between males and females in higher ranks
than lower ranks. Should females hold the same proportion in terms of rank as in their total
availability in the market? There is no easy answer to this much-debated question for higher
education. As discussed previously in this chapter, however, improved representation for females in
the market is important and necessary.
Figure 1.1. --Percent Full-Time Faculty Members by Gender and Rank, Fall 1995
Professor Associate Assistant Instructor Lecturer Other
Professor Professor
(Figure created from data provided by Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, 1998)
The second set of statistics provides a breakdown of the percentage of tenured faculty by
gender. As shown in table 1.1, of institutions reporting data and from those with tenure systems,
64.3 percent of all full-time college faculty members were tenured. Of this, 71.3 percent of hill-time
male college faculty members were tenured, while 50.3 percent full-time female faculty were
tenured. This indicated a difference of almost twenty percent between males and females. Again,
this may have been due to the fact that males held almost two-thirds of all faculty positions as
opposed to fewer females holding those position.

Table 1.1. Tenure Status of Full-Time College Faculty Members by Gender and
Institution Type, 1995 (In percent)
Institution Type Percent Tenured Faculty Percent Tenured Males Percent Tenured Females
All Institutions 64.3 71.3 50.3
Public Institutions (2 & 4 yr.) 67.2 74.0 53.6
Private Institutions (2 & 4 yr.) 57.3 64.8 41.7
(Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics 1995)
Third, salaries have also shown disparity between males and females. For example, figure
1.2 shows the average salary of all full-time faculty members across all academic ranks including
professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, and lecturer. According to statistics
provided by the U.S. Department of Education (1994), the average salary for all male faculty on a
nine-month contract was $49,579, whereas, the average salary for all female faculty was $40,058.
This disparity remained consistent through all faculty ranks.
Figure 1.2. Average Salary of Full-Time Instructional Faculty on Nine-Month Contracts
by Rank and Gender, 1993-94 (in constant 1993-94 dollars)
(Figure created from data provided by U.S. Department of Education 1994)

Public Administration statistics are somewhat difficult to obtain. The data that is available
does not break down the number of faculty members teaching in public administration by gender,
rank, or average salary. Data that is available from NASPAA provides information regarding the
overall number of males and females teaching in public administration programs. This
information, however, is most current as of 1990-91. Figure 1.3 depicts the number of men and
women teaching in post-secondary public administration programs. According to this information,
only twenty percent of all faculty members in public administration programs were female and over
eighty percent were male. This was different from the national average as described previously
where sixty-five percent were males and thirty-five percent were females.
Figure 1.3. --Faculty Members in Public Administration Programs by Gender, 1990-91
(Chart created from data provided by National Association
of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration 1996)
Further, as table 1.2 indicates, significantly more faculty members are either on the tenure
track, non-tenured or actually tenured than not in a tenure status in public administration programs.
Unfortunately this data does not indicate rank by gender. It does suggest, however, that tenure
plays an important role in the public administration academy. More faculty members are tenured or

working toward tenure than those who are not tenured faculty. Further, it conveys that there are
more males in lull-time instructional positions and almost seventy-five percent of all faculty
members in public administration, specifically, at hill professor rank. These statistics, while they
do not tell the whole story, describe a scenario in which public administration education is male-
dominated and includes a significant number of tenured faculty and full professors relative to other
Table 1.2. --Faculty Breakdown in the Public Administration Academy by Rank
Year Lecturer Asst. Prof. Assoc. Prof. Full Prof. Other Non- Tenure Track Tenure Track, Non- Tenured Tenured
1990-91 36 382 455 713 102 112 439 1096
1992-93 33 431 452 712 81 90 489 1106
(Source: National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration 1996)
Statistics such as the ones previously presented tell a story about higher education and the
status of women in that environment. First, it tells how little is known about womens status. That
is, descriptive statistics and data regarding womens status in public administration education are
clearly missing. For example, NASPAA does not provide statistics that reflect the academic status
for faculty based on gender. Second, from the data that is available, there are fewer women than
men in academic teaching positions in higher education, their academic rank and salary are below
their male counterparts and there are a significant portion of full-time faculty members in public
administration who are tenured. Why is this so? Is it important? The next two sections attempt to
answer these questions. The roadblocks and building blocks to womens tenure success present
research that defines possible reasons for the disparity in number, status, and salary. The final
section, perspectives of women and academic tenure, explores what is being said about womens
status and whether or not it is an area of importance.

Roadblocks and Building Blocks Affecting Womens Tenure Outcome
While there has been progress for women in the teaching profession, generally speaking,
there continues to be an elusive nature of progress and success for women as they reach higher
ranks in the academy. As indicated in the previous section, even though enrollments have steadily
increased, female salaries and rank in higher education remained below those of their male
counterparts. There have been many different euphemisms given to the notion that women have
had a difficult entry into the male-dominated work environment. Four of the more common
descriptive words include chilly climate, glass ceiling, revolving door, (Chamberlain 1988) or
low ceiling (Epstein 1997). A report of the Project on Status of Women (1986) states,
Professional women have tried different strategies to warm up the chilly professional climate they
experience as faculty and administrators on campus (Project on Status of Women 1986 cited in
Landino and Welch 1990, 12). This so-called chilly climate may be due to the relatively low
numbers of women on campus, particularly in positions of power (Welch 1990, 12). However,
regardless of the data, there is no one, single explanation for understanding the problems of entry or
advancement for women in higher education. What are the factors that attribute to womens
success or failure that are currently put forward by scholars? Four perspectives are offered as
explanations including economic, institutional, cultural, and personal.
The first perspective is described as economic factors such as the economic goals and
objectives of institutional or departmental hiring, firing, and promotion. At this level, the process
for hiring and the factors that relate to the review and promotion during employment are factors
that affect womens success or failure. Also, terms and conditions of employment such as salary,
rank, and other contractual issues serve as important factors. Joan Abramson (1975) describes two
patterns of discrimination: disparate treatment of men and women at the time of hiring and

disparate treatment for men and women of the same rank. She observes that men are assigned
entry-level rank above the entry-level rank assigned to women with the same or superior
qualifications. She also observes that the rules may state that no one of a certain rank is eligible
for tenure or promotion, but the rules may be broken more often for men than for women
(Abramson 1975, 7).
A second perspective addresses institutional factors that affect the academic experience.
These are factors found within the organization or institution, and include such variables as
financial support, leadership, or policies and procedures. Gloria DeSole and Leonore Hoffmann in
Rocking the Boat: Academic Women and Academic Processes (1981) provide eight different case
histories of academic women who had pursued grievances within institutions, state and federal
agencies, and the courts. The contributors offer perceptions of the environment that creates the
climate to file a discriminatory grievance (DeSole and Hoffman 198*1). These perceptions include a
lack of financial support, misunderstandings about future directions and goals, lack of tolerance for
new and innovative ideas, and lack of empathy or tolerance for personal life circumstances such as
maternity, children, and professional slow-down attributed to a hostile and discriminatory climate.
Other institutional factors such as the affluence of the institution or its size and prestige
might affect academic equity. For example, it has been found that more affluent universities in the
1960s tended to hire fewer female faculty than less financially- affluent universities (Szaffan 1984).
The authors suggest that this is because excess resources allow the organizations decision makers
to develop more structured processes that reflect their own preferences at extra cost and not
necessarily the equity requirements or needs of others. Another study conducted by Feldt (1990)
looks at the career paths of women who achieved promotion and tenure and addresses the issue of
low representation of females in the senior faculty ranks. Using data from the University of

Michigan, the characteristics and accomplishments of males and females and minorities and non-
minorities are compared with their career outcomes to determine if the schools state promotion and
tenure criteria are followed. She finds that the relationship between tenure potential and
productivity varied considerably by discipline. Further, she finds that prior research and publication
is a strong indicator for promotion or tenure.
The third perspective includes factors that are defined by culture. These factors may
include institutional dynamics, climate, socialization or institutional fit. Research that has
specifically identified barriers to womens progress in the academic setting and culture includes the
1) the absence of objective hiring and promotion criteria;
2) the use of informal, shifting hiring and promotion procedures and criteria;
3) the use of crony-based decision-making systems for hiring and promotion;
4) the presence of a national search fetish;
5) restrictions against hiring ones own graduates;
6) a continuing formal and informal use of nepotism policies;
7) a lack of adequate employment, remuneration, and upward mobility systems for part-
time scholars;
8) an isolation, absence or segregation of women in academic affairs;
9) an unequal distribution of work to women (Spencer and Bradford 1982 in Simeone
1987, 38).
Discussion on tenure experiences offered recently by Tierney and Rhoades (1993) focuses
on faculty socialization and describes the importance of culture within the tenure experience. As
indicated later in this dissertation, Tierney and Rhoades theory of faculty socialization serves as a
starting point for building the conceptual Same for this research. Theories of faculty socialization
examine faculty culture from the new professors initial arrival into the academy to his/her progress
through faculty positions and rank. This is important because the tenure process, according to
Tierney and Rhoades, is a ritual process that serves as a rite of passage for new faculty. When a
faculty member decides to pursue tenure, the socialization of that person involves learning what to

do to become tenured. In other words, the faculty member must become socialized into the roles
and rituals required in order to accomplish tenure.
Finally, the fourth perspective is described as personal factors. These factors might include
class, personality, family, and background. Fay and Tokarczyk (1993), for example, identify the
fact that women who arrive in higher education from working-class backgrounds (i.e., work that is
physically demanding and repetitive) and who are often the first generation to attend college often
encounter challenges to achieving success in working toward a degree, as well as in the work
environment. The series of essays in this book suggest that class privilege, lack of role models, and
academic hierarchy all impede success in the academy. Fay and Tokarczyk suggest that Women
from the working class who have achieved tenure positions often emphatically insist that they have
severed all connection with their working-class backgrounds, and they have the titles and salaries to
prove it. These women often display a middle-, even upper middle-class attitude.. .(Fay and
Tokarczyk 1993, 6). Another personal life factor that may have an impact on academic success of
women is maternity or, particularly, the presence of young children at home (Hensel 1990). While
millions of women combine work and have children, there is evidence to suggest that having
children and being married can have a profound effect on a womans career (Hensel 1990; Bernard
The factors that affect a womans status and role in higher education vary from individual
to individual. Nevertheless, they are important to understanding why disparity may exist within
academic settings. The next section explores why identifying roadblocks and building blocks for
women in public administration and, ultimately, changing the status of women is important, not just
for women, but for the field as a whole.

Need for Research on Women and the Tenure Process
Four factors explain why there is a need for such a study. First, as discussed in the
previous section, there is no single explanation for why disparity exists for women; rather, several
perspectives provide evidence that sexism, discrimination, and inequities, as perceived in the tenure
process, actually exist. Studies conducted in the field focus primarily on the statistical and
anecdotal studies that demonstrate variable levels of discrimination in the academy (Szafran 1984;
DeSole and Hoffmann 1981; Maitland 1990; Caplan 1993; Theodore 1986). Different thoughts and
perspectives regarding the higher education work environment suggest sexism in the workplace
(Theodore 1986), double standards for judgment of performance (Theodore 1986), a so-called
maleness of the environment (Caplan 1993), and the incompatibility of child-rearing and
maternity with tenure and promotion (Hensel 1990) as elements that most affect the extent to which
equitable treatment exists or does not exist in the academy. The fact that there is documented
evidence of sexism in the academic workplace should be reason enough to find ways for eliminating
it. One of the most commonly asked questions about the glass ceiling is Why does it still exist?
One of the most basic answers to this question is Because we havent seen it clearly for what it is
(DataLine 1991).
Furthermore, research that exists includes illustrations and examples using a case study
approach to discuss challenges, frustrations, and struggles. For example, a study conducted by Joan
Abramson in The Invisible Woman (1975) provides a case history of the circumstances surrounding
the authors challenge as a woman on the tenure-track. She believes that she had been denied
tenure for one reason.
I was a faculty wife, and my department, knowing that I could not leave Hawaii,
declined tenure with the expectation that I could be hired as a last minute, semester-by-
semester, low-cost lecturer. I had, then, been denied tenure because I am a woman.
(Abramson 1975, vi)

Marcia R. Lieberman (1981) also states, The most important thing for you to know is this: They
will try to persuade you that you are being denied tenure (or promotion, or reappointment) because
of your deficiencies.... Dont believe it (Lieberman 1981, 3). While this research does not set out
to pinpoint evidence of discrimination, it recognizes that there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that
discrimination or sexism does exist. An examination of the tenure experiences will provide a
closer look at the entire tenure process to discover themes or ideas about womens strategies and
Second, little research currently exists that explores the first-hand tenure experiences of
women in academic life. In fact, there are no studies or research that examine the tenure
experiences of women in public administration education. Studies from other disciplines provide
the closest set of data that describe womens tenure experiences. For example, research conducted
by DiNitto, Aguilar, Franklin and Jordan (1995) provides ah example for this research. In then-
study, the researchers sent a questionnaire to thirty female faculty colleagues and acquaintances.
Their survey included closed- and open-ended questions covering areas such tenure requirements,
expectations, balancing work and personal life, and others. The results provide a basis for
recommendations made by the authors including the fact that they feel that the academic work
environment needs to become more supportive of women, that tenure policies and requirements
need clarification, expectations for tenure need to be considered in light of what is reasonable, and a
mentoring system needs to be encouraged.
Other research that is similar to the research reported here includes research conducted by
Aisenberg and Harrington (1988). The authors wanted to know why so many women were falling
off the normal academic career and the tenure track. In their study, the authors interviewed women
who had been off the normal career track and those who had been tenured. They found similar

patterns of experiences across disciplines, age groups, diversity in marital status and class origins
and also strong commonalties among women with widely divergent backgrounds. They, in fact,
found fewer differences than commonalities within the stories in tenured and deflected women. The
researchers found that the respondents had similar experiences of professional marginality and
exclusion from the centers of professional authority. According to Aisenberg and Harrington, the
womens stories revealed a continuum of outsidemess (p. xii). They claim that for the academic
profession there is such a thing as womens experiences.. .in spite of the obvious differences among
academic women. Aisenberg and Harrington also find that the common patterns in the female
personal and professional life consist of the play between social norms that are constructed to cast
women in subordinate, supportive roles in both their private and their public lives (p. xii). That is,
the old norms established by male practitioners create a conflict and ultimate compromise for
women functioning on the premises of new norms. Aisenberg and Harrington state, Caught
between two sets of rules... the ancient mold of womanliness... or the prevailing male mold of
professionalism... women cannot avoid running afoul of one of them (p. 18). Their research points
to a new emphasis and need to examine the tenure experiences of women and how their voices
might be nurtured. Even though there is important research that points directly at inequity and
disparity perceived in the academic experience, little has been done to research this area and
examine first-hand the tenure experiences of women in public administration education.
The third reason for this research stems in part from the unique nature of public
administration training and education. Woodrow' Wilson in The Study of Administration (1887),
describes public administration as an eminently practical science of administration (Wilson 1887,
68). Dwight Waldo, in The Administrative State (1948), also describes American public
administration as having evolved political theories unmistakably related to unique economic,

social, governmental, and ideological facts (Waldo 1948, 52). Unlike the other liberal arts and
social science fields, public administration is a field comprised of practitioners who implement
theoretical constructs in managing government. Thus, the classroom serves as an indispensable
platform for integrating theory and practice; and the composition of the faculty is critical to this
mission. Therefore, a study that examines the tenure experiences of one segment of public
administration scholars brings together a further awareness of critical issues in the classroom. The
field, itself, advocates inclusiveness and advances the unique nature of administrative training in
which practitioners learn and teach in public administration academic programs. The ultimate
outcome is that all viewpoints, male or female, are important and should be heard in the classroom.
Finally, the fourth reason for this research is the importance of tenure values and the
unfortunate lack of attention to these values that are shaping tenure. -The value question is at the
root of understanding historically what has been at the heart of debates. Now, gender
representation, as a new value, joins in the debate bringing the field to a critical juncture. No study
has yet examined gender representation as a tenure value. The question of who, when, why, and
how faculty advance in the instructional side of the academy is critical to the growth of the academy
and to the entire academic community of learners and scholars. The tenure value structure sets the
stage for most, if not all, academic goals in the colleges and universities with tenure systems in-
place. That is, academic freedom, procedural fairness, and gender representation are at the heart of
the entire learning process. For without this basic value structure, the free and open exchange of
ideas found on college campuses across the nation may be in jeopardy. Research that explores an
area that is of utmost importance to the entire educational enterprise and the entire academic
community is critical. This perspective suggests that diversity is important not because of what is

missing -- gendered voices , but because of what we do know gender representation is an
important value. For this reason, there is a need for further research.
Problem Definition
Current trends, contradictory perspectives, and roadblocks and building blocks to tenure
success, call for institutional, departmental, and individual responses as to how to comprehend and
find an appropriate place for gender representation as a new tenure value in the academy. At the
same time, institutions and departments are required to maintain an understanding and upholding
of tenures age-old values; namely, merit protection and procedural fairness. While merit
protection and procedural fairness remain as integral definitive and purposive values in tenure
procedures, gender representation evolves, as new and important value. Why is it an important
value? As presented in chapter three, gender representation evolved since the 1970s as an
important value for the academic community and for tenure, specifically. As a new value, it
challenges old assumptions of tenure and brings forward new challenges to tenures entrenched
purpose and function in the academic setting. Gender representation, while it does not replace or
supercede merit protection and procedural fairness, harbors a new perspective for academic tenure.
The problem statement for this dissertation is that gender representation evolved as a new tenure
value since the 1970s and requires (for reasons previously discussed) that individuals, institutions,
organizations, and theory attempt to achieve a healthy balance of tenures value structure.
Little research examines the tenure experiences of women, particularly within the public
administration academy, and their effects on the newest tenure value of representation. A sense of
the day-to-day life of women as they work toward tenure is clearly absent. Why is this type of
research important? As discussed earlier in this chapter, for without gender representation in the

academic setting, students do not have the benefit of learning from a multiple lens perspective,
theory lacks a feminist perspective, and students lack the benefits of female role models or mentors
to help in career advancement. The value of in-depth phenomenological interviews of women as
they work toward tenure is that they will provide the knowledge base from which to improve and
grow as a field, discipline, and profession. It invariably answers the question of how the field might
go about nurturing feminine voices. It recognizes that gender representation is an important tenure
value and, thus, feminine voices must be nurtured in order to meet the changing dynamics and
needs of tenures new value structure. By creating an understanding of how and why women work
through the tenure process as academicians, and more specifically as tenured scholars, then the field
and profession as whole benefits from diverse perspectives and all that it brings to academic goals.
The benefits will inevitably be realized through a feminine perspective offered to future students,
practitioners, and theoretical literature.
Research suggests that gender issues are now and probably will remain for the
foreseeable future highly significant aspects of both the theory and the practice of public
administration (Bullard and Wright, 1993). This dissertation seeks to explore, through in-depth
interviews, the feminine voices and tenure experiences among women in public administration
education. The results of a successfully completed study will not only provide further
understanding and information from a diverse or gendered perspective, but also new directions
for further exploration and study. Further, the unique contribution that the results will provide to
administrators, faculty, and advisors in public administration disciplines will be information,
insight, and knowledge that can be used in furthering the goals of equity and inclusion in
institutions of higher education. Therefore, this study will focus on answering two key research

questions; 1) how might the field nurture feminine voices in public administration education and 2)
what are the implications for individuals, institutions, professional associations and feminist theory?
Research Questions
This dissertation seeks to examine the tenure experiences of women in public
administration education, including their tenure values, strategies, struggles, and sources of support
and guidance. Through in-depth interviews, it explores the following research questions:
1. What motivates women to seek academic tenure in public administration? What values
and norms do women place on tenure as they work toward tenure?
2. How do women achieve academic tenure in public administration? What tactics and
strategies do women use during their tenure experiences? What are the sources of tenure
guidance and support offered?
3. What roadblocks, hurdles, or struggles do women encounter during their tenure
4. Are there circumstances that are more favorable for women to earn tenure in public
administration? What are the common patterns for successes or failures encountered
during tenure?
5. In general, what lessons do tenure experiences of women have on the academic field of
public administration and for higher education? What is its meaning and significance?
Research Methodology
This research is exploratory in nature; its goal is to be descriptive and analytical. Its
findings are prescriptive and presented in the form of recommendations for individuals, institutions,
professional associations, and feminist theory. The theoretical constructs in this research serve as a
fundamental framework and not as a means for generating conclusive or explanatory cause-and-

effect relationships. The purpose of the research methods is to derive inductively a description and
understanding of the tenure experiences of women.
In this study, the researcher conducted in-depth, phenomenological interviews of eighteen
women in the public administration academy who attained tenure, deflected from the tenure track,
did not receive tenure, or a combination of these outcomes. The respondents were initially
identified and contacted by using a snowball sampling technique. Interviews were open-ended and
free flowing. After completion of the interview process, the researcher coded, pattern-coded, placed
in conceptual matrices, and analyzed the data using systematic analytical techniques described by
Miles and Huberman (1994). Chapter Four provides extensive detail of these methodological
Definitions of Key Terms
This section provides definitions of terms and concepts used throughout this study. The
definitions are provided as a benchmark for identifying the researchers assumptions and premises
in conducting this study; in addition, they promote a consistent understanding among the readers of
this study. The concepts defined in this section include academic tenure, tenure course, track and
experience, tenure outcomes, and faculty titles.
Academic tenure is defined as an arrangement under which a faculty appointment, in an
institution of higher education, can continue until retirement for age or physical disability, dismissal
for adequate cause, or unavoidable termination on account of financial exigency, or change of
institutional program (Commission on Academic Tenure in Higher Education 1973, 256).
Tenure track appointments are defined as an arrangement under which a faculty member
fulfills the prescribed requirements for academic tenure as defined by the institution and/or

department. Faculty may be appointed to a tenure track position at an institution of higher
education and continue on that track until tenure is granted or denied or the faculty member deflects
to another institution. The tenure track is different from the tenure course. Faculty may begin
and/or end the tenure course at different institutions; that is, the course is considered the continuous
effort toward tenure whether at one, two, or more institutions. The tenure experience is defined as
the circumstances, events, and happenings that occur during the actual tenure course. This
dissertation seeks to explore the tenure experience during the tenure course of women in public
administration education.
Three possible tenure outcomes are explored in this study: granted tenure, deflected from
the tenure track or denied academic tenure. Granted tenure is defined the institutions official and
formal decision to grant academic tenure to the respondent. Deflected from the tenure track is
defined as the respondents personal decision to leave her respective academic institution at some
point during the tenure course or track. Denied academic tenure is the institutions official and
formal decision not to grant academic tenure after the respondent has advanced through the tenure
course or track.
Table 1.3 describes the possible tenure scenarios that combine any of the previously
defined outcomes. As indicated in this table, the tenure course is considered normal or
expected if the respondent attended one institution and the institution granted tenure. It should
be noted, however, that the term normal is loosely used here and does not necessarily reflect a
statistical known norm. Research does not appear to indicate statistical evidence that attendance
at one institution that grants tenure is normal. However, current studies of academic tenure
generally define the tenure course or track as expected or normal if this tenure scenario does, in
fact, occur (Aisenburg and Harrington 1988).

There are four general tenure descriptions of deviation from the normal tenure course.
Other deviations may occur within these descriptions; however, for descriptive purposes, the
researcher chose to retain these specific descriptions. The first includes a tenure course in which
the respondent deflects from a tenure track at one institution but moves to another tenure track
position at a second institution and obtains tenure. Next, a faculty member deflects from the tenure
track position and does not assume any other tenure track position, or is denied tenure at one
institution, attends a second institution and receives tenure. Finally, the institution denies tenure
and the faculty does not assume another tenure track position.
Table 1.3. --Tenure Scenarios
Normal or Expected Tenure Course Institution A, granted tenure
Deviated from the Normal Tenure Course Institution A, deflected from tenure track Institution B, granted tenure
Institution A, deflected, no further tenure course
Institution A, denied tenure Institution B, granted tenure
Institution A, denied tenure, no further tenure course

Other tenure experiences occur that deviate even further from the above descriptions. For
example, a faculty may assume tenure-track positions at three or more institutions. The possibilities
are theoretically limitless; however, this dissertation limits the total number of institutions involved
to three.
Faculty titles are important because they typically identify positions in the tenure course
and official ranks in the academic setting. Ian Parberiy (1995) defines the following four faculty
ranks: Lecturer. Assistant Professor. Associate Professor, and Professor.
A Lecturer teaches with little or no research. A Lecturer is not eligible for tenure under
the peer-review system, but the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
rules that any faculty member who is employed for more than seven years has de facto
An Assistant Professor is typically a junior faculty member hired on a seven-year non-
renewable contract. During the sixth year, he/she is evaluated for tenure and promotion to
Associate Professor simultaneously. If the candidate fails, he/she must leave before the end
of the seventh year. Some Assistant Professors have tenure. If so, it usually means that
they did not go through the process described, but instead have de facto tenure.
An Associate Professor is a faculty member typically in the middle of his/her career.
He/she usually has tenure, but in certain cases newly hired senior faculty members may be
hired as associate professors without tenure, and are required to go through the peer-review
tenure process.
A Professor (aka Full Professor) is a senior faculty member who has established
him/herself as a leader in his/her chosen discipline. The process of evaluation for
promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor is similar to the peer-review
evaluation for promotion and tenure for an Assistant Professor but more stringent. Faculty
members who are hired at the Full Professor rank are generally given tenure on
Research Strengths and Limitations
The qualitative research approach to this dissertation offers several critical strengths and
advantages. First, it improves the ability to explore and understand the dynamic situations and
value-laden underpinnings of the entire tenure process. Certainly quantitative methods are also

applicable here, but qualitative methods enhance the potential for complexity and depth. Miles and
Huberman (1994) suggest that the one major feature [of well-collected qualitative data] is that they
focus on naturally occurring, ordinary events in natural settings, so that there is a strong
understanding on what real life is like (p. 10). The life stories as told by the respondents provide
in-depth understandings and descriptions, unlike any that are obtainable by quantitative approaches.
Secondly, this research provides a sense of local groundedness with data that is collected.
The research subjects are individuals who experience tenure first-hand; therefore, the possibility
for understanding latent, underlying, or non-obvious issues is strong (Miles and Huberman 1994,
Third, the flexibility in conducting phenomenological interviews provides an opportunity
to go beyond any so-called packaged or pre-planned questions, but it allows for free-flowing inquiry
and discussion. Consequently, the data potentially generates enlightened and informative results.
Fourth, this research approach creates a process that is well suited for locating the
meanings people place on the events, processes, and structures of their lives and for connecting
these meanings to the social world around them (Miles and Huberman 1994, 10). This is
especially valuable in research such as this because it allows the researcher to develop deeper
meanings and understandings of the complexities of individuals and their experiences.
Finally, qualitative research is the best strategy for discovery, exploring a new area, and
developing hypotheses (Miles and Huberman 1994,10). The exploratory and descriptive approach
to this research allows the actual unknowns to emerge from the data. Without biased ideas
concerning the data, the process for qualitative data analysis provides a research foundation that is
ready for exploration and discovery.

Five primary research limitations are identified in this research. First, there is a limitation
with regard to not interviewing a strong contrast research group. It became clear as this research
progressed that it would be extremely difficult to identify and locate women who deflected entirely
from the tenure track or were denied tenure. Furthermore, this research did not provide an
opportunity to compare and contrast tenure experiences between men and women. However, the
descriptive approach to this dissertation provides an examination into the experiences of women at
all levels, granted, deflected, or denied and allows for meaningful exploration into a variety of
tenure experiences specifically for women.
Second, external validity may be threatened in this study because a small number of
respondents were used in this research. That is, external validity is a problem of knowing whether
a studys findings are generalized beyond the immediate case study (Yin 1994, 35). This is often a
common complaint in case study designs; however, no set of cases, no matter how large, is likely
to deal satisfactorily with the complaint (Yin 1994, 37). Therefore, since this research is
descriptive and exploratory in approach, it does not need to claim to all women in the public
administration academy. Womens tenure experiences are unique and diverse; however, general
descriptions are possible with this kind of research methodology.
Third, questions that were asked focused specifically on the tenure experience. However,
additional questions were not asked of each respondent that could have provided additional insight
and information (such as the respondents age, income, educational degree areas, financial status
through the tenure-track, their decisions for not marrying or having children, or their personal
interests and hobbies). Also, follow-up interviews were not conducted because the interviewer
perceived the respondents to be under busy time schedules and time constraints as experts in the
field and did not feel it would be appropriate to take additional time out of their schedules for

follow-up questions. Furthermore, respondents had previously been told during the initial phone
call and written in the consent form that the interview would take approximately one hour (see
APPENDIX A). This serves a limitation for providing clarification or answering additional
questions. The Interview Summary Form (see APPENDIX D), however, provided an opportunity
for the researcher to change questions during succeeding interviews.
A fourth weakness was a risk that the researchers limited, first-hand tenure experience
created a bias in data interpretation. That is, there was the risk based on these experiences (or lack
thereof) that data were misinterpreted due to cultural or experiential differences (Marshall and
Rossman 1989, 104). To address this weakness, the researcher recognized the need to control for
personal biases from her experiences and relied on informant and expert advice for conducting this
study and verifying the results. However, there is an advantage, as well, to being an inexperienced
person looking in on the tenure experiences. Without biases from direct involvement in the tenure
process already imposed on the researcher through experience, there was an increased chance that
the results remained relatively unbiased by any personal experiences with the process.
Fifth, while every attempt was made to interview women face-to-face, some interviews were
conducted over the phone. There are obvious weaknesses associated with this research data
collection technique. For example, nonverbal communication and cues were potentially lost with
phone interviews. However, since it was the researchers intent to interview respondents from the
basic tenure track categories, the researcher concluded that it was necessary to conduct interviews
over the phone. The researcher incorporated the following strategies to strengthen the validity of
the data collected during the interviews.
1. Made it clear from the beginning that the researcher was seeking honest, free-flowing
responses and dialogue.
2. Asked follow-up questions to any response that was not clear to the researcher.
3. Instructed the research subject to ask for clarification if any question was unclear.

4. Tape-recorded all interviews and listened for pauses, uneasiness, or other non-word sounds
to provide some indication of reaction.
5. Provided a set of interview questions to respondents who were interviewed via e-mail or
over the phone if the respondent was interested in receiving a copy of the questions.
However, questions were not be automatically sent in order to retain the openness in the
line of questioning and assured that the respondents felt the flexibility and free-flow nature
of the interview.
Organization of the Study
This dissertation contains six chapters. The first three chapters provide basic descriptive
and analytical background pertaining to academic tenure, the literature, history, debates, and roles
of academic tenure. The succeeding chapters address research methodology, findings, and policy
Chapter two examines the academic tenure process, in detail, with a discussion of the
history and rationale for tenure, a description of the processes and procedures in academic tenure,
current debates and criticisms of tenure, and the role of tenure in American higher education. It
concludes that academic tenure evolved to incorporate two key tenure values merit protection and
procedural fairness.
Chapter three addresses five key trends that provide the basis for a third tenure value,
gender representation, to evolve. These issues include the absence of female voices in the early
development of public administration scholarship, womens emerging recognition and involvement
in public administrations academic profession, the growth of women as practitioners in public
administration, the influence of new feminist theoretical ideas upon public administration, and
diversity initiatives in public administration education.
Chapter four outlines and details the basic research steps in this study. This includes a
discussion of the exploratory research approach used in this study and delineation of the conceptual

framework, sampling frame, and primary data collection procedures. Furthermore, six research
phases are described including transcribing interviews, coding, pattern coding, and memoing,
exploring and describing the data, generating meaning, and confirming results.
Chapter five, research findings, includes three tenure profiles and data descriptions of
tenure values, strategies, hurdles, and sources of guidance and support in the tenure process.
Further, five themes or patterns as found in the research are identified through the results of these
Finally, chapter six concludes with a discussion about the implications of these findings.
Its central thesis is that, today, balancing the three values of freedom, fairness, and representation
has effects on four levels, namely, among individuals, within institutions and professional
associations, and for ongoing feminist theory' and research. Final recommendations for further
areas of research are identified and discussed.

This chapter argues that two key tenure values emerged during this century that decisively
shaped how higher education now handles academic tenure; namely, merit protection and
procedural fairness. Five primary areas of academic tenure the history of academic tenure, the
development of tenure through the American Association of University Professors, the processes
and procedures of tenure, the debates and criticisms of tenure, and the role of tenure in American
higher education are examined in depth. An examination of these five areas provides the
background for understanding how merit protection and procedural fairness evolved as paramount
values of academic tenure within higher education.
The Early History of Academic Tenure
Tenure is associated at times with subjects such as land tenure, judicial tenure, or religious
tenure; however, tenure is associated most often with the academic environment. Tenure is defined
as a status granted after a trial period to a teacher protecting him [or her] from summary
dismissal (Woolf 1981, 1193). Two-year and four-year colleges and universities develop policies
and procedures for academic tenure. This study only focuses on tenure granted at four-year and
graduate-level colleges and universities.
Informal uses of academic tenure have a long history in the teaching profession. Walter P.
Metzger (1973) defines the origins of the use of tenure in three distinct ages. These origins

include the age of the master, the age of the employee, and the age of the professional. During the
age of the master, tenure is defined as a privilege. That is, teaching in the university or stadium
generale was a highly privileged occupation dating from high middle ages to the reformation
period. In turbulent and violent times, rulers of the church and state took special care to ensure the
safety of the scholar, thus granting him special safety privileges.
Next, Metzger designates the age of the employee as tenure as time, or tenure that is
indefinite. Here, Metzger describes tenure as being defined somewhat loosely and ambiguously
by early academic institutions such as Harvard, William and Mary, Yale, and Princeton.
Eventually, early colleges began to formulate formal tenure policies; however, these policies
typically gave tenure to faculty members who were already at the rank of frill or associate professor.
In addition, most institutions did not limit the number of times short-term appointments were
renewable; and therefore, some teachers accumulated many years of service without gaining tenure.
Also, during this time many institutions appointed their faculty for only one year, vacated their
positions at the end of the year, and only re-appointed faculty who passed an annual exam and/or
review for the same position. This practice was found most often in state-supported institutions and
was justified on the grounds that budget constraints and yearly appropriations made it difficult to
commit to long-term contracts (Baez and Centra 1995, 6).
Finally, Metzger describes the age of professional as tenure as judiciality. Tenure
developed in this period through the formulation of general principles respecting the tenure of the
professional office and the legitimate ground for the dismissal of professor (American Association
of University Professors as cited in Metzger 1973, 136). During this period a representative judicial
committee to investigate and report in cases of discrimination developed. This committee
eventually evolved into the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

Today tenure is seen in the same way. With the development of AAUP and the principles
and standards that it establishes for the teaching professions, tenure is enveloped by years of
practice and sealed with tradition and ritual. In the past, tenure served as protection, and does so
today, in much the same way but with added steps, processes and/or procedures of the institution
and individual.
The Role of Academic Tenure within the AAUP
The development of the AAUP serves as the most notable point in which the academic
community became dedicated to the principles of academic tenure. In 1900, Edward Ross, an
economist, lost his job at Stanford University because Mrs. Leland Stanford did not like his views
on the gold standard. Arthur O. Lovejoy, a philosopher at John Hopkins, heard of this incident and
contacted John Dewey to meet at Columbia University to consider die formation of an organization
dedicated to the goal of ensuring academic freedom for all faculty members. Consequently, they
established the American Association of University Professors (American Association of University
Professors, About AAUP, 1998).
The purpose of the AAUP, as set forth in its Constitution, is to facilitate a more effective
cooperation among teachers and research scholars... [and] to increase the usefulness and advance
the standards, ideals, and welfare of the profession (AAUP Constitution cited in Joughin, ed.
1967). The AAUP is a national body that provides information, resources, and support to faculty
members across the nation, and more specifically, establishes tenure standards and principles for
the profession.
When the AAUP initially evolved in 1915, a committee on academic freedom and tenure
formulated a statement entitled a Declaration of Principles. This statement addressed academic

freedom and professional responsibility, and concluded with a section delineating appropriate steps
for due process. The AAUP endorsed the Declaration at its Second Annual Meeting on January 1,
1916. AAUPs Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure put it into use immediately in
dealing with legal cases.
Ten years later, the American Council on Education (ACE) called together a number of its
members for a conference in order to draft a shorter, updated statement. The Conference
Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure emerged from this conference and the AAC and
AAUP immediately endorsed the statement. In 1934, representatives from AAC and AAUP held a
series of conferences and drafted the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and
Tenure (Joughin, ed. 1967). This statement does not prescribe institutional practice for tenure,
but it provides guidance. Today the 1940 Statement is incorporated into many faculty handbooks
and is endorsed by more than one hundred national learned and professional associations, as well as
relied upon by courts in addressing cases of tenure dismissal and/or renewal (Baez and Centra
1995). Certainly, colleges and universities exist without academic freedom and tenure; however,
there is no doubt that tenure today is a crucial part of the American academic scene (De George
The AAUP, in developing this statement, attempted to accomplish two goals. First, the
AAUP sought to support the right of faculty to establish themselves as the body best able to judge
the qualifications of other faculty. In other words, faculty members were the ones to hire and
promote from within their own cadre of professionals. Secondly, it provided support for faculty
members to develop and use procedures for due process in handling review and promotion.
Examples of these procedures might be written charges or a faculty trial. In fact, it suggested
written procedures that outlined the requirements of faculty and institutions in handling due process

issues. This particular goal provided a means that made it more difficult for institutions to dismiss
faculty members capriciously (Baez and Centra 1995).
The primary rationale for tenure is that it enables a faculty member to teach, study, and
act free from a large number of restraints and pressures that otherwise inhibited independent
thought and action (Byse and Joughin 1959, 2; Commission on Academic Tenure in Higher
Education 1973; Baez and Centra 1995). Tenure is designed to protect academic freedom in
educational settings from the whims of politics... (Kowalski 1997). This freedom is traditionally
defined as the academic freedom granted to faculty in the classroom (Byse and Joughin 1959, 2).
AAUP considers itself the leading organization primarily dedicated to protecting the academic
freedom of professors (American Association of University Professors, About AAUP, 1998) and
the 1940 Statement defines it in following three ways:
a. The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results,
subject to the adequate performance of his other academic duties; but research for pecuniary
return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
b. The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his subject, but he should
be careful not to introduce into his teaching controversial matter, which has no relation to
his subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the
institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
c. The college or university teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an
officer of an educational institution. When he speaks or writes as a citizen, he should be
free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his special position in the community
imposes special obligations. As a man of learning and an education officer, he should
remember that the public might judge his profession and his institution by his utterances.
Hence he should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should
show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he is
not an institutional spokesman. (AAUP 1995)
Secondary to this rationale, but just as important, tenure has evolved to serve as a point of
security, both economically and sociologically. The 1940 Statement defines tenure as providing a
sufficient degree of economic security in order to make the profession attractive to men and women
of ability. The AAUP takes this rationale one step further to apply the notion of security as

integral to success of the institution and ultimately to society. AAUP documents state, Freedom
and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling
its obligations to its students and to society (American Association of University Professors 1995,
3). The rationale for tenure is academic freedom which presupposes that there is still knowledge to
be developed and truth to be pursued (De George 1997, 24).
Furthermore, the AAUP suggests tenure, in the academic world, is the point of security, a
certain measure of success (American Association of University Professors 1995). One element of
this perspective speaks to professional groups of individuals who attain a defined level of
achievement and mastery in their respective fields. Lovejoy and Dewey, in convening the group of
faculty members in 1913, sent letters to other colleagues stating that a professional organization was
needed to support their collective action. This call for collective action serves as the main impetus
behind the development of AAUP, an organization that, for the most part, defines the principles and
standards for academic tenure. Achieving tenure allows a faculty member to join an informal
community of scientific and professional scholarsthose who are tenured.
These rationales for tenure serve as the foundation for challenging tenures necessity. That
is, without the need for assuring academic freedom or professional security, tenure may not be
necessary. Prescribed by the AAUP Statements, tenure is carried out through the processes and
procedures in place at academic institutions. These processes are described in the next section.
Processes and Procedures in Academic Tenure
Colleges and universities do not necessarily follow only one model for fillfilling tenure
goals. In a study conducted by Byse and Joughin (1959), eighty institutions were surveyed to
explore the varying tenure policies and procedures. The researchers discovered a vast array of ways

for organizing the tenure process (Byse and Joughin 1959, 2). Today there also remain significant
differences in tenure policies and practices among institutions and sometimes within institutional
units and departments (Baez and Centra 1995). Specific tenure definitions, criteria for evaluation,
length of the probationary period, procedures for tenure recommendations, role of faculty,
administration, students, and government boards, and the methods for evaluating teaching,
scholarship, and service all differ among institutions. Further, while some institutions such as
junior and community colleges do not have formal tenure processes, most institutions have rules
and regulations regarding the review of probationary faculty. Most institutions refer to the 1940
Statement for guidance in establishing their own set of institutional policies.
The tenure process may be described in broad terms and table 2.1 depicts the tenure
process in a general sense. Within these broad procedural steps are specific details that vary among
Table 2.1. Steps in the Tenure Process
Step 1: Hired on tenure track position Probationary Period
Step 2: Reviewed periodically
Step 3: Sixth year, final review
Step 4: Tenure recommendation by RTP
Step 5: Final approval by Chancellor, President or Governing Board
The first step toward academic tenure is being hired to a tenure-track position. This
position typically is advertised specifically as being tenure-track meaning that the faculty
understands that they are hired on a probationary status and then evaluated for tenure after the
probationary status. This probationary period ranges from three to seven years, but the range
generally averages six years at universities and five and one-half years at four-year colleges (Chait

and Ford 1982). Faculty members are sometimes previously employed in the same department as
adjunct or lecturer, but usually they must reapply for the tenure-track position.
During the probationary period, there are various levels of tenure reviews that take place
within the department where the faculty member teaches. The candidate must gain approval of the
departmental Review, Tenure and Promotion Committee (RTP), the department Chair, the College
RTP Committee, the Dean of the College, the University RTP Committee, the Provost, the
President, and the Board of Regents. The most difficult hurdle is typically the College RTP
Committee (Parberry 1995). The RTP committee is considered the peer review component
incorporated into most tenure processes and typically makes the initial recommendation on
reappointment, promotion, or tenure.
The candidate is evaluated on teaching, research, and service. Methods for evaluation of
teaching vary, but may include written student evaluation at the end of each class, peer reviews, and
interviews with former students. It is possible to earn tenure for excellence in teaching and an
adequate research program, or excellence in research and an adequate teaching record; but
excellence in service is usually not enough (Parberry 1995).
Letters of recommendation are solicited from three to six members of the academic
community outside the university' and are asked to comment confidentially on the impact of the
candidates research and his/her general suitability for promotion and tenure. The department
evaluation committee solicits the reviews. The candidate may suggest names, but the committee is
not required to use any of them.
When and how often reviews are provided varies among institutions. They may be given
annually, only during the third, fifth, and sixth year of the probationary period, or only at the final
review. However, the final review process typically lasts for most of the academic year and

involves input from the peer-review committee, department head, dean, and other administrators
(Leap 1993). At this time the faculty member proves his/her worthiness based on teaching
effectiveness, scholarship (research and publications), and service to the public, profession, and
institution. The methods used for measuring and weighing tenure criteria also vary significantly
among institutions; however, the criteria generally encompasses service, scholarship, and teaching.
Other criteria for determining whether or not to grant tenure sometimes include institutional
parameters such as financial constraints, departmental growth or decline, and curricular or program
Faculty members usually are required to submit a dossier prior to the final review that
illustrates and summarizes their accomplishments. This dossier is forwarded to the RTP committee
and then to the chief academic officer, academic vice president or provost and, finally, to the college
president. Also included in the dossier are letters of reference and evaluations from scholars at
other institutions.
Once the RTP committee has completed its review, a recommendation for tenure and
promotion is forwarded to the department head and the college dean. The recommendations of the
committee, department head, or dean usually are not binding, but often are followed. After this, the
chancellor or president and institutional governing board receive the recommendation of the RTP.
The chancellor or president is still able to overturn a tenure recommendation; however, the
governing board is generally described as an entity that places a rubber stamp on the decision
(Leap 1993).
Should the decision be negative for tenure, the faculty member is usually given a one-year
terminal contract. If a faculty member is dismissed from his/her position, the institution is required
to provide adequate notice and a hearing before dismissal (Baez and Centra 1995, 6). Furthermore,

written procedures for due process are available for faculty members who may feel their rights were
violated or were discriminated against in the process.
The tenure process is ideally designed to provide fair and equitable standards for
evaluation and review, but it is realistically challenged with complex social and legal issues. For
example, careful attention must be given during the review and evaluation process so that diversity
efforts are implemented and supported. At the same time, every effort must be made so that
advertent or even inadvertent discrimination does not occur before, during, or after the tenure
process. These issues often are addressed within institutions and departments by developing clear
guidelines and descriptions. Furthermore, with increased scrutiny by state legislatures and public
officials of teaching quality, faculty workloads, and classroom accountability (Yates 1997; Kowalski
1997), there are new trends toward more strenuous review procedures and even the advent of post-
tenure review programs.
Debates and Criticisms of Tenure
Many people are affected directly or indirectly by the academic tenure system. Students,
faculty members, administrators, legislators, communities, and citizens receive the advantages (or
disadvantages) of tenure. Invariably, with this broad level of impact comes a wide range of
criticism and scrutiny. Furthermore, fueled by factors such as rising tuition rates and fees and
discussions of ways to improve the quality of public higher education (Kowalski 1997), more and
more groups and individuals are calling attention to their concerns surrounding tenure. Tenure
debates are found at all levels of higher education, in community meetings, in legislative chambers,
on television and in newspapers. Some individuals and groups (Finkin 1996; Roworth 1998)

consider these debates as attacks or assaults, but others perceive them to be necessary for
preserving the integrity of the academic environment.
The scope of tenure debates and criticisms appear to fall into four categories. The first
source of debate addresses the value of tenure itself (Leatherman 1996). Here, questions are raised
regarding the practicality of tenure, the necessity of tenure, or the relevancy of tenure. In a 1995
survey of faculty attitudes toward tenure conducted by the Higher Education Research Institution at
the University of California at Los Angeles, more than one-third of the roughly 34,000 professors
interviewed agreed strongly or somewhat that tenure is an outmoded concept. This
proportion was slightly higher than in 1989 (cited in Leatherman 1996; Yates 1997). Furthermore,
a postmodernist view on tenure suggests there is no such thing as objective truth, only opinions
exist or different points of view and stories. If this is true, then they argue that there is no purpose
for tenure since it becomes inconsequential to the classroom setting because there is no threat to
academic freedom with the assumption that all information is subjective truth (De George 1997).
Secondly, criticisms of tenure are often sparked by concerns for faculty accountability.
Skeptics point out that once tenured, faculty members no longer are found as frequently in the
classroom (Yates 1997). Concerns are raised for the quality of education if part-time or untenured
faculty members are teaching in the classroom as opposed to real experts. Also, there is the
perception that tenure grants the prerogative to faculty to freely conduct research or teach with
little oversight (Kowalski 1997). This argument claims that those who get tenure use it as an
excuse to do little, and eventually turn into deadwood.
Third, tenure processes and procedures are scrutinized and debated, particularly among
those who are actively involved in the process. Questions of whether or not tenure procedures
adequately measure tenure worthiness or whether or not the procedures are narrowly designed to

become more exclusive rather than inclusive are often raised. De George (1997) further describes a
phenomenon in the tenure process where young faculty are inculturated by the system to be safe
and not necessarily to be bold. Referred to as a process of six-year conformity training, De
George argues that faculty who spend six years conforming to the desires and views of their senior
colleagues are not be challenged to think on their own or to challenge senior facultys views.
Finally, a large area of debate focuses on economically oriented questions of tenure. Five
economic arguments fell within this perspective. First, there are debates that address the rising
costs of higher education and suggest that it has become inaccessible, wasteful, and inefficient due
to tenure. Too much attention and too many resources are placed on research and not enough on
teaching. A second economic debate focuses on graduates and describes them as cognitively
lacking skills to compete effectively in the global marketplace or...unprepared to live effectively in
a democratic society (Yates 1997). This debate suggests that too many part-timers are teaching
courses that full-time and/or tenured faculty should be teaching, thus limiting student potential. A
third, more frequently heard argument is the deadwood argument (De George 1997). The most
extreme version of this argument is that faculty members may work hard during their first six years
in order to get tenure, but once they have attained tenure, they have little incentive to continue to
work hard and consequently do not. It is believed they do as little as possible in areas as publishing,
remaining current in their field or working with students. The result is wasteful use of resources on
deadwood faculty. The next critique is that tenure is inefficient. Here it is argued that while
corporations are in a process of downsizing and becoming leaner with fewer employees, institutions
of higher education are retaining tenured faculty with no consideration of the economic inefficiency
that this creates. Finally, there are criticisms that speak to the notion of inequity. If the majority of
the paid workforce outside of the academy are not granted the security of tenure as well as those

who work in academic institutions such as administrators or line workers why then are faculty
members treated any differently from others in the academic community?
The debates and criticisms and arguments for or against tenure demonstrate the
complexities inherent in the concept of tenure. Regardless of whether or not tenure is ever
eliminated, significantly changed, or just slightly tweaked, tenure is invariably a dynamic
phenomenon in the academic environment. It appears that tenure evolved over the past sixty years
with significant discussion, dialogue, and debate, and it will continue to generate further discussion,
dialogue, and debate in future years. Institutional responses to these questions and concerns will
invariably bring modifications to tenure practices in higher education (Yates 1997). Nevertheless,
tenure serves a number of important roles and functions in American higher education. These roles
serve as the converse to these criticisms and are discussed in the proceeding section.
Role of Tenure in American Higher Education
Academic tenure is a relatively new concept in the history of American higher education,
particularly if placed in perspective with the rich history of education of the old and new
worlds. Over the past sixty decades tenure evolved to serve a number of different roles for
individuals, institutions, and society. Based primarily on the AAUP definitions and descriptions of
tenure, the roles of tenure appear to fall within four broad categories: definitive role, functional role,
freedom role, and economic role.
The first is a definitive role that serves to define and clarify the purposes and functions of
tenure for individuals, institutions, the legal system, and society. For example, faculty members are
made aware of the benefits of academic tenure through AAUP documents and institutional
resources. Institutions also are aware of, but do not necessarily fully understand the employee-

institutional relationship that is associated with tenure. Also, the legal system uses tenure
definitions and procedural guidelines to hear and rule on discrimination or affirmative action cases.
Finally, society uses tenure to label and identify a group of professionals for their attained level of
The second tenure role is its functional role. This suggests that it empowers institutions to
decide whether or not to create procedures for tenure and the actual steps to take for its attainment.
Unlike Metzgers age of indefinite time in tenure, with ambiguous and undefined parameters,
tenure allows institutions to put their tenure assumptions, rules, and guidelines on paper. The most
widely accepted functional statement of academic tenure is the AAUP statement that states, After
the expiration of a probationary period teachers or investigators should have permanent or
continuous tenure, and their services should be terminated only for adequate cause, except in the
case of retirement for age, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies
(American Association of University Professors 1995). Here, tenure is explicitly defined as an
employment function. Furthermore, tenure is considered the underpinning of higher educations
shared governance structure, the system that allows institutions to broker decisions including
conditions of employment -- collegially among faculty and administration (Yates 1997, 4). The
alternative to this is collective bargaining that invariably could undermine collegiality and perhaps
suspend aspirations of quality.
Third, tenure serves the role of capturing the essence and meaning of academic freedom
and places it in the context of the tenure process. As Chamberlain suggests, Tenure itself is not
an absolute value; it is only a method to protect the academic freedom of the individual professor
(Chamberlain 1988, 178). In this regard, academic freedom is the end and tenure is the means.
For society, tenure is especially important because it creates a climate that is free and open to

dialogue and debate. The general freedoms exist.. .because of the pragmatic recognition that free
trade in ideas is an indispensable condition to enlightened community decision and action (Byse
and Joughin 1959, 2). If universities are to equip students for critical thinking and educated
enlightenment, then their obligation is to assure and maintain academic freedom in the classroom.
Tenure attempts to assure the institution that the classroom is a forum for free dialogue among
students and the teacher. Tenure also provides the assurance (or perceived assurance) to faculty that
there are no repercussions for bringing views, ideas, and discussion into the classroom.
Finally, tenure serves an economic role. For some it is seen as an up-or-out policy
whereby it does not allow marginal professors, even though they may be popular, to linger on (Baez
and Centra 1995). That is, the university, if it chooses, may either divert or terminate a professor
from continuing at the institution if his/her teaching is not up to what is defined as a minimal
standard. On the other hand, tenure provides for ongoing relationships between the institution and
faculty members as they work toward tenure, as well as once tenure is achieved. This relationship
may serve to improve effectiveness and productivity in the long run. Once attained, tenure provides
a source of economic security for faculty members and their families by making it difficult to
dismiss a faculty member without definitive reasons. The AAUP 1940 Statement states, tenure
is a means to certain ends; specifically, ... [it provides] a sufficient degree of economic security to
make the profession attractive to men and women of ability (American Association of University
Professors 1995).
This chapter examines the development of tenure from a historical perspective and
identifies rationales, roles, debates, criticisms, processes, and procedures. It took roughly fifteen

years from the time Lovejoy and Dewey recognized a need to establish AAUP and twenty-five more
for the actual development of the 1940 Statement on tenure. It has been nearly six decades,
however, that institutions across the nation have applied tenure principles and practices. At the
core of tenures history, and carried throughout its ongoing application, then, are two key tenure
values, merit protection and procedural fairness.
First, tenure has evolved to enable faculty to teach, study, and act without constraint thus,
academic freedom. From the onset tenure has served an integral role in ensuring freedom and
integrity for not only those who were hired as faculty, but also for those who attended classes as
well. Tenure is, therefore, designed to protect the integrity of the profession. Thus, tenure
automatically places a protective screen around faculty and enables a level of freedom in the
classroom not obtainable by any other means.
Second, tenure has evolved to provide procedural fairness and due process in review,
promotion, and termination procedures. Throughout the early history of the development of
academic tenure and its development from within the AAUP, tenure philosophies and ideas were
primarily driven by the need to assure academic freedom and merit protection. Furthermore, the
processes and procedures for tenure as well as the debates, criticisms, and roles of tenure all
underscore the academys interest in maintaining procedural fairness. The history of the tenure and
its present-day application all serve as the foundation for a system that espouses merit protection
and procedural fairness for the academy. Indeed, the entire historical and present-day background
of tenure speaks of and to protection and fairness for higher education.
The philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote, There are two human inventions which may be
considered more difficult than any othersthe art of government, and the art of education; and
people still contend as to their very meaning (Kant 1900). Education is not to be taken lightly

the veiy essence of the educational system, whether secondary or post-secondary, rests on the artful
execution of principles and practices that makes it a difficult profession, to say the very least. At
the very heart of the profession, then, are serious expectations of those who teach. Thus, balancing
the virtues of the academy and, more importantly, of the profession against all other values becomes
an important matter.
Merit protection and procedural fairness, as core tenure values, emerge inherently,
intentionally, and concurrently with the development of tenure. However, tenure is not just an
institutional icon, but a dynamic mechanism used daily within the walls of the academy. This
dynamic feature allows it to change, grow, and shape itself to meet the needs of individual
institutions and the entire academic community. Old values hold true through these changes, but
new values also emerge. Indeed, a new tenure value has emerged gender representation ~ the
subject of the next chapter.

The previous chapter shows how'two key values emerged during this century that
decisively shaped how higher education now handles academic tenure; namely, merit protection and
procedural fairness. However, a third, competing value, representation, has evolved since 1970, and
today is significantly determines who gets tenured, when, and why. This new value brings out an
awareness of the important values of merit protection and procedural fairness and the new need to
address gender representation. This chapter outlines five contemporary socio-political forces that
influenced the rise of representation specifically regarding gender as a new tenure value in public
administration education. These ideas bring this new value into the forefront of contemporaiy
issues concerning tenure and repeatedly spark ongoing dialogue, debate, and discussion concerning
gender issues in public administration education. The groundwork for creating this new value that
so decisively influences current tenure problems and prospects has developed over the past three
Only within recent history has the field witnessed womens scholarly presence and
academic contributions. Perhaps it might be described as a second birth for the public
administration field a time when womens voices have become fully incorporated into the field,
both in theory and practice. This second birth for the field is further fueled by the rise of the
feminine voice at all levels of public administration. Specifically for tenure, the rise of feminine
voices influences and supports the growth of this new competing value for academic tenure -

representation of voices both male and female- in promoting and fostering academic research and
scholarship. The following five factors cultivated the fields soil, so to speak, for growth of gender
representation as a new tenure value: 1) the early missing feminine voices, 2) the emerging
recognition and involvement of women in public administration academic professions, 3) the
growth of women as practitioners, 4) the influence of new feminist theoretical ideas, and 5) the rise
of diversity and representation initiatives in public administration education.
Absence of Female Voices in the Early
Development of Public Administration Scholarship
First and most importantly, female voices were relatively absent during the first nine
decades of the fields development. Their very absence only helped underscore a recent awareness
of their deprivation from the outset. It also created fertile ground for improving womens scholarly
presence. Why did this absence occur?
First, the early development of the field itself simply was not conducive to the inclusion of
women. Its founding intellectual framework did not include womens scholarly contributions.
Until recently, all recognized contributors to the early theoretical development of the field were
males, and the theoretical struggle that existed did not appear to require any apparent or
intentional steps toward the inclusion of women. Secondly, the scholarly presence of women who
were there in fact were either unrecognized or unexplored by significant scholars and authors in
early history books and textbooks. Inevitably, their voices, even when articulated, remained
virtually unheard or unrecorded in public administration documents.
Since the beginning of public administration as an academic field, there had been relatively
sparse presence of women as teachers, researchers, scholars, and theorists. In fact, prior to the
1970s not only was there an absence of research focusing specifically on womens issues in public

administration, but there were also very few books and journal articles written by women. The
public administration field in the United States, in its infancy, did little to recognize womens
contributions. How could it? The field itself really did not emerge as a self-conscious academic
subject or define its purpose until a century and more after the Constitutional Convention in 1787
(Mosher, ed. 1981).
Public administrations early debates as an administrative science appeared to be driven
mostly by males with doctorates. Sparked by early interest in making improvements to civil service
and fueled by the development of political economy and political science programs offered at
universities such as John Hopkins and others in the late 1800s, public administration evolved as a
growing area of interest and study, but without admitting women into this scholarship.
Throughout the early history of the field, seminal theoretical scholars such as Woodrow
Wilson, Dwight Waldo, Frederick Taylor, Frank Goodnow, Henri Fayol, W.F. Willoughby, and
Leonard D. White, just to name a few, contributed ideas, concepts, and themes to these development
debates. In fact, few standard public administration books deviated from identifying these few, but
consistent, thinkers in the field. Yet, clearly missing from this founding period were books, or even
theoretical ideas, written about women, by women, or for women. The functions, efficiencies, and
dichotomies inherent in public administration were relevant topics for dialogue and debate during
their time, but the interest in womens issues clearly was not part of the discussion. Even with a
surge of suffrage issues on the political front at the same time, public administration as a field
struggled and searched to define its own goals, missions, strengths, and purposes, without any
intentional efforts to include womens issues and/or voices. This certainly was no fault of the field
or of individuals defining the field, but of the entire American society at the dawning of the 20th
century. In the early part of this century it was no secret that women were viewed differently than

they are today. It was natural at the time to think that a womans place was in the home or that if
unmarried, as school teacher.
An examination of basic literature sources in public administration provides a glimpse of
the predominately male-dominated cast of contributors. For example, Frederick C. Mosher's books
Basic Literature of American Public Administration. 1787-1950 (19811 and Basic Documents of
Public Administration, 1776-1950 (1976) summarize many of the founding documents and basic
literature in public administration. Of the thirty-plus contributors, only one female, Mary Parker
Follett, is identified as part of older documents, official and unofficial, which have proven to have
lasting impact upon knowledge and understanding in this field (Mosher, ed. 1976, vii). Here,
Mosher describes her influence as being primarily among "progressive business leaders and some in
public administration" and "her ideas expressed during the 1920s and early 1930s were clear
forerunners to movements that began after World War 1 l(p. 228). Folletts more well known
literary contributions included The New State 11920'). The Creative Experience (1924) and Dynamic
Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett (Metcalf and Urwick eds. 1942).
However, these female voices in the fields early development are not even considered
public administration scholars. That is, female contributors are often infiltrators from outside the
public administration field. The second point involves the female scholars who did exist were
mostly outsiders to public administration. Theorists such as Mary Parker Follett, Lillian M.
Gilbreth, and Josephine Goldmark focus on management and business in general, and not on public
administration issues, specifically. While the field identified them as contributors to public
administrations theoretical foundation, their research is directed explicitly at business and only
applied implicitly to public administration, often due to the dominance of scientific management

principles during the first half of the 20th century. In fact, there are virtually no female contributors
to conscious public administration theory and research recorded prior to the 1970s.
Furthermore, public administration introductory textbooks prior to the 1970s typically
included discussions of the history of the administrative state, public personnel policy,
organizational theory, and the importance of a representative bureaucracy in a democratic state; but
they usually did not include scholarship on women even if it did exist. A review of a first basic
text, Leonard D. Whites The Study of Public Administration (1939) exemplifies the apparent lack
of female voices in defining, describing, and theorizing basic public administration concepts,
themes and ideas. ...Women were nearly invisible in some leading public administration texts
(Stewart 1990, 215). [The history of Public Administration ignore[d] the important role women
have played in the history of the administrative state (Harris 1994, 85).
Other broad socio-economic and political factors in the early 1900s contributed to the
apparent absence of womens voices, such as the rarity of women as graduate students in public
administration programs. Without a solid presence of women in the college environment, there was
be little chance for presence in the theoretical development of the field. With a limited number of
women entering the college environment in the 1800s, it was no wonder that the presence of women
in the ranks of those who taught administration had progressed slowly over the years. Even as
Oberlin College admitted the first female student in 1837, opportunities in higher education
remained quite limited for women until after the Civil War. In fact, only three private colleges and
two state universities in Utah and Iowa admitted women (Chamberlain 1988). During the later part
of the 19th century, the enrollment of women in higher education accelerated rapidly across the
nation. By the turn of the century, seventy colleges were co-educational. While Rebecca Pennell
became the first female professor in 1852 and Dr. Freida Wunderlich became the first female dean

of a graduate school of political and social sciences at The New School of Social Research in New
York City in 1939 (Greenspan 1994), little effort was made to advance womens status and role in
public administration education. Not long after, however, the first school of public administration,
the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University was founded.
Womens scholarly presence in public administration has a relatively short history. In fact, no data
appear to be available that identifies the first female faculty member in a public administration
graduate program or even the first female faculty member to receive tenure in public administration.
We know only that these milestones were reached sometime after 1924. Societal expectations held
that womens role was as homemaker and not as researcher or scholar. Womens progress in
society served a critical role in defining their advancement in public administration as well. It is no
wonder women's voices were not heard in early public administration literature, when social,
economic and political constraints otherwise limited the opportunities and possibilities for research
and scholarship.
Within the past thirty years, however, womens advancement as contributors to public
administration has been tremendous. New books, theoretical ideas, and many more journal articles
were written by and about women in the field. This appears to have occurred rather suddenly in the
early 1970s when the first ASPA taskforce and Public Administration Review symposium dedicated
to womens issues in public administration (discussed in the next section). Nevertheless, it took the
public administration field over eighty years (from Wilsons famous Centennial Essay in 1887 to
the 1971 development of a womens ASPA Taskforce) to meet at a new crossroad a place where
the field intentionally considered womens roles, contributions, and participation in the field. Why
the field took so long for a systematic study of public administration and its recognition as a
legitimate field of scholarly inquiry to evolve without female voices, and why the field ultimately

realized a place for women in history books and journals when it did remains relatively unstudied.
The field nonetheless became aware of the scholarly contributions of women, particularly after
realizing their apparent missing voice.
The absence of female voices in public administration books, textbooks, reference books,
and journal articles surfaces early in the development of the field, which sets the next stage for
intentional efforts directed at including female voices in its scholarly and literary sources. The next
section examines womens role, then, as partners and affiliates in public administrations
professional associations and portrays their absence in the affiliation side of the field until the early
Womens Emerging Recognition and Involvement
in Public Administrations Academic Profession
It is through the involvement of women in the fields professional association, American
Society for Public Administration (ASPA), that we can also measure the evolution of gender
representation as a value in the public administration academy. Womens professional involvement
first took root when a group of women interested in making their voices known in ASPA put forth a
call to organize a group of women to discuss the inclusion of women in ASPA activities. This
meeting occured on April 28, 1971 during the annual ASPA conference in Denver, Colorado.
Organized by Catherine Lovell and Joan Bishop, this so-called rump meeting convened as a
taskforce of women dedicated to discussing womens role in public administration. The taskforce
drafted six written resolutions and sent them to the ASPA governing board. Two months later,
ASPA appointed Bishop to chair a Taskforce on Women in Public Administration (Gallas 1976).
While research interests of women were not discussed at this meeting, the session did provide the

first recognition of womens participation in the field, as well as their special needs as professional
Womens participation in ASPA grew significantly after this initial thrust. In 1973, after
the Taskforce on Women convened for a second year, the Committee on Women in Public
Administration evolved. ASPA appointed June Martin as the first chair of the committee.
Furthermore, Nestas Gallas, Associate Dean of John Jay College of Criminal Justice served as
ASPA president during 1976-77. During this time,-a Symposium: Women in Public
Administration (Gallas ed. 1976), dedicated to learning more about womens status and leadership
roles in the field, appeared in the July/August, 1976 issue of Public Administration Review. Topics
in the symposium included an examination of the rise of womens participation in ASPA (Bishop
1976), the question of why so few women move into top public administration positions (Stewart
1976), an overview of the status of women in the United States (Lepper 1976), and a description
and criticism of federally-recommended processes for determining affirmative action goals
(Newgarden 1976). Several other articles were included in this symposium; each dedicated to
building a deeper understanding of womens issues in public administration. The intellectual
recognition of a need for womens academic agendas and interests in the field evolved on three
levels during the 1970s.
The Recognition of the Missing Voice
First, there was an overall awareness of womens missing voice in the field. This missing
voice generated interest and awareness of the need for greater womens presence in the profession
and its professional associations. For example, research by Rubin (1990) examines the history of
womens research and scholarly contributions and finds that there is a slow but steady increase in

their level of involvement. While Rubin suggests that there has been a female presence in ASPA
since its founding, she also states that it will not be until the year 2022 that women will celebrate
fifty years of hill participation (Rubin 1990). Part of Rubin's research examines the publications by
women authors; she appears to be the only author to do so. She examines womens scholarly
contributions in the Public Administration Review (PAR-) from 1939 to 1988 and finds that, on the
average, only one article per year or less than five percent of the total are authored or co-authored
by a woman. Further, she finds that as late as 1975 there were full years in which no female
authored or co-authored a PAR article. She'also finds that from 1972 through 1980, women
authored or co-authored, on average, four articles per year, which represents twelve percent of the
total. From 1980 to 1988, women authored or co-authored, on average, twelve articles per year or
twenty-two percent of the total.
Concerted efforts within ASPA toward including women in leadership roles and in its
publications has brought the field to a new level one that highlights and recognized womens
involvement as a critical element of the profession. The fact that there has been little evidence of
feminist theoretical perspectives (Stivers 1990) in the fields early development, public
administration as field recognizes the benefit of diverse voices. Gender issues primarily focusing on
wider womens involvement as leaders in the field, have permeated many spectrums of public
administration since the 1980s and 1990s. Harris examination of the need for integration of
scholarship of women in introductory public administration textbooks (1994) highlights the
important role of gender in the history of the administrative state, public personnel policy,
organization theory and the representativeness of bureaucracy. Rubins (1990) research found that
womens contributions to the written literature in public administration have grown in recent
years, but have not yet caught up with either their membership proportion in ASPA or the progress

in the governance of the Society (Rubin 1990, 283). Other research such an examination of the
glass ceiling in American state governments (Bullard and Wright 1993) and womens status in
decision-making positions (Guy 1993) demonstrates the awareness of womens disproportionate
status in public sector employment. This leads to a new interest and awareness of womens
deprivation of women in the profession. The founding of the Task Force on the Status of Women in
1971 that eventually evolved into the ASP A National Committee for Women in Public
Administration (NCWPA) and then the Section for Women in Public Administration (S WPA) in
1981 brings to light the continued awareness of women's involvement in ASPA. As described in
an article by Saint-Germain (1996),
.. .to celebrate these achievements (of significant gains in ASPA] is not to ignore that
serious problems and challenges exist, such as the wage gap and sexual harassment. To
celebrate is to value the experiences of women whose contributions have not been
recognized, whose attempts at change have been foiled, whose voices have not been heard.
(Saint-Germain 1996, 2)
For now, the relative presence of women and the awareness of their absence has cultivated
a landscape that recognizes and advocates gender representation as a key value for the field as a
whole and more specifically for the academy.
Beginning Recognition of Womens Scholarly Excellence
bv the Profession
Second, there was recognition of womens scholarly excellence through public
administration awards presented to women in the past thirty years. Twice since 1985, women
authored half or more of the articles in regular issues of PAR and had been winners of the Mosher
and Dimock Awards for outstanding articles published in 1988. Rubin suggests that "women's
contributions to the written literature in public administration have grown in recent years but have
not yet caught up with either their membership in proportion in ASPA or their progress in the

governance of society (Rubin 1990, 283). One of the most prestigious awards, the Dwight Waldo
Award, awarded for outstanding contributions to the professional literature of public administration
over a lifetime was awarded for the first time to a woman, Martha Derthick in 1996. In 1994 and
1996 two other women, Irene Rubin and Patricia Wallace Ingraham, received the Charles H. Levine
Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration an award presented to a faculty member
demonstrating excellence in teaching, research, and service to the wider community.
The Rise of Women to Significant Levels of Professional Leadership
Third, there was an increased recognition and participation of women in the fields
professional associations. The 1980s, however, witnessed an even stronger growth in womens
involvement on the leadership side of ASP A. Prior to the 1980s, Laveme Burchfield served as the
managing editor of Public Administration Review from 1943 1958; but she was one of the only
women to serve in a leadership role. It was not until the 1980s that women filled significant ASP A
leadership roles. For example, Patricia Florestano became President of ASPA in 1983-84 and
Naomi B. Lynn in 1985-86. The Section for Women in Public Administration (SWPA) also
evolved in July 1984. Its purpose was to highlight the achievements of women in public
administration and enhance the professional development of women teaching and practicing as
public administrators (Section for Women in Public Administration 1998).
Womens progress as active participants in ASPA, the most prominent professional
association in the public administration field, serves as the backdrop for increased female
involvement in the field. Since the early 1970s, womens voices are alive and active at many
different levels. This calls attention to the increased awareness of womens voices across all areas
of public administration. This is important for the academic community since womens voices

evolved not just through academic ranks, but through professional positions as well. Thus, the
growth of womens roles in professional affiliations emphasizes gender representation as a new
tenure value.
The Growth of Women as Practitioners in Public Administration
Gender representation in Public Administration education is closely linked and advanced
by public administration employment in all levels of government. This section argues that
employment trends for women serve a critical factor in the academy and highlights the need for
continued recognition of womens presence as practitioners. Why is this so? Ultimately Public
Administration education relies, directly and indirectly, on professional employment for its
students. Without equitable representation of women at all levels of public service employment
(i.e., salary and status), then public administration education is affected as well. That is, as the face
of public service employment changes in its composition, then, too, does the education component
for training in the field. Employment ultimately mirrors education and education mirrors
employment. Indeed, the backdrop to public administration education is the fields employment
record. Thus, it can be said that gender representation evolved in the academy in support of the
need for improving equitable standards in the workplace. The result is as a chain reaction for
employment data points toward salary and status disparity, which ultimately reflects upon Public
Administration education. It leads to important considerations -- or reconsideration -- about
womens status as teachers, researchers and scholarly contributors.
From a historical perspective, the growth of the percentage of civil service employees who
are women is described as being slow and arduous. Beginning in 1861, the U.S. Department of
Treasury hired female workers to clip and count paper currency, replacing males who were needed

as soldiers. Womens work in the federal service quickly progressed with federal legislation
concerning female clerks in 1864. While female civil service employment ranged from five percent
to ten percent, this early legislation addressed the sparse number of women in civil service work.
The Classification Act of 1923 established equal pay for equal work and a 1910 amendment to
civil service rules permits the commission to certify women, unless the appointing office specifically
said that it did not want them (Van Riper 1971, 261). Female representation in civil service
positions rose to twenty percent after the war and these numbers again rose to a high of nearly forty-
percent in 1944 during World War Two. In 1947 they fell back to twenty-six percent, yet, women
maintained significant representation in this sector of the economy (Stewart 1990).
From a more recent perspective, research suggests that womens public service
employment is inequitable and under represented in terms of salary and status. Today women
comprise a significant number of public sector employment positions; yet, there remains a disparity
in terms of salary and status. A tremendous amount of research evolved in the early 1970s to make
this point. Mary Lepper (1974), for example, compares male and female federal executives by
grade, occupation group, and rate of growth in grade. She finds that women occupied less than five
percent of any federal grade from GS-13 to GS-18 and are disproportionately represented in Health,
Education and Welfare and the Veterans Administration. Both agencies require educational
backgrounds traditionally associated with women (Lepper 1974, 117). Debra Stewart (1976)
examines the variations of opportunity for advancement among government agencies and compares
women as a percentage of the total number employed by grade within selected federal agencies. Her
research concludes that there is considerable variation across agencies "a finding that lends
support to the thesis that sociological factors associated with the structure of an organization might
constitute the most promising factor to shape improved opportunity" (Stewart 1990, 216). Here,

womens employment status is linked to the traditional view of womens role in society. Women
may be disproportionately represented in positions that are female-oriented, such as those in the
education and health professions.
Disparity not only holds true in the field or area of employment held by women, but in
terms of grade and status. Research by Greg Lewis (1984) finds that while men's federal grades are
substantially higher than women's grades (men's average grade was 10.0 in 1981 versus 6.27 for
women), the grade gap between men and women has significantly narrowed from 4.4 grades in
1966 to 3.73 grades in 1981. Neither education nor experience seems to explain the shrinking gap.
In a second work by Lewis (1986), the author uses the same data to explore the job authority, or
power, of female employees. He finds that women have less chance than males of obtaining
positions with supervisory authority. White males are significantly more likely to be supervisors or
managers than women even at the same grade level and even when they are no more educated or
experienced. This analysis suggests that for women to have a policy impact proportional to their
increasing numbers, they must be granted power (job authority), as well as position by status and
salary (Lewis 1986). Cayer and Sigelman (1980) find similar results on the state and local levels.
They study the impact of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 on female involvement
and find that, although in terms of absolute numbers, women made significant gains in state and
local governments from 1973 to 1975, they are still far below white males in median salary level.
In fact, women actually lost ground to white males in this regard between 1973 and 1975 (Cayer
and Sigelman 1980).
In terms of decision making authority, women as practitioners still fall short of terms of
potential and opportunity. Bullard and Wright, Circumventing the Glass Ceiling: Women
Executives in American State Governments (1993) use data from the American State

Administration Projects survey to conclude that women have made progress in obtaining top
administrative posts in state government (p. 199); however, they still fall short of equality in the
number of female agency heads. They believe that the women who achieve top positions do so by
either circumventing or avoiding rather than breaking the so-called glass ceiling. Data from
surveys of state agency heads in both 1984 and 1988 suggest that similarities among men and
women in top positions include level of education, types of graduate degrees, hours worked (per
week), allocation of time between management and policy activities and salaiy levels. The
differences they discover, however, include political party identification, age, interagency mobility,
rates of progress to attain executive position, and appointment by the governor. As Bullard and
Wright suggest, one issue, equal female representation, has been particularly prominent in
organizational studies in both the public and the private sectors (Bullard and Wright 1993, 189).
Furthermore, Mary E. Guy in Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Backward: The Status of
Womens Integration into Public Management (1993) also examines the pattern of womens
integration into public management (p. 285). She discovers that women in decision-making
positions continue to be disproportionately fewer when compared to their numbers in the public
work force. She outlines the projections that while women continue to move into decision-making
posts at a significant rate, there continues to be disparity in earnings between women and men as
well as in the power positions which women hold (Guy 1993).
Two trends might explain the challenge in upgrading the status of women. Ahn and Saint-
Germain (1988) suggest two trends. First, the way in which college women look upon careers in
the public sector may play a role in their employment status. Second, the increase in the proportion
of public administration college degrees awarded to women is such that women are less inclined to
enter public service positions. They suggest that as more college women look to public employment

as an avenue to success and as more of them receive education in public administration, more
women will enter government service and some will eventually rise to the top management posts.
This clearly has significant effect on the academic community and on public administration
Indeed, while gender representation remains a critical issue for public administration
practitioners, the reverberation from this directly affects the public administration academy.
Invariably, the academic setting can not help but feel the effects of gender questions and concerns
found in public sector employment. And well it should! Without equitable representation in public
service employment, public administration education suffers as well. Gender representation, then,
in the academy has evolved to support, guard, advocate, and/or move womens employment status
to new levels. For the academy, gender representation promotes and fosters scholarship and
achievement that directly affects the fields employment. Together, they serve as a force unlike any
other that affects a field. Gender, then, is a critical value that has evolved in the academy, but not
without a push from the practitioner side.
The Influence of New Feminist Theoretical
Ideas upon Public Administration Education
Gender representation emerged as a significant value in part because of new theoretical
ideas that surfaced during the feminist movement. The feminist movement created a wave across
all spectrums of education, employment, and social structures that forever changed the nature of
feminine roles. Five aspects of the feminist movement, in particular, helped to set the stage for
gender representation as an important tenure value within the academy.
First, the feminist movement began and continues to progress as a movement of
individuals, organizations, and institutions even those in public administration. No one single

event marks the apogee of the feminist movement. Instead, it involves an accumulation of efforts by
varied, often unrelated, individuals and groups across the nation. No one had been unaffected.
Watkins and Rothchild (1996) interviewed over 100 women and included their stories of their
experiences in the feminist movement. Their individual observations and stories depict their
insights, thoughts, and contributions as individuals to the growth of feminism. Some individuals
are well known, but others are not. The modem American womens movement seemed to emerge
spontaneously in the 1960s. It began at kitchen tables and in company cafeterias, at PTA meetings
and in legislative hearing rooms. It happened in the lives of individual women who responded to
the messages of the early days: the personal is political, sisterhood is powerful (Watkins and
Rothchild 1996, xv). Their theoretical ideas generate interest and discussion among many women
who are either apprehensive for this new trend or eager to participate. Indeed, Jane Addams, Susan
B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Anne Hutchinson, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
although actively involved in promoting and advocating political and policy changes, planted the
first feminist seeds for thousands of other women who, in turn, inspired those who followed and
who defined feminism today. For women in public administration, the movements effects
spawned, filtered, and shaped feminist ideas and ideals in public administration education, both in
teaching and research. At the same time, 1977 marked the beginning year of the National Network
for Women Leaders in Higher Education, a national body of the American Council on Education
Second, the theoretical contributions of women in the feminist movement in the second
wave feminism espouse new ideas and offer areas of inquiry that renew awareness and interest in
womens issues for all fields, including public administration. Often described as a cousin to the
earlier womens rights activities in the nineteenth and early twentieth century (Tobias 1997),

feminist writings in the 1960s and 1970s serve an important role in formulating ideas for all women
throughout the nation. While the active role of women in politics and the suffrage movement direct
our attention to the origins of a feminine voice, the so-called second wave of feminism is supported
by new theoretical ideas, such as those offered in the seminal Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
(1963). Friedans research offers an account of how American women were stymied in their
progress toward equality following World War H In her book she explores the frustrations of
bright and educated white women who are limited to working in the home and raises questions
about womens roles in society. The impact of her research provoked many questions as well as
actions and reactions among women throughout the nation.
By the late 1960s women who were active in liberation movements began to question their
positions as women and express the need to organize their own liberation not just as a backlash of
civil rights, student rights, or the growing anti-Vietnam War movements. Women begsn to come
together in small consciousness-raising groups to talk about and analyze their role and
participation (Mink and Smith 1998). Undoubtedly the rump meeting at the Denver ASPA
conference in 1971 was a consciousness raising group for women in public administration.
Furthermore, the establishment of the ASPA Taskforce on Women in Public Administration took
place during the period when task forces or committees for women were bursting forth in a wide
range of professional organizations (Bishop 1976).
The third phenomenon that relates to the feminist movement and its impact upon the
academic field involves the ideas, theories, and agendas that make feminism a priority throughout
all spectrums of employment, education, and social settings. Mink and Smith (1998) define
feminism as an ideology that articulates political opposition to the subordination of women as
women, whether that subordination is ascribed by law, imposed by social convention, or inflicted by

individual men and women. Feminism also offers alternatives to existing unequal relations of
gender power, and these alternatives have formed the agendas for feminist movements (p. 192).
Education, employment, and social settings come to absorb the feminist thinking either by explicit
or implicit means. Words such as subordination, sticky floor, and glass ceiling float from the
movement into all facets of American life.
Today, there is a wide spectrum of special feminist agendas and interests that include the
Arab American Feminism, Asian American Feminism, Black Feminism, Chicana Feminism,
Cultural Feminism, Eco-feminism, Electoral Feminism, International Feminism, Marxist
Feminism, Jewish Feminism, Latina Feminism, Lesbian Feminism, Puerto Rican Feminism,
Radical Feminism, Socialist Feminism, and Working-Class Feminism (Mankiller, Mink, Navarro,
Smith, and Steinem, eds. 1998). Each espouses interpretive viewpoints on the definition of
feminism and recommendations for the feminist agenda. The effect of these numerous special
interests is surmountable when considering the fact that they probably infiltrate and permeate all
levels of education, employment, social settings, and professional disciplines.
A fourth major impact of the feminist movement upon shaping a new tenure value within
the academy is through a research agenda. Critics argue that the authors of the major theories of
human development have been males (Belenky and others 1986, 6) thus making social research
theoretically unbalanced. It is believed that males have been the predominant theorists in the
development of research presumptions and assumptions, resulting in biased research approaches
and outcomes. For example, Perry (1970) examines the nature and origins of knowledge and how
people perceive themselves as "knowers." Perry's study, however, includes few women as research
subjects and only men are used in illustrating and validating his findings.

Further, Mary Belenky, in her book Women's Wavs of Knowing: The Development of Self.
Voice and Mind (1986), conducts open interviews on 135 women from different backgrounds and
experiences. The purpose of her research is to determine the "ways of knowing that women have
cultivated and learned to value, ways we have come to believe are powerful but have been neglected
and denigrated by the dominant intellectual ethos of our time" (Belenky and others 1986, ix). Her
premise is that women have come to know and learn in ways different from men. However, she
believes that research conducted to examine gender differences excludes, for the most part, women
from the studies resulting in a gap in our understanding of how women relate to the world, to
themselves, and to others. "Relatively little attention has been given to modes of learning, knowing,
and valuing that are specific to, or at least common, in women (Belenky and others 1986, 4). She
suggests there is clearly a lack of genuine and real knowledge of women's psychology with the
obvious absence of women in social research.
Feminists are however, beginning to articulate the values of the female world and to
reshape the disciplines to include the women's voice" (Belenky and others 1986, 6). For the
academy, this debate generates important questions for further scholarship in the field. Gender
representation has become a critical element of further research that breaks these barriers and
advances social understanding from a male and female perspective. Education, then, warrants a
call from within its own ranks to balance research perspectives and approaches. This inevitably
affects a trend toward gender representation by creating an awareness of feminist perspectives in
interpreting and conducting research.
Finally, the feminist research initiatives in the public administration field itself generate
important theoretical considerations of womens presence in the field. Feminist research in public
administration, however, is relatively rare. In addition, research in this area evolved primarily in

the 1990s. Camilla Stivers appears to be one of the few authors to examine female contributions
from a theoretical standpoint. In Stivers' book, Gender Images in Public Administration:
Legitimacy and the Administrative State (1993), the author establishes a framework in the first part
of her book to discuss the gender dilemmas on "administrative images" of expertise, leadership, and
virtue. She maintains that if women hold these "images" as "defenses of administrative power,"
then these "masculine features" in public administration pose a dilemma for women in the field.
In a more recent article, "Settlement Women and Bureau Men: Constructing a Usable Past
for Public Administration, (1995) Stivers examines the implications for female presence in the
development of the administrative state. She argues that the contributions of settlement women has
been insurmountable and that there are persons who sought and won the expansion of
governmental responsibility for social ills" (p. 522). The progressive years are significant times for
the development of public administration as a field. Stivers suggests" that the academic field of
public administration is a product of the progressive movement ideas. She argues that women's
contributions to public administration development evolve from their advocacy for resolving social
ills of the time and that the accomplishments of women are a product of the settlement house of
reform which emphasizes the invention and institutionalization of voluntary social services. While
women are advocating for improved social services to better their communities, Stivers suggests that
men (although many were activists in this reform as well) use research and surveys during the
reform to rationalize and justify services. This is the major reason, in her view, that we find more
men than women during this time who have contributed research and ideas in the "science of
administration" (Stivers 1995, 525). The theoretical contributions, although relatively rare, serve
as a critical aspect for the feminist movement and call for gender representation in public
administration. The awareness and visibility for these new theoretical ideas, like Stivers, help

direct attention towards new gender ideas and values in the field, and more specifically, in
The aforementioned five feminist movement contributions generate a new understanding
and increased scrutiny of old ways for including women in the workplace, especially within the
academy. Each, in its own way, contributes to and generates renewed interest in womens issues.
Clearly, the influx of theoretical ideas adds to policy changes for gender representation at all levels
of education and in the public administration profession pressing toward greater diversification and
representation. For public administration education, in reality, gender representation will come to
be realized in academic tenure. The field takes the next step applying research and theory from the
feminist movement toward a wider involvement by women within higher education the subject of
the next section.
Diversity and Representation in Public Administration Education
Specific diversity requirements of the professional accrediting association in public
administration education serve as the most powerful source for fostering gender representation
within the academic tenure process. Without gender representation tied to accreditation, there is no
concerted effort for this new tenure value. Throughout American public administration education,
the National Association for Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) accreditation
process serves as the fundamental source for advocating gender representation as a realized tenure
Articulating specific diversity guidelines began initially, and most prominently, through
government legislation, policies, and practices. Whether sparked by feminist voices or advanced as
a result of increased female presence in political offices for women in public service, Diversity in

the workforce is a reality today. As the public sector increases its focus on recruiting, hiring, and
retaining women, diversity will increase (Harris 1994, 98).
Early legislation in the 1960s and 1970s catapulted the emphasis on diversity in public
institutions and associations. Not only did the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States
Constitution promote affirmative action principles, but diversity, affirmative action, and equity
initiatives are strengthened with the formulation of other legislation. This includes Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, and Executive Order 11246. Institutions, organizations, departments, and
individuals ultimately were required to establish principles and practices directed at diversifying
their workforces based on these laws and orders. Wolf-Devine (1997) describes the beginning of
the seventies as a time when affirmative action pressures began to be applied seriously to
universities (p. 30).
A 1973 statement, issued by the AAUP, recommended procedures for increasing the
number of minority person as and women on college and university faculties (American
Association of University Professors, Diversity and Affirmative Action, 1998). Produced by the
Council Committee on Discrimination, an AAUP committee, the statement required that
institutions show revision of standards and practices to ensure that institutions are in fact drawing
from the largest marketplace of human resources in staffing their faculties. Further, it required a
critical review of appointment and advancement criteria to ensure that they do not inadvertently
foreclose consideration of the best qualified persons by untested presuppositions which operate to
exclude women and minorities (American Association of University Professors, Diversity and
Affirmative Action, 1998). This supported diversity initiatives across all levels of the academic

How then does a profession approach such a task and apply these values to its
membership? For the public administration academy, the task is spearheaded not only on local,
organizational, and institutional levels, but also through proactive approaches by its respective
professional association NASPAA. Here, NASPAA efforts connect with their accreditation
process and directly address diversity efforts in the hiring and promotion of faculty. A brief review
of its history sets the stage for understanding its diversity initiatives.
NASPAA, founded in April 1970 at Princeton, developed to improve education for public
affairs and administration through common action by its member institutions (National
Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration 1998). NASPAA institutions
voluntarily decide to become accredited members of NASPAA by advancing through a self-study,
peer review, and site visit process. NASPAAs Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation
(COPRA) follows Standards for Professional Masters Degree Programs for accreditation and
administers this review. Once accredited, institutions are described as having met high standards
of performance, integrity and quality (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and
Administration 1997, viii) are accredited for seven years. NASPAA is recognized by the
Commission on Recognition of Postsecondaiy Accreditation as a specialized accrediting agency and
is authorized to accredit masters degree programs in public affairs and administration. One
objective, Standard 5.5, requires that programs that seek accreditation provide evidence that plans
are implemented that address faculty diversity. This standard serves as a critical step in advancing
diversity initiatives among accredited public administration and affairs academic programs.
To help NASPAA members in the implementation of diversity programs, NASPAA
provides specific diversity guidelines. These guidelines help NASPAA members establish and
maintain diversity in their faculties and student bodies (National Association of Schools of Public

Affairs and Administration 1993) and include several suggestions for faculty development. For
example, it suggests the following:
All women and minority faculty should be informed of the institutions formal and
informal criteria for tenure and promotion. Faculty members should be provided support,
assistance and ample resources to meet these criteria. Supportive activities might include
funding for conference travel, released time for research, opportunities for collaboration
with senior colleagues, access to professional networks, assistance in developing teaching
skills and appointment to prestigious, high-visibility committees. On the other hand,
programs should take care that women and minorities on the faculty are not assigned
teaching loads, advising tasks or committee work greater than the institutional norm.
(National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration 1993).
The recommendations and suggestions by NASPAA, however, do not come without their
recognition that promoting diversity is not easy. Enhancing faculty and student diversity within its
member institutions is a central concern of NASPAA... Noting the difficulties associated with these
efforts, NASPAA is convinced, however, that progress can be made toward establishing greater
representativeness of personnel in public affairs/public administration programs (National
Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration 1993).
Diversity mandates, standards, or initiatives are prevalent in all areas of public life.
Through legislative action, universities and colleges face the task of developing programs and
processes that speak to their efforts for advancing women and minorities in the academic workplace
among students, faculty and staff. Even if this is considered the latest trend or step forward in
public administration education, the discussions continue and the door is open for ongoing
development of diversity and representation policies within the public administration academy.
This issue is by no means settled.
As described in NASPAA accreditation standards and guidelines, diversity efforts are
directed at women in the public administration academy and specifically at their involvement in the
tenure process. These specific diversity efforts serve as a paramount catalyst for gender

representation as a new tenure value. The field would no longer be the same with standards in
place that articulated a value that had not been heard before. Gender representation in higher
education came to fruition through both theoretical and social developments in the field, but became
fully realized only through NASPAAs diversity initiatives.
This chapter argues that five contemporary trends over the past thirty years gave rise to a
new tenure value gender representation. The growth of the public administration field and the
absence of females among its scholars and practitioners, the involvement of women in ASPA
beginning in the 1970s, the employment status and salary for women as practitioners, new feminist
theoretical ideas in the 1960s and 1970s, and recent diversity' initiatives in NASPAA, all created
fertile ground for the development of a new tenure value, gender representation. This, however, did
not supplant but competed with two established values, discussed in the last chapter, merit
protection and procedural fairness.
Gender issues are now a permanent part of discussions in public administration theory and
practice. From the early formative years of the field, through womens professional and practical
involvement in the field, as well as from the broader feminist movement and ultimately specific
NASPAA diversity initiatives, gender issues are a critical element throughout public administration.
Whether this is simply part of the continuing feminist movement, or is considered strengthening
womens voices throughout American society, these issues give rise to a recognition in higher
education ranks, and public administration specifically, for continued focus on gender as an
important element in tenure programs, policies, and procedures. The values on which they are built

have evolved to include gender as a previously missing, but ever-evolving link, a link now
absolutely critical to its future growth as a field, both academic and professional.
How are these values merit protection, procedural fairness, and gender representation
balanced against each other? With three competing tenure values now decisively influencing the
tenure process, how are women affected? What do they, those who are most directed affected by the
process, say about it? What do they say about the details? We do not know the answers to these and
other related questions; therefore, research that examines a female voice in tenure is timely and
critical. The absence of women, the growth of the field and, now, the emphasis on diversity all point
to the need for research that addresses womens tenure experiences within public administration.
The first-hand research outlined in the next two chapters examines the major players
involved in the rise of gender representation in public administration-education the women
themselves. The stories women tell of their tenure experiences from a female perspective provides
understanding of their experiences in their own words, for the first time, and forms a substantive
basis for making policy recommendations concerning the role and place today of gender
representation as a tenure value. This research specifically addresses the following seminal
research issues: 1) the values and motivations for working toward tenure, 2) the strategies and
tactics used in the process, 3) the sources of support and guidance, and 4) the hurdles or struggles
encountered during the tenure experience.

Research that addresses womens issues from a historical, political, or theoretical
perspective is considered relatively new and uncharted. It has only been in the past quarter century
that there has been an increase in the number of stories told and anecdotes portrayed of prominent
and auspicious women. This dissertation seeks to further an area of research that accounts for only
a fraction of researchable areas as it relates to womens issues. Nevertheless, to embark on an
exploration of the tenure experiences of women in the public administration academy creates an
important opportunity for furthering not only research and theory, but also to advance the political
and/or practical agendas for addressing diversity goals within higher education.
Babbie (1986) defines exploratory research as a process for investigating a phenomenon
that is relatively unstudied. By exploring tenure experiences of women in public administration, the
researcher hopes to describe what it is like for a woman to work through the academic tenure
process. What are her motivations for tenure? What are her challenges? Who is there to support or
guide her? These are just a few questions that give rise to the exploratory research approach. Each
step taken in this research begins with the fundamental assumption that tenure experiences of
women are relatively unstudied areas of research. Thus, the researcher undertakes the processes
for interviewing, transcribing, coding, exploring and describing data with the explicit intent of
uncovering information that is otherwise unknown, little understood, or not recorded.

There are six phases to this research. These include:
Phase 1: Inquiring through In-depth Interviews
Phase 2: Transcribing Interviews
Phase 3: Coding, Pattern Coding, and Memoing
Phase 4: Exploring and Describing Data
Phase 5: Generating Meanings
Phase 6: Confirming Results
Each of these phases serves as the organizing tool for this chapter. For now, however, a
brief description of each follows.
At the inquiry level of research, the researcher contacted potential research subjects based
on their expertise and involvement in the actual tenure process. The methodology for this research
encompassed in-depth interviews with loosely structured interview questions. The researcher
intended to obtain an insiders view of a culture (Marshall and Rossman 1989, 95) and to build an
understanding of tenure values, strategies, hurdles, and sources of support and guidance in the
tenure experiences of women in the public administration academy.
The researcher identified the subjects using a snowball technique where referrals were
requested at the end of each interview. The interview process is described most accurately as open-
ended in nature. During this process, the researcher asked key respondents for the facts of a matter
as well as for the respondents opinions about events (Yin 1994, 84). This first phase remained
open with regard to the line of questioning and direction for information gathering. The open-
ended interviews served as a mechanism for open responses. The process for interviews continued
until it appeared to be exhaustive, saturated, and repetitive. The researcher interviewed eighteen
women for this research.
After completing the in-depth interviews, a comprehensive process for transcribing
interviews occurred. Through this phase,'the researcher typed and imported all transcripts into
Ethnograph 4.0, a qualitative data analysis software program. The use of Ethnograph 4.0 allowed

the researcher to organize easily the interview data. It also provided an opportunity to code and
pattern-code without the use of index or note cards.
Phase 3 included a process of coding, pattern coding, and memoing all data. During this
phase, the researcher devised a series of data matrixes within each case and among the various
cases. This occurred in order to explore and describe tenure experiences among the eighteen
respondents. The researcher also used a process of pattern coding and memoing to build the
matrixes. These processes created a structure for organizing themes and patterns that emerged
and allowed the researcher to examine issues during the actual data collection phase.
Next, the researcher undertook a process of exploring and describing data. Here, the
researcher developed cross-case displays in order to identify patterns and themes and analyzed the
data based on these displays.
A process for generating meaning began after the researcher completed the exploration and
description phase. At this phase, the researcher tapped all previous work in coding and pattern
coding to generate meanings. As a result, patterns and themes evolved that generated substantive
findings. The researcher described and categorized various factors, elements, and constructs of the
tenure experience as an initial approach to this phase.
Finally, the researcher used seven prescribed verification steps as a means for confirming
findings. These steps included checking for representativeness, checking for researcher effects,
weighting the evidence, checking the meaning of outliers, using extreme cases, following up on
surprises, looking for negative evidence, checking out rival explanations, and verifying results by
informants (Miles and Huberman 1994).

Conceptual Framework
The researcher created a conceptual framework in order to provide a graphical explanation
of the conceptual areas to be studied. The diagram at the end of this section depicts the conceptual
framework as developed prior to the interviews. This framework provided concepts and
relationships among variables that were explored during the course of interviews.
The conceptual framework integrates aspects of the theories. These theories include
Banduras Theory of Reciprocity of Behavior, Personal, and Environmental factors of Behavior
(1986) and Tierney and Rhoades Theory of Faculty Socialization (1994). In addition, it utilizes
information from other research on tenure. The conceptual framework evolved during the course
of interviews so that factors and variables found in the tenure experience surfaced and became
evident as the interviews progressed. Miles and Huberman (1994) suggest that theoretical
categories or bins come from theory and experience and (often) from the general objectives of the
study envisioned (p. 18). Figure 4.1 presents the conceptual framework as developed in this
research. An explanation follows.
First, Albert Banduras Theory of Social Cognition (Bandura 1986) coalesces the factors
that affect human motivation, thought and action from a social cognitive perspective found.
Recognizing that human behavior is a product of a number of different variables, not just
personality traits or environment, Bandura constructed and defined what is known as the Social
Cognition Theory. In this theory, the relations among the three classes, behavior, cognitive and
other personal factors, and environmental influences, is reciprocal whereby each class functions
interactively as determinants of each other.

Figure 4.1. Conceptual Framework for the Study of Tenure Experiences of Women in Public
Administration Academic Programs
(Tierney and Rhoades 1993)
Background is defined as the factors in an individuals past or personality that affects
behavior. Phyllis Tharenou in an article in Women and Work: A Handbook fDubeck and Borman
1996) uses Banduras Social Cognition theory as a framework in her research on factors that
influence womens career behaviors (Dubeck and Borman 1996, 351). However, she changes the
concept behavior to background and explains that early background factors include first-born

status, maternal employment, parent education levels, parental encouragement for education and
close relationships with parents. The next class, personal factors, follows similar suit with trait
theorists who suggest that certain personality traits influence behavior. Finally, environment
factors are influences outside the control of the individual rather than factors that are being acted
upon by the individual his/herself.
The second theory used in the conceptual framework defines the movement through the
academic environment. As theorized by Tierney and Rhoades, faculty move through two stages
in faculty socialization. First, there is the anticipatory stage that includes undergraduate and
graduate learning experiences. In anticipatory socialization, the potential faculty member or non-
members of the academy, take on the attitudes, actions, and values of the group to which they aspire
(p. 23). This stage of socialization serves to allow the potential faculty to move into and transcend
the organization to which he/she aspires. Graduate students, for example, begin to anticipate the
roles and behaviors required for their entrance into the field. At this stage, there are four cultural
aspects that produce a general orientation. These cultural forces include disciplinary influences,
professional influences, individual factors, and societal influences. The organizational stage follows
to which the new faculty must attempt to understand the culture and dynamics of the institution and
department of which they belong. The authors state that while many faculty leave the academy,
many find ways of coping with the stress of academic life and move from lower faculty status to
more senior roles (p. iv). As depicted in the conceptual framework, these stages suggest a
movement through the tenure experience beginning in the anticipatory stage. Here, background,
personal, and environment factors serve a critical role in determining whether or not an individual
actually moves to the organizational stage and embarks on the tenure experience. The background
factors in this study include education, employment, and family. The personal factors include

personal traits and pre-tenure values. Finally, the environment factors include the institutional
environment and fit that defines the point of entry into the tenure experience. The boxes on the
left side of the diagram depict these three anticipatory factors. The arrows indicate a reciprocal
relationship between and among the factors. That is, background factors influence personal factors,
as well as environment factors and so on. These factors, then, directly and indirectly affect the
tenure experience.
Next, faculty members begin the actual tenure experience at the organizational stage. At
this point, factors of culture, support, and guidance are developed by the researcher as being
significant factors of the tenure experience. When the actual tenure process is encountered, then it is
believed that certain tactics are employed. If hurdles_are encountered, then strategies are employed.
Culture includes aspects such as the institution, department, and/or actual tenure committee.
Support includes aspects that give support and assistance to the faculty member such as financial,
family, collegial, or department support for the process. Guidance refers to advice or information
provided to the faculty member in the course of the tenure experience.
The tenure process includes the teaching, scholarship, and service elements inherent in the
tenure course. It is believed, then, that there could be specific tactics used to approach and deal with
the actual tenure process. Further, certain hurdles may be encountered in the tenure experience with
certain strategies employed to deal with the hurdles. The tactics and strategies employed then
move the faculty through the tenure experience to the actual tenure outcome. The end result of the
tenure experience becomes the tenure outcome whether successful in achieving tenure, deflection
from the tenure track, or tenure denial. Finally, the outcome generates post-tenure perceptions that
invariably lead to the development of advice for women and the tenure process.

This conceptual framework, while it defines the potential variables and factors found in the
tenure experience, does not define the extent to which any of these play a role in the tenure
experience. The framework provides a direction and delineation from which to embark on inquiry
into the tenure experiences through in-depth interviews. This framework serves as a place to identify
important variables and their relationships among each other. Miles and Huberman (1994) suggest
doing this exercise as a way to force the researcher into being more selective. That is, it forces
the researcher-to decide which variables are most important, which relationships are likely to be
most meaningful, and, as a consequence, what information should be collected and analyzedat
least at the outset(Miles and Huberman 1994, 18). The framework is used here as means for
identifying the main categories or bins that relate to the overall research questions. It allows the
researcher to identify and focus on specific areas when conducting the interview. It explains,
graphically, the main areas to be studied and shows the relationship of each factor within the broader
scope of the overall tenure experience.
Sampling Frame
The researcher selected the respondents using the snowball or chain method of sampling
whereby, in the course of the interviews, the researcher asked for recommendations of other women
to interview. The researcher most often specifically asked respondents to identify women who
deflected from the tenure track or were denied tenure. This was done since the researcher
recognized the difficulty in identifying and locating women who deflected entirely from the tenure
track or were denied tenure. It was clear right from the beginning and throughout this study that it
would be difficult to identify and locate women who deflected from the tenure track or were denied
tenure. In addition, the researcher utilized a simple random method whereby the researcher

randomly called several women from lists of names found in the ASPA (American Society for
Public Administration) membership directory, NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public
Affairs and Administration) faculty directory and the SWPA (Society for Women in Public
Administration) Membership Resource Directory.
The researcher also utilized the multiple-case sampling approach (Miles and Huberman
1994) by exploring a range of similar and contrasting cases based on availability of respondents
with varying experiences. These multiple cases represented tenured, deflected, denied, and different
combinations of these outcomes.
The researcher approached the interviews with the assumption that they would continue
until redundancy and reiteration occurred. The researcher also understood that no two stories were
alike; however, the reiteration of information and stories provided an indication of when to stop the
interview process.
The researcher initially contacted seventy-six women for interviews. Other women in the
public administration field identified and referred these women as potential research subjects. Of
these, fifty-six were excluded from the research pool because they were unavailable at the time to
participate in an in-depth interview (three women) or were not available at the time the initial call
had been placed (forty-five women). It is unknown exactly why the original phone call had not
been returned, but it may be due, in part, because they did not even receive the message from a
receptionist or secretary, did not feel they had time to call, or were not interested in participating in
this research. Calls were made during the months of February, March and April 1998 and perhaps
this is also considered a busy time of the academic year for faculty. Furthermore, eight women did
not appear to meet the interview criteria. Of the eight, six women did not meet the criteria because
they were not on a tenure-track position, one woman did not teach in a public administration

program, and one woman had been granted tenured automatically without going through any formal
After initially contacting the respondent to set the interview date and time, the researcher
conducted the interview. The researcher interviewed eighteen women in total representing six
different tenure categories. Table 4.1 describes these categories.
Table 4.1. Sample Size and Description
A Institution A granted < 6 years 8
B Institution A Institution B deflected granted < 14 years 6
C Institution A Institution B deflected to be granted < 8 years 1
D Institution A deflected < 5 years 1
E Institution A Institution B denied granted < 8 years 1
F Institution A &B deflected < 4 years Institution C denied < 6 years 1
Eight women obtained tenure at their initial institution; whereas, the other ten experienced
a diverse tenure experience. All interviews were viewed as valuable and informational to the larger
research goal for exploring, describing, and understanding the tenure experiences of women in
public administration. Table 4.1 also shows the number of respondents for each research group.
As shown, eight women in Group A participated in the research group who were granted tenure
through the process at only one institution (called institution A) in six or fewer years. Group B
respondents deflected from institution A, but they went to another institution (institution B) and
received tenure within fourteen or fewer years. The group C respondent deflected from institution
A but is currently awaiting a tenure response from institution B. This particular respondent

indicated that she was fairly certain that tenure would be granted. Group D respondent deflected
from the tenure process at institution A in five years. Group E respondent was denied tenure at
institution A, but received tenure at institution B in eight years. Group F respondent was denied
tenure at institution C after a six-year tenure track. This respondent worked in two institutions
prior to working at institution C, but deflected for personal reasons after four years.
Table 4.2 further specifies an explanation given during the interview by the ten
respondents who deflected from the tenure track at one or more institutions.
Table 4.2. Tenure Deflection/Denial and Explanation
Deflection Explanation Number
Poor Reviews 4
Negative Indication
Negative Climate or Poor Fit
Personal/Family Reasons -> J)
Denied Tenure No Contract Renewal 3
Three general reasons for deflection were described during the interviews. Four
respondents indicated that they deflected at the point in which they received poor tenure reviews by
the tenure committee or were given negative indications for tenure success during the course of the
tenure process by the tenure committee. Of these four, one respondent indicated that she left
institution A because she perceived the department climate to be negative and that she would not be
able to continue to work in the department. Three respondents indicated that they left for personal
or family reasons. Finally, three respondents deflected because they were denied tenure by the

tenure review committee at the end of her final tenure review or did not receive a contract renewal
during the course of her tenure review.
Table 4.3 provides a summary table of general descriptions for each of the respondents.
The gray rows indicate respondents who completed the tenure-track at one institution in six or
fewer years. Column two represents the actual year that the tenure decision or outcome occurred.
At the onset of this research, the researcher believed that she would easily be able to contact only
those women who attained tenure in the past ten years. However, after making contact with
respondents for possible interviews, it quickly became apparent that many of the women willing to
participate in this research had been tenured in the past seventeen years or more. Women who
agreed to participate in this research were believed to be significant contributors to public
administration based on reputation, publications, and visibility; therefore, the researcher chose to
maintain open parameters for the number of years on the tenure track. All respondents worked
through the tenure track for at least five years. Respondent C had submitted her paperwork for
tenure at the time of this interview and was awaiting the tenure decision. This particular respondent
indicated that she felt especially confident that tenure would be granted.
Column three indicates the total number of years each respondent took on the tenure track.
This included any change in institutions and counted the time at both institutions. Each of the eight
respondents who completed tenure at one institution obtained tenure in six years or fewer.
Respondent A, O, and P indicated that they chose to go up for tenure early and received tenure.
As described in the discussion on a sampling frame, the researcher interviewed eight
women who attained tenure at one institution. These eight proceeded with what has been referred.

\ 1993 5 Inst A-graiitcd f Ns. 1
B 1993 5 Inst. A-deflected 5 no contract renewal N/A
C Antic. 1998 8 Inst. A-deflected Inst. B-to be granted 2 personal change 6 (Respondent resumed tenure- track after one year stop-out)
D 1991 6 Inst. A deflected Inst. B-granted 3 personal change 3
E 1988 8 Inst. A-denied Inst. B-granted 6 denied 2
F 1991 6 Inst A-gnmtcd * A '1
. Ci 6 Inst il-granted NA
H : ' 1983 () Inst A-gt anted 0 MBBBiiBM
I, < < M ? 'A* / /fp i, J , Inst. A-granted 6 1 fii lit
J 1984 8 Inst. A deflected Inst. B-granted 4 poor reviews 4
K 1983 6 Inst A-grantcd 6 AA
Table 4.3. --Cross Case Display of General Descriptors