Accommodate My Aching Ass

There was a time when universities had anti-nepotism rules in place that blocked the hiring of a immediate family member of a current professor.  Sounds like a pretty decent rule, right?  Well, turns out women disagree.

In 1971, Committee W on the Status of Women in the Academic Profession of the American Association of University Professors decided to fight anti-nepotism rules because they made it more difficult for academic wives to get jobs.  They argued that the anti-nepotism rules were bad because they blocked hiring of certain people for non-merit based reasons.

They were correct.  Turning someone down because her husband already works there is not a merit based decision.  But, the whole point of anti-nepotism rules is to avoid non-merit hiring.  With anti-nepotism rules, some qualified candidates will be rejected, but some other qualified candidate will be hired in her place.  It’s not fair to the person who didn’t get the job, but at least everyone on the faculty is qualified.  Without the anti-nepotism rules, some unqualified professors will be hired.  This is unfair to the qualified person who would have gotten the job instead.  So, under either regime, some qualified person will be denied a job.  But, by allowing nepotism we’re also being unfair to the students who will end up taking classes from an unqualified professor.

Would you prefer some harm, or the exact same harm plus even more harm?  Easy choice.

In April of this year the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession (apparently they’re no longer Committee W) took another look at these policies, and made this (among other) recommendation:

All appointment decisions should be made as part of a process driven by consideration of merit.  Faculty appointed under accommodation policies should be subject to the same evaluative procedures as all other faculty members.

Oh hey, that sounds nice.  You can hire faculty spouses, but just so long as it’s a merit decision, right?  I mean, that’s the system we all want.  Good spouses get hired, and bad spouses do not.

But wait, what’s this “accommodation policy” thing they mention?

Oh right.  I forgot.  They weren’t looking at the anti-nepotism rules, but instead were looking at this new thing called “Partner Accommodation.”  Many universities now have a policy in place to help spouses get jobs at the university.  That’s right, they have a pro-nepotism policy.

WHAT?!  That’s insane!

But, all appointment decisions are driven by considerations of merit, so what’s the big deal?

Remember A Few Good Men?  Remember how Tom Cruise gets Jack Nicholson in the end?  If he ordered his men not to touch Private Santiago, and his orders are always followed, why did he need to get him off the base for his safety?  My the two orders, Colonel?

If spousal hiring decisions are going to be based on merit, why do universities need a policy to help them get hired?  Why can’t they go through the same application process as everyone else?

Because, as anyone with two operating brain cells can tell you, the “consideration of merit” recommendation is a throw-away.  It’s just in there to make the whole thing look legitimate to people who don’t want to admit what’s really going on.  Top professors, usually deans of some sort, have enough pull that they can get their unqualified wives jobs.

I took two classes from spouse-professors, and they were by far two of the worst professors I have ever had.  Not only were they just bad at teaching, they were so bad that they ended up delegating most of the teaching responsibility to the students (lots of student presentations in class).  Basically, they lecture for two or three weeks, then turn things over to the class and suck on the law school teet the the rest of the semester.


For anyone complaining that Gen Y has too much of a sense of entitlement, look at these Boomer assholes who feel entitled to getting their wives $150,000+ paychecks to phone in a job they’re wholly unqualified for.

Double Cripes!

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9 Responses to “Accommodate My Aching Ass”

  1. Vinnie Says:

    I say F these entitled spouses. Literally, the spouses are good in the sack, and that’s it. Not to double dip off their hubby’s job. Why hire the spouses in the work place when good people are out looking for a job, like me and BL1Y?

    And for the hubbies, they should be happy their spouses are available for sex at home. Unmarried people have to pay for dinner before we can get a PB&J let alone a BJ.

  2. Dupednontraditional Says:

    Also – Hello, Career Services Office at any Law School. QED.

  3. Anon for nonce Says:

    Check out UA Law. Two fair to good profs have dean spouses, and Dean of CSO’s spouse “teaches” legal writing, not that CSO or the other deans are particularly effective. Maybe UA Law hires deans in order to pick up good profs.

  4. bl1y Says:

    I don’t know about the law school, but I do know that one of the deans in the undergrad college had the school give his wife a job when they got married. He threatened to move to UAB if they wouldn’t hire her.

  5. chris Says:

    God dammit, if I keep reading this blog I’m going to be the most cynical bastard to ever walk into a law school.


  6. bl1y Says:

    If you keep reading this blog, why the hell are you going to law school?

  7. chris Says:

    Because I’m smart without any highly developed specific skills. I’m a decent programmer with a degree that will reflect it, but I needed a good backup and about four months ago a friend bet me I couldn’t beat his practice LSAT score. I took it and “Rocked” it as the expression goes.

    Sounds like a neat way to do something interesting and get a good job in the process. As long as I go to a T14 and work hard, of course.

    P.S. This post was specially crafted to annoy you, but it is true.

  8. Debbie Says:

    I would like to throw something out there. There is some future in law, but you have to work hard to get it.

    It is like dating. You must go through a lot of duds before you find a mate who can light your fire.

  9. Debbie Says:

    BL1y, you sound like a frat boy on the tape.

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