Fear of Stigma Lingers About Use of Family-Friendly Policies

Fear of Stigma Lingers About Use of Family-Friendly Policies 1

Mark Makela for The Chronicle

Kristen S. Childers plays with her sons. The former assistant professor at the U. of Pennsylvania is suing the institution for blocking her tenure because she took time off for pregnancy and child care.

The nation’s top research universities have had policies on the books for at least two decades that are designed to make it easier for professors to mesh their home and work life. By now, many other colleges do, too.

These institutions let parents stop the tenure clock, extending the time they can prepare to reach that milestone; assume modified duties, like temporarily reducing a teaching or service load while raising young children; or take part-time appointments.

But