Interesting article just posted:
They were discussing why so many female PhD candidates don't want a career in academia. Loads to talk about on this one.
I had a fabulous academic career, actually. I loved (and hated) the three universities where I taught. The students were always the reason for staying, but the faculty was always the reason for leaving.
I put off having children until 35 (second one at 39) so I could advance my career, travel, and research. But once I hit my stride and started getting promoted (Associate Prof, Associate Dean, offers of Deanship at other institutions), I was not able to spend any time with my husband and children. I would get looks from other Deans and Associate Deans who planted their butts in their expensive executive chairs by 8:30 am on the dot and didn't leave the premises until 5:00 pm. When I "strolled" in at 9:00 am because I wanted to drop my children off at school myself, I was glared at, gossiped about, and ultimately made to stay late to pay back the missing time. (isn't it funny how some horrible emergency cropped up nearly everyday at 5:15?)
Academic administrators need to get real: men and woman are leaving because once you play that ballgame long enough, you will likely be promoted. It's all very heady for a while (more money, trips, new "friends") but once you realize that you now rarely get to have lunch with the real friends from your home department, that you rarely teach students anymore, and that your life is now completely devoted to you job, most people aren't satisfied. Life is much more than sitting at a desk all day pushing papers around. I got into academia because I wanted to make a difference through teaching.
I bet I can count on one hand how many administrators really teach any more. How many administrators know any students' names (except for those budding political science majors hoping for a political career so they get involved with student government hoping to meet the college president and receive a great recommendation for grad school)?
In many universities, academia is broken. Education is also broken in many of our elementary, middle, and high schools around the US. I wanted to make a difference so I joined a team of four other women and we created our own school: Atala.
Spread Your Wings!