Globe and Mail

Clearing the path for women on the academic ladder

Michiel Horn
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, August 11, 1999
The Globe and Mail

Toronto -- Part of a university administrator's job is to try to justify institutional decisions, even and perhaps especially when they are difficult to justify. The result is rarely persuasive. Rowland Smith's contribution is an example.

Wilfrid Laurier University's psychology department has a good case for observing a guideline adopted years ago by the Canadian Association of University Teachers: Departments in which women are underrepresented should appoint female candidates unless a demonstrably superior male candidate applies. This does not mean, though, that being male or female in itself serves to demonstrate superiority as an educator, as Dr. Smith effectively asserts. His analogy of appointing tenors instead of sopranos, although cute, is essentially irrelevant.

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