I've mentioned before that Tiny U has a family-friendly culture, but not family-friendly policies. Under the circumstances, one person in a key administrative position can make a big difference.
Our department chair is wonderful, and has gone to the mat for families time and time again. She is leaving for greener pastures, so we're choosing the next chair. The Dean formed a committee, and last week they asked faculty to submit criteria that the chair should fulfill. I immediately wrote an e-mail asking that the next chair be aware of - and an advocate for - family needs, in order to make this a more inclusive university.
I'm not surprised that the committee did not include my suggestion among the criteria they will use to chose the next chair. But, I hope my e-mail will keep the topic in their minds when they make their selection.
UPDATE: The committee announced the final candidates for department chair, and it turns out there's only one person stupid enough, er, that is, willing to serve. She's a wonderful person who will do an exemplary job, and is very supportive of our family-friendly culture. Yay!
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