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Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups Report on 2002-2003 Department Survey
Division of Professional Matters of the American Philological Association

Please note that the supporting documentation for this report is contained in linked tables that will appear in resizable pop-up windows so that they may be consulted alongside the report; these pop-up windows should be closed as you finish consulting each table. The full report, plus all the tables, are also available as Adobe Acrobat files that may be downloaded and printed. All the tables attached to this report end with a comparison with the totals from the 2001-2002 survey and the means totals from the 1997-2001 surveys. All the CSWMG department survey results since the 1970s have now been entered into an Excel spreadsheet, so we are able to trace some trends in the field longitudinally, as demonstrated in the two figures attached to this report.


Each year, the Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups (CSWMG) of the APA sends out a survey to Classics programs in institutions of higher learning. For the 2002-03 year, 399 surveys were sent out to universities and colleges; 222 surveys were returned yielding a response rate of 56% (see Table I and a complete list of institutions/departments that did not return the 2002-03 survey). This rate of return is an improvement over the response rate of 49% for the 2001-02 survey.

The 2002-03 survey suggests that women are doing well in obtaining tenure-track positions, receiving tenure-track jobs at rates even with men (Table VIb). The percentage of women in the profession, however, did not grow in 2002-03, but dropped one percentage point to 36% (Table II).

In 2002-03, 70% of institutions reported non-discrimination statements for sexual minorities (gays, lesbians, and others) and 45% indicated that they offer domestic partner benefits (Table IX). The apparent drop in the number of institutions with policies against sexual-orientation discrimination (from 74% for 1997-2001 to 69% for 2001-02 but up to 70% in 2002-03) may be a result of fewer surveys returned in 1997-2001; the 2001-02 percentage is virtually the same as the means from surveys prior to 1997 (67.8%).

The representation of minorities in the profession, however, as they are defined in the surveys (African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic/Latino/Chicano Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islander Americans) remains very small.

The Status of Women

The percentage of women in the profession is holding steady more or less; according to this survey, women make up 36% of faculty (broken down into 38% in BA-granting departments, 34% in MA-granting departments, and 34% in PhD departments; see Table II). This percentage shows no essential difference from 2001-02 (37%) and is identical to the 1997-2001 mean of 36%.

Tenured faculty (Table III) are more likely to be men, with a 71% average in 2002-03 (broken down into 70% in BA-granting departments, 71% in MA-granting departments, and 72% in PhD departments). As a percentage of tenured faculty, the proportion of women has fallen slightly to 29% (cf. 30% in 2001-02 and 28% in 1997-2001). The percentage of female faculty who hold tenure rose slightly to 48% in 2002-03 (up from 47% in 2001-02 to the 1997-2001 rate of 48%). The percentage of men who hold tenure rose to 66% (up from 63% in 2001-02 but still short of the 1997-2001 rate of 69%). This survey also suggests a possible reversal of downward momentum in the proportion of Classics faculty who are tenured. Figure 1 presents a longitudinal chart of the tenure status of Classics faculty. This year it was reported that 60% of Classics faculty are tenured (cf. 57% in 2001-02, 62% in 1997-2001, and 68% in 1990-96).

While making up only 36% of the total faculty, women constitute a higher proportion of faculty without tenure (47%). This disproportion, when broken out, suggests that at least a few more tenured women are in our future (women hold 44% of the tenure-track positions), and that women remain more likely than men to hold non-tenure-track positions (women hold 49% of these positions; see Table IVb; cf. Table IVa for statistics on men). The number of hires that were tenure-track increased slightly, up to 29% (cf. 28% in 2001-02, 19% in 1997-2001, and 15% in 1990-96) as the number of non-tenure-track hires fell to 35% (cf. 41% in 2001-02, 31% in 1997-2001, and 27% in 1990-96). The part-time hires percentage went up noticeably in this last year to 32% (cf. 25% in 2001-02, 48% in 1997-2001, and 55% in 1990-96). Economic factors may have contributed to the upward movement in part-time hires. Figure 2 presents a longitudinal chart of the status of Classics hires.

The 2002-03 hiring rates for women had positive aspects. 51% of tenure-track hires went to women (Table VIb), and non-tenure track and part-time hiring rates were 43% and 48% respectively (Tables VIc and VId). The virtual parity with men where tenure-track hires are concerned is good news. Indeed, women experience greater success than men in obtaining tenure-track positions when the proportion of women to men is taken into consideration. The higher rate of part-time hires is possibly an indicator of women gaining a greater percentage of less desirable positions. But this is far from clear, as scholars when first starting out usually begin with non tenure-track positions. Table X compares information on hiring obtained from these annual departmental surveys with the more complete hiring data obtained from Placement Service figures. While the latter gives us information on a greater number of hires, the percentages among various types of hires are very similar; this correspondence between the two sets of data bolsters the validity of the department surveys.

Of the grants of tenure in 2002-03, 37% went to women (Table Va). This percentage is lower than 2001-02 (42%) and 1997-2001 (44%). This decline in the percentage of tenure awards to women is disturbing and merits further investigation. The infrequence of both denial of tenure (Table Vb) and hire with tenure (Table VIa) precludes drawing any conclusions.

Women earned 43% of the PhD's awarded in 2002-03 (Table VIIa) and 48% of the MA's (Table VIIb). These numbers are similar to the numbers from the last eight years. Indeed (as reported in the August 2002 Newsletter), the percentage of women earning PhD's has not changed much since the 1970's.

In summation, the number of tenured women in the profession seems likely to increase by a small amount in the short term both because of their success in landing tenure-track positions and because of the percentage of tenure-track positions women currently hold. On the other hand, the fall in the number of tenured positions may recommence, and an appreciable increase in the number of tenured women may not eventuate. In any case, if current trends continue, it will be a while before women hold tenured positions in numbers commensurate with the percentage of women produced by the PhD programs.


Minorities remain egregiously underrepresented in the field (see Tables II and IVc). The percentage of minorities on Classics' faculties was 3.1% (broken down into 2.4% in BA-granting departments, 1.7% in MA-granting departments, and 4.5% in PhD departments). This percentage has been more or less steady for more than a decade. The percentage of minorities in the profession could fall further: 0% of PhD's (Table VIIa) and 3.2% of MA's (Table VIIb) were awarded to minorities in 2002-03 (cf. the meager 2001-02 means of 3.1% and 2.5%).


Comparison with 2001-02 reveals no change in the percentage of institutions offering courses on minorities (6.4%). The percentage of institutions offering courses on sexuality fell some (from 18.7% to 14.5%) while the percentage of institutions offering courses on women rose slightly (from 37% to 39%; see Tables VIIIb and VIIIa).

The circulation, tabulation, and analysis of these surveys are an important and laborious endeavor. I extend my thanks to Ann Koloski-Ostrow, Adam Blistein, Renie Plonski, Kirk Ormand, and Nancy Sultan for their advice, attention, and patience. I give my greatest thanks to Barbara McManus however; her care and industry make this report possible.

Report submitted by Mark Masterson, Member, CSWMG
APA Division of Professional Matters
American Philological Association
May 2004