Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Monday, May 28, 2007

The glass piggy-bank

I consider myself a hard-boiled cynic, but every once in a while a news item comes around that makes me drop my jaw. All day long, as this one has (and it's not even new news, looking now at the dateline).

Let's put it this way: did you know that UCLA has a secret slush fund that it uses to fund preferred faculty? Read this astonishing report:

In 1998, Conney signed a contract with UCLA for a full-time fellowship position, but three years later, the school denied her the promotion and reassigned her as a part-time employee with a significant pay cut. She later learned that similarly situated male coworkers were paid double or more what she earned, and that they were offered promotions that she was told were unavailable.


In addition to the original complains Conney had against the school, it was discovered during court proceedings that her UCLA department had a secret reserve of money that they used to supplement the salaries of male faculty members only.
For those interested in skipping to the happy ending, she ended up scoring 4 million in damages.

My instinct is that any comment is superfluous, save those that would try and argue for the defense. Now, those I'd be interested in hearing. And yeah, I wonder who else round here is getting their pay topped up right now. Anyone? Anyone?

[Link courtesy Bitch, PhD. If you're not familiar with this, IMO it's one of the very best blogs going. YMMV.]


Blogger Abi said...

Topping up in India happens through Fellowships: JC Bose, Swarnajayanti, Ramanujan, Ramanna, ...

They can augment your income by 10,000 to 50,000 rupees a month [I must confess that the upper limit is based on hear-say]. They are like awards, with the award money stretched out over a period of time.

Is there any discrimination here? I'm not sure.

5/28/2007 12:26 PM  
Blogger Rahul said...

abi -- fellowships are not secret piggy banks, they are very much above the table. In the US, you can pay yourself with your grants (and are generally expected to, beyond a point). This is a different situation.

5/28/2007 5:15 PM  
Blogger Jetru said...

Superflous comment:
Discrimination happens everywhere, gotta watch out.

5/29/2007 3:33 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

i agree with rahul. i don't think there's usually any overt discrimination involved in such fellowships, mainly because they're public. i myself have one, and every year everyone gets mailed a spreadsheet with the names of all fellows. we all get the same amount -- hey, this is china :-D

thanks for stopping by. (despite not being in the 22.5%.)

5/29/2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Welcome back Prof. Having no knowledge of how academic funding works (unless you're looking for a good 403B plan), I will refrain from comment.
When do you hit bean town?

5/31/2007 6:40 AM  
Blogger Revealed said...

I had to do it. It was irresistible :)

5/31/2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

I wonder if this sort of gender bias is more common in certain areas of academia rather than others. For some reason, I cannot quite imagine shit like this flying in social sciences and humanities, certainly not in UCLA. Medicine though is a whole other story.

So the big boys had a secret cookie jar stowed away for dipping into? For shame - give me a one good reason why they shouldn't be discharged by the UC Regent?

5/31/2007 12:40 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

403b, eh? i think you and i need to have a little conversation :-)

huh? do what? the slush fund? the expose? don't tell me you're the bitch bec you're not -- *that* i know.

ha! welcome back -- it took a post deriding angelenos to get your attention, eh? :-D

i can't imagine it happening in business, and a close friend who just finished her phd in biophysics from the UC system said she couldn't imagine it happening at her place either. so there you go -- it's probably happening in a lot more places than we care to think.

re: the discharging -- depends who the big boys are, right? one doesn't know where this whole thing started.

5/31/2007 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could be the bitch!! Why couldn't I be the bitch???


5/31/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

bec the bitch ain't no mgg, lady.

6/01/2007 1:48 AM  

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