Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Redressing a Wrong at Western

The Government of Ontario is planning to abolish mandatory retirement, thereby following the lead of six other provinces, which have already done just that. According to Karen Howlett of the Globe & Mail most current university faculty are supportive of this move but:
... administrators at many universities oppose the move. Alan Weedon, vice-provost of the University of Western Ontario, said in an interview that he is disappointed that the legislation could come into effect late next year, much earlier than the five years he had hoped for. The legislation is expected to be passed in the fall at the earliest. The government says the new law would come into effect one year after receiving Royal Assent. It is going to have a significant impact on the university's ability to hire new faculty, and its ability to increase the number of women, Mr. Weedon said. The university has 1,000 full-time faculty members, most of whom are men. About 30 retire every year.
Now one has to admire Vice-Provost Weedon's convictions. I certainly do. He is clearly dedicated to increasing the number of female and decreasing the number of male faculty at the University of Western Ontario. He is unhappy that the speed with which the government is planning on implementing the abolition of mandatory retirement may put a crimp in the plans to give preferential treatment to female applicants. But why doesn'’t he set a personal example now.

Instead of making some other guy pay for his expressed desire to redress the numerical imbalance of men and women at Western shouldn't Weedon set the example by immediately resigning his position so that it can be filled by a woman vice-provost? Leadership by example is always better than forcing folks to do what you yourself are not prepared to do, right?

After all, doesn't Alan Weedon believe that current male job applicants must make sacrifices (their job prospects) for the greater good of redressing past gender based hiring injustices? Well then, why limit the sacrifices to younger male colleagues just setting out to make a career? Vice-Provost Weedon possesses the power to make an immediate vacancy available. Live your idealism old boy. Take the plunge into retirement. Resign now.

Hello? Hello? Are you there sir?


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