Family-Friendly Scheduling

half-past-clock-309898.pngMust all talks and receptions start at 5:30?

(yes, like ours did…)

Here’s a memo from the Brown University Provost’s Office with advice for scheduling talks in ways that work for more faculty members–and why it matters.

Don’t have time to read it right now? Here are the basics:

Best Practices for Chairs and Directors

Recognize that 5:30 is not a time at which “everyone is free.”

Acknowledge the challenges (logistically, financially, and interpersonally) that 5:30 events and late afternoon teaching blocks pose to faculty with family responsibilities.

Distinguish between programming meant to serve the broader community and programming meant to bolster the research capacity of the faculty. Programming in the latter category should happen during the workday.

Vary the times of workshops, seminars, and lectures so that the same people are not perpetually excluded.

Accommodate faculty with family responsibilities by creating opportunities for workday interactions (e.g. coffees, lunches) with visiting scholars. In particular, make sure that junior faculty with family responsibilities do not miss the professional development or networking opportunities essential for tenure.

Enfranchise faculty by making sure that departmental governance and other essential activities take place during the workday.

Advocate for family-friendly policies, including efforts to reconfigure the scheduling grid with new seminar times.


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