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The Family Track: Keeping Your Faculties while You Mentor, Nurture, Teach, and Serve [Paperback]

Constance Coiner , Diana Hume George
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 1 1998
At a time when the academy is an ever more demanding arbiter and shaper of the lives of those it employs, The Family Track: Keeping Your Faculties while You Mentor, Nurture, Teach, and Serve discusses the challenges and benefits of balancing a rewarding professional life with the competing needs to nurture children, care for aging parents, and engage in other personal relationships. Here academic women and men explore issues that include biological and tenure clocks, child care and eldercare, surrogate parenting of students, and increasing job demands. In telling stories about the quality of their lives, they express their hopes, anxieties, difficulties, and personal strategies for maintaining a delicate but achievable balance.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, poignant and engrossing May 3 2003
Format:Paperback
I bought this book at the suggestion of Ms. Mentor (a.k.a. Emily Toth) who touted it in one of her wise and witty columns in "The Chronicle of Higher Education". As usual, Ms. Mentor provided "Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia".

Graduate students thinking about making careers as professors should read this book carefully, especially if they have or would like to have children. Each author in the edited volume describes her valiant attempt to have a family life and an academic job at the same time. It's not a pretty picture. The narratives are personal and powerful. Several are horror stories about the inhumane treatment of new professors who are also new mothers.
Although this book is most relevant as a cautionary tale for women entering academia, it is also a "must read" for anyone interested in the history of feminism. The memoirs of some of the senior female academics, pioneers in their fields, reveal awesome courage. This is the printed mentor that I've seen other books purport to be.

My one concern is that the book's bleak honesty may discourage some graduate students, or create the impression that it is better to wait until after tenure to start a family. I'm a clinical psychologist whose specialty is counseling doctoral students and junior faculty, and I don't condone waiting until after the tenure review to begin living. The average path from grad student to tenured associate prof now takes more than 17 years (gulp). Putting essential goals on hold for that long shrivels the ovaries. If you want both the baby and the job, go for it!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, poignant and engrossing May 3 2003
By Mary McKinney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book at the suggestion of Ms. Mentor (a.k.a. Emily Toth) who touted it in one of her wise and witty columns in "The Chronicle of Higher Education". As usual, Ms. Mentor provided "Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia".

Graduate students thinking about making careers as professors should read this book carefully, especially if they have or would like to have children. Each author in the edited volume describes her valiant attempt to have a family life and an academic job at the same time. It's not a pretty picture. The narratives are personal and powerful. Several are horror stories about the inhumane treatment of new professors who are also new mothers.
Although this book is most relevant as a cautionary tale for women entering academia, it is also a "must read" for anyone interested in the history of feminism. The memoirs of some of the senior female academics, pioneers in their fields, reveal awesome courage. This is the printed mentor that I've seen other books purport to be.

My one concern is that the book's bleak honesty may discourage some graduate students, or create the impression that it is better to wait until after tenure to start a family. I'm a clinical psychologist whose specialty is counseling doctoral students and junior faculty, and I don't condone waiting until after the tenure review to begin living. The average path from grad student to tenured associate prof now takes more than 17 years (gulp). Putting essential goals on hold for that long shrivels the ovaries. If you want both the baby and the job, go for it!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read for all in the academy April 5 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Highly relevant, stimulating reading recommended for anyone (and everyone) involved in higher education. The Family Track articulates many unspoken concerns of American academics through autobiographical pieces, interviews, and critical essays. From eldercare to parental leave, commuter marriages to children with special needs, the topics are as pertinent as they are undiscussed among faculties. Challenging and engaging, with practical strategies for developing family-friendly campuses.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, but true July 27 2005
By Professor Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really felt that I learned a lot from this book. It is important that those considering a tenure track job/career read this as others have mentioned. I think it's even more important that administrators read it.

I had a slightly better experience, with lots of support from both colleagues and family so I'm more optimistic about my chances for tenure. Either way, it is important that we understand how it was for women even 10 years ago before they could stop the tenure clock to have children. No wonder so few women are full professors now. It's sad. The main lesson I took from this is that w/o a good support network and a husband/partner who significantly helps out, tenure is unlikely. Also, it's unlikely if anyone gets sick or has any disability. It is sad that this is the reality, but important that we know this.
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