When the story first surfaced in January, it struck some as so unlikely that they questioned its veracity. Many women in science, however, said that the story rang true to them. Maybe they hadn’t experienced exactly the same thing, but they said they had seen plenty of senior male faculty members who were clueless at best and discriminatory at worst about responding to students or faculty members who become mothers.
The story was that a department chair in the veterinary school at the University of California at Davis had polled a class on what grade he should give to a student who had to miss some quizzes because she had given birth. On Monday afternoon, the university released a statement from Edward Feldman, chair of the medicine and epidemiology department, in which he apologized for the incident in his class, and said that he was complying with the university’s request to step down as chair.
We reported on this story earlier here.
I’m glad he’s apologising and stepping down, but is it really an adequate *punishment* to relieve someone of the endless admin duties of chairing a department?