News Center

Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

Study Shows Hiring Of Dual-Career Academic Couples Is On The Rise

Publication Date: 
August 20, 2008
Stanford Report
Adam Gorlick

Robert Weisberg is quoted in a Stanford Report article about faculty hiring:

He has an fancy-sounding title, but Robert Weisberg gives himself a blunt job description when explaining what he does as "special assistant to the provost for faculty recruitment and retention."

"I'm a broker and a scrounger," Weisberg, a law professor, said of his non-scholarly duties at Stanford.

"I'll hear from a dean or a department chair trying to hire a target candidate saying the only way that person will take the job is if their husband or wife can get a job," Weisberg said.

"Sometimes I get a flat-out 'no,' and sometimes I can find a way in for the other person," Weisberg said. "But I can't tell anyone who to hire. My success rate is hard to measure, and it isn't as high as I'd like."


"I ask people to be receptive when it comes to partner hiring," Weisberg said. "It's a virtue to think of how hiring the couple is good for the overall university, not just individual departments."


For those who are concerned that dual-career hiring gives people an unfair advantage, Weisberg goes back to his unsuccessful track record of getting partners academic jobs on campus.

"At most, you can say there's an earlier or more generous look at someone's file," he said. "But there's almost nothing that a department would gain by picking a less qualified person. And the difficulty we have in getting a couple hired ensures there is no pernicious effect."