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Vanderbilt named to ‘honor roll’ for women full professors in economics

Nov. 24, 2009, 2:43 PM

Vanderbilt was named to an “honor roll” of universities with full female professors in economics. The list was compiled by the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) of the American Economic Association.

The honor roll comes from self-reported survey data from institutions granting Ph.D.’s in economics collected in fall 2008. CSWEP has conducted the survey annually since 1972, and this year’s response rate was 92 percent. The reported data showed that 40 percent of all participating departments have no female full professors.

Vanderbilt has long been committed to recruiting and retaining senior female faculty in economics, said Tong Li, department chair. He said two professors who are women, Jennifer Reinganum and Myrna Wooders, are elected fellows of the Econometric Society, the most prestigious learned society in the field of economics. A third, Yanqin Fan, won this year’s Chancellor’s Research Award.

“Our goal is always to recruit the best candidates in economics and we are proud that a significant portion of them are women,” Li said. “These senior faculty serve as role models and mentors for attracting and retaining the best women doctoral students as well as junior faculty.”

On the honor roll, Columbia University had the most women with six female full professors (or 18 percent of the department). Also on the list were University of California-Berkeley with five (or 15 percent) and UCLA, five (25 percent). Joining Vanderbilt (19 percent) with four each were Colorado State University (44 percent), Princeton University (10 percent) and University of Massachusetts at Amherst (27 percent).

Additionally, CSWEP reported that nationwide there is only one female full professor for every 10 males in Ph.D. granting departments. However, one in three first-year Ph.D. students in economics is female.

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Media Contact: Jennifer Johnston (615) 322-NEWS