Court ruling highlights tough issues faced by academic couples
- The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled in favor of Beverly Haviland, who sued Brown University because of changes to the conditions of her employment after she and her husband both accepted positions at the school.
- When Brown recruited Paul Armstrong as a dean in 2000, part of their discussions centered around a promise to "work something out" for his wife, Haviland, a tenured professor at their previous school, Stony Brook.
- Experts say the case underscores the importance for faculty to have detailed discussions with officials before accepting positions, adding that it also shows how vulnerable academic couples can be to having changes to one position or the other.
From the article:
"Don't worry. We'll work it out." Many an academic couple has heard this line when one partner has been offered a job and arrangements haven't been quite worked out for the position of the other. A ruling by the Rhode Island Supreme Court this month may illustrate how important it is to get specific about what is being offered to the accompanying spouse. The ruling backed a woman who sued Brown University when the terms of her employment were changed after she and her husband accepted positions there. In this case, the couple in fact had detailed discussions with Brown officials before accepting the positions. ...
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