Monday, August 11, 2008

Sheila Rowbotham is coming back to teach !

ACADEMIC work needn't mean "ivory tower". Sheila Rowbotham helped edit this book on women workers' struggles in the 'Third World'.

NOW for some good news for a change, and it's from the other Man. U. - the university that is. Seems the powers-that-be have seen a bit of sense, listened to some protests, and decided that after laying out an absurd amount for a few hours of outsider Martin Amis valuable time, they can, after all find the more modest funds necessary for keeping one of their more popular and respected lecturers on part-time.

Apologies to those of you who already read this in the Times Higher Education Supplement, but not having kept up my readership of that organ, I've just got the news via a thankyou message to members of the Save Sheila Rowbotham group on Facebook. Might as well let the THES tell the story:

Reprieve for feminist threatened with retirement

7 August 2008

By Melanie Newman

Sheila Rowbotham, the renowned feminist writer threatened with compulsory retirement by the University of Manchester, has won a three-year reprieve.

News that the professor of gender and labour history was being forced to retire at 65 provoked an outcry in May, with academics accusing the university of cynicism for keeping her on until the end of the latest research assessment exercise.

Others unfavourably compared the funding required for Professor Rowbotham, who had asked to stay on working a shorter week, with the £80,000 part-time teaching salary paid by Manchester to the author Martin Amis.

Times Higher Education has learnt that the professor will be kept on as a part-time academic on a third of her current pay. She will be known as a Simon professor, named after a local family that funds the chair.

"I'm obviously very pleased. It looked like there was no hope," Professor Rowbotham said. "I really thought nothing could be done." The job is a research post, but she will continue to teach a final-year course on counterculture after a student campaign.

Her biography of Edward Carpenter is due to be published in October, and she is completing another work on women's contribution to changing everyday life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A Manchester spokesman said: "An agreement has been drawn up regarding Professor Sheila Rowbotham's employment at the University of Manchester, and we are waiting for this to be finalised."

Terry Eagleton, a prominent Marxist and professor of English literature at Manchester, is still facing compulsory retirement this year.

Under age discrimination laws, all employees have a right to ask to continue working beyond the normal retirement age of 65, but employers are under no obligation to accept their request.

Just thought I'd add a reassurance for my old employers that they need not expect any request from me to keep on working after 65. But mine was a boring job anyway.; and to be honest, nobody was going to be petitioning for me to be kept on. Whereas Manchester has an asset hard to replace in Sheila Rowbotham, and an attraction, as the students pointed out.

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At 8:50 PM, Blogger Infantile and Disorderly said...

Speaking as a student at man uni, that's great news!!


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