Sharon Palmer
'SYSTEMATIC BIAS': Sharon Palmer claims Smith College's chemistry department discriminates against women.
Sharon Palmer, an assistant professor of chemistry at Smith College who was denied tenure despite the unanimous recommendation of her department (B. Goodman, The Scientist, April 29, 1996, page 1), filed a suit last month in the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) alleging gender bias. The Northampton, Mass., college's seven-member Committee on Tenure and Promotion rejected the chemistry department's recommendation, citing questions about Palmer's "rate of scholarly activity." However, Palmer contends, her record of publication is similar to that of male faculty members at the time they were granted tenure. She filed a grievance protesting the decision; the grievance was denied in June. In a statement to MCAD, Palmer wrote, "Specifically, I allege that Smith created and knowingly tolerated conditions within its chemistry department wherein female tenure track faculty were subject to substantially different...

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