The college knows that providing support for partners and spouses is crucial for attracting and retaining tenure-track faculty. Eighty-four percent of our tenure-line faculty are married or partnered.
Listed below are questions frequently asked by hiring units, current and prospective tenure-track faculty:
Is it possible for the college to employ faculty spouses and partners?
Williams employs more than a quarter of all faculty partners/spouses. About 20% of the partners/spouses of faculty, have faculty positions of some kind at the college, ranging from short-term visiting positions to tenure-line positions. The remainder hold staff positions. Unfortunately, the college cannot employ all spouses and partners of faculty hired by Williams. The college simply does not have the capacity for that.
What employment resources are available at the college for faculty spouses and partners?
The college’s Manager for Spouse Partner Resources provides transitional and job search support to spouses and partners of current and prospective faculty and administrative staff. Faculty job candidates are welcome to contact Marybeth Mitts for preliminary consultation. More information is available here.
What kinds of faculty positions may be available for an academic partner or spouse of tenure-track faculty?
The college is committed to doing its very best to provide teaching opportunities for academic partners and spouses, whether full- or part-time, for at least one year. In many cases this will be possible; in some cases it will not.
Upon learning that a tenure-track finalist or job offeree has an academic partner/spouse interested in an academic position at Williams College, the Dean of the Faculty works with hiring chairs and the chairs of other relevant departments and programs to try to craft an appropriate teaching position.
Such positions are most likely to be short-term visiting positions (1-3 years) intended to offer teaching experience, involvement in the intellectual community, and networking and professional development opportunities (by providing access to First3 and other opportunities such as roundtables and publishing day) so that the academic partner/spouse has a local base from which to seek longer-term academic positions, ideally within driving distance. Less frequently, it may be possible for an academic partner/spouse to become a continuing member of the Williams faculty, either as a lecturer or (rarely) tenure-line faculty member.
Candidates may choose to disclose that they have an academic partner/spouse at any stage in the search process; hiring chairs ought to communicate with the Dean of the Faculty as soon as they learn about an academic partner/spouse interested in an academic opportunity at the college.
What if there is no academic niche for a faculty spouse/partner at the college, or what if the spouse/partner simply wants an academic affiliation without teaching responsibility?
All academic partners and spouses are eligible to become Research Associates with library privileges and access to other campus resources. These appointments carry with them no compensation and no guarantee of access to office, studio or laboratory space. They do, however, offer a title and institutional affiliation.