As more colleges have adopted "family friendly" policies for professors, many experts have noted that relatively small shares of those eligible for the flexible arrangements use them. Much has been written about why this is the case, with many observers guessing that young parents, especially women, fear that asking for flexible arrangements may hurt them in the tenure process.
Deborah L. Rhode has joined the campaign against the role of status in defining what matters in higher education. Her new book, In Pursuit of Knowledge: Scholars, Status, and Academic Culture (Stanford University Press) questions why excellence is defined as it is today, and explores the impact that prestige has on the choices made by academics and scholars. Rhode, a professor of law and director of the Center on Ethics at Stanford University, responded to questions about the themes of her book.