Allison Kasic has a sobering piece on what is shaping up as the next front in the Title IX arena-namely alleged academic discrimination against women in academia in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Allison reports that there has already been one hearing on the subject in the House of Representatives:

“No Committee Member or panelist challenged the presumption behind the hearing-that discrimination is the primary cause of women’s underrepresentation among science and engineering academics-they turned right to consideration of government-mandated solutions to the perceived problem…

“Donna Shalala complained that, as a university president, she hears from a variety of government agencies and organizations about gender equity in sports, but rarely hears anything about gender equity in science. She went on to stress the need for an organization similar to the NCAA to hold schools accountable for Title IX enforcement.

“Another way to force change is pulling Congressional purse strings. The message from panelists was loud and clear: money talks and the government should leverage its funds to ‘ensure results.’

“Gretchen Ritter from the University of Texas at Austin also envisioned university provosts holding STEM department chairs accountable for their hiring practices with strict financial consequences, such as a year-long hiring freeze. Translation: hire more women or else.”