Snowber, C. (2009). Spousal Hire Educational Insights, 13(4).

Spousal Hire

Celeste Snowber
Simon Fraser University

©Valerie Triggs

You say you’ll support
a spousal hire.
Present definition: the hire
of a faculty’s spouse for luring
them into the academy
or retaining them.
Couples get privileges,
points for following rules
of convention, like tenure -
the tenured relationship,
gets a chance at tenure track,
two are better than one,
so they say.

Now what about the ones
who are single, or suffer
relationship casualties through
the academy? Would you
find a spouse for them,
and could we recons true
what “spousal hire” means?
The data not the dates reveal that
usually the women are single
or remain single after divorce.
Perhaps there could be a

job  advertisement for
a spousal-hire for
cross-disciplinary purposes.

Spouse required for juicy brilliant
attractive academic to accompany
tenure-track faculty through the
ups and downs of university life.
Qualifications include, but not limited
to, a person who can be flexible, cope
with demanding schedule of partner, and
likes solitude when partner leaves for
conferences. You have a propensity
for handling deep thought, quirky
behaviour, continual change, but consistently
adore and engage in fabulous lovemaking.
Good sensuous cooking is always an
asset, and a poetic spirit with a sense of
humour will help. Must not be afraid of
strong sexy women, or men for that matter.
Those who have not yet attended to
their inner work need not apply. Preferred
candidates will be able to access their
own wildness without dependency on another.

Now this would be a model for really
looking after new faculty.  An ethics
of care which sustains a pedagogy of love
and simultaneously equally provides for
both single and married people.  This is an
equal opportunity spousal-hire that carries
all the ramifications of a transgressive
act and contributes to hiring, retention
and renewal practices for faculty.

What started as a joke about a single
women in leadership in the academy,
now to poetic form - the only strategy
left is to put it into policy,
from poetics to policy. 


About the Author

Celeste Snowber is a dancer, writer and educator, as well as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She has written numerous essays and poetry for journals and chapters in books in the areas of the arts, holistic education and curriculum studies. She is the author of Embodied Prayer, which is in its 2nd edition.  She is presently finishing a book entitled, “Sexy from the Inside Out,” which has nothing to do with spousal hire. Celeste lives outside Vancouver and has three sons, all a tribe of artists.

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