Approximately eight of every ten academics have spouses or partners who are working professionals, and almost half of these partners are academics as well. In fact, dual-career academic couples are so prevalent that "the two-body problem" has become a common way of referring to the situation. Increasingly, intense competition to hire the best faculty forces institutions to assist dual-career couples in finding suitable employment for the accompanying spouse or partner.
The authors of The Two-Body Problem examine policies and practices used by colleges and universities to respond to the needs of dual-career couples within the economic, legal, and demographic contexts of higher education. Using data from an extensive survey of public and private universities as well as in-depth case studies of institutions representing distinctive approaches to this problem, the authors find that the type of institution—its location, size, governance, mission, and resource availability—is a critical factor in determining dual-career employment options. The Two-Body Problem describes various accommodation models in depth and provides valuable information for college and university administrators responsible for hiring faculty and supporting their performance.