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Over the last decade, many research universities have adopted policies and support mechanisms to help academic parents balance work and family. This study sought to understand what facilitates faculty agency in making decisions about work and family, including parental leave. We conducted 20 interviews with 5 men and 15 women at a research university that had initiated a parental-leave policy for academic parents. Factors influencing faculty sense of agency included the presence or lack of role models, departmental norms, university standards for working at home, the amount of capital that faculty felt they had acquired in departments, and parental-leave policies themselves.