“If there’s a proven breeding ground for institutional actors, it’s IRWGS…”


Mark van Doren Professor of Humanities, Chair of Literature Humanities

If we are so functional in this institute that we are constantly being asked to run departments, programs and divisions, give us more faculty. We’ve proven that we’re an excellent training ground for creating not just excellent scholars, but the great administrators, which are few on the ground. You want a lot of women, and women of color administrators, so give us more faculty lines, because we show again, and again and again, that we create the conditions that allow people to succeed in their scholarship and allow them to succeed as administrators and citizens. If there’s a proven breeding ground for institutional actors, it’s IRWGS, frankly. You just do the math. Literally everybody involved in that institute runs major, major units of this university. That’s not an accident. That’s called feminism. That’s feminist practice. That’s feminist networking, not in the old boys behind the scenes sense, but actually creating open and meaningful dialogue, collaborative practices, support networks, thinking from all levels. The reason that IRWGS has survived is because the senior people are constantly bringing in junior people, and then we in turn bring in more junior people. It’s the only way it survives.

Yes, that’s a bit of a rant, but I think it’s really a true observation. I think Lee Bollinger recognizes that. I hope other people recognize it. It’s just it’s statistically and factually true.