What?!? This is how a chair should act?

from the CHE:

The job of a department chair is one of the most demanding on the campus. Chairs serve as a buffer between the faculty and the administration. The essence of the role is to protect and support the department’s faculty, both the full-timers and the adjuncts.

A lot of the chair’s work involves clearing obstacles that prevent people from thriving. The more that faculty members were unencumbered, I found, the better they were able to teach, do service work, and be productive researchers. If they needed something to help them succeed, like more space, or money, or time, I would do my best to get those things for them, and that became a major source of my own job satisfaction.

Complaints about tenure discrimination, harassment, bullying, unfair allocations of resources may mention the at least unhelpful chair. I myself will never forget the (fortunately distant) chair who said of a dean, “The dean is my boss; I must do what he says.” So I’m wondering, are there chairs like the above in philosophy? Can we use them? I mean at least get a sense of who they are and whether they like help in areas where we (broadly understood to include the CSW and others) have expertise?

I’ve been wondering about civility in our part of the academy (search under “mobbing” if you are curious). Perhaps we could get some people who’d be prepared to have role in a civility project.

These men would like you to kindly shut up about gendered conferences

UK charity Entangled Bank Events (who describe themselves as a charity “run by a group of experienced business and events-management volunteers who are passionate about science”) are hosting a symposium with speakers including Bill Bailey, Richard Dawkins, Richard Wiseman, Richard Fortey and Quentin Cooper. There are no women on the program. The conference website contained a helpful FAQ, which included the following:

This portion of the FAQ has since been removed. Jezebel has more on the story.

Men discuss the evolution of morality

Another gendered event:  The Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science Forum, “Evolutionary Explanations of Morality,” has an all-male lineup of speakers.


If you want to know about the harm that all-male events do, please check out this link to our Gendered Conference Campaign.


If you want to comment on this post I would like to invite you to first check out this list of frequently asked questions about the Gendered Conference Campaign.  Doing so might spare us all from repeating conversations in the comments.


Finally, here are some strategies for avoiding creating a gendered conference.