Tag Archives: political science

Only 1.5 Tenured Women in SFU’s PoliSci Department


There are only 1.5 tenured women who work full-time in SFU’s Political Science Department out of 21 profs. Soon there will be 0.5. What century is this?

Behold the list of faculty in the department:

  1. Of the 21 people on that list, only 6 are women. Whoops, that’s pretty low to start with.
  2. Of the 6 women, 2 are actually retired or retiring very soon; they both had tenure. Whoops, time to update the faculty list webpage.
  3. Of the remaining 4, only one has tenure and she works in another department as well. The other 3 don’t have tenure and only 2 of them work fully in the political science department.
  4. This all means that of the 6 women in the department, the only 2 who work full-time in political science don’t have tenure.

That’s just embarrassing. After picking up a couple degrees there this decade, I’ve seen the tail end of a problem that has existed for many years to get to the point today where women are so ridiculously outnumbered.

Gender and cultural equity matter. Diverse voices matter. A reasonable number of non white men would be good, but now a large majority of the department’s professors are white men.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some extraordinary, intriguing professors in the department, as well as maybe a normal proportion of horrible/demeaning/arrogant teachers. This applies to tenured and non-tenured professors of whatever gender and cultural background.

But the bureaucratic and interpersonal dysfunctions in the department are my best explanations for why the department was put under administration by the dean’s office, why faculty are leaving, why grad students are dismissively neglected, why undergrads seek other majors and different schools for graduate studies, and why when I go to academic conferences people ask me if it’s really as bad at SFU as they’ve heard.

And the worst part is that the leadership of the university has known about these problems for years. I have no idea the extent they have gone to address the problems, but whatever they’ve tried, it’s failing.

Suddenly now we have the horrible statistic of almost no full-time tenured women in the department. And judging by the problems that led to this dire situation, I can’t see how the department is capable of or interested in fixing this situation.

Nous sommes prets. We are ready. That’s SFU’s motto.

A recent slogan is “Thinking of the World.”

It’s time to walk the talk.