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Professor Who Sued Brown U. Gives It a $1-Million Gift

Susan Notes:

This is certainly outside the
topics which I usually post, but I'll take good
news where I can get it. I sat here and
pondered the enormity of this gift--not the
money amount but the emotional and intellectual
baggage Louise Lamphere was able to discard.
Maybe her example will help all of us let go of
a few grudges.


Kathryn Masterson

Three decades after suing Brown University for
sexual discrimination after being denied
tenure, Louise Lamphere, an anthropology
professor, has given Brown $1-million to create
a visiting professorship in gender studies.

Ms. Lamphere’s gift will establish a two-year
joint appointment, to be called the Louise
Lamphere Visiting Professorship, for young
faculty members to teach in women’s studies and
another department, The Brown Daily Herald
reported.

Ms. Lamphere’s class-action lawsuit, filed in
1977, changed how Brown hired and promoted its
faculty members (see this 1992 article from The
Chronicle). It was settled with a consent
decree that included timetables for hiring
female faculty members and promotion and hiring
guidelines for all faculty members. The decree
was annulled 14 years later, in 1992.

Ms. Lamphere, who now teaches at the University
of New Mexico, told the student newspaper that
she had chosen to establish the professorship
at Brown because she was inspired by the
leadership of Ruth J. Simmons, its president,
and because the university best matched her
academic interests.

“Of all the places I’ve been, it’s probably the
most well suited to do both anthropology and
gender studies,” she said.

Later this month, Brown’s anthropology
department will hold a conference in Ms.
Lamphere’s honor on the past and future of
gender studies.

— Kathryn Masterson
Chronicle of Higher Education


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