Office of the President
September 10, 2021
Tags Community Messages

Task Force on the Status of Women Faculty

From the President

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

Cultivating a diverse and talented faculty is central to Brown’s mission of education and research. It is also essential that all faculty members have access to the same resources and opportunities regardless of sex or gender identity. With these goals in mind, we are writing to share that we have formed a Task Force on the Status of Women Faculty.

Nationally and at Brown, women faculty continue to be underrepresented in numerous fields, though they represent half of the scholars awarded doctoral degrees in most fields. At Brown, this was documented in the most recent annual report on the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP), which noted that in some fields, the percentage of women faculty has remained constant or even declined since the DIAP was launched in 2016. It is important that Brown assess what factors might be contributing to this specific outcome.

The University regularly engages in practices to ensure fair compensation of all employees, including a review which is currently underway assessing whether there are any gender differences in faculty compensation. While we have made measurable and meaningful progress toward the goals in the DIAP, we recognize that much more needs to be done as we strive to fulfill the aspirations we have set as an institution of higher education devoted to excellence.

The Task Force is charged with conducting a thorough study of factors that influence the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of women faculty at Brown, as well as making recommendations for improvement by the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. This analysis will be conducted with data from Brown and other major research universities in the United States. Diane Lipscombe, professor of neuroscience and director of the Carney Institute for Brain Science, will chair this Task Force, which will be composed of the following faculty and staff members:

  • Anna Aizer, Professor of Economics
  • Elissavet Amanatidou, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Classics and Director of Modern Greek Studies
  • Laurel Bestock, Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World and Egyptology and Assyriology, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture
  • Janet Blume, Professor of Engineering and Associate Dean of the Faculty
  • Prudence Carter, Sarah and Joseph Jr. Dowling Professor of Sociology
  • Beth Doherty, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Meredith Hastings, Professor of Environment and Society and Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences and Deputy Director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
  • Richard Heck, Professor of Philosophy
  • Rose McDermott, David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations
  • Jill Pipher, Elisha Benjamin Professor of Mathematics and Vice President for Research
  • Bjorn Sanstede, Professor of Applied Mathematics

The Task Force will be staffed by Research Associate Kristin Webster.

This is part of our continued effort to build and sustain a campus environment where all members are supported and can thrive.


Christina H. Paxson

Richard M. Locke