New Web Site Ranks Graduate Philosophy Programs on Gender Equality

A new Web site, The Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy, aims to provide information for prospective students on where they should pursue graduate studies in the discipline. Among information being offered is “where students from traditionally under-represented populations might reasonably expect to find a welcoming environment.”

The guide calls out three universities that it believes need to improve the climate for women: Rutgers University, New York University, and Princeton University. The rankings were the result of a survey of 45 members of an advisory board of senior scholars who were asked to answer a series of questions on gender issues. Respondents were asked for their level of agreement on statements such as, “Women students face more difficulties because of their gender” and “Sexual harassment of female students is not an ongoing concern.” The members of the advisory board were told not to answer questions about graduate programs for which they had no knowledge.

Critics charge that the rankings were produced without surveying or interviewing current women graduate students in the philosophy departments at these universities. Current doctoral and recent PH.D. graduates in philosophy at Rutgers issued a statement saying that they had no complaints on gender equality issues and that they should have been consulted in order to get an accurate assessment of the climate in the department for women. But the group Feminist Philosophers was highly supportive of the new guide and the effort to point out that women have had, and continue to have, problems gaining faculty and leadership positions in the discipline.

Linda M. Alcoff, co-founder of the new Web site, is a professor of philosophy at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self (Oxford University Press, 2006).

Filed Under: DiscriminationGraduate Schools


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply