KSU to hold planning meeting for Center for Study of Gender and Sexuality

KSU center

University of Akron for sale on craigslist — briefly; pass it on

With all the bad news coming out of The University of Akron lately, we all need a good laugh. And that’s what we got when the ad below went up on craigslist earlier this evening. The post was short-lived, though; craigslist took it down quickly.

Luckily, I had already copied the text and saved the entire ad as a PDF, so here it is. Please share widely. Wouldn’t it be lovely it if went viral?

The University of Akron for Sale (Akron)

© craigslist – Map data © OpenStreetMap
302 East Buchtel Ave
condition: like new

It is with a heavy heart I have to share with you all that the University of Akron will be closing. I take no great pride in this but please know I’ve done all I can. By eliminating the baseball team, closing facilities, outsourcing dining, laying off employees, and refusing to put a watchable football team on the field, we have done all we can. All we can short of adding ‘fees’ to upper level courses, gave that a shot and it didn’t pan out. 

With this in mind I want you to know that the Board of Trustees and I, President Scott Scarborough, will be fine. With the sale we will ensure that our salaries are paid in full for the foreseeable future. 

Now, while this is sad news for many of you I want to point out for the business savvy this is GREAT news. With a property located around Downtown Akron there are a multitude of options! Maybe you want to open a hotel or department store downtown? We own property that would be great for those needs. Maybe you want to start a semi-pro football team, we’ve got the space. Maybe you want to start your own university or technical college, our accreditation has lapsed so you will have to figure that out but sure, why not! Maybe you’re an established school (Kent, Cleveland State, Ohio State?) that wants a new branch campus, let’s talk. This property could certainly be whatever you desire! 

Property Highlights: 

E.J. Thomas Hall – This Hall recently celebrated forty-two great years, that didn’t stop me from showing up with campus police to close the facility and lay off the employees! Don’t worry, this hall is still in great shape with all the decor you loved from the 70’s (the last time we invested in it!). Here you can bring in crowds of up to 3,000, for smaller crowds lower those magnificent ceilings to provide an intimate feel. 

Quaker Square – This former Quaker Oat Facility turned hotel turned Residence Hall has some great history. Or at least I assume it does, I didn’t bother learning about it in my short time here. Either way, they’ve got a banquet hall, rooms, and a few shop spaces so check it out. Also, it’s the fourth tallest building in the city! 

Bulger Hall – Speaking of tall buildings here’s another one! This is the 11th tallest building in the city and home to many future homeless students. Don’t worry, we already fired their staff. The kids will figure it out soon enough. 

Goodyear Polymer Center – Eighth tallest building in the city! Home to science. It’s so valuable I wanted to ensure that if we survived long enough to become a tech school ‘Poly’ was involved in one of the words! 

Buchtel Hall – Now this building has my office in it, and I’m keeping it. Have you seen my office? It’s great. 

Infocision Stadium – This stadium has only seen a handful of wins and a handful of people since opening day. Opened in 2009 due to the fact that we confused football with futbal it has hardly been used. Like new condition. 

Cub Cadet Field – Home to the National Champion Zips but could be used for your little league soccer tournaments, you’ll notice how good the grass is. The grass was grown and transported from out of state, from an area that had similar weather to Ohio! I heard T2 with the Portland Timbers is willing to take care of our team once they’re disbanded. God Bless you Caleb Porter. 

We’re looking for $40,000,000 obo on this property. Trades too. Since I moved here I’ve really got into the Black Keys and would love to trade the campus for an El Camino. 

President S. Scarborough 

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Mad Max as a feminist action film

My son took me to see “Mad Max Fury Road” last week. Little did I know I’d be watching a feminist action film, one in which Eve Ensler played a consulting role. I’m all for “sneaky feminism” like this. The film has also inspired a Tumblr blog, Feminist Mad Max, that is loaded with ingenious posts, like this one shared via Twitter:

KSU establishing new Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality

A Joint Statement from Dean James Blank and Associate Professor Molly Merryman Regarding LGBT Studies:

It is with great excitement that we share this news with you: The College of Arts & Sciences at Kent State University seeks to establish a Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, a faculty-led academic unit that will enable the expansion and integration of LGBT Studies and Women’s Studies. While the mission and exact structure are still to be developed over the next several weeks by an advisory group of faculty and students, it can be said that the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality will bring Kent State University to the forefront of gender and sexuality research and scholarship, and it will create new undergraduate and graduate courses and curriculum that will offer an interdisciplinary perspective for the exploration and understanding of constructions of gender and sexuality.

This afternoon, we had a fun and inspiring meeting discussing our ideas on how we can position Kent State University as a leader in the study of gender and sexuality, building on the past and current role our university has had providing innovative scholarly programs for students.

Additionally, Dean Blank has appointed Molly Merryman, an associate professor of Sociology, to lead the formation of the new Center. Merryman (who recently resigned as the coordinator for LGBT Studies to bring attention to the lack of support for that program) will step back into coordinating LGBT Studies, and will be joined in this new initiative by Suzanne Holt, the Women’s Studies coordinator and instructor.

In the five days since the resignation, there has been an amazing outpouring of support from students, faculty, staff and community members for the program. The positive enthusiasm of these advocates inspired both Jim Blank and Molly Merryman. Jim states: “In these emails and letters I saw great ideas, interest and energy, so I knew the time was right for us to put forward a new vision.”

We both are excited that together we are positioning Kent State University as an innovator in the scholarly understanding of sexuality and gender. The establishment of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality is more than a fix of the problem—it is an investment in the future of this interdisciplinary academic pursuit and a commitment to our students.

Expect more news from us as we pull together our team and move forward.

20 Feminist Gifts for Your Holiday Wish List

A merry feminist Christmas to us all.

The holiday season is here, which means it’s time to get our shopping on. We’ve scoured the Internet for the best feminist-friendly gifts so you don’t have to! In addition to the great finds from last year, we’ve discovered these 20 must-haves:



This sweater is the perfect gift for your daughter or niece to let them know that it is perfectly okay to be a princess but that they do not need saving.



The gift that will make anyone feel like the Queen Bey. You can buy this mug on Etsy.



This t-shirt is for a man in your life who is not afraid of your feminist “ferocity.”



These post-its are a great stocking stuffer for the feminist who might just change the world.

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Love in a Time of Contingency: A Letter to Women’s and Gender Studies

Love in a Time of Contingency: A Letter to Women’s and Gender Studies, a great piece by Gwendolyn Beetham, who will be at NWSA in Puerto Rico in November, talking about women and contingent employment in academia.

Please Support the NTT/Ally Takeover of the MLA


The primary reason I am no longer a member of the MLA is that I firmly believe the organization is more concerned with preserving the preening lifestyles of its very few Haves than it is with fighting to save beleaguered fields from total corporatized extinction.

This is readily apparent in the simple fact that the most recent report from the task force on doctoral study seemed primarily concerned with cramming as many grad students as possible into watered-down Literary MBAs in order to, in the words of ten of my colleagues who recently published an op-ed in Inside Higher Ed, capitulate to the new demands of the Fortune 500 University.

In response to what I now believe was a fairly tame (all things considered) “report” on that report (meta-report) I published–along with my friend “Adjunct Nate Silver”–on this very blog, the MLA and its supporters went on a full-scale “counterattack” on both me…

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My Last Day as a Professor

“It’s not that bad” – acknowledging privilege when critiquing the ‘Adjunct Narrative’

The Smart Casual

Please note: In this blog post I use the term ‘adjunct’, as that is the nomenclature used by my casual colleagues in the US. It is not exactly interchangeable with “casual” as we use it in Australian higher education, which is why I did not just substitute it in. However the issues faced by adjuncts in the US are parallel to the ones faced by casual academics in Australia, and this is the position I am taking with this post.

At the moment there is an outpouring of adjunct/casual rage within the blogging world. There is a seething undercurrent of resentment and hostility, where my casual colleagues are sharing their adjunct stories and communicating outside of the parameters of the networks offered by their institution to forge friendships and alliances. Their seems to be consensus that casualised staff within the higher education sector are marginalised and excluded, that…

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On Recognizing Privilege

Bad Cover Version

By now, you may have seen this post on the Chronicle Vitae site. In it, Kelli Marshall, a lecturer at DePaul University, talks about her job as an adjunct as a pretty pleasurable experience. And, really, reading her description: it’s not so bad. She apparently makes more than most adjuncts (almost the starting salary of an assistant professor, she says), has a decent commute, has an office, and is fairly secure in her situation. Oh, and she has a husband, also in academia, with a full-time job.

Now, if you caught me on a really good day, that description could be me (except that my husband is not in academia). On a bad day, like today, when it took me over an hour to commute 3.7 miles via bus, you will only get scowls from my general direction. I’ve been teaching at the same two institutions for the past five…

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