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Dartmouth College closes Gender Research Institute

Union Leader Correspondent

October 16. 2017 10:14PM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College has closed its Gender Research Institute.

GRID director Annabel Martín said GRID was closed July 1, “with no prior warning.”

“We were one of the few institutes that brought in scholars with high social impact, scholars whose connection with social change is immediate,” she said. “The spring seminar and postdoctoral program have a direct impact on the quality of intellectual life that Dartmouth offers its faculty and students as well as its being a prime site to tackle the complexities surrounding diversity, academic freedom, race relations, and the many inequalities facing women and the LGBTQI communities,” Martin said in an email Thursday. “Many students have life-changing stories that GRID facilitated for them; many faculty found their home community through a GRID seminar or felt inspired to think about their disciplinary training from an interdisciplinary framework; our international visiting scholars are no longer. GRID provided food for the mind and for the soul and had a core of strong ethical commitment to social change. We tried to bring all of these energies together. Sadly and inexplicably gone.”

Martin said she doesn’t know why the Provost Office decided to terminate GRID’s funding, saying that on May 1 she met with officials from the office to go over the 2017-2018 budget, and put in a procedure in place for the search of a new director since her four-year term would be ending, “and we were excited about the progress of the institute itself. Then on July 1, with no prior warning, GRID is gone.”

College spokeman Diana Lawrence said in a statement Thursday, “The Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth was funded through a limited-term grant. Although funding for GRID is completed, Dartmouth’s commitment to gender-related faculty research is ongoing through the Dartmouth Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department.”

GRID was inaugurated in the summer of 2013 with Martin as the founding director. GRID was unlike other institutions in that its gender scholarship was geared to social change on multiple scales, Martin said, and because of that GRID involved undergraduate students in its research seminars, unlike other institutions whose focus is on graduate work.

Martin said she is hopeful GRID will be reopened, however, “there is nothing on the immediate horizon.”

“It took the faculty many years of struggle to get GRID off the ground and it took me 5 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours to make GRID what it has become in such a small amount of time. A quick look at the roster of guests and activities will give you a sense of our accomplishments,” she wrote.

In the meantime Dartmouth plans to fund small grants for research, she said, to be administered by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program with administrative support from Dartmouth’s Leslie Center for the Humanities.

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