I received in today’s mail UC Davis School of Law’s glossy brochure announcing the school’s “New Faculty Members & Endowed Chairs and Professorships.” The Dean’s Message proudly proclaims,
[T]he School now has six endowed Chairs and Professorships. These Chairs and Professorships, and the generous donors who have made them possible, are critical to recruiting and retaining excellent faculty. The holders of five Chairs and Professorships are listed in this brochure. The new recipient for the sixth Chair and Professorship will be announced this fall.
The professors are (from left to right) Floyd Feeney, Cruz Reynoso, Edward Imwinkelried, Kevin R. Johnson and Robert W. Hillman. Congratulations to these professors, Dean Perschbacher and the entire Davis community.
The first thing that struck me about the brochure is that all 5 of the announced Endowed Chairs and Professorships are held by men. I know we’re supposed to be past the days of “counting heads,” but sometimes lack of gender diversity stares right up from the page.
My rough calculation based on the brochure’s faculty list is that Davis has 8 tenured female faculty members (out of 43 total faculty members listed).
What does it say about an institution if all of its named chairs/professorships are held by men? It could be a coincidence; it could indicate that women lack status in the law school. It could mean both nothing or everything, but the data at least should be a beginning (or continuing) point for conversations about women’s equality.