Twelve scholars involved in gender studies express their support for Susanne Täuber, recently fired by the RUG, in this letter submitted. ‘Give Täuber a job in the gender studies minor.’
The Centre for Gender Studies is disheartened to learn that the court has ruled in favour of university management which has chosen to fire Dr. Susanne Täuber, our co-chair for the Centre for Gender Studies for the last two years and a valued colleague, teacher, researcher, and friend. Despite the trauma and stress of having to defend her critical and essential research during this period, Dr. Täuber managed to successfully execute her duties as co-chair, helping to initiate and organise the various events of the programme.
During this last year, she also co-taught one of the most valued courses for our students within the gender and diversity university minor, Doing Gender and Diversity in the Workplace, a field for which she has established an international reputation as a scholar and researcher. Her expertise in relation to organisational behaviour, focused upon gender and social structures in the workplace, made her the ideal candidate for this course. Within it, students gained important perspectives and skills from her as well as from the guest researchers invited by Dr. Täuber from her ambitiously cultivated network.
Dr. Täuber was invited to co-chair the Centre for Gender Studies by the former board this coming academic year (2023/24) as well as coordinate the entire minor while taking on additional teaching duties within the minor, especially as her background and research makes her perfectly suited for this task. Yet our persistent inquiries to her former faculty eventually produced a negative response.
The claim that the university tried its best to find a suitable place for her outside of her faculty appears incorrect
Therefore, the claim that the university tried its best to find a suitable place for her outside of her faculty appears incorrect. Now the university’s position has left a void in the minor, one greatly valued by students from all faculties of the university. Täuber would have been welcome in this capacity where her timely ideas and proactive research could have flourished.
The lack of structural support for gender and diversity studies here at the university has led to shortages in lecturers and a lack of resources for staffing courses and seminars. Despite this, the lecturers of this minor have repeatedly volunteered, because they deeply value the insights brought to our students from feminist frameworks and from the critical concepts and approaches introduced by scholars of intersectionality, critical race, and sexuality studies. For the past three years, many students have personally written to us claiming that this was the most valuable facet of their university education.
Täuber’s research could have contributed meaningfully to the gender studies minor and also been instrumental in improving dynamics here at the UG which continues to lag behind in terms of promotion trajectories for women and also in terms of complaints procedures in regard to gender exclusion, bullying, and (sexual) harassment. The suggestions for improving such conditions provided by the YAG report are practical and effective.
Täuber’s research could have been instrumental in improving dynamics here at the UG
Had they been undertaken, improved conditions and a more inclusive and safer working space would have prevailed, but rather than adopt these, the university has chosen to terminate Dr. Täuber’s position. Because of this, especially ambitious international women (and men) often choose to leave rather than voice their complaints. Indeed, as stated in the report, ‘complaints are typically managed in a way that protects the perpetrators and re-victimises the reporters of misconduct’.
We stand in solidarity with Dr. Täuber and her dismissal is a true loss to the intellectual, academic, and educational community of the UG. We hope the university board reconsiders its position as Täuber’s expertise would be a welcome addition to the Centre for Gender Studies and for the university minor in gender and diversity. In short, there IS a place for Dr. Täuber in this university and it is within the area of gender studies at the Faculty of Arts.
Kristin McGee (co-chair of the Centre for Gender Studies, assistant professor of Popular Music, ACM), Mineke Bosch (former chair of the Centre for Gender Studies, professor emeritus of Modern History. Faculty of Arts, University Groningen), Petra Broomans (past chair for the Centre for Gender Studies, associate professor emeritus Scandinavian Studies UG, visiting professor emeritus Ghent University, dr. h.c. Uppsala University), Mathilde van Dijk (past board member for the Centre for Gender Studies), Janet Fuller (liaison to the University Minor for Gender and Diversity in Science, Society and Culture, professor of Language and Society, Department of European Languages and Cultures), Jeanette den Toonder (lecturer for the gender and diversity minor, assistant professor & director Centre for Canadian Studies), Ksenia Robbe (board member, Centre for Gender Studies, assistant professor/senior lecturer European Languages and Culture), Seonok Lee (guest lecturer for the gender and diversity minor, assistant professor minority and multilingualism), Judith Jansma (course coordinator in gender and diversity minor), Camilla Sutherland (board member for the Centre for Gender Studies, assistant professor European culture and literature: Spanish), Donya Ahmadi (assistant professor of international relations and interim treasurer of the Centre for Gender Studies), Seiki Tanaka (past board member, Centre for Gender Studies, assistant professor of international relations)