Hello UA members,
I am the incoming United Academics Vice President for Diversity and Equity, and I am very excited to embark on projects and advocacy that can address political climate issues and structural inequities faculty face at the University of Oregon. I have been at the University of Oregon since 2000, and am a faculty member in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies (IRES). I am a trained sociologist, however my work is highly interdisciplinary. My first book examined the convergence of two Clinton era federal policies, welfare and immigration reform, and the immigrant mobilization that ensued in response. My focus is on Asian American Studies, and my current book project pushes a queering of Asian American feminist frameworks by critiquing normativity politics. I served as the department head of IRES for five years, and was a founding member of the UO Faculty and Staff of Color Coalition (2002-2008), and a founding member of the Women of Color project in the Center for the Study of Women in Society (2008-present). I have three children, one I had as an undergraduate, the other two came when I was a pre-tenure. I’ve also experienced the challenges of caring for my ill and now deceased parents, while I work toward full professor.
I share this information as a way to introduce myself, but also to impart a lived experience and understanding of the many challenges folks face while fulfilling the day-to-day teaching, research, and service workload at an institution that is not necessarily structured for complex life and family conditions. Furthermore, our work lives, well-being, and health are impacted by the political climate and processes of a predominantly white institution situated in the Pacific Northwest. Which brings me to the purpose of this message.
My beloved colleague and predecessor Michael Hames-Garcia (now at UT Austin) established and organized the United Academic’s caucuses. At this point we have three main caucuses, the Working Families Caucus, the Pride Caucus, and the Faculty of Color Caucus. Many of you are already members of these caucuses. I would like to gather information about how our membership engages and works with the caucuses. Would you like to join a caucus? What would you like to see happen in the caucus? Is there a different caucus or working group you’d like to see formed? This brief survey will help me think through future organizing and best ways to focus our collective energies.
With that, I hope you are all faring okay given our reopening during the pandemic. If you have other concerns or would just like to introduce yourself please drop me a line: [email protected].
Wishing you my best,
Lynn Fujiwara, UAUO Vice President for Diversity and Equity