Macalester Students and Alumni in Support of Dr. Scott Morgensen sign now

Statement of Support

We, the undersigned students and alumni of Macalester College, issue the following statement of support for Dr. Scott Morgensen, Assistant Professor of Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, in reaction to his recent tenure denial.

For the last six years, Dr. Morgensen has brought boundless energy and acumen to the field of Queer Studies, and to teaching at Macalester College. He is in equal parts brilliant scholar, accessible adviser, engaging professor, mentor, and leader in the community. His participation both in Macalester and the broader community reflects his commitment to critical engagement with public life, most particularly the studies and movements of marginalized peoples. Moreover, Dr. Morgensen stands as a beacon of support for students on all corners of the globe researching and working on issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality.

As students, we feel that Professor Morgensen is an irreplaceable asset to the Macalester Community. We who have worked with him in classes, independent projects, internships, the Institute for Global Citizenship, or as advisees understand in our hearts and minds the true value of Professor Morgensens contribution to our lives as critical scholars, reflective learners, and as human beings engaged in our communities. As a citizen-scholar, Professor Morgensen embodies the values of Macalester College that many of us aspire to uphold. He and his groundbreaking scholarship serve as role models for countless Macalester students, staff, and faculty, past and present.

Macalester College prides itself in being a preeminent liberal arts college with special emphasis on internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to the community. The WGSS department plays a critical role in this mission by providing courses which focus on the lived experiences of marginalized peoples in local, national, international, and transnational communities. Dr. Morgensens tenure denial means that the department is left with only one full-time faculty member, jeopardizing the stability and existence of Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Macalester.

We regard the decision to deny tenure to a faculty member of Professor Morgensens caliber for the sole tenure-track position in WGSS as a momentous step backward in terms of Macalesters institutional commitment to the study of the lived experiences of marginalized peoples.

While it is the Colleges practice to fill positions left open by tenure denials, there is no guarantee that the Allocations Committee will fulfill such a request or require the position be allotted to a Queer Studies scholar. This is cause for great concern. Yet even if a Queer Studies position is allotted, we have no guarantee that the incoming professor will match the teaching excellence and cutting edge scholarship of Dr. Morgensen.

We write, therefore, to express our outrage and disappointment with this decision. However, we also write to express our hope. Unfortunately, Dr. Morgensens tenure denial is not the first denial of tenure to a Queer Studies professor. A disturbing trend has developed throughout universities nationwide, denying tenure to Queer Studies professors highly respected by their students and peers. This indicates an institutional failure to assess interdisciplinary and marginalized scholarship on its own terms.

Consequently, we are heartened but not surprised by the substantial demonstration of solidarity by students, parents, staff, faculty and alumni with Professor Morgensen and the WGSS Department. Such support has doubtlessly been a source of vital encouragement to Professor Morgensen in his move to appeal the denial decision.

We are calling upon key actors to uphold Macalesters institutional values, as Professor Morgensen has always done, as the appeals process goes forward. As some of the many lives Professor Morgensen has touched through his work, we care deeply about this decision for many reasons - for Professor Morgensen, for ourselves, for the school, for the fields of WGSS, American Studies and Queer Studies, and for the future of scholarship concerning the lived experience of marginalized peoples at Macalester and in the world.

We understand that we cannot rightly know or affect the details of the appeal process. We can, however, offer a simple promise: Over the coming months, as the process goes on, nothingneither our attention nor our solidaritywill wane. We will continue to speak out. Macalesters institutional values demand no less.

We only ask that Macalester take up this opportunity. For that would truly be a reason to have Scots pride!

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Sheri AcevedoBy:
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