24th February 2009
UL Increases Its Number of Women at Full Professorial Level
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Pat O'Connor has commended the University of Limerick for registering above the national average in its percentage of female faculty at full professorial level. There are now five women Professors at UL constituting 14% of all those at that level in the University whereas the national average of female professors in Irish Universities stands at only 10%.
Professor O'Connor made her comments as the annual SOC bursaries were presented to three female UL students, however she stated that 'it is obvious that there is still a very great distance to go before we reached a situation where men and women were equally involved in the creation and dissemination of knowledge." The Chancellor of the University of Limerick, Peter Malone, presented the bursaries, worth €1,500 to first year students on the Degree in History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies on the basis of their Leaving Certificate points. The awards - the SOCs -were created by Professor Pat O Connor in 1997 in memory of her mother and to celebrate her appointment as the first woman at full Professorial level in the University of Limerick.
The recipients were Ruth Ni Cathain, from Barefield, Ennis, Co Clare who attended the Community College in Ennis; with a joint award being made to Patricia Waites, Moate, Co Westmeath, who attended Moate Community School and Pauline O'Dwyer Doon, County Limerick who attended St Joseph's Convent, Doon.
Speaking at the presentation, Pat O'Connor, a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, said that these young women, as students of the Social Sciences, were uniquely placed to understand the changing nature of our society. As a woman, and as a frequent beneficiary of Bursaries herself, Pat O'Connor said that she was "delighted to applaud the academic excellence of these young women. The initials SOC were those of my late mother, Sheila O'Connor, a graduate of University College Cork at the time the Marriage Bar was introduced in the 1930s. I look forward to a day when the loss to society, consequent on the perpetuation of a University system that has remained hierarchically and numerically male dominated, will be recognised and ended."
Pat O'Connor said that it was inconceivable that the imbalances between men and women as creators of knowledge could continue - all the more so because women now made up half of the undergraduates and postgraduates nationally, and 40 per cent of the faculty in the University of Limerick. However, in the event that these trends did continue, she asked the three young recipients, to remember this day, thirty years on, and to try to find some way of encouraging a new generation of young women, and so on and on until these patterns changed.
For further information contact:
Professor Pat O'Connor, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology and Social Policy,
University of Limerick,
Phone 353-61-202329 Fax 353-61-202569
Email Pat.OConnor@ul.ie; Mobile: 086-2338407
Pictured here: Ruth Ni Cathain, from Barefield, Ennis, Co Clare, Chancellor of the University of Limerick, Peter Malone, The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Pat O'Connor, Patricia Waites, Moate, Co Westmeath, and Pauline O'Dwyer Doon, County Limerick.