Canadian Women College Presidents, Deans and Senior Faculty, Their Professional Identities and Contributions to the Hi Tech Knowledge Economy

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Linda MUZZIN, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada
Community colleges (as compared to universities) are not constructed as sites for knowledge production, but rather as training facilities for 1) the trades; 2) technology workers supporting professions such as engineering; 3) female dominated fields such as early childhood education; 4) workers supporting businesses; 5) literacy workers; and 5) female-dominated health professions, This paper argues, based on a national study of 320 college administrators and faculty, that sexually- or racially-minoritized women presidents of colleges; deans of, for example, trades, technology, so-called ‘allied’ health professions; or faculty members developing innovative curricula in both feminized and masculinized fields can be reconstructed and thus become visible as essential workers in the global knowledge economy. These individuals have taken up discourses of entrepreneurialism in the construction of their professional identities, which they may incorporate unproblematically or as a work of social justice or making-a-difference. Even where deans and coordinators in these fields were not women, male and racially-minoritized administrators were found to work with national or local organizations to recruit women and students (such as Aboriginal students in northern colleges, or women in the trades) into college programs where such students were difficult to engage. The paper will examine the discourses taken up by these college administrators and faculty, showing the complex interplay of their contributions to the knowledge economy as well as problematizing their roles in the construction of a global economy.