BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan Associate Professor of English Alison Sainsbury
has been named the third recipient of the James D. Dougan Award for Contributions
to Faculty Governance. This award honors the late professor of psychology who died
unexpectedly during the fall of 2010.
The Award was created by the Illinois Wesleyan chapter of the American Association
of University Professors (AAUP), to recognize valuable service by a faculty member
in keeping with Dougan's commitment to the faculty's right to help shape the direction
of the University. The award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates extraordinary
service, such as in advocating for faculty interests, for academic freedom, or in
finding cooperative solutions to campus challenges.
“This year we are pleased to award the Dougan Award to a faculty member who has spoken
truth to power for many years at Illinois Wesleyan University,” said Professor Jim
Matthews, president of the University’s AAUP chapter, in announcing Sainsbury as the
recipient. “Asking direct questions and holding administrators accountable may be
the most important way faculty can participate in faculty governance." Matthews went
on to note that one such question by Sainsbury changed his life, taking him from the
faculty in Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures to service for seven and
one-half years as Dean of Students.
“I wouldn't go so far as to say asking questions of the administration is the most
important thing we can do, but it's surely one important thing we must do,” said Sainsbury.
“It's an honor to be named, but it's more of an honor to have spent more than 20 years
as part of this engaged faculty so committed to the principles of faculty governance."
An English literature professor, Sainsbury’s teaching and scholarly interests include
post-colonial literature, British Imperialist discourse, women's writing and creative
non-fiction. Her memoir Lost River, a meditation on loss and the consolation of place,
was a finalist for the Bakeless Literary Prize in 2010. During her years on the faculty,
she has chaired the English Department, directed the Women’s Studies Program, chaired
the Hearing Committee and the Council on University Programs and Policies (CUPP).