New School of Religion principal begins term
Pamela Dickey Young is enjoying the early days of her new role as the Queen’s School of Religion’s interim principal.
“I think it’s exciting,” says Dr. Dickey Young, who takes over from former principal Jean Stairs. “The most exciting aspect of it is trying to craft a vision for the next few years, to get people thinking about where we are now and where we want to go in the future.”
Dr. Dickey Young came to Queen’s 26 years ago for her first full-time academic job and has been here ever since. Her current research focuses on the intersections among religion, sex and politics in places such as the debate over same-sex marriage. She is also working on a large project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on how gender and sexuality are often flashpoints in discussions of religious diversity.
An agreement to officially and fully integrate the School of Religion into Queen’s has been approved by the School of Religion Board of Management and is awaiting approval from the university’s Board of Trustees. If approved, the integration will commence May 1, 2012. After the integration, the school will no longer have a principal, but rather a director like other schools within the Faculty of Arts and Science.
“My job is to move the unit from here to there in the next 12 months,” says Dr. Dickey Young. “The biggest challenge is going to be getting everybody moving, or at least looking, in the same direction.”
As for advice she received from Dr. Stairs, Dr. Dickey Young says with a laugh: “She told me to keep a sense of humour.”
For more information about the Queen’s School of Religion visit the website.