It's O'Reilly's Decision to Close ARM: York University Spokesperson
This is the third in a series of posts regarding the crisis facing the Association for Research in Mothering.
Part I: Mothers Rally to Save Association for Research on Mothering
Part II: Interview with Andrea O'Reilly: ARM's Mama Speaks Frankly About What's Ailing Her Baby
Part III consists of answers I received in response to a series of questions that I submitted to York University officials yesterday morning. I received written responses to those questions from York University spokesperson Keith Marnoch this evening.
Why hasn't York University agreed to ARM's requests for $20,000 in institutional support (as detailed here). (.pdf)
Marnoch: Over time, ARM has received significant financial support from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and York University. It is Professor O'Reilly who has apparently decided to close the Association. The Association operates outside of the University - it is not an organized research unit – or research centre.
York’s concerns with the association relate principally to issues of financial management and accountability. York has made numerous efforts to address these concerns with Professor O'Reilly and we have not been able to come to an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties.
What factors are considered in deciding whether a particular research centre receives funding?
Marnoch: ARM is an Association -- not an organized academic research unit or centre -- as part of its Association work it has a press, runs conferences and produces a journal - these are all quite different functions and require different resourcing.
How does ARM's record of achievements (on zero funding) compare to the records of achievement of other research centres?
Marnoch: ARM is not a research centre. They have a wonderful record of achievement largely reflecting the research [of] one scholar at York - its founder. ARM has made significant research contributions and has put research on mothering into the academy. At no point has either the Faculty or the University disputed the international research contributions of the ARM.
Does the university have a mandate to fund certain types of research?
Marnoch: There are many internal and external types of research that operate through the VPRI and individual Faculties. http://www.yorku.ca/researchDo partners (corporations or government) have a voice in establishing research priorities for the university? (In other words, do federal or provincial governments grants require that research dollars be used for business or scientific research as opposed to humanities research?) Must a return-on-investment be demonstrated?
Marnoch: Yes they do - largely in the realm of accounting and in dissemination of research results.
Note: Please read my interview with ARM founder-director Andrea O'Reilly (Part II in this series) for her perspective on the situation.