BLOOMINGTON (AP) -- A year after June Reinisch retired as head of the
Kinsey Institute, the search for her successor is on hold pending an expansion
of the sex research agency's board of directors.
IU halted the search earlier this year so the board could be expanded beyond
its current six members and to allow the university to clarify the lines of
communications between the two organizations.
Without those changes, attracting a new director to the 48-year-old
institute for sex, gender and reproduction would be difficult, said Jeff
Alberts, an IU psychology professor who is the university's spokesman on the
"Our experience when a person answers an ad for a job like this is they
expect some straightforward answers," said Alberts, also associate dean for
Research and the University Graduate School. "Questions such as, `To whom do I
answer? What is the precise relationship between the institution and the
university? Who's on the board?"'
Reinisch retired in March 1993 following a long legal dispute with IU
involving her leadership of the institute. After her departure, a faculty
advisory group recommended the university slash Kinsey's budget, withholding
full funding until a new director was found.
In December, the university and the institute appeared to have put the
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controversies involving Reinisch behind them when they announced the formation
of an 11-person committee to search for her successor.
But that search has remained stalled as both groups bicker over issues of
Stephanie Sanders, the institute's interim director, said she thinks several
months of negotiations have made the lines of reporting clear. She also thinks
that three IU professors sitting on the current board guarantee that IU has a
sufficient say in Kinsey's affairs.
"I still don't understand why the search and screen process is hostage to"
expanding the board, said Sanders.
Jeanne Peterson, an IU history professor who served on the advisory board
that recommended limiting funding for the institute, said relations between the
two groups would be bolstered if more IU faculty were added to the Kinsey board.
She said the growth of sex research in the humanities and the sciences would
attract many faculty to a revamped Kinsey Institute.
In the meantime, Sanders said she hopes the two sides can reach a compromise
soon so the search for a new director can resume.
"There's been a kind of rift, which is not good for Kinsey or the rest of
the university," she said. "Most people who aren't dealing with Kinsey aren't
because of a sense of distance."