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“The Corruption of Higher Ed & How Faculty Can Fight Back: The George Mason U. Example” with Dr. Bethany Letiecq, GMU

February 15 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Dr. Bethany Letiecq

NOTE: Participation from distance is enabled by Zoom via this web link

Unchecked donor influence is corrupting public higher education, particularly across institutions that lack mechanisms of transparency.

At George Mason University, donors with political, economic, and social change agendas have been granted outsized influence in faculty selection and retention as well as research production and dissemination.

For this talk, Dr. Letiecq will discuss undue donor influence and the ways in which faculty and students can push back to uphold or regain shared governance, academic freedom, and academic independence.


Bethany Letiecq is an associate professor in the Human Development and Family Science program–a joint academic program of the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in health education/family studies and her MS in family and community development from the University of Maryland, College Park.

She also serves on the GMU Faculty Senate and as president of the Mason advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Dr. Letiecq employs community-based participatory and action research approaches to conduct research in partnership with families systematically marginalized by society to promote family health and justice. She is keenly interested in how social policies and practices facilitate or hinder family functioning and health across all families. Currently, she is working on two projects in Virginia: 1) conducting research to establish a partnership with and document the lived experiences of Black families residing in public housing targeted for redevelopment; and 2) conducting research and action with undocumented immigrant families mainly from Central America to document their family and community contexts, including housing and engagement within the public school system. She also continues to work in partnership with Mexican migrants to Montana to support access to health care, education-based services, and migrant justice. With her community partners, she co-founded the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (MIJA.org), a statewide nonprofit working for immigrant rights.

Dr. Letiecq teaches courses on family law and public policy; individual and family development; and family-based human services delivery systems. She serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Family Issues and has published her research in such professional outlets as Family Relations, Journal of Family Theory and Review, FatheringJournal of Family IssuesJournal of Intergenerational Relationships, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, and Health Education and Behavior. She is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations (currently serving on the NCFR Board of Directors), the American Sociological Association, the Council on Contemporary Families, and the American Public Health Association.


February 15
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Future U, Neoliberalism in Higher Education


102 Kellogg Center
East Lansing , MI 48824 United States + Google Map