Hill honored as Professor
During its March 26 meeting, the Brandeis University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to award Anita Hill the position of University Professor. Hill is a professor of Social Policy; Law; and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a senior advisor to the provost.
“I am absolutely honored and thrilled with this appointment,” Hill told the Justice in a phone interview.
“I really do owe so much to my colleagues for their support and encouragement,” she added.
The title of University Professor is a prestigious award bestowed upon “faculty members of surpassing eminence whose work cuts across disciplinary boundaries, who have achieved exceptional scholarly or professional distinction within the academic community, and whose appointment will enhance the reputation and prestige of the university” according to an April 15 BrandeisNOW article.
Hill has been a member of the Brandeis faculty since 1998, when she visited the campus and became “enamored” with the Women’s Studies program, which is now called Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Because the program was made up of temporary appointments of individuals from other programs and institutions, Hill told the Justice, she had to secure a permanent Brandeis appointment if she really wanted to remain affiliated with the program.
Around this time, Hill was “approached by the dean of the Heller School, Jack Shonkoff, about taking on a more permanent role in the University.”
Over her Brandeis career, Hill has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate classes, such as HS 120A "Race and the Law" and HS 218A "Social Justice and the Obama Administration."
“Part of what makes the University Professorship so exciting,” said Hill, “is that I can now expand on the number of courses [I teach] outside of Heller.”
In addition to her academic work, Hill has been a significant voice in the shaping of the University’s Strategic Plan and chaired University committees on diversity and communications, according to BrandeisNOW.
She has been involved with national searches to fill faculty and senior administrative positions as part of her involvement with the Office of the Provost.
Hill earned her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and her law degree from Yale University.
Before coming to Brandeis, Hill worked in the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.
She then followed this with her work at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
She was thrust into the public spotlight during the hearings on Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court in 1991.
During this time, she testified that Thomas had sexually harassed her during their time working together.
Hill was also the subject of a 2013 documentary film, Anita, which detailed her experience during the scandal.
Hill is currently on sabbatical from the University and will resume teaching during the 2015 to 2016 academic year.
During her time on leave, Hill told the Justice that she has been conducting “research on topics including the questions of how race and gender interjectionally impact academic contributions.”
Additionally, Hill said she has been researching what African-American women have been conducting, and “what their contribution to the intellectual community has been over the past 23 years.”