Petition to Keep Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Gains Signatures Monday; GOP Installed IU Trustees will vote this week on whether to Separate the Institute from IU making it vulnerable to being shut down entirely

Staff report

Bloomington, Indiana – November 6, 2023

A movement to preserve the Kinsey Institute’s storied history and maintain its unity with Indiana University (IU) is gaining momentum as concerns mount over a proposed separation. The petition, titled “Keep Kinsey Institute at Indiana University,” was initiated on November 1, 2023, by Jen Bass, and is generating significant support from advocates of the institute’s legacy.

By Monday morning the petition had gained 1914 signatures.

The Kinsey Institute, renowned for its pioneering research in human sexuality, has been an integral part of Indiana University, Bloomington, for decades. However, recent developments have revealed plans to relocate the institute into a separate 501c3 organization, potentially putting its independence and mission at risk.

On October 27, 2023, members of the Kinsey Institute were made aware of this proposed change, which differs dramatically from past organizational structures aimed at safeguarding sensitive research data and controversial materials from state interference, according to a statement by Jen Bass on the Petition link. Although proponents of the move have framed it as a means to shield the Kinsey Institute from recent legislation, there are concerns that this separation could render the institute vulnerable, according to Bass.

One significant apprehension is the lack of a guarantee that members of the Kinsey Institute will retain control over the board of the new organization. This vulnerability could potentially lead to the dissolution of the institute should a hostile board take control, whether in the present or the future.

Additionally, the proposal threatens to sever the Kinsey Institute from the Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections, which have always been an integral and inseparable part of the institute. These valuable collections would remain under IU’s control, further complicating the institute’s mission and purpose.

In response to these concerns, advocates of the “Keep Kinsey Institute at Indiana University” petition are urging President Pamela Whitten, the IU Board of Trustees, and the university administration to maintain the integrity of the Kinsey Institute and its Collections as a unified organization within Indiana University.

The petition, with the hashtag #KeepKinseyIU, has been gaining support and momentum, signifying the widespread interest in preserving the institute’s legacy and ensuring its continued success as an essential part of Indiana University.

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, often referred to as The Kinsey Institute, is a renowned research institution located at Indiana University. Established in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1947 as an independent nonprofit organization, it became fully integrated with Indiana University in 2016, ending its separate incorporation.

The institute is dedicated to advancing our understanding of human sexuality and relationships through various means, including research, outreach, education, and historical preservation. Its primary activities encompass research initiatives, graduate training programs, information services, and the collection and preservation of library, art, and archival materials.

Throughout its history, The Kinsey Institute and its founder, Alfred Kinsey, have been the subject of significant controversy due to their pioneering work in the field of human sexuality.

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