Professor Terry Rees 1949 – 2023

We were, like many others, saddened to hear the news of the recent death of Professor Dame Teresa Rees FLSW.

Professor Rees’ contribution to both higher education in Wales and the field of gender equalities was significant and among the reasons behind her receiving a CBE in 2002. The first woman to be Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Cardiff University (2003-10), she was subsequently made a Dame in 2015 for services to social sciences.

Known widely as “Terry”, she became a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2012. She was, said Professor Hywel Thomas PLSW, “a wonderful person and a tremendous academic who personified everything the Learned Society of Wales aspired to. The Society was fortunate to have a woman of such standing as one of its Fellows in its early years as we forged our identity. Her 2014 report on gender balance was pivotal in that regard.”  

Her academic reputation was built on feminist research on gender mainstreaming, work that looked at how gender equality could be built into institutional policy and practice.

Professor Terry Threadgold FLSW said of Professor Rees:  

“I worked closely with Terry for a number of years at Cardiff university when we were both Pro Vice Chancellors; “the two Terries” they called us. It was a privilege to see her at work, translating her research on gender mainstreaming and the gendered construction of researchers into practice across a large, very complex and sometimes resistant university.

“Her work made change happen and contributed to the working lives of countless women and men in the university, in Wales and across Europe.

“She was an inspiration to the large numbers she mentored and supported with such care and wisdom as part of her everyday working life. We will miss her for all these things, and I personally will never forget her sharp wit, or the irrepressible sense of humour that managed, with that cheeky smile, to keep entire unruly committees in check and working well in times of stress or discord.

“She was a force for good and a wonderful friend.” The Learned Society of Wales offers its condolences to her friends and family.

Further reading

Professor Dame Teresa Rees: Obituary, Cardiff University