Women in Higher Education

Women in Higher Education

Women in Higher Education

Women in Higher Education


Theorists of social movements have long argued that it is a mark of progress when attention moves from ideological to technical issues.

Such signs of progress in resolving issues dealing with women in higher education were evident at the 1972 Annual Meeting of the American Council on Education as more than sixteen hundred registrants discussed aspects of the issues in twenty-two sessions. The present volume is designed to capture a moment in the history of colleges and universities when the shift from ideological to technical is sufficiently far along that action can be taken without the need to review yet again the fundamental principles on which it is based.

From the sixty-six papers presented to the meeting, we have selected a number which together establish the ideological bases of issues related to women as members of the academic community and suggest practical steps that can turn theory into practice. In addition, we have included papers which set the issues on campus in the contexts of other issues that are demanding equal attention from institutions, notably questions of accountability, institutional autonomy, and social justice.

The attentive reader will detect disagreement among the authors, quite as there was disagreement during the discussions at the Council's meeting. On two basic points, however, the authors and the registrants were agreed almost unanimously: Discrimination against women in higher education exists, is wrong, and should be eliminated; such discrimination is illegal, and those who practice it today are subject to stringent and costly legal sanctions, as they were not even a few years ago.

It is our hope that this book will establish a solid ideological base line for future change in the practices of colleges and universities, and provide the rationale for some new practices now established or being tested in several kinds of institutions. Much still needs to be done that will require leadership of the sort called for by Martha Peterson and Roger Heyns in the papers that open and close this book.



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