The Women's Movement and the Politics of Change at a Women's by David A. Greene

By David A. Greene

This research analyzes how Jill Ker Conway, first girl president of Smith university, carried out programmatic tasks and alterations to Smith's institutional tradition that healthy along with her imaginative and prescient for larger schooling.

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Extra info for The Women's Movement and the Politics of Change at a Women's College: Jill Ker Conway at Smith, 1975-1985 (Routledgefalmer Studies in Higher Education)

Sample text

According to a number of people I interviewed, this resistance was public and unrelenting. It made for a challenging transition for a young president. Although I found little dispute about the nature and source of this early resistance, its cause is subject to varied interpretations. For Conway, the resistance was the result of a group of faculty losing power and control with the arrival of the new administration. I had zero honeymoon because there was a bunch of senior male faculty there who didn’t give me ten days.

McCartney remained as dean until 1982, when he was succeeded by Fran Volkmann. Conway’s difficult relationship with McCartney provided fodder to faculty who saw in that relationship a reflection of how she treated faculty and led the college more generally. Robert Haddad said that Conway would “pull the rug out from under him publicly,” and others indicated that she would dismiss him or contradict him in front of other faculty. Andy Zimbalist indicated that Conway seemed to have approved an inaccurate press release announcing that McCartney was being named to an endowed professorship as he was leaving the dean’s office.

At the same time new facilities, replacing obsolete and outmoded structures, have come on line adding greatly to annual operating costs. 31 This was driven in part by rising fuel costs and the drop in the value of the dollar overseas. 32 A major source of unrestricted revenue for most private institutions is tuition and fees. Not surprisingly, then, tuition and fees rose sharply during Conway’s term. The annual comprehensive fee for Smith students was $4,980 when Conway took office in 1975–76; in her last year (1984–85) the charge for a year at Smith had risen to $12,740.

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