Emory Report
January 24, 2005
Volume 59, Number 16


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January 24, 2005
PCSW secures $15K for women's leadership training

BY eric rangus

Responding to a proposal from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), the Office of the President has committed nearly $15,000 to fund the attendance of two Emory women at an intense, four-week university management program this summer.

The Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration (known as the HERS Program), now in its 30th year, offers a curriculum designed to provide skills and information pertinent to managing and governing colleges and universities around the world.

Aimed at women leadents and sponsored jointly by Bryn Mawr College and the University of Denver-based Higher Education Resource Services, HERS is an exclusive (only about 75–80 women attend each year), concentrated program that combines classroom lectures, reading and other programming led by top faculty who address the myriad issues affecting academic environments both on and off the university campus.

The PCSW’s women in leadership committee learned of the HERS program while researching leadership opportunities. Committee chair Allison Dykes submitted a proposal to President Jim Wagner asking that that he fund Emory’s participation in the program, and he agreed.

The $14,750 to be provided will cover application fees, residential tuition and stipends for two women to attend the four-week program at Bryn Mawr, just outside Philadelphia. The institute runs from June 26–
July 22.

“It is very important for groups like the PCSW to provide not just conscience but concepts for what it means to make Emory a better community,” Wagner said. “This is a great example of leadership development. And perhaps academia in general and Emory in particular need to do a better job in providing development opportunities for women who have a potential for leadership. That’s what this does for us; it’s one small step in that direction.”

“We’re looking for women who are interested in advancing their careers,” said Dykes, senior associate vice president of the Association for Emory Alumni and PCSW’s junior chair. “But they also should be interested in making a contribution back to Emory. Candidates should be looking to move into advanced leadership positions here.”

Applications are available at the PCSW website (www.pcsw.emory.edu) or in hardcopy at the Center for Women. In addition to completing and submitting the application by March 1, applicants must get a letter of reference from their dean or director and write a letter to the selection committee explaining why they should be chosen and what they hope to learn by enrolling in the program.

Once all the applications have been received, a selection committee will sift though them and announce the attendees sometime in April.

Ten Emory women have attended HERS since 1980, but this is the first time the University administration has funded the endeavor. “The women attending the HERS conference were fascinating,” said Marilyn Surbey, associate vice president for finance and research in the Office of Grants and Contracts, who attended HERS in 2000. At the time, Surbey was an assistant vice president; she was promoted in 2002. “I learned a tremendous amount about working within an academic institution and about myself,” she said.

Acquiring the HERS funding represents a significant accomplishment for PCSW, but Dykes said she has no intentions of stopping now. “We’re not suggesting that this is the only program for developing women leaders,” she said. “We’d also like to develop some in-house leadership for women programs.”

For more information, visit http://www.brynmawr.edu/summerinstitute/left.html.