ERIC Number: ED394424
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-10
Reference Count: N/A
The First Female President of a Co-Educational Public Institution of Higher Education: An Historical Examination of the Presidential Tenure of Julia Ann Sears, 1872-1873.
Pengilly, Joan Forssmark
This study examines the life and career of Julia Ann Sears, the first known female president of a public, coeducational institution of higher education in the United States. Sears, an educator from Massachusetts, served as president (principal) of the State Normal School at Mankato, Minnesota, from 1872-73 after teaching there for one year. At the end of her very successful year as president, the state governing board replaced Sears with a man who had no teaching or normal school experience, and Sears was offered the lesser position of First Assistant. Sears returned to Massachusetts and within two years was teaching at Peabody Normal College in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a mathematics professor there for thirty-two years, training over 10,000 teachers to build a public school system in the South. Sears' early life in Massachusetts, as well as her teaching experiences in Maine and Boston are explored as they relate to her term as an administrator in Minnesota and her later years as a respected educator of teachers in Tennessee. Included in the study's contextual framework are discussions of nineteenth century feminism, women in higher education administration in the late nineteenth century, women's entry into professions, early state coordinating boards, the normal school movement, Mankato State Normal School, and early education in Massachusetts. Contains 284 references. Three short appendixes include the birth record of Julia Ann Sears; a newspaper article by Sears in the Mankato Weekly Review explaining her position on the nonrenewal of her contract; and a citizens petition to the State Normal School Board. Tables list: (1) Normal Schools in the United States and Canada in the Early Years, (2) Faculty Salaries, 1871-72 vs. 1872-73, and (3) Faculty Salaries 1873-74. (Author/NAV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: George Peabody College for Teachers TN; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Minnesota (Mankato); Normal Schools; Sears (Julia Ann)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-13, 1996).