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ERIC Number: EJ817331
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Preserving and Strengthening Together: Collective Strategies of U.S.Women's College Presidents
Thomas, Auden D.
History of Education Quarterly, v48 n4 p565-589 Nov 2008
Women's colleges in the 1970s and 1980s faced highly uncertain futures. Soaring popularity of coeducation left them with serious enrollment downturns, and challenges from proposed equal rights legislation threatened to render illegal their single-sex admissions policies. These perilous external conditions drew together the presidents of U.S. women's colleges in new ways as they sought to preserve and strengthen their individual institutions and to secure a future for women's colleges as an institutional type. Using as its focal point the Women's College Coalition (WCC), a national organization founded in 1972 to represent the interests of such institutions, this article draws on archival sources and oral history interviews to consider the strategies by which women's college presidents collectively addressed their mutual concerns. These strategies included networking, gaining access to money and influential people in philanthropic foundations and the government, and savvy use of research data and the media to help make the case for their colleges to new audiences. During a time of dynamic environmental change for women's single-sex higher education, this group of presidents used the Coalition for the various purposes of image making, research, and advocacy as they sought to sustain the institutions they led. (Contains 97 footnotes.)
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Womens Educational Equity Act