The role of women in higher education, as in many other settings, has undergone dramatic changes during the past two decades. This significant period of progress and transition is definitively assessed in the landmark volume, Women in Academe.
Crowded out by returning veterans and pressed by social expectations to marry early and raise children, women in the 1940s and 1950s lost many of the educational gains they had made in previous decades. In the 1960s women began to catch up, and by the 1970s women were taking rapid strides in academic life. As documented in this comprehensive study, the combined impact of the women’s movement and increased legislative attention to issues of equality enabled women to make significant advances as students and, to a lesser extent, in teaching and academic administration. Women in Academe traces the phenomenal growth of women’s studies programs, the notable gains of women in non-traditional fields, the emergence of campus women’s centers and research institutes, and the increasing presence of minority and re-entry women. Also examined are the uncertain future of women’s colleges and the disappointingly slow movement of women into faculty and administrative positions.
This authoritative volume provides more current and extensive data on its subject than any other study now available. Clearly and objectively, it tells an impressive story of progress achieved—and of important work still to be done.
MARIAM K. CHAMBERLAIN is founding president of the National Council for Research on Women.
CONTRIBUTORS: Helen S. Astin, Jean W. Campbell, Mary Ellen S. Capek, Maren Lockwood Carden, Mariam K. Chamberlain, Carol Frances, Jane Gould, Lilli S. Hornig, Florence Howe, Marjorie Lightman, Virginia Davis Nordin, Patricia Ann Palmieri, Bernice R. Sandler, Cynthia Secor, Donna Shavlik, Margaret C. Simms.