UWP sends largest group to statewide WWHEL conference

October 31, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville was well represented when it sent the largest contingent to the Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership (WWHEL) annual conference held recently at St. Norbert College in De Pere.

More than 120 women who hold leadership roles in all sectors of higher education from more than 30 public and private institutions participated in the gathering. They included presidents, provosts, deans, chairs, directors, faculty, students and academic and support staff.

UWP Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Sue Butts, who currently serves as president-elect of WWHEL's Board of Directors, was among UWP participants.

Butts had high praise for the conference. "This gave women an actual opportunity to hear from nationally recognized speakers who were experts as well as leaders," said Butts.

The small group sessions offered additional insights, Butts added. "It was wonderful to connect with other Wisconsin women in leadership."

Other UWP women attending were Darla Banfi, Barbara Barnet, Lyn Bouck, Patricia Bromley, Rosalyn Broussard, Barb Daus, Dawn Drake, Carmen Faymonville, Jean Haefner, Susan Hansen, Colleen Kaiser, Rea Kirk and Linda Wanless.

Keynote speaker Sally Helgesen presented a rousing address titled "Leveraging Women's Leadership: It's Needed Now More Than Ever!"

Helgesen, a former Harvard Graduate School of Education professor and consultant for the United Nations, wrote the bestseller "The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership," which has been widely hailed as the classic work on women's inclusive and collaborative leadership styles.

In her talk, Helgesen emphasized her book's argument -- that women contribute to organizations rather than how they need to adapt and change to a hierarchical model which excludes them -- and predicted that these styles will be in increasing demand in the new century due, in part, to changing technologies.

Other key presenters included Mary Dee Wenniger, editor and publisher of "Women in Higher Education" and author of "Gender Equity or Bust: On the Road to Campus Leadership with Women in Higher Education;" Louise Root-Robbins, coordinator for women's issues at UW System; Sona Karentz Andres, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs at UW-Milwaukee; and Jennifer Bloom, associate director of the medical scholars program at the University of Illinois.

Wenniger, editor and publisher of "Women in Higher Education and author of "Gender Equity or Bust: On the Road to Campus Leadership with Women in Higher Education," delivered an address on the history of Title IX, a national measure that deals with gender equity in athletics. Her talk was interspersed with cautionary tales from her own experiences along the career path.

William J. Hynes, president of St. Norbert College, welcomed participants at a networking reception in the Bemis International Center on Thursday evening.

Participants selected one of two leadership development workshops, "Appreciative Leadership" led by Louise Root-Robbins, UW System Coordinator for Women's Issues, or "Making Mentoring Work" led by Lindsay Stoddard-Cameron, Coordinator of New Faculty Services, UW-Madison.

The conference provided professional development, networking opportunities and recognition for women faculty, staff, administrators and students from the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical Colleges and Wisconsin private colleges.

Concurrent sessions on Friday permitted participants to choose to focus on career paths, work and life issues or leadership skills.

Workshop leaders included Sona Karentz Andrews, associate vice chancellor-academic affairs, (UW-Milwaukee); Jane Muhl, interim dean of professional and continuing studies (UW-Green Bay); Adele Newson-Horst, associate dean, college of letters and science (UW-Oshkosh); Bridget Burke Ravizza and Carol Cortez of St. Norbert College; Martha Hemwall, dean of student academic services (Lawrence University) and Jennifer Bloom, associate director, medical scholars program (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

WWHEL is sponsored in part by several state institutions of higher education, including Lawrence University, Mount Mary College, Madison Area Technical College, Waukesha Area Technical College, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-LaCrosse, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Whitewater and the UW System Administration.

These sponsors help support the annual fall conference, as well as other leadership workshops and opportunities. UWP will be hosting a regional conference for WWHEL next spring.

WWHEL supports, encourages and provides programming for women interested in leadership positions in higher education by offering workshops, conferences and networking opportunities to assist women in reaching their leadership goals.

Additionally, WWHEL supports the development of women leaders in Wisconsin institutions of higher education. It also encourages activities that support the development of women leaders on individual campuses.

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