News

New Conference Focuses on Need for Women in Leadership in Higher Education

March 07, 2016
Shirley Hoogstra speaks at the opening session of the inaugural Women in Leadership in Higher Education conference at Pepperdine University. Photo by Irene Neller
CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra speaks at the opening session of the inaugural Women in Leadership in Higher Education conference at Pepperdine University. Photo by Irene Neller

MALIBU, Calif. — The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and Pepperdine University’s Center for Women in Leadership kicked off National Women’s History Month by partnering together for the inaugural Women in Leadership in Higher Education conference, held on March 7 at Pepperdine’s campus in Malibu, California.

The sold-out conference drew 230 attendees with its focus on the diverse and compelling stories of women serving in leadership in higher education. It also highlighted the critical need to advance women into more positions of influence and leadership in America’s colleges and universities.

Keynote speakers included Shirley V. Hoogstra, the CCCU’s first female president; Sally Helgesen, internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, author of The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work; Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific; and Karen A. Longman, professor at Azusa Pacific University and proponent of women in leadership in higher education who has launched a series of books sponsored by the International Leadership Association titled Women in Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice.

Though women make up roughly 47 percent of the work force, less than 3 percent of CEOs in the U.S. are female, and women make up only 27 percent of presidencies across all institutions of higher education, according to the 2016 report Pipelines, Pathways, and Institutional Leadership; An Update on the Status of Women in Higher Education, prepared by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS). In addition, the report shows that on the governing boards that select campus presidents, men outnumber women by more than 2-to-1.

The same report also shows females entering institutions of higher education at a higher rate than men, with women also earning more than 50 percent of all bachelor’s degrees since 1981, more than 50 percent of all master’s degrees since 1991, and more than 50 percent of doctoral degrees since 2006. Yet faculty and senior administrations of colleges and universities are still dominated by men. The Women in Leadership in Higher Education conference addressed these issues and barriers­.

Designed for all women and students who aspire to higher levels of influence and professional development, the conference’s goal was to contribute to a sense of preparedness for professional advancement, influence and impact, for women of all ages and at all stages in their professional career.

For more information, visit the conference's website.

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The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 180 Christian institutions around the world. The 117 member campuses in North America are all regionally accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences and whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. In addition, 63 affiliate campuses from 20 countries are part of the CCCU. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit www.cccu.org.

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities offers 10 off-campus study programs, collectively branded BestSemester®, which expand learning opportunities for students from CCCU campuses and are designated as culture-shaping or culture-crossing programs. Culture-shaping BestSemester programs are: American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.), Contemporary Music Center (Nashville) and Los Angeles Film Studies Center (Los Angeles). Culture-crossing BestSemester programs are: Australia Studies Centre, China Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Middle East Studies Program, Oxford Summer Programme, Scholars’ Semester in Oxford and Uganda Studies Program. Visit www.bestsemester.com for program details.