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Swoboda, Marian J.; Roberts, Audrey J. / Wisconsin women, graduate school, and the professions

Sylvander, Carolyn
Chapter 8: Women in the school of music,   pp. 75-78

Page 75

8. Women in the School of Music
by Carolyn Sylvander
The history of women in the University of Wisconsin-Madison school of
music is not atypical of women's positions in the academic world in dis-
ciplines relatively open to them.' Women were hired in largest numbers dur-
ing the years when men were not as readily available, 1916-30, and during
the time of surging student enrollments in the 1960s. Women were hired in
largest numbers in the lowest and least permanent ranks, and most of them
remained on the staff for only a short time, one semester to three years.
Recognition began to be given to outstanding women during the 1970s, when
promotions and other awards for achievement increased in number, and when
at least some women were hired at higher ranks. Since 1909, recognized or
unrecognized, the women on the staff of the school of music have made wor-
thy contributions to the advancement of art and education throughout the
state and country. Increasingly in the 1970s those contributions are being
recognized and the options for women music students increase.
The school of music has, since 1909, employed a total of fifty-six women,
including the thirteen women on the staff in 1976-77. Forty-one percent,
twenty-three, of these fifty-six women completed their terms of employment
by the school of music before 1956. Seventeen of the twenty-three were em-
ployed for varying lengths of time between 1916 and 1930, during and im-
mediately after World War I. In contrast, the years 1930-45 included only
four women teaching in the school of music, with one of the four teaching
one-fourth time, and with only two of those four women hired in 1930 or
after. Of women hired between 1957 and 1977, a total of thirty, eleven re-
main on the staff, and thirteen were hired for periods of time ranging from
only one semester to two years.
Excluding the thirteen women presently on the staff of the school of
music, of the forty-three whose full years of service are completed, twenty-
two were hired for only one year or one semester. Another eight were
employed by the university for two or three years only. The number of years
of employment for the remaining women whose terms of employment are
complete ranges from four years to thirty-seven years, with the average of
terms of employment for the forty-three women being six years.
The ranks at which most women have been employed in the school of
music have undergone changes in name only; since 1909 women have filled
the lowest and least permanent faculty ranks. Between 1909, when Minnie
Bergman began employment as an instructor, and 1916, when Doris Carter
and Alice Crane were both employed as instructors, there was one woman on
the full-time faculty. Seventeen women first employed between 1916 and
1930 were all hired, and remained as instructors, or, in one case, as assistant
instructor. Another, Irene Eastman, in 1917 was employed as an instructor
but was promoted to assistant professor in 1927. (She remained on the staff
full-time as assistant professor until 1954.) Louise Carpenter was employed
as an assistant professor in 1923, was promoted to associate professor in
1929 and to full professor in 1951. She also remained on the staff until

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