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


The emergence of women as a vocal and visible political force in the
1970's, the rise in academia of special programs in the study of women, and
raised social consciousness to the inequities women face in higher education
have all been contributing factors in an historical reassessment of the role
women in the development of American educational institutions.
This series of three monographs attempts to reassess the role of women in
the development of public higher education in Wisconsin. The monographs -
Volume 1: They Came to Learn, They Came to Teach, They Came to
Volume 2: Wisconsin Women, Graduate School, and the Professions
Volume 3: Women Emerge in the Seventies
are not conventional history, but anthologies of essays, impressions, and
sketches dealing with the far and immediate pasts. The essays provide a
female perspective on Wisconsin public higher education from the post Civil
War days to today. One notices in reading the pieces a perpetuation of con-
cerns: academic rank and promotion differences between men and women,
salary inequities, marginal participation in university governance and ad-
ministration, conflicts between social and career roles. One notes, as well,
varying responses to an on-going situation, responses that vary from accep-
tance to outrage.
The setting for these essays is the University of Wisconsin System, a
federation of public higher education institutions in the State of Wisconsin.
The System was formed in 1971 by legislative action merging the University
of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities.
The former University of Wisconsin included the historical land-grant
university at Madison, founded in 1849; the urban university at Milwaukee
formed in 1956 through the merger of the former Wisconsin State College in
Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Extension Center in Milwaukee;
and two new universities created at Parkside and Green Bay in 1969.
The former Wisconsin State Universities consisted of nine universities
which grew out of state normal schools established in Wisconsin between
1866 and 1916. They subsequently moved to state teacher college status
then to state colleges and eventually became state universities.
The end result of this evolution of public higher education in Wisconsin
a System of 13 universities and 14 two-year centers plus the renowned ex-
tension service founded in 1891. As these three monographs demonstrate,
women have played an influential part in the development of higher educa-
tion in Wisconsin. Until now women's participation has been expressed pri-
marily as footnotes to history. These essays begin to redress this inequity.

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