Proposal to ACE, Roster of Women Scholars, 1971, page 2

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          Proposal to ACE re: Roster of Women Scholars

Higher education in America has long supported research on many
fronts. However, data have always been scanty in one area: women in
the academic world. That lack of data has reflected a general in-
difference to the well-being of women in the academic world.

As representatives of the Seven College Conference (Barnard,
Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar and Wellesley),
all with both a historical and contemporary concern for the education
of women, we now urge the American Council on Education to sponsor
a roster of women scholars. Representatives of the women's groups of
the major professional associations support us.

Such a roster would serve at least two purposes: 1) to create
a data base to be used for research on women academics, and 2) to
provide information about specific women scholars in specific fields.
Both purposes are vital, particularly at this time of increased concern
about the status of women in colleges and universities and about the
discrimination they often suffer there. Moreover, non-academic in-
stitutions (e.g.government agencies, corporations, foundations) would
doubtless find such a roster useful.

1) At the moment, we have many myths about women, but few facts.
Those myths must either be verified or corrected. We need facts about
their length of service in their professions; the effect of marriage
and motherhood on academic work; salary differentials between men
and women; publication performance; research opportunities and
much else. We do not even know the effect higher education has on
a woman's lifetime earnings. we do know those figures for men,
another indication of preferential treatment in research.

This is not to say that no research has been done. Some has, much
of it excellent. Unhappily, it is not comprehensive. Many questions
remain to be answered. For example, Helen Astin‘s study of women
doctorates in the mid-fifties showed an astonishingly high propor-
tion of them had attended women's colleges. The two leading colleges
in the United States in absolute numbers of women doctorates were
Hunter and Barnard. Seven of the leading 24 colleges she listed were
women's colleges, although at that time only about ten percent of
the women undergraduates were attending women's colleges. Two questions
are obvious: (1) Are the women's colleges still leading producers of
women doctorates? and (2) What was there about them that made them
or their students so successful then? Those institutions thinking now
about admitting women, those which have Just become coeducational,
and those traditionally coeducational should, it seems, know what
factors in college life encouraged women to work at their intellectual
bests.