The University Record, September 27, 1999

Three women provosts share their perspectives on higher ed

From the Horace H. Rackham
School of Graduate Studies

“A Conversation with Women Provosts” is the kick-off event in the free, public lecture series from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The series seeks to engage the University and surrounding community in a continuing dialogue on the “Future of the Research University.”

Provost Nancy Cantor will be joined by Elizabeth Hoffman, provost of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Lou Anna Simon, provost at Michigan State University, in a panel discussion at noon Oct. 6 in the Michigan League Ballroom.

“This panel presentation is expected to be a very lively and informative discussion among women provosts regarding what they see as the emerging issues facing research universities and how best to approach them,” says Graduate School Dean Earl Lewis.

“For example, current trends show that women students have come to outnumber their male counterparts on many residential campuses. If this trend continues, will we need to adjust our programs, expectations and development strategies? Will we see this trend prevail as senior administrative levels as well, or will men continue to hold the majority of positions?”

The provosts also will speak to their current positions and views about their roles as change agents on their campuses and elsewhere.

Other programs in the series include:

  • “Do We Matter? Doctoral Education and Social Consequence,” 4 p.m. Oct. 25, Rackham Amphitheater.

    Robert Weisbuch, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and former interim dean of the Graduate School, will be the keynote speaker for the 1999 D’Arms Faculty/Graduate Student Instructor Awards Ceremony. Weisbuch will discuss preparing the next generation of academics to embrace the broader university community and to engage the social needs of the broader society. A reception in the Graduate Student Lounge, second floor, Rackham, begins at 3 p.m.

  • “Politics and the University: Lobbying for Higher Education and Research,” 3–5 p.m. Nov. 29, Rackham Amphitheater.

    Tom Butts, the University’s most experienced lobbyist in Washington, D.C., will lead a panel discussion focusing on the significant relationships between the University and the federal government. Panelists will discuss how government funding, tax and social policies affect our teaching, student financial aid, research and public service activities. Joining Butts will be Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president for government relations, and Connie Cook, director, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching and author of Lobby for Higher Education: How Colleges and Universities Influence Federal Policy.

    Butts will be retiring at the end of fall term. A reception recognizing his years of service to the University will follow the panel discussion.

    The “Future of the Research University” series provides an intersection for intellectual thought and discussion on matters of scholarly interest that articulate, reaffirm and, at times, debate the values of the University. For more information, call Lynne Dumas, 647-2644, or send e-mail to