I am again delighted to be a Presidential Sponsor for the American Council on Education (ACE) Northern California Network for 2014-15 and to encourage you to become actively involved with the network. This is my second year as serving as the Northern California unit’s Presidential Sponsor and we have seen it grow and successfully engage women from all levels of higher education.
The ACE Women’s Network is represented in each state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. It is composed of leaders across the country in the world of higher education and is committed to moving women into college presidencies and other senior level positions.
Throughout my career as a senior administrator, when I was engineering dean at Purdue University, provost at the University of Illinois and now as chancellor at the University of California, Davis, I have consistently mentored women interested in moving up through the ranks of academic life because I recognize from my own experience the importance of such relationships.
As a woman engineering student in my native Greece and even later as a faculty member at universities in the United States, I often felt isolated and unwelcomed in environments where women were in the distinct minority. Through my own persistence and the encouragement of several important mentors to encourage me to not give up even though I wanted to at times, I was able to persevere and committed myself to do all I could to help other women with similar aspirations.
Diversity in leadership positions at our colleges and universities is good for the institutions, good for our country and it is certainly good for women and other under-represented groups who want to reach their full potential to succeed and be of service in academia.
I urge more to become actively involved in the ACE Northern California Network as a board member or by becoming a member of the extended network through Northern California. I also hope you attend our annual conference which will be held October 13, 2014 at the Marriott Oakland City Center. The theme of the conference this year is “Culture, Change, Courage – Women’s Leadership in Higher Education.” I hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Thank you for supporting the ACE Northern California Network and for the important work you do on behalf of women in higher education.
Linda P.B. Katehi