September 27, 1985 · Cavalier Daily


This article contrasts the University's initial antagonism to admitting women in the interests of "tradition," and attributes the ongoing deficit of female faculty and administrators at UVA to a continued "old boy" mentality. It asserts the importance of putting women in positions of leadership.


1985-09-27 - Tradition.pdf
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
When women first came to the in 1970, the idea of coeducation was resisted because of fears of a change in tradition — “preserving tradition" meaning not changing anything at all. Fifteen years later, many attitudes have changed, but the traditions that matter – integrity, hard work and responsibility — remain unchanged and even strengthened by the addition of women to the community.
But there is another outdated tradition remaining that preserves a preconception in the minds of students here. That tradition would be the "old boy" mentality that entrenches an overwhelming majority of men in decision-making positions. It is not a conscious attempt to deny women positions of authority, but rather that of telling friends of a job opening and hiring friends of friends. All the friends just happen to be men.
Right now, there are no women who are vice presidents and only one dean Nursing School Dean Rose Marie Chioni. What this arrangement does for women students is to cut down the number of successful role models. Figures for 1984-85 showed only 329 female faculty members of 1669 full-time faculty. Studies indicate that women who attended colleges with women in leadership positions advanced farther in their chosen fields than women attending colleges with predominantly male faculty and administrators.
The traditional excuse for not having more women faculty and administrators is the smaller number of doctorate and fewer years of experience women have restrict the hiring pool. While it is true that women earn around 35 percent of Ph.D.s in this country, the above argument is a Catch-22. A woman does not have experience so she is net qualified for the job, but because she doesn't get the job she won't gain experience. This reasoning, along with the "old boy" network, keeps women from positions of authority.
Somewhere along the line, the mold must be broken. There are qualified women who deserve to be recruited and promoted. A nationally prominent university must attract qualified women faculty and establish trends for women in leadership roles. It is perhaps more important that females in positions of authority in order to break their that only men can responsibly wield power.
But the problem is not one of taking and giving power. It is one of quality and diversity. Women have the qualifications. and society and this University need their representation.
Date Added January 4, 2017
Date Modifed December 9, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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