Breaking into the All-Male Club

Female Professors of Educational Administration

Edited by Norma T. Mertz

Subjects: Education, Educational Administration, Higher Education, Women's Studies
Series: SUNY series in Women in Education
Paperback : 9781438424965, 214 pages, March 2009
Hardcover : 9781438424958, 214 pages, March 2009

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

1. Framing the Stories
Norma T. Mertz
2. A First Woman with Clout
Edith A. Rusch and Barbara L. Jackson
3 . Breaking Through
Martha McCarthy
4. Nothing Except a Battle Lost Can Be Half So Melancholy as a Battle Won: A Fight for Tenure
Carolyn J. Wood
5. Traversing the Fault Line
Ellen V. Bueschel about Nelda Cambron-McCabe
6. Where the Boys Were . . . With Apologies to Connie Francis
Norma T. Mertz
7. Goodness of Fit
Diana G. Pounder
8. First Ladies in the Academy
Deborah A. Verstegen
9. From School Administrator to University Professor
Betty Malen
10. The “Accidental” Professor
Nona A. Prestine
11. Resistance and Determination: Faculty Experiences of a Women Religious
Patricia A. Bauch, O. P.
12. From the Bush to the Ivory Tower
Mary Gardiner
13. One Woman’s Struggle to Include and Be Included
Carolyn M. Keeler
14. Being First: Stories of Social Complexities
Paula Myrick Short
15. My Life as a Trophy
Edith A. Rusch
16. Making Meaning of the Stories
Norma T. Mertz
Unfinished, Uncertain Chronology of Women’s Entry into theAll-Male Educational Administration Professoriate

Women professors of educational administration share their personal stories of being female firsts.


Winner of the 2011 Critics' Choice Award presented by the American Educational Studies Association

These are the inspiring and illuminating stories of women professors who first broke into the exclusive, all-male academic club of educational administration. Women of this pioneering generation tell how they overcame daunting challenges, traumas, the naiveté of others, sexual harassment, and retaliation, as well as how they encountered unexpected kindness and support along the way. Their difficult paths, complex choices, and triumphs are revealed through the experiences of the first black woman professor in educational administration, a fight to the death for tenure, a genteel southerner's confrontation with the aloof North, and a brash northerner's survival of the cultural complexities of the South. These stories speak not simply to women, but to all trailblazers in the workplace, and to those still facing discrimination and relegated to outsider status.

Norma T. Mertz is Professor of Higher Education Administration at the University of Tennessee and coeditor (with Vincent A. Anfara Jr. ) of Theoretical Frameworks in Qualitative Research.


"…an important collection that contributes a great deal to feminist history and the history of education. " — H-Net Reviews (H-Education)

"The true potential of this book lies in the solutions that follow each of the women's stories and dilemmas. " — Teachers College Record