Entering the academy at the dawn of the women’s rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the first generation of feminist academics had a difficult journey. With few female role models, they had to forge their own path and prove that feminist scholarship was a legitimate enterprise. Later, when many of these scholars moved into administrative positions, hoping to reform the university system from within, they encountered entrenched hierarchies, bureaucracies, and old boys’ networks that made it difficult to put their feminist principles into practice.
In this compelling memoir, Mary Kay Thompson Tetreault describes how a Catholic girl from small-town Nebraska discovered her callings as a feminist, as an academic, and as a university administrator. She recounts her experiences at three very different schools: the small progressive Lewis & Clark College, the massive regional university of Cal State Fullerton, and the rapidly expanding Portland State University. Reflecting on both her accomplishments and challenges, she considers just how much second-wave feminism has transformed academia and how much reform is still needed.
With remarkable candor and compassion, Thompson Tetreault provides an intimate personal look at an era when both women’s lives and university culture changed for good.
The Acknowledgments were inadvertently left out of the first printing of this book. We apologize for the oversight, and offer them here instead. Future printings will include this information.