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Kansas State University

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Two department heads at Kansas State University were recently tapped to take part in the Oxford University Round Table on women in academia.

Lorraine CutlerGerry CraigLorraine Cutler, head of K-State's department of interior architecture and product design, pictured left, and Geraldine Craig, head of the department of art, pictured right, attended the invitation-only event March 14-19, in Oxford, England. The round table's official title was "Women in the Academy: Status and Prospects."

The Oxford Round Tables promote human advancement and understanding through the improvement of education. They are a forum for the study of current issues facing state and national systems of education, and each session is made up of a small select group of leaders from both the public and private sectors of several countries.

Topics addressed at the round table included gender equity; discrimination; compensation, tenure and promotion; sexual harassment; and institutional restraints on women's leadership.

At the round table, Cutler presented "Yin and Yang: Can It Be," a paper comparing a number of existing and emerging leadership styles and those used most frequently by women in higher education administration.

"Leaders from all fields presented papers identifying the present and future challenges for women in academia," Cutler said. "Whatever perspective was taken, each paper addressed things that have worked or could work to improve the institution to make it a place where women can thrive. I was honored to be invited for my leadership in the academy."

Craig chose not to make a presentation, but is writing an academic response for the published proceedings of the round table. She'll respond to "To What Extent Does Contemporary Media Gender Stereotypes Affect Gender Representation by Females in Design Education," presented by a professor from New Zealand's Massey University.

"I was honored to be one of the few art scholars among eminent scientists, and pleased to share much common ground," Craig said. "I returned with a deepened commitment to help foster environments where young women can thrive as strong professionals and good mothers, and not feel they have to choose between either."


Sue MaesSue Maes, dean of the Division of Continuing Education at K-State, was honored with the Friends of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance award April 18.

Maes received the award because of her expertise on building new academic programs and fostering institutional collaboration.

She was also recognized for being an unwavering proponent of online learning, believing that technology closes the gaps between institutions across the country and around the world. As such, Maes is widely recognized as a leading authority in best online practices for interinstitutional and/or multistate collaborative program development and delivery.

"I believe the formation of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance is one of the most significant innovations in higher education in perhaps the last decade. The Great Plains IDEA has fostered a spirit of academic collaboration among peer higher education institutions.  Beyond the spirit, the alliance has found a way to build, price and sustain new degree programs that alone would have been impossible for any one single institution to launch," Maes said. "I am deeply grateful to be honored for my early leadership in the building of the Great Plains IDEA."

Great Plains IDEA is an award-winning multistate alliance lead by human sciences colleges, founded in 1994 with assistance by Maes, as a means to create a marketplace for sharing distance education courses and programs at the graduate and undergraduate level. From that, AG*IDEA, an affiliate of Great Plains IDEA, was created. 

The Great Plains IDEA and AG*IDEA are comprised of 30 national universities which have either joined the alliance or have signed an intent to join.

The Friend of Great Plains IDEA award was created in 2006 to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development and/or operation of the Great Plains IDEA.