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Stetson to Sponsor ACE Women’s Network of Florida

Lua Hancock, vice president of Campus Life and Student Success, left, and Rosalie Richards, associate provost for Faculty Development, are Stetson’s liaisons to the ACE Women’s Network of Florida. The group will host its first meeting at Stetson on Thursday, April 19.

Stetson University has agreed to serve as a Presidential Sponsor for the America Council on Education’s (ACE) Women’s Network of Florida, helping women move into senior executive leadership positions in higher education.

The ACE Women’s Network operates in each state with a state chair who works with public and private colleges and universities to identify, develop and support the advancement of women into leadership positions in higher education.

In December, the Florida network asked Stetson President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., to become a Presidential Sponsor, helping to “bring recognition to and encourage participation” in the group. As a Presidential Sponsor, Stetson will rotate with other member colleges and universities in Florida to host the state conference.

“I see it as the responsibility and duty of women in current leadership positions in higher education to support the advancement of the ACE Women’s Network of Florida,” said Libby. “It is through our collaboration across public and private institutions that we can have the most impact on behalf of the educators and administrators who are ready to move into senior positions.”

Libby also was asked to appoint one senior administrator to the Florida network’s Executive Board, and she selected Lua Hancock, Ph.D., Stetson vice president of Campus Life and Student Success. Hancock is now Secretary of the state board.

“Being part of such a strong and iconic network like ACE allows Stetson women a great place to plug into networks, resources and best practices,” she said.

An ACE report issued last September found gender inequities continues to exist in higher education.

“One of the clearest indicators of the glass ceiling is the persistent pay gap between men and women at the same faculty rank,” according to the report, Pipelines, Pathways, and Institutional Leadership: An Update on the Status of Women in Higher Education. “Overall, during the 2015–16 academic year, male faculty members made an average of $89,190, and female faculty members made an average of $73,782. No matter the academic rank, men make more than women and are more likely to hold a tenure track position.”

The new Stetson group will host an open session on Thursday, April 19, at 8-9 a.m. at the Rinker Environmental Learning Center for women interested in pursuing leadership-development opportunities in higher education.

At the session, attendees can learn more about the ACE Women’s Network of Florida and share information on their interests and goals. Interested guests are asked to complete a brief RSVP. For more information about the event, please contact Hancock or Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., associate provost for Faculty Development.

“The empowerment of women can take many forms,” explained Richards. “For our women at Stetson, the desired outcome is agency – the ability of each woman to thrive and become the best version of herself. The ACE Women’s Network of Florida aims to create opportunities to that end with a goal of more women serving in top leadership roles in higher education.”

The Stetson College of Law in Gulfport also has joined the effort and is organizing a group there.

“Academics at the College of Law will benefit from ACE Women’s Network’s national platform for mentoring, networking and best-practice sharing, preparing ourselves as leaders to guide our students to live lives of significance,” said Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Tammy Briant. Dean Briant is also the deputy Title IX coordinator and an adjunct law professor at Stetson.

The ACE Women’s Network of Florida includes six Presidential Sponsors. Aside from Stetson, they are: University of Central Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville, University of South Florida, Florida International University and Florida Institute of Technology. The State Chair is Lisa Guion Jones, Ph.D., UCF associate provost for Strategy and Special Assistant to the President, and a professor of Higher Education.

For more information on ACE Women’s Network, visit the website. The upcoming state conference on Friday, April 27, is open by invitation only, but anyone interested can watch a live webcast.