UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille featured in new book co-written by UNT professor

Thursday, January 29, 2009

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Although female leaders have made inroads in fields such as higher education, government and business, they are still far outnumbered by their male counterparts and remain an anomaly in many industries. 

But women who have succeeded continue to draw attention and are highlighted in a new book series Pathways to Leadership, co-authored by a University of North Texas professor.

The first book in the series, Women at the Top: What Women University and College Presidents Say about Effective Leadership, includes a chapter on Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille, UNT's 14th and current president.

The book, which is available now from Stylus publishing, features 9 female university and college presidents and is the result of a collaboration of a diverse group of women from across the U.S.  Dr. Beverly Bower, the Don A. Buchholz Endowed Chair in the College of Education and the director of the Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education at UNT, was one of the primary authors of Women at the Top.

The featured women lead diverse institutions and represent a number of geographical regions.  The authors use personal anecdotes mixed with academic analysis to communicate the characteristics that make these women strong and capable leaders. 

The chapter featuring Bataille is titled I Never Met an Opportunity I Didn't Like, and in one excerpt Bataille describes how she never planned to become a university president.

"I've never looked for the next job.  The next job just sort of found me," Bataille said in the book.  "I think you always have to do the job you're in, do it well, and not worry about what comes next.  That's part of taking advantage of opportunities.  I never aspired to be a president.  It happened.  But it wouldn't have happened if I had not done a good job as a faculty member, as a chair, as a dean and so on."

The other profiled women are:

  • Barbara Douglass, Northwestern Connecticut Community College;
  • Mildred Garcia, Berkeley College;
  • Carol C. Harter, University of Nevada, Las Vegas;
  • Mamie Howard-Golladay, Sullivan County Community College;
  • Martha T. Nesbitt, Gainesville State College;
  • Pamela Sue Shockley-Zalabak, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs;
  • Betty L. Siegel, Kennesaw State University
  • Karen Gayton Swisher, Haskell Indian Nations University.

"There is a plethora of literature on effective leadership but most of it is based on the experiences of male leaders.  We wanted to know if the themes from the male-centered literature were also significant in the leadership of women.  Although males and females may enact their roles somewhat differently, we found that effective leaders seem to subscribe to similar leadership tenets," said Bower. 

The second book in the series, Answering the Call: African American Women in Higher Education Leadership, is expected to be released this spring.  Bower also co-authored Answering the Call.

For more information on the Pathways to Leadership series, contact Bower at 940-369-7112 or beverly.bower@unt.edu

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108