First Thought

Insights drawn weekly from Karin Fischer’s global-education newsletter, latitude(s). Subscribe here.

Sora H. Friedman couldn’t help but notice the difference: Nearly all of the students in the master’s program in international education at the School for International Training Graduate Institute, where she is chair, are women. When she would go to professional conferences, however, many of the speakers were men.

That observation led Friedman to author a chapter on gender and leadership in international education, just published in The Wiley Handbook of Gender Equity in Higher Education.

Women are achieving greater parity in the field, Friedman says — for example, she found they hold half of the leadership positions in groups like NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Association of International Education Administrators, and the Forum on Education Abroad — yet challenges remain.

“Women are achieving senior leadership today,” Friedman says, “but often the title is not executive director, dean, provost, or president. Women are managing large staffs, they are managing budgets worth millions of dollars. They’re handling crises that are the purview of a senior leader — you’re not going to have an entry-level person handle a situation if a student dies on study abroad. But because they’re working in large universities, especially, they’re three or four levels down from the top.”

Read more from Karin‘s interview with Sora H. Friedman in this week’s latitude(s).

The Reading List

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“The whole environment is just boiling.”

—Ryan M. Allen, who teaches in a joint program with Shanghai Normal University for Chinese university instructors without doctorates, on how his students — who are educators, not in national security positions — still worry they could be caught up in crackdowns after seeing increased scrutiny of Chinese students and researchers.

Read more from Karin Fischer in The Chronicle: “Is This the End of the Romance Between Chinese Students and American Colleges?