The Virginia Network
Initiated in 1987, the Senior Leadership Seminar series provides a forum to bring together emerging women leaders with established leaders in higher education in the Commonwealth. The Senior Leadership Seminar focuses on three core areas: personal development, professional development, and trends in higher education. During each meeting, speakers and guests join the group to discuss critical issues facing higher education from a variety of perspectives.
The mission of the American Council on Education Women’s Network is to identify, develop, advance, and support women in higher education at the national, state, and local levels. The goals of both The Network (national) and the Virginia Network are to promote women's leadership in higher education and throughout society as a whole; to create an educational, social, and political climate in which women, in all their diversity, can participate equally with men in setting public agendas; to facilitate connections among women in various sectors of higher education and with other organizations and networks with shared goals on the institutional, state, regional, professional, national, and international levels; and to foster strategic alliances and facilitate effective partnerships between women and men in the workplace.
Each public and private college in the Commonwealth is asked to identify a woman administrator on that campus who will serve as a link to the Virginia Network and as a catalyst for activities at the home campus. These individuals are called Institutional Representatives (IRs). Their role is to keep women administrators on their campus informed of activities of the Virginia Network and to encourage their involvement; to act as advocates for women on their campuses; and to encourage the advancement of women in higher education locally and throughout the state.
Each year the Virginia Network sponsors a statewide conference serving women in a wide range of roles in higher education, including graduate students. The Network has been particularly interested in identifying and developing the careers of women from diverse backgrounds and four times has focused the annual conference on critical issues for women of color.