Office for Women

IUPUI Office for Women

by Kathleen S. Grove


The current Office for Women was established in October 1996 following a recommendation of the Task Force on the Status of Women. The establishment of this task force in 1994 was the starting point for the latest discussion of the status of women at IUPUI. Chancellor Maynard Hine had appointed the first IUPUI Commission on the Status of Women in 1973 with Frances Dodson Rhome as Chairperson. The purpose of this earlier commission was to assure that the campus was in alignment with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibited sex discrimination in education.

Last updated by maeowen on 01/19/2013

Women's Studies

Women's Studies Program,
IU School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis


With the impetus of the women's movement in the 1970's and the implementation of Title VII, Women's Studies emerged as an interdisciplinary approach to acknowledge the changing and evolving roles of women. For twenty five years, students at IUPUI have pursued both minor and undergraduate degrees, and now students can finally earn a graduate degree in women's studies.

What is Women's Studies?

Women's Studies brings together faculty, women and some men, interested in women's issues in teachings, research and service. Interdisciplinary in nature, WOST explores a wide range of issues as seen through the perspective of gender. Women's Studies can help shape a vision of women's position in society that will enable students to make a more meaningful contribution wherever their career paths and future engagements may lead. A degree in women's studies should enhance a student's effectiveness in virtually any career:

Last updated by maeowen on 05/06/2010

National Center for Excellence in Women's Health

National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, Indiana University School of Medicine

In 1997, the Indiana University School of Medicine was awarded support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to become a National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. The Centers were located in academic medical centers where they brought together the work of their schools and departments addressing women's health.

The initial goal of the center was to assess women's health needs and current efforts in the state to address those needs, and to develop a coordinated national resource center consisting of programs to provide comprehensive women's health care. In addition, the Center focused on developing educational programs for both the public and for health care professionals, and researching women's health issues.

Dr. Rose Fife, Professor of Medicine, and Associate Dean for Research, IU School of Medicine was the founding director of the National Center.

Last updated by maeowen on 09/15/2011

Sandra Petronio

Sandra Petronio, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Core Faculty, Indiana University Center for Bioethics
Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing and School of Informatics

Sandra Petronio, Ph.D. is a highly regarded researcher in the areas of privacy, disclosure, and confidentiality.  She developed the Communication Privacy Management Theory, widely considered to be an important breakthrough in her field.  Her book, Boundaries of Privacy: Dialectics of Disclosure won the 2003 Gerald R. Miller Award of National Communications Association and the 2004 IARR Book Award from the International Association for Relationship Research.

Last updated by maeowen on 05/28/2010

Chancellor's Spouses

The Role of the President's/Chancellor's Spouse or Partner

By Kathleen Grove, Director, IUPUI Office for Women

When Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis came into being in 1969 Maynard K. Hine, the former dean of the IU School of Dentistry, was named the first Chancellor of the combined campus.  At his side was his wife, Harriett Hine.  In those days, the Chancellor's spouse was referred to as the "first lady" and the parameters and expectations of her role were not considered official university business.  Since 1969, we have had five Chancellors at IUPUI and they each have been accompanied by a spouse who contributed to development of IUPUI in their own unique way: Harriett Hine, Marianna Irwin, Jean Bepko, Gail Plater and Sandra Petronio.  Over the years, the role of the "Presidential Partner" as it is now called has evolved from one of a helpmate to today's understanding that the role can have official duties of its own.

Last updated by maeowen on 01/19/2013

Ulla Connor, Ph.D.

Ulla Connor, Ph.D.

Founding Director, Indiana Center for Intercultural Communication at IUPUI
Barbara E. and Karl R. Zimmer Chair in Intercultural Communication, School of Liberal Arts
Professor of English

An expert in intercultural communication and linguistics research, Ulla Connor, Ph.D. has defined her field of study.  She pioneered the sub-field of 'contrastive rhetoric,' in the 1990s, and her 1996 book, Contrastive Rhetoric, is considered a classic in the field.  Connor has received over 26 grants to conduct her research throughout her professional career and serves on the editorial board of numerous journals.

Last updated by maeowen on 11/23/2014

Florence McMaster, J.D.

Florence McMaster, J.D.

Librarian, Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis, 1946-1973
Professor of Law, 1961-1973

Florence McMaster, J.D. spent 27 years as a law librarian at the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.  During these years, she developed the library's collection of books from only 10,500 volumes to over 125,000 volumes.  In 1956, she pioneered a workshop series on legal research for incoming law students that was utilized by the school for many years.

In 1961, McMaster completed her law degree and became an assistant professor of law.  In 1972, she was promoted to full professor.  In the late-1960s and early 1970s, McMaster served as chair of the IUPUI Council of Librarians, a group that advised the Indiana University Library Coordinating Committee on the development of IUPUI libraries.

Last updated by maeowen on 11/23/2014

Karen West, M.D.

Karen West, M.D.



Professor of Surgery

Karen West, M.D. specializes in pediatric surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  She also practices medicine at Riley Hospital for Children.  West has been a member of the faculty of the School of Medicine since 1984.

Last updated by maeowen on 11/23/2014

Debra Mesch, Ph.D.

Debra Mesch, Ph.D.

Director, Women's Philanthropy Institute
Professor, Public and Nonprofit Management
Professor, Philanthropic Studies

Debra Mesch, Ph.D. has been a member of the faculty at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs since 1992.  She is also currently serving as Director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute at IUPUI.  Mesch served as Director of Public Affairs from 2003 to 2008, Chair of the PhD in Philanthropic Studies program from 2000 to 2003, and Chair of Policy and Administrative Faculty from 1999 to 2000.

Mesch researches board diversity and race and gender differences in philanthropic behavior.  She consults with area nonprofit agencies, including United Way, Goodwill, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Indiana.  Mesch is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Indiana.

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Last updated by maeowen on 12/02/2011

Women's Philanthropy Institute

Women's Philanthropy Institute


The seeds from which the Women's Philanthropy Institute grew germinated in 1991 when Sondra Shaw Hardy and Martha Taylor established the National Network of Women as Philanthropists (NNWP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. NNWP served as a clearinghouse of information on women's philanthropy. NNWP changed its name to the Women's Philanthropy Institute (WPI) and became incorporated as a free-standing nonprofit in 1997. The Women's Philanthropy Institute became part of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University in January 2004.

The Women's Philanthropy Institute provides education, training, and research, and acts as a convener for symposiums on women's philanthropy. WPI's vision is to be the preeminent center for the study and education about women's philanthropy. WPI offers a continuum of research-based educational services to inform donors, fundraisers, institutions, and other constituencies about the transformative role of women's philanthropy.

Last updated by maeowen on 11/23/2014