Female faculty members recently got to meet the woman behind the chancellor at a reception showcasing UNC's first lady.
The Carolina Women's Center and the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals co-sponsored an informal session with Dr. Susan Moeser, Chancellor James Moeser's wife.
"I just thought it would be a good idea to welcome our new chancellor's wife," said Diane Kjervik, director of the Carolina Women's Center. "We want her to know that we are thrilled to have her here."
The sentiment was echoed by Moeser, who was pleased to be involved in campus activities.
"I think this is a great opportunity for me to meet women on campus, and I feel that these are very important groups on campus," she said. "When you're the new kid on the block, it's nice to meet people in a different setting."
The reception was as much a welcome to Moeser as it was an opportunity for women to network with other women on campus, Kjervik said.
"This is a terrific organization, and it's one of the best-kept secrets," said Bonnie Raphael, head of a professional actor training program for the Department of Dramatic Art.
"It's an opportunity for professors and members of the medical faculty who are women to meet each other and have some kind of social interaction."
The gathering attracted professional women from all over campus, from those in administration to faculty members to department chairwomen.
A few women were even drawn back to campus from retirement to see their old friends and hear of the latest happenings.
"This new women's center is something that we hope will spread the word," said Mary Turner Lane, a retired professor from the School of Education and the founder of the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals. "We've made wonderful changes since the 1970s when women were the vast minority."
UNC's gender makeup has changed so much that women are now in the majority and make up 61 percent of the undergraduate program, 58 percent of the graduate program and 53 percent of the professional program. This makes the overall percentage of women at the University 59 percent.
UNC's faculty is 35 percent female, and the staff is 64 percent female, which gives women 56 percent of the total work force.
"There are many women to be concerned about women on campus," Kjervik said. "People say we should calm down our activities since there are so many women, but that is the exact time when we need to make more programs."
Moeser said she and the chancellor are pleased to be a part of the UNC community. She said she has plans to be an organ teacher for the University one day.
"We are both delighted to be here," Moeser said.
"James came home the other day and said he was having so much fun. I look forward to a long stay here in Chapel Hill."
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