More today on Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s first woman president, from The New York Times. Under the title "A ‘Rebellious Daughter’ to Lead Harvard," Sara Rimer writes:

Recalling her coming of age as the only girl in a privileged, tradition-bound family in Virginia horse country, Drew Gilpin Faust, 59, has often spoken of her "continued confrontations" with her mother "about the requirements of what she usually called femininity." Her mother, Catharine, she has said, told her repeatedly, "It’s a man’s world, sweetie, and the sooner you learn that the better off you’ll be."

Instead, Dr. Faust left home at an early age, to be educated at Concord Academy, then a girls’ prep school in Massachusetts, and at Bryn Mawr College, a women’s college known for creating future leaders, and to become a leading Civil War scholar. […]

Dr. Faust has written frankly of the "community of rigid racial segregation" that she and her three brothers grew up in and how it formed her as "a rebellious daughter" who would go on to march in the civil rights protests in the 1960s and to become a historian of the region. "She was raised to be a rich man’s wife," said a friend, Elizabeth Warren, a law professor at Harvard. "Instead she becomes the president of the most powerful university in the world."

Though now half of the eight Ivy League schools are led by women, the Christian Science Monitor points to the gender imbalance in academia across the nation:

A current Harvard dean, [Faust] will not only sit at the pinnacle of higher education, but will oversee a budget on a par with top corporations. Of the 20 female CEOs in the Fortune 1000, only one runs a firm with assets greater than Harvard’s.

Despite the 50-50 leadership split at the Ivies, only 20 percent of US colleges and universities are run by women. Dr. Faust’s appointment could have a lasting impact on the gender imbalance among faculty at Harvard, and in the leadership ranks across academia, experts say.

"This is a crack in the glass ceiling, in the sense that to have as prestigious an institution as Harvard expand their notion of suitability for the presidency, sets an example for the rest of academia that’s hard to ignore," says Margaret Miller, professor of higher education at the University of Virginia.

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