Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 April 15, 2020 9:16 p.m.)

Leadership in a pandemic

Dear Texas Woman’s Community,

I hope this message finds you well, and well over the hump of the workweek.

As you likely know, “Women & Leadership” is one of Texas Woman’s four areas of distinction in our “Learn to Thrive” strategic plan. Our distinct student body—the combination of ethnic diversity and gender composition—is one of our points of pride, and also a source of strength in leadership development for both women and men who enroll as students or who work here. Women have more opportunities to practice leadership in this environment than at other universities, and men have more opportunities to practice serving on teams led by women, as well as how to lead teams with high proportions of women. These are opportunities only available at an institution with an enrollment like we have—and right now, we are one of a kind in the nation.

Our setting is particularly relevant as we navigate uncharted territory. Tim Wentrcek, a project manager in Facilities Management & Construction, recently sent me “How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Helped Advance Women’s Rights” from the Smithsonian Magazine, which offers perspective from a century ago. This week, others sent me two opinion pieces: “What Do Countries With The Best Coronavirus Responses Have In Common? Women Leaders” from Forbes and “Women leaders are doing a disproportionately great job at handling the pandemic. So why aren't there more of them?” from CNN.

Nurses in 1916 stand holding empty stretchers with protective masks over their faces. Photo from Library of Congress

“More women than men were left standing after the war [WWI killed around 17 million people] and pandemic [the “great influenza” left more than 50 million people dead, including around 670,000 in the United States].”, March 2, 2018


photo credit: Library of Congress

I have also written an op-ed on the topic of women and leadership during this time of the coronavirus that media outlets are considering. I believe these readings offer us opportunities for critical thinking as we all learn new ways of moving forward through uncertainty.

With kind regards,

Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President

P.S. For the latest information, check out the TWU COVID-19 webpage.

Page last updated 8:20 AM, April 23, 2020