Site 14: Administration Building (AO)
355 N. Lansing St.
"Administrative Building, 1979," UA24-003520,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives
Since its beginnings in 1969, and even before in the days when the Indiana University
and Purdue University extension campuses were separate entities, women administrators have worked to develop and maintain IUPUI. The IUPUI Administrative Building, located on the far west side of campus, has housed the offices of several important female administrators.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Student Affairs
During her career at IUPUI, Patricia Boaz held a variety of high-ranking positions. She served as associate dean of the School of Science, associate dean of the faculties, dean of student affairs, and director of IUPUI's Adult Education Center. She graduated from Vassar College, and earned her PhD in chemistry from the State University of Iowa in 1948. Boaz took a position as associate professor of chemistry at the IU Extension Campus in 1967. 1
Patricia Boaz, 1981, UA24-005427
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives
Boaz's efforts to establish a chemistry program at IUPUI after the IU and Purdue extension campuses merged in 1969 resulted in many positive changes for the department. Boaz wrote the requirements for three chemistry degrees, ordered lab supplies, and taught advanced courses. In June 1983, after serving a short term as assistant dean, Boaz was appointed associate dean of the School of Science. As associate dean, she planned a series of chemistry programs for gifted high school students, titled "Six Saturdays in Science," chaired a committee which established criteria for promotion and tenure, and produced an academic counseling manual. Later, Boaz received a $250,000 grant to establish the School of Science's learning center to offer students opportunities to learn about science through the use of new technologies. 2
In 1984, Boaz was named associate dean of the faculties and acting dean of student affairs. One year later, she accepted a two-year appointment as dean of student affairs. During these two years, Boaz created five new offices: Student Information Systems; Disabled Student Services; Minority Student Services; Orientation and Information Services; and Student Research. She also oversaw the disciplinary appeals process and was appointed by President Ryan to lead an IU system-wide task force on students' rights and responsibilities. 3 Boaz loved her role as dean, once noting, "Advising and assisting students with academic choices is a gratifying way to spend time." 4
When Boaz's two-year appointment ended, she jumped into a new role as director of IUPUI's new Adult Education Center, which opened July 1, 1987. The center provided counseling, registration help, and a variety of special programs until it closed c. 1991. 5
Boaz died in 1993. In honor of her many achievements, the Department of Chemistry offers the Patricia A. Boaz annual award in her honor. One of the IUPUI student apartment buildings on the canal was also named in her honor.
Associate Dean of the Faculties
"Carol Nathan, n.d.," UA24-007892,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives
As one of the first women to hold a top position within IUPUI's central administration, Carol Nathan distinguished herself as an excellent administrator. In her years as assistant dean of the faculties, and later associate dean of the faculties, Nathan served under two chancellors and three deans of the faculties.
Nathan came to the Indiana University Medical Center in 1967 after earning her masters degree in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California. She worked as supervisor of clinical education for one year, and in 1968 became the director of the occupational therapy program. Nathan served as director until 1981. The program had not yet earned a national reputation, and Glen Irwin, dean of the School of Medicine and later chancellor of IUPUI, was anxious to see it get recognition. He offered Nathan his full support to do whatever necessary to make the occupational therapy program the best in the country. Nathan worked to increase visibility of the program by sending faculty to national conferences and encouraging them to present papers at these events. She also worked on the curriculum and tried to ensure that the program would produce outstanding graduates. 6
During her years as director, Nathan became a member of the faculty council. In 1975, Phyllis Danielson, secretary of the IUPUI faculty council, asked Nathan to chair the staff relations committee. Ironically, staff were not represented on this committee. Nathan worked to remedy this situation and asked that staff members be appointed to advise the committee on various issues. The committee eventually recommended that a staff council be formed at IUPUI, and Chancellor Irwin approved the plan in 1979. After becoming assistant dean of the faculties, Nathan served as the administrator for the staff council until she retired. 7
After Danielson left IUPUI, Nathan served as secretary of the faculty council in 1977 and 1978. By 1979, many of Nathan's responsibilities were ending. She had finished her terms as secretary of the faculty council and vice-president of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She had also completed her duties as chairman of the American Occupational Therapy Association's accreditation committee. Deciding to take her future into her own hands, Nathan approached Edward Moore, dean of the faculties, about a position in IUPUI's central administration. He agreed to discuss the possibility with Chancellor Irwin. Moore soon informed Nathan that she had been appointed part-time assistant dean of the faculties, while she continued to serve as full-time director of the occupational therapy program. She once explained, "If you want to move, you've got to speak up. You can't just sit around as a woman and say, well here I am. You've got to say something." 8
For her first assignment, Nathan developed a policy and procedure manual for IUPUI. Shortly after she successfully completed the manual, Nathan was promoted to full-time assistant dean and assigned the monumental task of coordinating IUPUI's 1982 accreditation self-study survey to obtain accreditation with North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Around this time, Nathan decided to pursue her PhD in higher education administration, and successfully defended her dissertation on the history of student services at IUPUI in 1988. 9
In 1984, Nathan was promoted to associate dean of the faculties. In this position, she took on a variety of tasks. She established programs, worked to solve problems for students and faculty, and served on many university committees. "It was potpourri," Nathan recalled. 10 One of her favorite assignments was to assist students with problems on registration day. Years before, when registration was not computerized and the university was much smaller, she represented the occupational therapy program in the Trouble Room, a designated area in Lecture Hall where students could go to get assistance fixing registration problems. The Trouble Room had long been abandoned, but as associate dean, Nathan sat in the registrar's office as a representative of the central administration and helped many students with registration problems. Nathan also helped students in her role as chair of the Academic Policies and Procedures Committee, which ruled on matters of grading standards, registration, etc. She served as the university's advisor for ADA implementation, and sat on Indiana University's Task Force on Minority Attainment. 11
From 1988 until her retirement in 1997, Nathan chaired the Consortium of Urban Education Deans, a group of administrators from a variety of institutions. During these meetings, Nathan became acquainted with Tom Cook of Ivy Tech University. They worked together to form a committee to establish procedures for credit transfer from Ivy Tech to IUPUI. As a result of this early attempt at cooperation, IUPUI and Ivy Tech continue to work together to make transitions easier for students. 12
In her many years at IUPUI, Nathan was most amazed by the dramatic change in the university's size. It expanded not only in terms of student population, but also in the number of academic programs offered and in the number of buildings on campus. "It was a swamp and it built up to something unbelievable," she recalled. 13 Nathan retired in 1997. In her years at IUPUI, she strengthened the academic credentials of the university; helped solve problems for numerous faculty, staff, and students; and helped to build many important relationships for the university.
Frances Rhome and Affirmative Action
"Frances Rhome," Indiana Alumni Magazine (February 1980)
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives
As IUPUI's first affirmative action officer, Frances Rhome improved the working conditions of numerous faculty members. A member of the English faculty, in March 1973, Rhome was asked to serve as interim officer of the new Affirmative Action department, and was later designated the school's permanent officer. In this position, Rhome reported to the university's chancellor on all matters of compliance with federal equal rights legislation. When Rhome first began her new appointment, she noted that many of the school's deans were understandably wary of the powers of this new department, noting, "It was very uncomfortable and it caused a strange alienation. But it helped when we started our survey. The deans saw then that we were not going to enforce quotas, but rather to try to develop sensible goals. Then the response was more positive." 14
Affirmative action, in fact, was not a new government policy, but rather could be traced back as far as Colonial days. In 1619, colonists began a program to provide willing Native American children a European-style education. They hoped that this education would help the children thrive in the altered environment. However, those early programs differed from the programs that took off in the 1960s and 1970s because they were not federally mandated. 15
Beginning in 1961 when president John F. Kennedy announced his plan to promote equal rights, the United States embarked on a more than decade-long examination of discrimination in America. At first these initiatives did not address discrimination based on sex, but later legislation expanded equal rights coverage to all races, sexes, religions, and nationalities. Other laws aimed to equalize opportunities available to handicapped and low-income children. 16
Of particular importance to the universities, however, were those provisions dealing specifically with employment. The 1963 Equal Pay Act mandated that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. In 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibited employment based on race, color, religion, nationality, and sex by employers of more than fifteen people. In 1972, educational amendments extended coverage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act to teachers and administrators at academic institutions. 17 To ensure that these laws were being enforced, many universities established affirmative action offices. These offices worked to promote equal treatment of women and minorities on campuses.
Under Rhome's guidance, IUPUI undertook many studies and programs to help equalize opportunities for women and minorities on campus. For example, Rhome appointed a committee to study faculty salaries with the aim of correcting disparities between wages of male and female staff. The committee's report showed that the average woman faculty member made $6,000 less than the average male. Overall, male salaries averaged $24,000 whereas the average female salary was only $18,000. Additionally, the survey noted that faculty at the Indiana University Medical Center averaged salaries above $20,000 whereas faculty at the Herron School of Art only earned an average of $10,000. Other than faculty at Herron, the study showed that the faculty of the IU School of Nursing (largely women) were the lowest paid members of the IU faculty. 18
Rhome's office worked to alleviate these inequalities through the implementation of a five-year plan. She also worked to set up a hearing system so that the university could handle affirmative action matters internally rather than sending them to the Civil Rights Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 19
In fact, Rhome was so conscientious about her responsibilities in the Affirmative Action office that she enrolled in IUPUI's law school to learn more about the interpretation of the law. Rhome noted of her decision to attend classes, "It's not just intellectual curiosity…it is also a matter of vested interest. Because of the complicated society we live in, I don't see how an individual can function without knowledge of litigation and laws which control our lives." 20
Rhome had been a member of the English faculty since 1969, and continued to teach a course in Shakespeare after she became the Affirmative Action officer. Rhome was especially interested in gender's effect on language, and prior to her appointment in the Affirmative Action office had prepared a study on "Manglish," or male orientation of the English language. Her study was widely considered to be an outstanding piece of scholarship and was placed in the National Reading & Communications Center in Washington D.C. Rhome was also a well-loved teacher, who was named an "Outstanding Educator for America" in 1973. 21
As one might imagine from her appointment on campus, Rhome was an active feminist in the local Indianapolis community. In the 1970s, she served on the board of the Greater Indianapolis Women's Political Caucus, as vice-chairperson on the Mayor's Task Force on Women, and as co-chair of a liaison committee for the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. 22 In May 1975, IU president John Ryan appointed Rhome system-wide affirmative action officer, at which time she left IUPUI and moved to Bloomington. 23 Rhome retired in 1986.
1 News Release, 2 June 1984, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
2 News Release, 17 June 1983; News Release 5 October 1983, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives; Patricia Boaz Clippings File, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.
3 News Release, 2 June 1984; News Release 3 May 1985; Indiana Daily Student, 23 April 1986, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.
4 News Release, 12 September 1986, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.
5 "IUPUI Tries to Aid Older Students," 18 September 1988, Patricia Boaz Clippings File, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.
6 Carol Nathan curriculum vitae; Oral History Interview, Carol Nathan, 2 August 2007, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI.
7 Carol Nathan, Reflections: Personal Vignettes (1997), 59; Oral History Interview, Carol Nathan.
8 Oral History Interview, Carol Nathan.
9 Oral History Interview, Carol Nathan; Nathan, Reflections: Personal Vignettes, 87.
10 Oral History Interview, Carol Nathan.
11 Ibid; Carol Nathan curriculum vite.
12 Oral History Interview, Carol Nathan.
14 "IPI’s Dr. Frances Rhome Fights Discrimination at University," Indianapolis Star, 8 July 1973, s6 p1 c4; "Female Profs at IPI Earn Less in Pay Than Males, Study Shows," Indianapolis Star, 22 August 1973, p37 c1.
15 Frances Dodson Rhome, “Fighting Discrimination Affirmative Action in the IU System," Indiana Alumni Magazine, February 1980, 22.
16 Ibid, 22.
17 Elder, 14.
18 "IPI’s Dr. Frances Rhome Fights Discrimination at University"; "Female Profs at IPI Earn Less in Pay Than Males, Study Shows;" Dean of Faculties Office Records, UA 044, box 3, Folders 7-11, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.
19 "IPI's Dr. Frances Rhome Fights Discrimination at University"
23 IU Faculty Newsletter, 25 (30 May 1975) in Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.