In The Beginning. . .
During the 1980's, there were numerous organizations highlighting the earning gap between men and women and Iowa was in the news as having very few women in educational administration. As an answer, a WAYUP group was organized in 1982 by then Board of Regents member Peg Anderson, with guidance from a group of other committed individuals: Pat Geadelmann, UNI; the late Sue Follon, then chair of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women and later a Vice President at UNI; the late Carol Rocklin Kay of ISU; John Hartung from the private college sector; Bob Barak from the Board of Regents office; Beverly Bunker (formerly Beverly Gillette) from the Iowa Department of Education; Gene Gardner from the Iowa Community College Board of Trustees office; and others. The goal was to "get women thinking about moving up; about providing leadership" on Iowa campuses.
The first Way Up conference was held in 1983 and was funded by federal vocational funds from the Iowa Department of Education to encourage women in non-traditional roles. The first two or three conferences reflected an enrollment of over 300 participants as many women in secondary and post secondary educational administration participated. A total of 25 conferences have been held.