Discussion to feature ‘Women in Politics’

By Phil Dalton

The Social Sciences Research Institute will be sponsoring a panel discussion on the topic of “Women in Politics” as part of a colloquium series of lectures on public policy research and gender.

The panel will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Capitol Room t the Holmes Student Center.

The panel will consist of three women including Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, Barbara Burrell from the Women’s Study Center at the University of Wisconsin and Ellen Dran, research associate for NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies.

Harvey Smith, acting director of the Social Science Research Institute, said the panel was planned in October before the elections because women were playing an increased role in politics.

Netsch is the first woman ever elected to a state constitutional office in Illinois. She also is seen by many as a possible democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Jim Edgar in 1994.

From 1973 to 1991 Netsch served as a state senator from Chicago’s 4th District. As chair of the Senate Revenue Committee and co-chair of the Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission, she was widely hailed as an expert on fiscal policy.

Netsch graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Law in 1952 and joined the faculty there in 1965. She still teaches state and local government law.

Smith said each speaker will make a brief presentation on the topic of “Women in Politics.” He said Netsch will discuss her impressions and experience in campaigning in public elections.

Dran has been involved in survey research on the issue and will speak on the results of her research learned on the topic.

Burrell does survey research as well at the University of Wisconsin Survey Research Lab and also has written on women and political parties.