1991 to 1992 – National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators

As membership continued to grow, President Chris Voelz and the Board of Directors worked strategically to provide more resources for members. In efforts to provide a platform for members to better engage and connect throughout the year, the “NACWAA Hotline” and “NACWAA Women’s Sports: On Line” were created (NACWAA Newsletter Vol. 9.3).

One purpose of the Hotline was to have a platform to celebrate members. Members would call the Hotline, share the news, and NACWAA would then send out “Yeah You!” certificates to congratulate members for promotions, signing contracts, adding sports, enhanced funding for women, etc. On the other side, NACWAA would send out “How Can It Be?” cards when a university would drop a women’s sport, be without an SWA, etc. This would often start a constructive conversation, and progress would be made (NACWAA Newsletter Vol. 9.2).

With national recognition on the rise, women were finally earning a seat at the table. In the early 90s, Chris and the Board of Directors negotiated with the NCAA to create a spot for the current NACWAA President on the Gender Equity Task Force to provide a long overdue voice for women. This was a major milestone for both NACWAA and Title IX. The voice of women in athletics was finally being heard by not only the Task Force, but also by the Presidents Commission, the NCAA Council, and the Knight Commission (Vol. 9.3).

Other major accomplishments from NACWAA during this time frame (Vol. 9.2 & 9.3):

  • Negotiated with the NCAA to include AIAW history into the NCAA Hall of Champions Museum
  • Board of Directors passed an “Executive Privilege” whereby if a woman of color was not elected to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director could appoint a woman of color member from the membership
  • NACWAA formally took a stance on gender-affecting legislation and boldly disseminated that view for the first time
  • NACWAA endorsed the Gender Equity Definition (co-authored by Chris Voelz), which was eventually adopted by the NCAA
  • Still without a full-time staff member, the discussion of hiring a full-time Executive Director began
  • NACWAA created support and interest groups called “clusters”, which included the following groups: Political Advocacy, Working Mothers, and Aspiring Athletic Directors

NACWAA continued to be committed to recognizing the achievements and successes of administrators working in athletics. Click here to view all NACWAA/ Women Leaders in College Sports award winners.

NACWAA Board Members 1991-92

Karen Fey, New Mexico State University
Lynn Dorn, North Dakota State University
Linda Hackett, Smith College
Averill Haines, Boston University
E. Kaye Hart, Past President, Utah State University
Jo Kuhn, Texas Woman’s University
Joan Maser, Carnegie Mellon University
Margie McDonald, Western Athletic Conference
Marilyn McNeil, Cal Poly State University-San Luis Obispo
Linda Moulton, Clark University
Martha Mullins, Eastern Kentucky University
Marcia Saneholtz, President-Elect, Washington State University
Mary Jo Warner, George Washington University

NACWAA President: 1991 - 1992

Chris Voelz
University of Minnesota

Chris Voelz is currently the Executive Director of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards and is the owner of A+ (Athletics Plus), which is a consulting business that focuses on educational contributions for women in sport. Chris started her career at the University of Oregon, but is most well known for her role as Athletic Director at the University of Minnesota. During her time at Minnesota, Chris built one of the largest budgets and staffs for women’s athletics in the nation. She added three women’s programs to provide 120 student-athlete opportunities for women, which was extremely rare at the time. Under the direction of Chris, Minnesota saw an all-time high in department fundraising.

After leaving Minnesota, Chris went on to serve as the leadership gift officer for Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation.

Chris co-authored the Gender Equity Definition that was advanced by NACWAA and adopted by the NCAA. Throughout her career, Chris has received many awards including the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) Honor Award and the NACWAA Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, Chris was inducted into the Illinois State University and University of Minnesota Halls of Fame and was named one of the top 10 most influential people in women’s sport in the Fitness Magazine.

World News

Anita Hill

1992 was known as “The Year of the Woman,” as American voters elected more new women to Congress than ever before, which launched a period of unparalleled advances for women. The events leading up to the election were a perfect storm of women’s issues, highlighted by Anita Hill’s testimony accusing Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.

Anita Hill’s hearings were said to energize female voters, who encouraged a record number of women to run for office. California became the first state to be represented in the Senate by two women concurrently, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. In total, the 1992 race saw six women winning Senate elections and 24 women elected to first terms in the House.

“Calling 1991 the Year of the Woman makes it sound like the Year of the Caribou or the Year of the Asparagus. We’re not a fad, a fancy, or a year.”

– Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland