Title IX 40 for 40: Dr. M. Dianne Murphy
Dr. M. Dianne Murphy is now in her ninth year as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education at Columbia University. During her tenure, Dr. Murphy has spearheaded a number of programs and initiatives, including the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium Silver Anniversary, honoring 25 years of women's athletics at Columbia. Murphy came to Columbia after six years as Director of Athletics at the University of Denver, where she led the Pioneers’ transition from Division II to Division I. Prior to that, Murphy served as Assistant Athletics Director at Cornell (1995-98), Iowa (1988-95) and Kentucky State (1987-88).
What impact has Title IX had on you/college
Dr. Murphy: Without the passage of Title IX, I may not have had the opportunity of becoming an NCAA Division I athletics director. Title IX ensured that there were women’s basketball teams for me to coach – and athletics programs requiring professional administration. By ensuring that athletics were valued, and that women athletes, coaches and administrators were just as important a component of college athletics, Title IX opened doors for countless women – and men – to achieve their career aspirations.
How did Title IX help to change the perception of women in
Dr. Murphy: Title IX changed the perception of women, not only in athletics, but other careers as well. Title IX demonstrated that women can achieve excellence in all endeavors when given opportunities.
What has Title IX done for women outside of the sports
Dr. Murphy: The perception of what kinds of careers and interests that are acceptable for women is just one value-added component of Title IX. The biggest value is that women who compete in college athletics are learning many of the traits that successful men have valued over the years – leadership, time management, teamwork. Proving that women are as capable as men at doing these types of things has opened doors at firms, institutions and industries for hundreds of thousands of women.
What opportunities for women did Title IX help
Dr. Murphy: With the passage of Title IX in 1972, this landmark legislation opened opportunities for girls and women in a variety of ways. One opportunity was through participation opportunities in sport for girls and women. Another opportunity is coaching. Title IX also provided opportunities in athletics administration, athletic training, strength and conditioning, media relations, sports marketing and fundraising to name a few. The passage of Title IX opened many opportunities for girls and women that they never had before.
Who is someone you view as a pioneer in women's athletics
Dr. Murphy: Certainly Billie Jean King, Margaret Court Smith, Alice Coachman, Wilma Rudolph and Althea Gibson were pioneers prior to the passage of Title IX. We would also have to include Margaret Wade, Christine Grant, Jody Conradt, Charlotte West, Sue Gunter and Donna Lopiano among many more. Because of the passion and commitment to equality in sport of all these women and countless others, our young girls and women today have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.