Patricia Thatcher, Ph.D.
Position: Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs
Institution: Misericordia University
What does leadership mean to you?
I am a leader who believes and acts within a democratic and participative leadership style. For me, coalition building, and the ability to inspire confidence in others is critical to my current work and more generally to the future of so many institutions of higher education. Higher education employs an impressively talented array of stakeholders, some of whom require uninterrupted space and time to achieve their best work, as well as a community that will listen to, test, select, and assist in the implementation of those best ideas for the benefit of entire community. The ability to create that community or “coalition of the learned”, while simultaneously streaming their best ideas and energies into the mission and future direction of the institution, is the ultimate goal of a participative and democratic leader.
Why is networking/mentoring important?
I believe that the higher education “industry” is more realistically considered a community. All of us share so many similar trials and tribulations no matter the diverse size, scope, and mission of our institutions. Networking and Mentoring is about consistent improvement of the higher education community. It is the way that advanced and novice practitioners learn to grow and problem solve. It is the most important succession building process that we do for our larger community. We share so that others might know and do better. Besides, it is fun!
Why are you a member of PA-ACE?
I believe in and wish to participate in organizations that support women, their work, their intellects, and their vision. PA-ACE is that organizations. Women’s leadership in higher education is critical to a brighter future for the industry. PA-ACE supports all women in higher education in a non-disciplinary way involving all in leadership development and a myriad of learning opportunities. Besides, it is fun!
Patricia Thatcher, Misericordia University Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs supports the Vice President of Academic Affairs in overseeing the academic curriculum and managing academic support services such as the Student Success Center, Service Learning, Excellence in Teaching and Learning, core curriculum development, and the study abroad program. She also oversees academic assessment, as well as the faculty and student research grant process.
Pat previously served as Associate Provost for assessment at Philadelphia University, and (acting) Director of the Office of Learning Resources at the Weingarten Center of the University of Pennsylvania for nearly 5 years. Her career includes having served as an assessment and planning consultant for Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, and assessment training facilitator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Philadelphia.
A native of Philadelphia, Pat earned her Ph.D. in History of American Civilization from the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, and Winterthur Museum, Wilmington, Delaware. She also holds an M.A. in American Civilization and a B.A. in American Civilization and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Her museum experience includes having served as assistant curator for Eighteenth Century Life at the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. She keeps current in material culture studies and design history.