2011 TWHE Annual Conference


“Women in the Driver’s Seat:
Navigating the Political Road Ahead”

April 3-5, 2011
Omni Austin Hotel Downtown
700 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78701

The Texas Women in Higher Education annual conference is designed for women administrators in Texas universities and community colleges. It will provide professional development for leadership in a compact two-day format in a beautiful boutique hotel in downtown Austin.


Registration is currently closed for the 2011 conference. Additional registrations may be made on-site at the conference.

Conference Schedule

The conference will take place Monday afternoon, April 4, through Tuesday lunch, April 5. A reception will take place Monday evening, April 4, 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more detailed information, visit this year’s full conference schedule.


The Omni-Downtown Austin Hotel has closed the special guestroom rate for this conference. Should you need a guest room, you may pay the current rate at the Omni, or suggestions are provided at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/apps/Events/ (see Area Hotels at the bottom of the page).

This Year’s Opening Keynote Speaker: Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Comptroller Susan Combs serves as the state’s treasurer, check writer, tax collector and revenue estimator, and also oversees state purchasing.

While serving four years in the Texas Legislature, Combs authored the state’s landmark private property rights legislation and introduced and passed government accountability reform.

As the first woman elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Combs was the voice for farmers and ranchers and boosted rural economic development efforts.

Elected Texas Comptroller in November 2006 and re-elected by an overwhelming majority in 2010, Combs has enacted sweeping reforms in her office, including:

  • Saving nearly $11 million in her agency alone and more than $68 million statewide
  • Returning more than $163 million in unclaimed property to its rightful owners in fiscal 2010 thanks to a new streamlined effort
  • Launching the nation’s most innovative transparency effort so taxpayers can see exactly how their money is being spent.

Combs’ Texas Transparency website at www.TexasTransparency.org, which hosts the “Where the Money Goes” and “Where the Money Comes From” tools, is a national model. More than 30 state and local entities across the country have contacted the Comptroller’s office to learn about transparency initiatives.

More than 240 local governments across Texas have earned a place in the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle, which recognizes financial transparency efforts.

Her motto is: IT’S YOUR MONEY!

Combs is now leading efforts to transform the way state and local governments approach spending, including identifying greater efficiencies, minimizing costs and maximizing revenue sources while improving services for Texans.

Upcoming reports include The Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST), which examines cost efficiencies in Texas public schools and how they relate to academic performance. Major new reports on health care, obesity and economic incentives will examine their costs and impact on the state.

Combs is a fourth generation Texan with a West Texas ranch that has been in her family for more than 120 years. Married for 35 years, she is the proud mother of three sons.

Tuesday Morning Keynote Speaker: Audrey Selden
Senior Associate Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Texas Department of Insurance

Audrey Selden is the Senior Associate Commissioner for Consumer Protection at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). She oversees the TDI division that assists consumers with questions and disputes about insurance. She chairs the

Texas State Disaster Coalition and leads the agency’s disaster response efforts. Audrey is the grant director for the Texas Consumer Health Assistance Program.

She served as Texas Assistant Secretary of State from 1991 to 1994.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1986, she clerked for U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice. Her additional work experience includes private practice as a litigator, college instructor, and university administrator. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University.

She is a graduate of Leadership Texas and Leadership America, a board member of the Foundation for Women’s Resources, a board member of Executive Women in Texas Government, and a Board Development Committee member of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas Council.

Audrey received the 2010 YWCA Woman of the Year for Racial Justice. The Austin Ballet honored Audrey in 2001 with a “Women on Their Toes” award for outstanding volunteer service. She also received the 1997 Ma Ferguson Award for Excellence in the Public Sector.

Tuesday Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Madlyn L. Hanes
Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Chancellor, University College, Penn State University

Dr. Madlyn L. Hanes was named Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Chancellor of the University College of The Pennsylvania State University in July 2010. As Vice President, Hanes has executive oversight for 19 campuses, including 35,000 students, and 3,600 faculty and staff of the University.

From 2,000-2010, Hanes served as Chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College. Hanes joined Penn State University in 1988 as the chief academic officer of Penn State Great Valley, the graduate campus of Penn State serving southeastern Pennsylvania, and in 1998, founding head of its School of Graduate Professional Studies.

Hanes holds the rank of Professor and received a B.A. with high honors in English, M.A. in speech-language pathology, and Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, with a specialization in language and literacy development, from the University of Florida. In 1976, she earned a C.C.C. in speech-language pathology from the Professional Services Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

In 1997, Penn State faculty colleagues created the Madlyn L. Hanes Faculty Award to recognize outstanding and continuous contributions of faculty members to the campus community. In 1998, Dr. Hanes received the Penn State University Award for Administrative Excellence; in 1999, the Visionary of the Year by the Great Valley Chamber of Commerce; in 2002, the Bette Landman Award from the Pennsylvania ACE-NETWORK for her work in the advancement of women in higher education; and in 2004, the Athena Award presented by Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Area Region Economic Development Corporation. In 2008, the University of Florida honored her with the University Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Hanes is the immediate past chair of the state network executive board of the American Council on Education (ACE), Office of Women in Higher Education. She also serves on the national boards of the Commission on Women in Higher Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regionally she serves on the boards of directors of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber (chair) and Capital Region Economic Development Corporation, Modern Transit Partnership, Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, and Holy Spirit Health Systems.

Hanes is married to Dr. Michael Hanes, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The couple has three grown children.