December 07, 2007

Kirchmeier wins honor at housing conference

by Eric Welch

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Julie Payne Kirchmeier, director of University Housing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will teach hundreds of housing officials from universities around the world how to negotiate for equal pay next summer.

She will present "Get in the Game – Negotiate Like a Champion," at the 2008 Annual Conference of the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International next June in Orlando, Fla. Her dynamic presentation won the top programming award at Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers in South Bend, Ind., in October. Winning the regional award qualified her to speak at the international conference.

The program is a response to research showing a gap in pay between men and women directly after graduation and 10 years after.

"I developed the presentation to share with entry and mid-level professional women in housing to help them learn how to negotiate salaries for themselves," Kirchmeier said. "I went through steps of what you need to do to negotiate a salary on your behalf: how to do your homework, communicate clearly and get everything in writing."

In addition to Kirchmeier, 11 other representatives from University Housing attended the regional conference in South Bend, presenting a total of 12 programs. Malinda Jensen coordinated the gender education activity room while Elizabeth Scally oversaw the case study competition.

"Melinda Jensen and Gena Stack also co-presented with other institutions," Kirchmeier said. "Everyone represented us quite well. Collectively we presented 10 percent of the entire conference and were well received."

Kirchmeier said she is encouraging other SIUC University Housing staff members to not only attend the international conference, but to also apply to present as well.

"We compare to other programs in our region quite well. SIUC ranks very high," she said.