(September 28, 1944 - )
Bataille is an educator, professor of English and American Indian Studies, interdisciplinary scholar, university administrator, consultant on leadership in higher education, and prolific author.
Gretchen Bataille was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, the eldest of three children, to George H. Mueller and Adrienne Vander Heyden Mueller. First attending Purdue University, she obtained her BS in English, and then an MA from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Subsequently she earned her PhD in English from Drake University with a dissertation entitled "An Approach to the Study of American Indian Literature at the College Level." Meanwhile, Bataille was teaching English at Iowa State University (ISU), rising in rank from instructor to full professor between 1967 and 1988. While at ISU, Gretchen co-founded the American Indian Studies Program in which she shared the chair position and team teaching of the program's introductory course.
She also co-founded and directed many of ISU's annual Symposiums on the American Indian. In addition to serving on departmental and university committees, advising English and education majors, Gretchen served as Faculty Advisor to the People of English (POE) student club and the United Native American Student Association (UNASA). While residing in Ames, Gretchen was appointed by the Governor of Iowa to chair the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and was elected to the Iowa Humanities Board. Under the aegis of the Iowa State University Research Foundation, Gretchen produced two audio-visual packages: Inside the Cigar Store: Images of the American Indian (1979) and The Make-Believe Indian: The Native American in the Movies (with Charles L.P. Silet, 1981). Gretchen was the associate editor for publications by the National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES) from 1980-1987 and editor from 1987-1992. She was the Associate Editor for MELUS, the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, from 1983-1988.
While on leave from ISU, Gretchen taught and served as an administrator at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, between 1986-1988. Following the death of her husband, Dr. Charles C. Irby, Bataille was recruited to chair the English Department at Arizona State University in 1988. While there, she was promoted to the post of Associate Dean for Academic Personnel in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (1990-1994). In 1994, the University of California-Santa Barbara, enlisted Bataille as their Provost in the College of Letters and Science. Recognizing her skills as an educator and administrator, other universities sought out Bataille's service. From 1997 to 2000, she was Washington State University's Provost and Academic Vice President. From 2000 to 2006, she moved to Chapel Hill where she served as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for the 16-campus University of North Carolina (UNC) System.
In 2016, the University of North Texas (UNT) selected Bataille to serve as their first female President. As in her previous positions, Bataille was very successful in attracting large grants and donations to various divisions of the university, dealing with the leaders of the student body, and gaining the support of the Board of Regents and the Athletic Department. Her signature program at UNT was establishing the Emerald Eagle Scholars, a need-based scholarship program that provided four-year tuition and fee scholarships for all students with family incomes of less than $40,000. She also created dual degree programs with institutions of higher education in Mexico and Costa Rica. In 2010, she resigned from UNT and moved to New York City to serve as Interim Vice President for the Fashion Institute of Technology during the 2010-2011 academic year, and then moved on to Washington, D.C. for three years as the American Council on Education's (ACE) Senior Vice President for Leadership and Lifelong Learning. In this role, she worked with many college and university top administrators on leadership skills and strategies.
Among Gretchen's published books are The Pretend Indians: Images of Native Americans in the Movies (with Charles L.P. Silet, 1978), American Indian Women: Telling their Lives (with Kathleen Sands, 1984), Living the Dream in Arizona: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (with Albert L. McHenry, 1992), Ethnic Studies in the United States: A Guide (with Miguel Carranza and Laurie Lisa, 1996), The Worlds Between Two Rivers: Perspectives on American Indians in Iowa (with David M. Gradwohl and Charles L.P. Silet, 2000), Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary (with Laurie Lisa, 2001), Native American Representations: First Encounters, Distorted Images, and Literary Appropriations (2001), Faculty Career Paths: Multiple Routes to Academic Success and Satisfaction (with Betsy E. Brown, 2006), Leadership in Times of Crisis: "Cool Head, Warm Heart" (with Meredith S. Billings and Christopher J. Nellum), Presidents Caught in the Middle (with Alegneta Asfaw and Brandon Jackson, 2013), and Managing the Unthinkable: Crisis, Preparation and Response for Campus Leaders (with Diana Cordova, 2014). In addition, she has published numerous journal articles and chapters in books dealing with American Indian literature, ethnicity and ethnic stereotypes, and leadership in higher education. She is a frequent presenter at professional conferences and is often invited as a keynote speaker on topics relating to academic leadership policies and the role of women in breaking "glass ceilings" in university administrations and business corporations.
Gretchen now resides in Phoenix, Arizona, where, as President of GMB Consulting Group, LLC, she consults with universities and business corporations on strategic development and coaches new presidents and other senior administrators. She is also a Strategic Partner with the ROI Consulting Group, Inc., and a Senior Academic Advisor for Navitas USA. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Sage Publications and is a member of the Association of International Education Administrators and the Registry for College and University Presidents.
Gretchen has two children, Marc D. Hettinga and Erin M. Hettinga Crail, and five grandchildren (Jocelyn, Luke, and Kara Hettinga; Justin and Austin Crail) with whom she spends treasured time in between her busy professional schedules.
1980, The Pretend Indians: Images of American Indians in the Movies (with Charles L.P. Silet), Ames: Iowa State University Press.
1987, American Indian Women: Telling Their Lives (with Kathleen Sands), Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
1992, Living the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (with Albert L. McHenry), Tempe: Arizona State University.
1996, Ethnic Studies in the United States: A Guide (with Miguel Carranza and Laurie Lisa), New York: Garland Publishing.
2000, The Worlds Between Two Rivers: Perspectives on American Indians in Iowa (with David M. Gradwohl and Charles L.P. Silet), Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
2001, Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary (with Laurie Lisa), New York: Routledge.
2001, Native American Representations: First Encounters, Distorted Images, and Literary Appropriations, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
2006, Faculty Career Paths: Multiple Routes to Academic Success and Satisfaction (with Betsy E. Brown), Westport, CT: Praeger.
2012, Leadership in Times of Crisis: "Cool Head, Warm Heart " (with Meredith S. Billings and Christopher J. Nellum), Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education.
2013, Presidents Caught in the Middle (with Alegneta Asfaw and Brandon Jackson), Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education.
2014, Managing the Unthinkable: Crisis, Preparation and Response for Campus Leaders (with Diana Cordova), Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.