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Nov. 22, 2004 Committee on Women meeting

Recorded by Lisa D. Brush and Heidi Feldman


Present: Irene Frieze (chair), Madalyn Turner-Dickerson, Michelle Burda, Randi Koeski, Lisa D. Brush, Patty Smith, Ann Ostroski, Padi McFadden, Amy Wagner, Lorie Osho, Paula Davis, Heidi Feldman, Jean F. Carr, Jean Ferketish, Leslie Hayden, Patty Beeson, Annamore Matambandzo, Consuela Lewis, Maggie MacDonald


1. We went around to introduce ourselves.


2. We circulated but did not approve the minutes from the last meeting. Please send corrections to Irene Frieze by 11.29 to


3. Patty Beeson presented on two harassment memoranda from the Provost

            Review of responsibilities by chairs/unit leadership

            Draw attention to and discuss student-faculty relationship issues

            Harassment and discrimination distinction, alert faculty to training

            They are in the final stages of approving procedures

            They want to use the website to link students to resources

There were some questions, including discussion of the new position of Vice Provost and Dean of Students, for which there is an external search beginning. The position will bring together student and academic affairs. Also there was a question about political harassment as part of the issue of hostile environment. Dr. Beeson noted there are resources for understanding “environment” available.


4. Heidi Feldman reported very briefly but with great enthusiasm on the recent meeting of the Mentoring group. They are focusing on the issue of institutionalizing mentoring. This will be our main topic for discussion at the next meeting (January).


5. We had an extensive report and discussion from the Sexual Harassment group, featuring Irene Frieze’s account of their meeting with John Greeno and a great analysis of both the technical and substantive issues related to the website by Randi Koeske. John Greeno welcomed interests and concerns. People are taking the web-based training, although faculty less than staff. Randi Koeske’s presentation and analysis raised important issues about the obstacles to the website’s being useful for multiple purposes (not just compliance-oriented training). It appears to do the “legal” job pretty well, but not the teaching or other dimensions of the mission to reach the campus community with a proactive message about harassment. The committee requested specific recommendations from the subcommittee for implementing changes, follow-up, etc. Please send additional comments to Randi Koeske. Irene and Randi invited anyone interested to join the group working on this issue. Irene also raised but then tabled the issue of CIDDE TA and TF training. They are trying to track down the brochure for training for undergraduates.


6. [Heidi took minutes from this point so Lisa could present and help facilitate the discussion] Draft mission Process:

Lisa reviewed mission statements of other standing committees of the Senate.

She generated a possible name: Committee on the Status and Advancement of Women.

The first sentence of the mission statement is equivalent to other committee statements and stakes out a different terrain from the other groups on campus that are working on women’s issues (PACWC, etc.).

The suggestion is to really try to cover the interests/needs/issues of all women on campus, to be part of the governance structure at the level of the senate with faculty, staff, students, branch campuses all included.

The tools are research heavy because that’s the model for governance on campus.

The strategies are about working within the system.

The big advantage of working as a Senate committee is accountability.



Move toward institutionalization

Shared governance is not necessarily the way to play to our strengths as a group


This is not the only way to advance women’s interests

Leadership training (after Irene, in particular)

Must be complemented with other activities

Being at the table for discussions of change

Senate rules may constrain us too much; elected faculty members may be an organizational problem

Work on behalf of women should be counted as service to the university

We may get sucked into benchmarking and data gathering, because that is the idiom of governance

We have one more year as an ad hoc committee.

Now we have open membership; if we become a Senate committee, then members will be elected by faculty, staff and students will have liaisons. We can have pro tem members w/o votes. Composition and size are serious issues. Consensus is that 6 members (typical for Senate committees)* is too small both for our tasks and for inclusion and genuine participation – both of which are values the committee holds dear.

We need to understand the absolute bottom-line constraints. The mission statement itself seems clear and Lisa did a good job. We need research on options – the mission statement is a first step for this “procedures” group.

Lisa needs input from staff on bullet points for “argument”.

Perhaps we can think about a Commission on women instead of a Senate committee.


Meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm


Respectfully submitted LDB/HF


*A later correction from the Senate Office clarifies the situation for Senate Committees.  The bylaws read:

Section 1. Standing Committees:

(a) Creation and Demise: Standing committees may be established or abolished by two thirds vote of the members present at a meeting of the Faculty Assembly and ratified by a two thirds vote of the members present at a meeting of the Senate Council. Such action will automatically constitute an amendment of these Bylaws and shall be recorded automatically.

(b) Composition:  Each standing committee shall have a voting membership of nine faculty Senate members, one staff member appointed by the Staff Association Council, and four students (one graduate student selected by the Assembly of the Graduate and Professional Students Association, two undergraduate students selected by the Student Government Board, and one student selected by the College of General Studies Student Government Council).