REPORT ON GENDER EQUITY
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

VIEW ARCHIVED VIDEO FROM: THE CLIMATE FOR WOMEN AT U.VA.
A FORUM PRESENTED BY THE FACULTY SENATE
(Spring 2000)

Submitted by the 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women to President John T. Casteen III

August 2, 1999

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. A Vision for the University of Virginia in the Next Decade
  3. The Issue: Gender Climate
  4. Action Plan for Gender Climate Improvement
  5. Proposal for the Women's Leadership Council
  6. Conclusion

Appendix: Assessment of Progress on Previous Recommendations

Introduction

In February 1999, President John T. Casteen, III, selected a group of women and men from around the University to assess the progress that the University had made in recent years with regard to women. Broadly, President Casteen asked this new task force "to identify issues of particular concern to women at the University today." A decade after the final report of President O'Neil's 1988 Task Force on the Status of Women, President Casteen charged the 1999 group "to gauge which of the recommendations put forth in 1988 have been fulfilled and which remain, to identify changed circumstances and new matters of concern, and to think through effective ways to address them." In addition, the president asked the 1999 Task Force to "recommend an appropriate organizational structure and a plan of action to address current issues."

In response to President Casteen's charge, the 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women has aimed not only to provide a progress report on the status of women at the University but also to clarify the central issue which concerns women most today, and to suggest a vision toward which the University of Virginia can strive in the decade to come.

The 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women asserts optimistically that we ought to continue to fulfill Thomas Jefferson's vision for the University of Virginia to be an excellent educational community, created to foster leadership and citizenship in a changing world. To do so well, we must ensure that our own leadership is as diverse as the populations the University serves, and that women become more prominent, in numbers and positions, in the University's leadership. At the same time, we ask that the ethos of the University embrace the variety of its participants while promoting an atmosphere marked by collegiality, rigorous intellectual inquiry and self-examination, moral reflection, and fundamental human kindness.

To achieve our vision in ten years, we must examine and change the gender climate at the University of Virginia, specifically in the areas of leadership, education, and community. Our task force found that gender equity is not yet a reality at the University and that the institution, on the whole, has but partially accomplished the recommendations made in 1988 by President O'Neil's Task Force and in subsequent years by the Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns (see Appendix). Based upon our investigations and analysis, this report recommends a plan of action to effect changes in the gender climate and foster gender equity in leadership, education, and community (work/life issues), and proposes that a new group be created, known as the Women's Leadership Council, to help carry this work forward.

A Vision for the University of Virginia in the Next Decade

The University of Virginia was created as an academical village -- a community of scholars and students living together on the Lawn, with the Rotunda as the central symbol of learning. Thomas Jefferson's vision for this community was education for leadership and citizenship in a changing world. The academical village, with its unobstructed view of the mountains and its multiple points of entry onto the Lawn, opened onto that world. The University began as a bold and visionary institution.

Today, as one of the strongest public universities in the United States, we wish to recall and reenact the original vision for our institution, now reflecting and responding to a global political economy and an increasingly diverse democratic society.

We must ensure that our university is a microcosm of the American ideal for our society. Our leadership must truly reflect the composition of our community, the rich diversity of all women and all men. Our goal is that, within the decade, the University's administrative, faculty, and student leadership will be as diverse as the population it serves, reflecting the composition of the Commonwealth of Virginia and representing the diversity of the United States. To this end, we recognize that women, now underrepresented among leaders across the University, must be more prominent, in numbers and positions, in the University's leadership.

Developing diverse leadership, including leadership by women, is but one critical means of advancing the traditions of the University of Virginia to meet the challenges of a changing world. Education for leadership and citizenship in the twenty-first century also requires a climate for living and learning with one another that is attentive to and respectful of differences of gender, class, race, disability, ethnicity, religion, age, and sexual orientation. The flourishing of all its people must be a goal of this university. The ethos of the institution must embrace the variety of its participants -- their talents, their values, and their aspirations. It must promote the development and well being of these persons, at work and in their wider lives, in an atmosphere marked by collegiality, rigorous intellectual inquiry and self-examination, moral reflection, and fundamental human kindness. Such an environment will foster individual and institutional excellence and will facilitate the common pursuit of scholarship, service, teaching, curricula, and organizational and administrative structures fitting to the population and problems of the twenty-first century. Such an environment will keep us attuned both to our world and our workings, poised always to embark on appropriate new initiatives.

Just as in 1819, when it was a model institution for the new American nation, the University of Virginia, living out its vision, reconceived, can be the pace-setting university for a new global century.

The Issue: Gender Climate

The University of Virginia has taken some steps toward realizing this vision. On May 23, 1999, the University graduated its twenty-fifth fully coeducational class, a class in which the numbers of women and men were nearly equal at both the undergraduate and graduate/professional levels. Although the transition from a gentleman's college to coeducation met with some initial resistance in the 1970s, in just under three decades the University has achieved remarkable success in becoming for our students a coeducational place.

While our student body now reflects well the rich diversity of the American population, our faculty and leadership do not. Our administrative structures and academic curriculum still reflect an educational tradition established for and by men. This state of affairs indicates an imbalance of power and privilege between women and men. Gender inequity, real and perceived, is a characteristic of the environment in which all of us at the University study, live, and work.

True gender equity requires not only representative numbers of women and men but also a shift in the balance of the values that traditionally inform and direct the culture of a university. The "chilly climate" -- to use the term that Bernice Resnick Sandler, senior scholar at the National Association for Women in Education, coined in the 1980s for the resistant institutional environment for women in higher education -- is still a deeply entrenched paradigm throughout academe, including our own university. One result is that universities waste the talents of women -- as teachers, as researchers, as leaders; another is that they discourage women students, for whom there are few role models and mentors; still another is that they undervalue women staff by undervaluing women's work. Gender inequity in the university setting is subtle yet pervasive, grounded in socialized, largely unexamined ways of thinking and acting that are manifested in all of us, women and men, and perpetuated out of habit and lack of awareness. Embedded in the culture, gender inequity prevents institutions like the University of Virginia from functioning at full capacity.

It is time for us to examine and change the gender climate at the University of Virginia, specifically in the areas of leadership, education, and community. As the vision statement crafted by the President's Task Force on the Status of Women (1999) establishes a destination for this institution, our recommended action plan identifies some pathways by which, within the decade, we may arrive at this end. This journey toward equity is a fitting enterprise for the University as we enter a new century and begin our fourth decade of coeducation.

Action Plan for Gender Climate Improvement

In order for the University of Virginia to take a national leadership role in transforming its gender climate, change must occur in three important areas -- Leadership, Education, and Community (Work/Life Issues). The 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women recommends specific actions in each area. Working as a committee of the whole, the Task Force developed this action plan out of our systematic review of previous recommendations made by the 1988 Task Force on the Status of Women and recommendations made in 1997 by the Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns (ACWC), and out of our thoroughgoing deliberations about the culture and climate of the University at present. The following items synthesize the "Future Directions" sections of our review (see Appendix).

Leadership

  1. Advocate for gender equity at the University in public statements. The current Task Force has prepared a vision statement that invokes the importance of gender equity and sets goals for the University to be a national leader in examining and changing its gender climate. We urge the President to use this vision statement, in part or in whole, in institutional and public forums.
  2. Increase the representation and visibility of women in positions of governance, including in senior administrative positions. The number of women in leadership positions at the University remains low eleven years after the 1988 Task Force Report, especially among academic department chairs.
  3. Make loan lines available to departments to promote the hiring of women and minorities at all levels. Enable departments to use loan lines until appointees leave. Make loan lines available in the Health System as well as in the Provost's area. Publicize the loan lines more aggressively to deans and department chairs.
  4. Add a component measuring "commitment to equal opportunity" to the recruitment and annual evaluation of all University personnel who have hiring authority. At each level of authority within the institution, persons should be held accountable for their records of accomplishment in hiring/retention, salary equity, and climate.
  5. Ensure that women faculty and staff can meet and talk confidentially at least once each year. The director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, or her or his designee, will convene these sessions in all areas of the University. The aim of these sessions will be to assess informally the institution's climate for women.
  6. Require the vice presidents, deans, and department and major unit heads to attend training sessions regarding hiring/retention, salary equity, sexual and other illegal harassment, and climate issues.
  7. Issue public reports annually on institutional progress toward gender equity.
  8. Articulate vision and goals regarding women and diversity at the first large meeting of school or department faculty and/or staff held each academic year.
  9. Include in annual reports assessments of gender climate, representation of women, and salary equity, and set forth in the annual reports goals in these areas for future years.
  10. Appoint a new standing committee (proposed below) to consult with, counsel, and inform the president and other University officials on gender climate, gender equity, and women's issues, and to help monitor and assess implementation of this action plan.

Education

  1. Institute mentoring programs to help increase representation of women and improve the climate for women. Offer mentoring across the University, with school-specific programs as appropriate. Continue to mentor fellows/interns beyond the term of their fellowship/ internship experience.
  2. Advertise in an aggressive and timely manner on- and off-site professional development programs for women faculty and staff so that the maximum number of women candidates can benefit from these opportunities. Consider alumnae of these programs as institutional resources and consult them as appropriate.
  3. Capitalize on existing professional development/leadership programs for women, including American Council of Education Fellowships, the Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education, and the Commonwealth Management Institute. Explore some new University-based initiatives, as follows:

  4. Fund intervention programs and activities that support women students' leadership development and personal and academic preparedness for life during and after the University experience. Experts on gender concerns should review these programs to ensure that they promote an equitable gender climate at the University.
  5. Assure appropriate institutional support for Studies in Women and Gender, the Women's Center, and the Office of Sexual Assault Education, especially to implement new programs, provide additional space, facilitate joint appointments, fund full- and part-time staff, and increase operating funds.
  6. In fundraising, identify donors who will support educational programs related to women and to the gender climate at the University.

Community: Work/Life Issues

  1. Assure equity in salary and promotional opportunity for all faculty and staff. Recognizing that a perception of inequality exists, we recommend that University administrators:

  2. Address issues of climate, equity, and representation of women in the schools of the University, as follows:

  3. Create more equitable work/life arrangements, as follows:

 

Proposal for the Women's Leadership Council

As mentioned in the action plan above, the 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women proposes that a group be formed that will help to carry forward our recommendations, as well as to advise the President and other University officials on gender climate, gender equity, and women's issues as they arise. The 1999 Task Force suggests the following name, mission, organizational structure, and reporting line.

The Women's Leadership Council (WLC) shall be a standing University committee advisory to the president. The broad mission of the WLC shall be to consult with, counsel, and inform the President about institutional policies, objectives, procedures and actions with regard to developing an equitable gender climate. The WLC's goals will be (1) ensuring that women are included fully and equitably in all aspects of the life of the institution; and (2) promoting the development and well-being of all members of the University community in an atmosphere marked by collegiality, rigorous intellectual inquiry and self-examination, moral reflection, and fundamental human kindness. To do so, the WLC shall regularly converse with the President and the cabinet about the gender climate, opportunities for women, progress on efforts to achieve gender equity, and how institutional initiatives, policies, and procedures affect women at the University.

The WLC's form and function derive from the conclusions and recommendations of the 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women, which noted that although the University's student body reflected well the rich diversity of the American population, its faculty and leadership did not. Consistent with the 1999 Task Force's action plan, the WLC should examine and address the gender climate at the University of Virginia, specifically in the areas of leadership, education, and community.

In fulfilling its broad mission, the WLC shall undertake the following:

  1. Recommend policies, procedures, programs, and priorities that will encourage the development of an institutional community that promotes and supports the full range of educational, employment, and research opportunities for women.
  2. Identify institutional practices and policies that may inhibit the ability of women students, faculty, and staff to contribute and participate as fully as they are capable in the educational and professional opportunities at the University, and recommend measures to eliminate inhibitory practices and policies.
  3. Review and comment on reports of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs pertaining to the University's progress in meeting its equal opportunity and affirmative action obligations with respect to women.
  4. Recommend and advocate policies, procedures, and priorities that will enhance the University's ability to undertake proactive, affirmative measures designed to encourage greater diversity in its student, faculty, staff and leadership populations.
  5. Consider and recommend steps to implement the action plan developed by the 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women.
  6. Assist the President or his or her designee in monitoring and evaluating the University's work toward the goals proposed by the 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women and adopted by the University leadership.

The WLC will include faculty, staff, and student representation from a wide range of areas throughout the University. As possible, it will also include representatives from the Women's Center, Studies in Women and Gender, the Women's Concerns Committee of Student Council, the Women Faculty and Professional Association, and graduates of the University. Ex officio members will be appointed from the following offices: Equal Opportunity Programs, Human Resources, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President and Provost, and the Vice President and Provost for Health Sciences.

In addition to ongoing dialogue with institutional leaders, the WLC shall prepare regular progress reports as warranted and an annual report summarizing the WLC's activities and offering recommendations for University action. The WLC will report primarily to the President of the University.

Conclusion

The 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women commends President Casteen's efforts to see that conversation and action regarding women at the University of Virginia does not languish. We sincerely hope that our progress report on previous recommendations made in 1988 and 1997 acknowledges the strides that the University has already made. We also hope that the University will be re-energized by our vision for this institution a decade from now: a University organized and operating so as to best promote the development and well-being of all its members equitably, in their work and in their wider lives. Our best route to that future is to pay further attention now to a fundamental issue -- promoting an equitable gender climate. Doing so will keep us from wasting women's talents and undervaluing their contributions and concerns, and instead will allow the whole University to flourish and to profit from women's values and knowledge.

Our action plan recommends that the University concentrate its work to improve the gender climate by focusing on leadership, education, and community. Among our recommendations in the area of leadership, we advocate that the goal of gender equity become a common topic in this institution's discourse, in its public statements, its directions to University leaders, and its reporting expectations and requirements; acknowledgement is a key step in remedying this problem. We further urge that efforts continue to be made to increase the representation of women in positions of leadership and advocacy. In the area of education, we recommend increasing professional development opportunities for women faculty, staff, and students, assuring appropriate institutional support for offices and programs that benefit women, and targeting some fundraising for gender equity by identifying donors who have special interests in educational programs related to women and the University's gender climate. And to enrich the University community, we urge the institution to attend to the work and life of all its members, and to the life of the institution as a whole, assuring equitable treatment in concerns ranging from compensation, promotion, personal safety, and personal and family welfare, and assuring an equitable environment through organizational/administrative structures, curricula, and policies that are free of gender bias.

Finally, we propose that a new group, the Women's Leadership Council, be formed. The purpose of this group will be to maintain a dialogue with the President as he or she seeks to implement the action plan recommended in this report. Further, this standing committee will consult with, counsel, and inform the President and other University officials on gender climate, gender equity, and women's issues as they arise.

With attention, commitment, and, most importantly, action applied to the enabling vision and recommendations detailed in this report, the University of Virginia in the next decade can live out fully many of the ideals upon which it was founded. Steeped as the University is in tradition, we should recall that initiating and responding to change in the world beyond the serpentine walls was a priority in Thomas Jefferson's bold vision for the institution. Indeed, this has been an enduring University value, helping the University to be, as Jefferson intended, a model of new educational strategies and a source of forward-looking leaders for the nation and the Commonwealth. Now, by making and acting on a commitment to gender equity, the University can become a more fair-minded and prosperous community, a pace-setter in higher education, and a source of visionary, public-spirited leaders, women and men, for the twenty-first century.

Appendix

ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS ON PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS

The recommendations made by the 1988 Task Force on the Status of Women and the 1997 Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns are itemized below. The 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women investigated whether each of the previous recommendations had been accomplished, and if so, in what manner and to what degree. Suggestions for future directions were also made. These suggestions were then synthesized and abbreviated in the 1999 Task Force's Action Plan aimed at improving the gender climate at the University of Virginia.

 

1988 Recommendations by the Task Force on the Status of Women


1. A COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED IN THE FUTURE TO STUDY ISSUES AFFECTING WOMEN AT THE UNIVERSITY AND TO GIVE FURTHER CONSIDERATION TO THOSE ISSUES REFERRED TO IN THIS REPORT WHICH WERE NOT INVESTIGATED IN DEPTH.

Accomplished: The Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns (ACWC) was established by President Robert O'Neil in 1989, and functioned through spring 1998. The work of the Advisory Committee was suspended in 1998-1999, pending the outcome of a review of the current status of women at the University of Virginia by a new Task Force on Women appointed in the spring of 1999 by President John Casteen. The current Task Force has reviewed the 1988 recommendations of the original Task Force on Women, and has indicated the current status of those recommendations. In addition, the current Task Force on Women has identified current issues of particular concern to women at the University of Virginia, and has recommended the form that a future standing committee on women should take.

Future Directions: Part of the current Task Force's work is to identify how best to organize an ongoing action-oriented body focused on continuing concerns related to women and gender at the University of Virginia. It is important (1) that such a body interact effectively with senior administrators in a realistic and ongoing manner; (2) that clear lines of accountability concerning the accomplishing of accepted recommendations be established; (3) that public communication about the status of recommendations be undertaken at reasonable intervals; (4) that all necessary resources be made available to this body so that it can accomplish its mission; and (5) that the body maintains a pan-University perspective, which would include the Health System.

SECTION ONE: REPRESENTATION


2. THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA ADMINISTRATION SHOULD ISSUE AND RE-ISSUE FROM TIME TO TIME A STRONG STATEMENT ON THE NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF ACHIEVING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY GOALS.

Accomplished: The Board of Visitors, the President, and senior administrators have issued numerous statements on affirmative action.

Future Directions: The University should continue to make such statements, highlighting issues of gender. The current Task Force has created a vision statement and strongly urges its use in part or in whole when appropriate.

IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFICER, LOCAL UNITS OF THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD ESTABLISH AMBITIOUS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GOALS; UNIVERSITY-WIDE RECRUITING PROCEDURES NEED TO BE STRENGTHENED, AND LONG-TERM MONITORING PROCEDURES SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO KEEP THE ADMINISTRATION UP TO DATE ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROCESS IN EACH UNIT OF THE UNIVERSITY.

Partially Accomplished: Annual statistics on numbers by school and administrative areas are complied each year and published in the Data Digest. In addition, periodic reports are made to the Board of Visitors. University-wide recruiting procedures have been strengthened, but units do not set goals nor is there a system in place to monitor hires in relation to goals.

Future Directions: A significant increase in the hiring and retention of women and minorities across the University, including the Health System, is a top priority. This will not be accomplished without vigilant and consistent attention from senior administrators to those who are making the hiring decisions, as well as a unified effort to recognize and address the needs of this population once they have been hired. The institution must articulate clear standards and hold the departments, schools, and central administration accountable in several concrete ways, including in public reports. We recommend several specific actions: (1) a component measuring "commitment to equal opportunity" should be added to the evaluation of all personnel with hiring authority; (2) the annual report from deans and major unit heads to the vice presidents should include reporting on gender climate, representation, and salary equity, for the year in question, as well as an articulation of goals in these areas for future years; (3) additional training of chairs and major unit heads should be undertaken regarding hiring, equity, and climate issues; (4) the deans and other major unit heads should articulate their vision and goals in terms of women and diversity at the first faculty meetings of each year; (5) at each level of authority within the institution, those reporting to that office should be held accountable for their progress in the area of hiring, retention, equity and climate; (6) confidential annual meetings of untenured women should be held each year in each area of the University, with the aim of garnering evaluations of gender climate; and (7) mechanisms for public reporting on progress regarding concrete goals should be utilized, including reports made to faculty of departments.


3. A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF FACULTY LINES SHOULD BE DESIGNATED FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY USE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN FACULTY. THESE SHOULD BE LONG-TERM LOAN LINES THAT REVERT TO THE UNIVERSITY-WIDE POOL WHEN AN APPOINTEE LEAVES.

Partially Accomplished: A loan line pool was created in 1986 in the Provost's office to promote the hiring of women and minorities; loans of up to three years are available. As of 1998, twenty lines and over $1 million are budgeted for this loan pool. Some of these lines have been used in an ad hoc way, for spousal placement. No loan lines exist in the Health System. Many departments have been reluctant to use loan lines because they are temporary.

Future Directions: It would be desirable to make such loan lines available on a longer basis, e.g. until the appointee leaves. Additional publicizing of such lines is advised. These loan lines should exist within both the Health System and the Provost's office.


4. THE NUMBER OF WOMEN IN POSITIONS OF GOVERNANCE, INCLUDING SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS, SHOULD BE INCREASED.

Partially Accomplished: Although gains have been made, the overall number of women in leadership positions remains low, especially in the area of academic department chairs.

Future Directions: See comments concerning Future Directions in response to 1988 Recommendations 2, 3, 16, 17, and 18.

University of Virginia

Administrative Positions by Gender

(Fall 1998)

Revised 4/29/99

Total

Men

Women

#

%

#

%

Vice Presidents/Provost

9

7

77.8%

2

22.2%

Associate Vice Presidents

10

9

90.0%

1

10.0%

Assistant Vice Presidents

6

4

66.7%

2

33.3%

Vice Provosts

4

3

75.0%

1

25.0%

Associate Provosts

2

0

0.0%

2

100.0%

Academic Deans

10

8

80.0%

2

20.0%

Academic Associate Deans

42

33

78.6%

9

21.4%

Academic Assistant Deans

29

17

58.6%

12

41.4%

Other Deans

3

3

100.0%

0

0.0%

Other Associate Deans

5

1

20.0%

4

80.0%

Other Assistant Deans

13

7

53.8%

6

46.2%

Academic Department Chairs

70

62

88.6%

8

11.4%

Admin. Department Heads

82

54

65.9%

28

34.1%

Total

285

208

73.0%

77

27.0%

Notes:

Handy, Gausvik, Dillman, Forch, Holland, Murray, Carter are included with administrative department heads.

In general, directors are not included in administrative department heads unless they have line responsibility.

Institutional Assessment and Studies

 

SECTION TWO: COMPENSATION


5. THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD CONTINUE TO SUPPORT RESOLUTION OF OUTSTANDING CLASSIFIED STAFF PAY EQUITY ISSUES BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL AND TRAINING.

Partially Accomplished: Stepless pay plan, counter offers, in-range adjustments are options now available. Studies of specific classes have been done — secretaries to senior management and Health System receptionists in 1995.

Future Directions: Issues such as those raised by the Living Wage group deserve attention. A Commission on Classified Reform has been established by the Governor to examine the structure and pay scales of the classified system and to make recommendations for improvement and change. The University's Director of Human Resources chairs the technical advisory committee to the Commission. A final report is due October 1999.


6. THE ALREADY INITIATED STUDY OF SALARIES OF TENURED AND TENURE-TRACK FACULTY SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY JANUARY 1989 AND SHOULD
INCORPORATE BIENNIAL RESTUDY OF SALARIES BY GENDER.

Partially Accomplished: The first salary equity study was completed in 1989. A second salary equity study was done in 1992. In response to the findings of the first study, selective adjustments were made on a case by case basis where problems were found to exist. The second study was not released. A biennial restudy of salaries by gender has not been implemented.

Future Directions: See comments under Future Directions for Recommendation 8 below.


7. THE STUDY OF TENURED AND TENURE-TRACK FACULTY SALARIES SHOULD BE EXPANDED IMMEDIATELY TO INCLUDE GENERAL FACULTY.

Not Accomplished: No study has been undertaken because of the difficulties of comparing positions across the University. A study of administrative management positions in the Student Affairs area was done in 1995.

Future Directions: A salary equity study of academic general faculty similar to the one for tenure and tenure track faculty should be undertaken every five years. Because of the large number of unique positions, administrative and professional general faculty salaries should be studied using comparative data from CUPA or other sources. We urge that the category of gender be included in this analysis of salary equity.


8. A SYSTEM SHOULD BE DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED THAT WILL ALLEVIATE ALL SIGNIFICANT GENDER-BASED FACULTY SALARY INEQUITIES.

Not Accomplished: No formal system has been developed and implemented. Salaries are reviewed for possible gender inequities in the deans' and Provost's offices each year during the annual salary setting process. The School of Arts and Sciences undertakes a fairly in-depth analysis each year.

Future Directions: The University's commitment to equal pay for equal work should be reaffirmed; one way this commitment will be sharply clarified is by undertaking regular salary studies, which use gender as one category of analysis, and resolve problems on a case-by-case basis. We endorse the ACWC 1997 recommendation that the University of Virginia exercise leadership in ensuring equity in salary and promotional opportunity to all its faculty and staff, and that it recognize and acknowledge that a definite perception of inequality exists. We recommend that three mechanisms be instituted to underscore this positive leadership on equity for women: (1) Each dean and major unit head should be directed to institute appropriate mechanisms for ensuring gender equity in salary, climate, and representation, and communicate these to the faculty of their schools or units, and to the Provost; (2) Salary equity studies should be undertaken every five years, with gender as one category of analysis, and with adjustments made on a case by case basis; and (3) The annual report from deans and major unit heads to the Provost and to the Vice President and Provost for Health Sciences, as previously stated, should include reporting on gender climate, salary equity, and representation of women for the year in question. We underscore that a perception of inequality exists -- in climate and in hiring as well as in salary. A commitment to undertaking steps that will alleviate this perception, and any basis it may have in actuality, is necessary at the highest levels of the institution.

 

SECTION THREE: BENEFITS


9. PART-TIME FACULTY AND STAFF SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE FRINGE BENEFITS.

Accomplished:
Legislation was passed and approved by Governor that permits part-time faculty and staff (half-time or greater) to receive health care coverage at the employee's expense and VRS retirement benefits. Until now, the University was not permitted by the Code of Virginia to offer such benefits. Procedures are being worked out to implement the changes as of July 1, 1999. There is a problem with the number of people who are kept as part-time or temporary workers, even though when they are employed, they work full-time. This is as important as the Living Wage issue and requires attention.

10. A STUDY SHOULD BE CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CAFETERIA STYLE BENEFIT PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY IS DESIRABLE.

Not Accomplished: The Benefits Committee has discussed cafeteria-style benefit programs on numerous occasions, most recently in 1997, but no formal studies have been undertaken. For the present, implementation of any cafeteria-style program would require approval by the Commonwealth of Virginia.


11. A POLICY SHOULD BE DEVELOPED WHICH WOULD PROVIDE UNPAID PARENTAL/FAMILY LEAVE FOR UP TO A MAXIMUM OF ONE YEAR FOR SUCH PURPOSES AS CHILD REARING OR CATASTROPHIC FAMILY ILLNESS, WITH THE RIGHT TO RETURN TO THE SAME OR SIMILAR POSITION.

Partially Accomplished: Faculty and classified staff are entitled to twelve weeks of leave with continuation of benefits and the right to return to their position under the federal Family Medical Leave Act if they are the primary caregivers. Family leave without pay for up to one year may be requested by faculty who hold a continuous appointment, e.g. more than one year, with continuation of benefits at employee expense. Classified staff must use sick leave or be granted leave without pay for family leave exceeding the twelve weeks provided by the Family Medical Leave Act.


12. A SECOND POLICY SHOULD BE DEVELOPED WHICH WOULD PROVIDE FOR A PARENTAL LEAVE OF THREE MONTHS FOR EITHER ADOPTION OR NATURAL CHILDBIRTH. BOTH LEAVES SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO EITHER PARENT.


Partially Accomplished: For faculty, paid leave of up to six weeks is available for maternity leave; paternity leave is without pay. Adoption/foster care leave allows for three weeks of paid leave if the child is less than seven years of age. Classified staff, if they are to be paid for the leave, must use sick and/or annual leave.

Future Directions: The faculty policy appears to be inconsistently applied among the various schools; this needs to be investigated further and department chairs informed of the University policy and the expectation that it will be consistently applied. Policies at peer institutions should be examined to see if modifications in University policy might be advisable. Paid leave for adoption for the same length of time as that for childbirth should be made available. We strongly recommend that twelve weeks of paid leave be available to parents for both natural childbirth and adoption; and further, that this leave might be taken by either parent involved in a particular situation (one leave total). It is crucial that the University move away from the "medical model" of childbirth as an entitled disability premised on the physically and/or emotionally disabled status of the mother.


13. THE SICK LEAVE POLICY SHOULD BE AMENDED TO PERMIT EMPLOYEES TO USE ACCRUED SICK LEAVE FOR EITHER PERSONAL OR FAMILY ILLNESS.

Accomplished: Recent changes in the state system have liberalized the amount of time available for family leave. For employees who opted for the short-term disability and leave program introduced in 1999, this provides for an entitlement of hours rather than accrual; half the time may be used for family illness.


14. A POLICY SHOULD BE ADOPTED THAT ALLOWS A FACULTY MEMBER WHO IS LIMITED BY EXTENDED ILLNESS, ADOPTION OR MATERNITY, TO APPLY FOR NOT MORE THAN TWO ONE-YEAR ADDITIONS TO THE SEVEN-YEAR MAXIMUM ALLOWED FOR ACQUIRING TENURE.

Partially Accomplished: The Provost's policy on promotion and tenure permits stopping of the tenure clock at the request of the faculty member and upon recommendation of the dean for reasons of extended illness, adoption, or maternity. The policy does not limit the number of times this can be used.

Future Directions: The policy may be inconsistently applied among the various schools; this needs to be investigated further, and department chairs need to be informed of the policy and the expectation that it will be consistently applied. It should be noted that, in response to changes within academic medicine itself and in recognition of the exigencies of an academic medical career combined with family life, the School of Medicine's 1994 promotion and tenure policy extends time-to-tenure to ten years.

15. A CHILD CARE CENTER OPEN TO CHILDREN OF ALL UNIVERSITY STAFF, STUDENTS, AND FACULTY SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THE EXISTING CENTER FOR HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES' CHILDREN SHOULD BE EXPANDED IN SIZE AND HOURS OF OPERATION AND SHOULD INCLUDE CARE FOR SICK CHILDREN.

Accomplished: A second child care facility for the non-medical area of the University was opened in the early 1990s. The facility was constructed with University funds, and it is operated for the University as a contract service by Children's World. Plans are underway now to relocate and expand the current child care center for Medical Center employees. The ACWC in 1997-1998 conducted another child care needs study; a similar study was done in 1998 in the School of Medicine, and a third, informal assessment of students' child care needs was being done in 1998-1999 by the Dean of Students Office. The new Coordinating Council of University-wide Groups in spring 1999 made child care its chief issue to explore with the University administration.

Future Directions: Faculty and staff perceptions are that University-based child care, while of excellent quality, is still insufficient to meet the needs of University employees (not to mention students). Also, because it tends to be very expensive, it is not a practical possibility for many classified staff. We recommend that the Coordinating Council of University-wide Groups continue its close examination of this issue, with the expectation that CCUG, in dialogue with the administration, will issue recommendations based on its findings.

 

SECTION FOUR: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


16. THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION FROM THE TENURE TRACK TO THE TENURE LEVEL BY SUPPORTING CANDIDATES THROUGH ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REVIEWS, MENTORING, AND THE ASSURANCE OF EQUITABLE TEACHING LOADS AND FUNDING.

Partially Accomplished: The annual performance review process has been strengthened by requiring department chairs and/or deans to discuss the performance evaluation with individual faculty members at least every two years. The promotion and tenure policies of the schools have been rewritten to mandate that advice and counsel is provided to all tenure track candidates. The School of Medicine has instituted a school-wide mentoring program for junior faculty, which includes several formal professional development programs offered each year, on topics from time management and balancing work/family to technical and grant writing instruction, teaching with technology, and preparing the promotion/tenure portfolio; senior faculty are also invited to participate in these professional development sessions, and a number have opted to do so.

Future Directions: We strongly urge that a commitment to quality mentoring of faculty be undertaken across the University, with specific programs being developed in every school. We further underscore that increases in hiring/retention and improvement of the overall climate for women are not unrelated matters; mentoring programs need to operate within that context of increased representation and improved gender climate if there is to be widespread advancement and retention of women faculty throughout the institution.


17. COURSE OFFERINGS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEED TO BE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE BOTH ADDITIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR CLASSIFIED STAFF AND NEW PROGRAMS FOR ALL FACULTY.

Partially Accomplished:
Numerous programs now exist for professional development. On the staff level, offerings from the Office of Organizational Development and Training have been significantly expanded. A tuition waiver program was implemented in 1995 that permits all full-time employees with at least one year's service and the requisite academic credentials to take one regularly scheduled course per semester at the University on a space-available basis, free of charge. For faculty, extramural professional development programs such as the American Council on Education Fellows Program and the Bryn Mawr/HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration have been supported generously by the institution.

Future Directions: While program offerings have been expanded, there is room for growth in this area, both beyond the walls of the University and internally. The new executive training program in Organizational Development and Training has gotten good reviews, and other staff offerings are a very positive addition. The tuition waiver program can be of great benefit to staff. The new adult degree program through Continuing Education is also a wonderful and overdue addition to staff opportunities for education and advancement. Programs such as the ACE Fellowship, Bryn Mawr/HERS Summer Institute, and Commonwealth Management Institute offer great potential for women in management and in higher educational administration; also, there are extramural professional development programs targeted to train women leaders/administrators in various specialty fields, such as medicine. We urge two areas of action: (1) The above programs for faculty (ACE, Bryn Mawr, CMI) do not seem to be advertised in a sufficiently timely or aggressive way to attract as many women candidates as might otherwise benefit from these programs. Alumnae of these programs are not as frequently or fully consulted by University administrators as they might usefully be -- the University is not taking full advantage of these women's knowledge and skills. Improvement in both of these areas would encourage more women to capitalize on these opportunities, and would increase the benefit of these women's experiences to the institution. (2) It would be desirable to establish an internal competitive fellowship managed out of the President's office that would pay for several women annually to enroll in existing Executive Education courses at Darden, and to explore the feasibility of developing a new program in Executive Education at Darden for women faculty and administrators at the University, aimed at developing or honing the skills these women would need for senior administrative positions.


18. THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS SHOULD BE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL INTERNSHIPS FOR THE PURPOSES OF ENCOURAGING JOB MOBILITY.

Partially Accomplished:
A Presidential Fellows Program and an Administrative Internship Program offer opportunities for both general and academic faculty and classified staff to undertake internships in administration and engage in professionally important mentoring relationships. The Presidential Fellows Program foundered after a few years and currently is available only on an irregular basis. The Administrative Internship Program is flourishing under the direction of the Office of Organizational Development and Training.

Future Directions: First, the Presidential Fellows Program should be resurrected as an annual program. We recommend that there be a thoughtful reexamination of how to maximize the positive mentoring relationship between the fellows and the senior administrators with whom they are matched. We believe that this fellowship program is potentially a very positive opportunity for women and minority faculty interested in higher education administration to gain mentoring and practical experience in top-level University offices. Second, if the number and quality of applicants for internships continues to be high, the Administrative Internship Program should be expanded. Third, increased efforts need to be made to mentor fellows and interns beyond the span of the specific internship or program they have undertaken. As stated above, it is also important that the University identify effective ways to encourage qualified people to apply for and participate in both in-house and extramural fellowships, internships, and leadership programs; we also need to identify effective ways to support these individuals and to best utilize their new experiences to benefit the institution.

 

SECTION FIVE: SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN

 

19. A CONSORT PLACEMENT PROGRAM SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED.

Not Accomplished:
There is no formal consort placement "program" in existence. On an informal, ad hoc basis, the Provost's office assists with placement of consorts, providing partial support and/or funds on a matching loan basis. This works most effectively when the consort is seeking a position at the University and has the requisite qualifications.

Future directions: Consort placement plays -- and most certainly will continue to play -- a key role in faculty recruitment and retention, as two-career couples become the rule, not the exception. The University must address this issue on other than an ad hoc basis. We recommend an examination of successful strategies currently being used both internally by the various schools of the University and externally by our peer institutions, and a subsequent sharing of those strategies among schools. Strategies beyond our current practices that would involve central administration support or management should be instituted as well. To overcome some of the geographical isolation that puts this institution at a disadvantage when consorts are seeking employment, the University should network with other colleges and universities in the region to share information about available jobs, with a goal being to expand the job possibilities for partners.


20. LISTINGS OF AVAILABLE POSITIONS ON THE GENERAL FACULTY SHOULD BE POSTED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION.

Accomplished: All positions listed with EOP are now automatically listed in Human Resources' on-line job posting.


21. THE WOMEN'S STUDIES PROGRAM SHOULD BE EXPANDED AND SUPPLEMENTED.

Partially Accomplished: A tenured director of what was then Women's Studies, and is now Studies in Women and Gender, was hired in 1990. Currently, four faculty have joint faculty lines in Studies in Women and Gender and another department; three of these are tenured, and one is on a general faculty appointment. In addition, there are 48 affiliated faculty. A full-time assistant staffs the program.

Future Directions: Both additional physical space and additional joint appointments are needed if Studies in Women and Gender is to continue to grow and flourish.

22. THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD ESTABLISH AN INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN AND GENDER.

Not Accomplished: No such institute has been established. The creation of such an institute would require interested faculty to submit grant proposals, which would then have to be acted upon by appropriate deans and school committees; a source or sources of funds to support these grants and the operations of the institute would also be required.

Future Directions: We strongly recommend: (1) An experienced staff member of the Office of Development should be appointed to any committee focused on the accomplishing the Action Plan related to improving the status of women and the gender climate at the University. This would be particularly useful in relation to accomplishing recommendations 21, 22, and 23. (2) The Office of Development should identify donors who will support projects related to women and to the gender climate at the University. (3) The University, through the Office of Development, should give increased attention to women as donors. This will entail recognizing that, as research has shown, women's philanthropic goals and patterns of giving differ substantially from men's, and tailoring our fundraising initiatives and prospect cultivation strategies accordingly.


23. THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD CREATE A FULLY STAFFED AND ADEQUATELY FUNDED WOMEN'S CENTER.

Partially Accomplished: The Women's Center has grown substantially in its ten years and is quite prominent in representing women's issues at the University. Additional resources have been allocated to the center since 1988. A full-time Sexual Assault Education Coordinator was hired in 1990 and based in the center. A full-time Associate Director of the Center was hired in 1997. In 1998, a third-time position was created for a faculty member who edits Iris: A Journal About Women, and directs a new Iris Publishing Internship Program for undergraduates. The Center's budget has grown from 1.00 FTE and $39,367 in 1989-1990 to 4.25 FTE and $275,453 in state support budgeted for 1999-2000 (this includes support for the Sexual Assault Education Office). In addition, 0.33 FTE and an accompanying one-third salary have been made available for the faculty editor of Iris. The Center's own fundraising led to an additional $174,719 in expendable revenues and assets in 1998-1999; there was an endowment totaling $94,979 as of 1998-1999.

Future Directions: The Women's Center continues its extraordinary growth, with programs and services that reached over 11,000 individuals in fiscal 1998. The Visiting Artists and Scholars Series, Iris, mentoring programs such as the Young Women Leaders Program, the First Year Resource Center, Counseling Services, and Sexual Assault Education are among the strongest of the center's growing programs. Demands for increased mentoring by women students and University-based women's organizations have led to increased needs for space and staff. To continue to function optimally, the Women's Center needs a full-time staff position in programming, a half-time counseling position, an annual programming budget, and more substantial support for work-study and stipend student employees. The center's mentoring programs, much in demand for both women undergraduate and graduate students and especially for women in the sciences, need additional staff and operational support. Finally, the Women's Center has serious space needs; these amount to a doubling of current office space, from 1800 to 3600 square feet, and informal gathering/meeting areas for student mentoring programs (no such gathering/meeting space exists at the center's present location).


SECTION SIX: SEXISM, SEXUAL HARASSMENT

AND SEXUAL ASSAULT



24. THE PRESIDENT SHOULD ISSUE A STRONG STATEMENT INDICATING THAT SEXIST BEHAVIOR WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AT THIS INSTITUTION.


25.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD MAKE IT KNOWN THAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Partially Accomplished: Several statements have been made by the President, including a directive that all hiring officials are to receive training on sexual harassment with regular updates.

Future Directions: The 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women has drafted a statement that expresses strong support for a positive climate for women at the University. The sense of the Task Force is that this statement would be most effective if woven into many contexts of the President's speaking. The Equal Opportunity Programs Office, as an arm of the University charged with oversight in this area, also issues statements to this effect, but the Task Force believes that multiple messages from multiple sources on multiple occasions are necessary.

We recommend that strong statements be issued by the President, the Provost, the Vice President and Provost for Health Sciences, deans, and chairs of individual departments, both on the issue of sexual harassment and on conflict-of-interest relationships of faculty with students they are grading, coaching, or otherwise evaluating, to faculty and to graduate students. It must be made clear that abuses related to either of these policies will not be tolerated.

26. THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD TAKE STEPS TO IMPROVE THE SAFETY OF ITS POPULATION.

Partially Accomplished: Significant physical plant improvements have been made around Grounds, including lighting, landscaping, locking of buildings, and increasing the number of police and the number of the police's in-person and camera-based surveillance efforts, since 1988. In terms of a climate that promotes personal safety, the establishment of the Sexual Assault Education Office, that office's programs and publications, self-defense classes, speakers, student groups such as SAFE and 1 in 4, provision of funding for services from the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA), and improvement of the internal hearing process for student cases of sexual assault, are some of the positive steps taken by the University.

Future Directions: More remains to be done, particularly in terms of sustaining a climate that supports safety. As an example of the distance the institution has to travel before this is accomplished: in the first three quarters of 1998-1999, SARA alone was contacted by 57 students with reports of sexual assault. We recommend careful consideration of recommendations made by the Sexual Assault Education Office and the Sexual Assault Education Council, which are undertaking an evaluation of current support and the establishing of a short- and long-range plans, during 1999-2000. We also recommend increased operational funding for the Sexual Assault Education Office, as its current non-salary funding of $8900 is insufficient to support even its present programs, mentoring, and publications, much less to allow for increased efforts.

 

1997 Recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns

Due to how recently they were made, the Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns' (ACWC) recommendations of June 1997 are cited separately below. The ACWC's recommendations on gender climate effectively add a seventh section to the 1988 Task Force's recommendations.

 

SECTION SEVEN: GENDER CLIMATE

27. THE ACWC ENDORSES PREVIOUS COMMITTEES' RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE GENDER CLIMATE AT THE UNIVERSITY AND RECOMMENDS THAT ACTIONS BE TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THEM.

In 1997, the ACWC unanimously endorsed the recommendations developed by the Working Group on the Career Expectations of Women & Men Students at the University of Virginia (See Final Report on Career Expectations of Women & Men Students at the University of Virginia, dated May 12, 1997, not included here). Both the ACWC and the Working Group endorsed several previous committees and task forces' recommendations aimed at improving the gender climate at the University. These previous committees' recommendations are listed below, with their source reports cited.

Greater representation of women in leadership positions among the faculty, administration, and staff, and among visiting scholars and seminar speakers is vital to provide effective role models for women students at the University. Curriculum revision is needed to reflect the contributions, accomplishments, and perspectives of women. Existing programs for women students, including mentoring programs, need to be strongly supported. Furthermore, improved safety on Grounds is essential for all students if they are to have equal access to opportunities at the University.

PREVIOUS REPORTS/RECOMMENDATIONS:

EQUITY Toward Equity — Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women, 1988

MED School of Medicine Report on the Status of Women, 1991 and updates

SEAS Report of the Sub-Committee for a More Diverse Student Body of the Ten-Year Academic Planning Committee of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1991.

SSCD Self-Study Committee on Diversity, University of Virginia Self-Study for SACS Re-accreditation, Final Report, 1995.

 

    1. Actively recruit, promote, and retain women tenure-track and tenured faculty. (EQUITY, MED, SEAS, SSCD)
    2. Increase the number of women in leadership roles among staff and general faculty. (EQUITY, MED, SEAS, SSCD)
    3. Attract and retain women students into disciplines in which they are under- represented. (SEAS, SSCD)
    4. Continue to provide financial support to institutions such as the Women's Center and the Women's Studies Program. (SSCD)
    5. Encourage and support revision and development of the curriculum to include diverse views. (SSCD)
    6. Increase the representation of women and those familiar with women's issues as visiting scholars and seminar speakers. (MED, SEAS)
    7. Regularly assess the environment for women in the classroom and workplace. (SEAS, SSCD)
    8. Address climate and harassment issues where problems are found. (SEAS, SSCD)
    9. Increase safety on grounds. (EQUITY, MED, SEAS, SSCD)

28. THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD PROVIDE $250,000 OVER A TWO-YEAR PERIOD, TO BE JOINTLY ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AND THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST, TO UNDERTAKE THE PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES OUTLINED BELOW:

  1. University-wide Gender Climate Survey: A comprehensive institution-wide survey of women and men students, faculty, administration, and staff should be conducted every five years to measure the quality of the current gender climate at the University. We recommend that persons familiar with issues of gender be involved in both creation of the survey instrument and interpretation of the resulting data. We further suggest that appropriate steps be taken to ensure a sample size that allows for analysis of the interplay between gender and race.
  2. Intervention Program: The University should support and fund development and deployment of an intervention program to better support women students' academic and personal preparedness for life after graduation, including transmitting information about labor market conditions, providing role models and mentors, and addressing self-esteem issues. The program should be a collaborative effort among the Women's Center, Office of the Vice President and Provost, Office of Career Planning and Placement, and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. One element of the program should include alumnae, administration, and faculty discussing career choices/opportunities and the relationship between one's major and one's eventual career path, with special attention paid to careers in areas traditionally dominated by men, including mathematics, the sciences, medicine, and engineering. The most effective times to offer this program would be second semester of the first year, first semester of the second year, and first semester of the fourth year.
  3. Gender and Education Seminar: The Offices of the Vice President and Provost and the Vice President for Student Affairs should establish and sponsor an annual seminar presented by experts in gender and education to improve faculty awareness of classroom climate issues, particularly behaviors and remarks that send subtle, often unintended messages to women and men in the educational environment. The Office of the Vice President and Provost should provide institutional support and call for all faculty to attend. It is further recommended that deans, department chairs and major unit heads, and faculty be required to attend the seminar, that such in-service training be mandatory for new faculty, and that there be periodic follow-up training.

29. WITH RESPECT TO THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE WORKING GROUP, THE ACWC FURTHER RECOMMENDED, AS FOLLOWS:

  1. The report must have strong institutional support, i.e., endorsement by the President, the Senior Cabinet, both provosts, and deans.
  2. The report should be widely disseminated throughout the University.
  3. School deans and department chairs should ensure that faculty in their respective areas are committed and actively involved in implementation of the recommendations.
  4. A point person should be appointed to develop an implementation plan/schedule for the recommendations. This point person should provide quarterly updates on implementation to the President, the Senior Cabinet, both provosts, deans, chairs, academic advisors, the Working Group, and the ACWC.

Not accomplished: In recent years, the climate of the University as an environment for learning and working has come under scrutiny. In particular, the institutional climate -- a product of the University's culture, structures and practices, and traditions -- is perceived to be not as hospitable as it could be for women and nonwhite/minority persons; this is true for students, faculty, and staff alike. In 1994, the Darden School examined its climate/culture, giving special attention to how women faculty and students fared within this environment and how culture change might be engineered. In 1995 and 1996, two separate task forces on organizational culture assessed climate/culture within the Medical Center and the Schools of Medicine and Nursing as part of the Health Sciences Center's strategic planning initiative. In 1996-1997, the Working Group on the Career Expectations of Women & Men Students at the University of Virginia (Working Group) was commissioned by the ACWC to explore this matter. These were the first focused discussions of gender climate/culture -- its bases, effects, and implications -- at the University.

As shown above, the ACWC's recommendations to President Casteen in 1997 included unanimous endorsement of the Working Group's report on gender climate at UVA, with proposals for a multifaceted action plan to begin addressing climate issues that affect students. President Casteen accepted these recommendations and, in late 1997, directed Vice President and Provost Peter Low and Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Harmon to undertake funding and implementation of the proposed action plan. A meeting of the ACWC's Equity Issues Subcommittee with Associate Provost Shirley Menaker and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Lampkin, representing Messrs. Low and Harmon, in the spring of 1998 allowed for preliminary discussion of implementation strategies. However, nothing substantive came of that meeting, and nothing has happened since.

Future Directions: The ACWC in 1997-1998 came to see climate/culture as perhaps the fundamental issue -- it seems to be the chief impediment to the achievement of equity for women (and nonwhites/minorities) at UVA. In 1998 and again in 1999, climate/culture became a focus of not only the ACWC but also the EO/AA Committee and the new Coordinating Council of University-wide Groups (CCUG). Under the heading of climate/culture fall concerns about equity, diversity, and a range of work/life issues including employee benefits, child care, consort placement, safety. The current Task Force on the Status of Women at the University of Virginia also acknowledges that women's concerns, while important, are but a part of this (perennial) larger question of the University's climate/culture. At issue for us now is to what extent and how the University might undertake culture/climate change on several fronts to allow for the greater flourishing and enhanced productivity of all its people. Importantly, because such climate/culture concerns are not unique to the University but, rather, common to most of America's leading universities, the University has an opportunity to capitalize on its awareness and take some actions that could model the process of culture change for its peer institutions. Corporate America is also facing this same challenge to modify climate/culture, and there are, perhaps, not only lessons which the University can draw from some corporations' forward-looking initiatives but also ways the University can model for the corporate world some organizational climate/culture changes that constitute advances toward gender equity.