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University To Create Women’s Leadership Council

February 17, 2000 -- University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III today announced creation of a new University committee, the Women’s Leadership Council, to examine and address matters involving women in leadership roles, in education, and in the University community generally.

Proposed by the University’s 1999 Task Force on the Status of Women, the new council will both advise the president and monitor institutional compliance with a variety of state and University equal opportunity policies. Members will be appointed this spring, with the Task Force members serving on an interim basis until formal appointments are made.

The 1999 Task Force produced a broad-ranging "Report on Gender Equity at the University of Virginia." This report assesses progress on the status of women at the University, and proposes "a vision toward which the University of Virginia can strive in the decade to come." Among other recommendations, the report urges that University leadership "truly reflect the composition of our community, the rich diversity of all women and all men."

"The Task Force has given us a thoughtful and reasonable assessment of progress and needs for improvement, and it has proposed strategies that will benefit every member of the University community," Casteen said. "The Women’s Leadership Council in particular promises to strengthen a broad range of initiatives that address equity throughout the institution."

Implementation of the Task Force report actually began in fall 1999. At that time, University Provost Peter W. Low called on the University’s deans to examine and change the gender climate at the University of Virginia, and specifically charged the deans with addressing gender issues in their units. He implemented new measures to monitor progress with regard to equal opportunity. Deans’ annual reports and performance reviews now include assessment of progress within their respective areas to improve the gender and racial climate, to insure equal opportunity in hiring, and to retain women and minority faculty once they are hired.

The full text of the report is available at http://www.virginia.edu/topnews/equity.html

For more information on the Report on Gender Equity, contact Marcia Day Childress at 924-958, Elizabeth Powell at 982-2730, or David Gies at 924-7159.

If you would like a copy of the report faxed to you, please call the News Office at 924-7116.

Contact: Carol Wood, (804) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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