October 28, 2016

 

TO: Dr. Sue James, Chair, President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity

FROM: President Tony Frank

RE: Commission Report and Recommendations

Thanks to you and the members of the Commission for your very thoughtful report and recommendations, as well as your budget update and draft agenda for this academic year.  I am pleased with the progress the Commission has made and the momentum that appears to be building around your work.  Below are my responses to your specific recommendations.

Recommendation to Promptly Provide More Resources to the Women and Gender Advocacy Center

“The Commission recommends that more resources be directed toward WGAC this fiscal year.  We recommend meeting with WGAC Director, Monica Rivera, and her staff to understand how CSU can better support WGAC right away.”

I have asked Vice President for Student Affairs Hughes, Vice President Johnson, and Provost Miranda to review the recommendation in detail and come forward with a plan for funding an additional staff member.

Recommendation to Create a Standing Committee for Women of Color and Allies

“The Commission recommends that the Women of Color and Allies Network be established as a Standing Committee of the Commission, similar to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty.  Under this recommendation, the Women of Color and Allies Network will report to the Commission and be charged with addressing the unique needs of the women of color population on campus.”

Prior to acting on this specific recommendation, I have asked a group chaired by Vice President Ontiveros to outline a process for appointing standing committees of presidential commissions at Colorado State (versus a subcommittee of the Commission).  How do we determine what rises to the level of requiring a standing committee?  What is the process for charging, appointing, and potentially funding a standing committee?  I will move forward immediately to appoint this group and ask them to respond back to me with their recommendations by the end of this calendar year.

Recommendation for a Vice Chair for the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity

“The Commission recommends a vice chair of the Commission be appointed to serve during the last year of the current chair’s term.  Upon the end of the chair’s term, the vice chair would then become the chair and serve a two-year term, renewable up to two times, as outlined in the current Commission charge.  The vice chair would be picked by the President from a list of names submitted by the current chair (as already done according to the current Commission charge when a new chair is selected)…Furthermore, the Commission recommends that the President consider allowing individuals other than academic faculty, such as senior level administrative professionals or state classified staff, to hold the positions of chair and vice chair of the Commission.”

I accept this recommendation.

Recommendation for a Base Budget for the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty

“Because of the large amount of expenses the Standing Committee encountered during the FY15-16 year, the Commission would like to recommend that the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty be given a base budget of $10,000 a year (this would be in addition/separate from the money already given to the Commission)…We recommend the $10,000 be added to the Commission’s budget, and at the beginning of each fiscal year, the Commission will allocate those funds to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty.  Should the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty be unable to use all $10,000, the funding will become available to the Commission for use at the approval of the Chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty.”

I accept this recommendation.  Your Commission is free to establish a budget for the Standing Committee, and my office will work with Provost Miranda to request an additional $10K of base budget funding for the Commission to replace the $10K transferred to the Standing Committee.

Recommendation for a 20th Anniversary PCWGE Celebration in 2017

“The Commission recommends that the President’s Office work with the Commission in Fall 2016 to plan a celebration of the Commission’s 20th anniversary, which will be held Fall 2017.”

I accept this recommendation.  Please work with Cara Neth in my office and the staff in University Events to begin the planning process.

Recommendation to Reconsider Past Recommendation: Equity in Campus Professional Development (2003)

“The Commission recommends that a University-wide entity be created to select external developmental opportunities that the University feels are beneficial to attendees and the University and will then create a process for selecting faculty and staff attendees from CSU.”

I support the recommendation to explore creating a centralized mechanism to support professional development programs for faculty and staff that are beneficial to both the employee and University.  Please visit with Vice Provost Dan Bush to discuss this further and see what creating such a mechanism might require.

Recommendation to Reconsider Past Recommendation: Partner Employee Relocation Program (1997)

“The Commission recommends that a formal partner/spousal employee relocation program be created to help assist the partners/spouses of newly hired employees find employment either at CSU or within the community.  The Commission recommends using the program that the University of Notre Dame offers as a model and starting point when developing a program that fits with CSU.”

I would advise the Commission to meet with Vice Provost Dan Bush for information on what has been developed since the 1997 recommendation.  For faculty, we currently have a very active program for assisting partners in their job search.  We do not have a specific program to provide such assistance for administrative professionals and state classified staff, although accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

Recommendation to Reconsider Past Recommendation: Creation of a Centralized Website Where All Graduate Employment Opportunities Are Advertised Before Positions Are Filled (2003)

“The Commission recommends that a central website be created and that all graduate employment opportunities be advertised on the site before positions are filled.  The site could be modeled after the web resource the University of California-Davis has implemented through a partnership with Aggie Job Link or a similar company.”

After discussion with the Provost, Graduate Dean, and other Cabinet members, I decline this recommendation because of the problems it would create for departments and the expense involved in delaying appointments to this degree.  Most GTA/GRA positions in each department are used to support students within the department and are offered when admission letters are provided.  I request that the Commission revisit this issue with Graduate Dean Jodie Hanzlik and Human Resources to arrive at a consensus as to how best to encourage and promote opportunities for graduate employment at CSU.

Recommendation to Reconsider Past Recommendation: Periodic Assessment of the Campus Climate for Women (2009)

“The Commission recommends that a periodic assessment of the University climate for women be implemented.”

I request that the Commission meet with the Vice President for Diversity and come back to me with a recommendation as to how – on a rotating cycle – we can consistently address our need for campus climate surveys around the issues of gender, diversity, and climate overall.  My strong preference is for a single survey per year that ensures some continuity, provides us with necessary data, and prevents survey fatigue.

Priorities and Draft Agenda for the 2016-17 Commission on Women and Gender Equity

This seems like an appropriate agenda for the Commission and I look forward to seeing what comes from your work this year.

 

Copy of Letter