TO: Dr. Tony Frank, President

FROM: Dr. Carmen Menoni, Chair; Dr. Paola Malpezzi Price, Co-Chair

SUBJECT: Recommendation for Periodic Assessment of the Campus Climate for Women

DATE: April 28, 2009

Women make up the majority of the student group (51%), the administrative professional group (52%) and the state classified group (61%).  Only among faculty are women the minority (31%).  With such significant participation at all levels, it is imperative that mechanisms be developed within the University to regularly assess the climate for women with regard to compensation, resource allocation and workload.  Understanding and improving the climate for women has significant payoff in attracting and retaining talented students and professionals.  CWGE consulted with other members of the CSU community on several of the issues described below and arrived at the following recommendations:

  1. Implement a periodic assessment of the climate for women, including equity, in the Departments’ Six-Year Review.  The Commission met with Dr. Kim Bender, Director of the Office of Assessment, who fully supports the implementation of such a process.  Dr. Bender explained that the infrastructure for such assessment is already in place.
  2. Make hiring and advancement of female faculty part of the strategic plan of departments and colleges; consider progress in this area as a main evaluation point for the annual review of departments and colleges.
  3. Include external oversight in tenure and promotion evaluations of all women at the rank of assistant and associate professor to ensure fairness and integrity of the process.  Monitor annual evaluations for full professors for fair and unbiased judgment.
  4. Reward units that are at the forefront of developing and implementing strategies that favorably affect the climate for women.  This could take the form of an award or by highlighting the program on the CSU website as best practices.
  5. Make use of resources within CSU to identify and provide solutions to: i) ensure that all communication venues are free from gender biases, and ii) help implement workshops and other activities that will assist in improving the climate for women.
  6. Standardize evaluation practices across the university.
  7. Make workshops on sexual harassment mandatory.
  8. Offer regular and mandatory gender discrimination/sensitivity seminars, which are different from those focusing on sexual harassment.

CWGE has sought endorsement of this recommendation by Faculty Council, Benefits Committee and Administrative Professional Committee.  Their answer is pending.

Copy of Recommendation

As a result of the 2009 recommendations, the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity conducted an informal straw poll (i.e. an unofficial, non-scientific survey of opinion) of campus community members, regarding the climate for academic achievement and work on the Fort Collins campus.  Drawing on the structure of a survey conducted in 1996, the survey attempted to discover if circumstances had improved and what significant concerns should be addressed by the Commission in the coming year(s).