September 1, 2016

TO: President Tony Frank

FROM: Sue James on behalf of the Preisdent’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity

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


In 2003, the Commission recommended that an effort be made to make campus professional development opportunities more equitable and to create a culture on campus where professional development opportunities were encouraged and supported by University leadership.  Since the 2003 recommendation, the Office of Training and Organizational Development has done an outstanding job of expanding in-house professional development opportunities.  Not only have they expanded the opportunities but they have also created a centralized website that allows employees to view opportunity listings and enroll in professional development courses and classes.  Other in house professional development opportunities have also been built up, such as the PDI sessions run out of the Institute for Learning and Teaching.

While these efforts are valuable and a step in the right direction, there is still a gap in offering faculty and staff development opportunities outside of the in-house training sessions and classes.  There are many professional development conferences and programs that could be very beneficial to CSU faculty and staff.  However, because of the need for institutional support, the price of the programs, and often a lack of knowing about conferences and courses, many professional development opportunities are passed up by faculty and staff members.


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.

For example, the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Summer Institute is a great professional development opportunity for faculty and upper level staff.  IN the past, the Diversity Office and then the Commission has taken it upon themselves to select individuals to attend the HERS Summer Institute.  If this recommendation is implemented, the university would select opportunities like HERS and then would be responsible to select attendees (perhaps through an internal CSU nomination process) who would attend the professional development opportunity.  This would allow individuals from across the university to have an equal chance in being selected for professional development opportunities.  As it stands now, the Commission is limited to selecting individuals who are already familiar to Commission members and are known to have an interest.

The mechanism that selects the professional development opportunities and the attendees would also be responsible for coming up with a system for funding the required tuition and cost of attendance – either the university would fully fund the tuition for the opportunity, or perhaps could split the cost with a department/division.  In return, participants sent by the University could be asked to provide a service or create a way to implement the new knowledge they receive for the opportunity in their department or division.

This would create a fair and open selection process for potential attendees and give employees all across the university a better chance of being able to participate.  Equity in opportunity should be kept in mind by the mechanism put in place in selecting professional development opportunities to make sure there are equal offerings for faculty and staff at all levels.

Promotes the Mission and Goal of the Commission

Creating a central mechanism to help faculty and staff take advantage of the numerous professional development opportunities shows that the university takes an interest in the continual development of the individuals it employs.  The Commission strives to find ways to help individuals, especially women, thrive and grow in their working environment which fits with the goal of making CSU the best place for women to work and learn.

By making sure all faculty and staff have an equal chance to partake in professional development, the university also shows that it cares equally about all employee classifications and strives to be as fair and equal as possible in its distribution of opportunities.

2003 Past Recommendation: Equity in Campus Professional Development Opportunities