In the fall of 1994, President Albert C. Yates appointed the Task Force on the Status of Women to determine the issues and priorities for women at Colorado State University and to make recommendations to the President for addressing these priorities.  Based on the recommendations of the Task Force, the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity was established in January of 1997.  The purpose of the Commission is to assist the University in designing, implementing, and evaluating strategies for achieving gender equity based on recommendations raised in the Task Force Report.  The Charges for the Commission on Women and Gender Equity, as handed down by President Yates in January of 1997, are as follows:

  • Design strategies to implement the recommendations of the Task Force and evaluate progress toward gender equity.
  • Provide information about resources such as seminars, training sessions, and discussions that will help to develop viable plans for gender equity in departments and units.
  • Make information available about resources related to advocacy, conflict resolution, grievance procedures, and legal recourse.
  • Produce and disseminate progress reports on the status of women.
  • Coordinate with the Commission on Ethnic Diversity Issues, the Fort Collins Commission on the Status of Women, the Office of Women’s Programs and Studies, the Diversity Advisory Committee, the Institute for Women and Leadership, and other groups focused on gender and diversity.
  • Communicate with the Administrative Professional Council, Classified Personnel Council, Faculty Council, Associated Students of Colorado State University, and Graduate Student Council.
  • Interface with the University strategic planning effort.
  • Promote activities that enhance gender equity and address women’s issues.

Summary of Activities: 2000-2001 School Year

General Commission Activities

During the 2000-2001 school year, the President’s Commission met once a month for two hours as a group.  The subcommittees, representing four key areas of concern (outreach and networking, recruitment and retention, accountability, and campus climate and environment), were encouraged to meet at least once a month as well, to focus on their specific goals and initiatives.  The final meeting will be held on May the 2nd, from 12:30-3:00 p.m. to recognize the contributions of exiting members and to determine goals and objectives for the upcoming year.

In May 2000, the Commission’s new members for the 2000-2001 academic year were oriented to the Commission’s history, mission, objectives and initiative.  The new members were: Jean Wyrick (liaison to Women’s Programs and Studies), Laura Jones (faculty), Jill VandenBosch (undergraduate student), Carson Martin (undergraduate student), Cristin Carter (undergraduate student), David Dandy (male), Jennifer Yaffee (graduate student), and Gaye Digregorio (administrative professional).

Due to impending changes in the DAC (which will become the DCC and will oversee the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity next year), no new members were added to the Commission for the 2001-2002 school year.  Cara Neth, with the approval of the DCC, will appoint a new chair to lead the Commission in the coming year.  At the present time, The DCC has yet to decide how administrative support for the Commission will be provided.

During the year, numerous individuals were invited to address the Commission and to explain their area of expertise and how the Commission could assist with those areas.  On November 28th Cara Neth, Assistant to the President, spoke to the Commission, clarifying the President’s charge to the Commission and explaining the changes that would be taking place with the DCC.  Karen Wedge, Director or Women’s Programs and Studies spoke on October 24th.  Dana Hiatt, Director of the Equal Opportunity Office, spoke on February 21st.  Lorie Smith, Manager of Training and Development, spoke on March 21st.

Carol Dollard was instrumental in bringing the MentorNet program to CSU.  Several articles were published by Commission members in CSU Comment.  Nat Kees played an instrumental role in the CSU Diversity Summit.  Notebooks were put together documenting all the proposals the Commission has developed over its tenure and the responses to them.

Commission Concerns and Subcommittee Activities

I. Outreach and Networking

Media Articles

Subcommittee: Brett Beal, Ashley Harvey, Jennifer Yaffee, Brian Ott, Carol Dollard, Jill VandenBosch

Goal: To gain regular spots with the Collegian and Comment and to produce articles for those spots


Comment: Three articles were published: “Work-life Balance: Working Smart vs. Working Long,” contributed by Ashley Harvey and published 9/21/00; “New Initiative Helps Women in Science and engineering Programs Team up with Mentors,” contributed by Carol Dollard and published 3/1/01; “Am I a Workaholic or a Hard Worker?” contributed by Brett Beal and published 12/7/00.  Brett Beal will continue in a liaison position to facilitate article production on behalf of the Commission next year if it is deemed an interest and priority.  The Commission is currently working to encourage Comment to include a regular section addressed to issues of gender equity.

Collegian: As the paper’s policy does not allow anyone to publish articles except its own staff members, the Commission has not published in this venue.  The Commission continues to encourage the Collegian and its writers to cover topics that speak to the interests and concerns of underrepresented groups.


Subcommittee: Brian Ott, David Dandy

Goal: Provide an up-to-date source of information about the PCWGE and women’s/gender equity issues on campus.

Current Status: Brian kept the website updated throughout the year.  Specifically, the Commission employed the “For Your Information” portion of their website to keep the University community up to date on activities and events concerning issues of gender equity.  The Commission also solicited feedback and input from the University community through a hyperlink to Cam-O-Gram.  The design and content of the site are dynamic and continue to evolve.


Subcommittee: Brian Ott, David Dandy, Tina Gertner

Goal: To update the existing PCWGE brochure

Current Status: The brochure was updated and approved by the Commission.  The new brochure furnishes an additional means by which the Commission maintains a positive and visible role within the University community.  A limited printing will be done this spring and then a larger printing can be done next fall, with updated membership information.  David Dandy, who will continue with the Commission next year, will coordinate subsequent editions of the brochure.


Subcommittee: Carol Dollard

Goal: For CSU to become a part of the MentorNet Program

Current Status: Carol worked with the CSU Women and Minorities in Engineering Office to establish Colorado State as a participating campus in MentorNet.  MentorNet pairs undergraduate and graduate women students in science and engineering programs with mentors in industry and provides a framework for them to pursue a year-long mentoring relationship via e-mail.  Those involved with MentorNet hope to work with the CSU Alumni Association to recruit additional mentors for the program.  This year three students at CSU were involved in the program.

Women’s Programs and Studies

Subcommitee: Jean Wyrick

Goal: To give the Commission info and ideas on how to support the Women’s Programs and Studies, such as encouraging more people to attend the Women at Noon series and co-sponsoring a national speaker on improving the classroom climate for women.

Current Status: The Commission wrote a statement of support for Women’s Programs and Studies, and Karen Wedge, director of the Program, spoke at a Commission meeting on October 24th, in which she highlighted three areas:

  1. History of the development of Women’s Programs and Studies
  2. Outlined projects Women’s Studies and Programs are currently involved in
  3. Answered questions from the Commission on a variety of topics

State Classified Support and Networking Group Proposal

Subcommittee: Gloria Balderamma

Goal: To develop support and networking groups for State Classified Personnel.

Current Status: Gloria has been following up on the proposal for these groups, submitted last year.  The proposal was not enacted in its current form due to insufficient office resources and staff to support it.  Currently, Cara Neth is working with Lorie Smith to incorporate some of the goals of the proposal into a separate proposal for President Yates’ initiative on customer service.  Lorie Smith spoke to the Commission on March 21st, outlining the Supervisory Training Program she is developing.

II. Recruitment and Retention

Family Accommodation and Parental Leave

Subcommittee: Ashley Harvey, Gaye DiGregorio, David Dandy

Goal: To improve hiring and retention of female faculty through the Family Accommodation Project.

Current Status: The coordination of the Family Accommodation Project was transferred from Carol Ann Hixon in the Provost’s Office to Anita Montgomery in Employee Relations.  Subcommittee members worked to find a more advantageous home for the project and to ensure a smooth transfer.  Carol Ann Hixon and Patsy Harlan will continue to provide support as needed from the Provost’s Office, particularly where the relocation of academic faculty is concerned.  Anita Montgomery is developing additional protocols and procedures as well as a “marketing” plan to advertise the program to the campus community.

Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Subcommittee 1: Gaye DiGregorio, Ashley Harvey, David Dandy

Goal: To improve retention of faculty.

Current Status: Dana Hiatt’s Office of Equal Opportunity is in the process of developing an exit interview process for employees when they are leaving the University.  They are waiting for the results of the Climate Survey to help them determine pertinent issues that should be addressed in the exit interview.  Next year the Commission plans to review the Climate Survey results in order to develop recommendations for future improvement of the campus climate for women.  Dana Hiatt spoke to the Commission on February 21st, sharing the most recent figures on retention and the changes that will be occurring in the exit interview process.

Subcommittee 2: Nathalie Kees, Brian Ott

Goal: To improve retention of female faculty

Current Status: On January 31, 2001, the Commission and the President’s Office co-sponsored a luncheon discussion on retention of female faculty with Dr. Bob Gaines, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and eleven female members of the tenured faculty at Colorado State University.  Also in attendance were Drs. Nat Kees and Brian Ott, Co-Chairs of the Commission, Cara Neth, Assistant to the President, Karen Wedge, Director of Women’s Programs and Studies, and Dana Hiatt, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity.  Recommendations from the discussion fall into five main categories:

  1. Climate and Environment

Demonstrate value for contributions made by female faculty members.

Recognize female teaching and research scholars.

Promote equal respect for female faculty amongst students, faculty, and administrators.  Encourage courses and training in women’s studies.

Increase awareness of women’s contextual experiences at Colorado State.

Realize the disciplines and academic and departmental environments are not gender neutral

2. Evaluation Procedures

Realize that evaluation procedures and criteria are not gender neutral.  Reward non-traditional research which may be interdisciplinary, with multiple authors, and published in non-traditional journals.

Accept institution’s responsibility in the post-tenure review process.

Provide mentoring for female faculty members throughout the tenure and promotion process, including Associate to Full Professors.

3. Support for Women’s Programs and Studies

Reward faculty members’ contributions to women’s studies courses.

Continue, and increase, support/resources for Women’s Programs and studies.

Realize that cutting interdisciplinary courses cuts women’s studies courses.

4. Work/Life Balance Issues

Understand the multiple roles of female faculty members.  Women in dual-career couples continue to be responsible for 2/3 of household chores and childcare duties.  Many faculty are single parents.

Create affordable, accessible childcare options that fit with varied faculty schedules, including early morning meetings and evening teaching schedules.

Compare CSU parental leave and spousal accommodation policies to policies of comparable institutions.

Explore intentional redesigns of other institutions geared toward making academic institutions more family and women friendly.

Make information about maternity’s effect on the tenure process available and equitable across departments and colleges.

5. Equity Issues

Conduct a gender equity analysis of teaching, advising, committee, administrative and service loads using Tenure and Promotion data.  Promote faculty workload equity across colleges and departments.  Rectify salary inequities, particularly between male and female full professors.

Support and encourage the promotion of more female faculty to the rank of full professor.

Explore gender inequities for those in adjunct, part-time, and temporary faculty positions.

Send exit questionnaires to faculty who have left and have already secured another position.

Make exit information available to hiring authorities, the DCC and the President’s Commission.

Search Process

Subcommittee: Nathalie Kees

Goal: To create equitable search processes at CSU.

Current Status: Nat Kees and Denise Freestone, in conjunction with Dana Hiatt’s office, completed the Search Proposal in the Spring of 2000.  Nat, Denise, and Dana were asked to speak to the President’s Cabinet in June 2000 to answer questions concerning the proposal.  Provost Crabtree was directed to work with Dana Hiatt to implement the recommendations as resources allow.  The OEO has begun trainings for members of search committees in the Fall of 2000.  Eventually all members of search committees will be required to participate in the trainings.  While speaking to the Commission in February 2001, Dana Hiatt reported that the search committee member and chair trainings are going well and that one of the primary foci of the trainings is establishing procedures, processes, and questions which reduce bias in hiring.  Dana also said that the Commission’s report was used in part of their office’s review process this year.

III.  Accountability

Diversity Task Force and Diversity Advisory Committee

Subcommittee: Nathalie Kees, Brian Ott, Carson Martin

Goal: To work with and provide feedback to the Diversity Advisory Committee as they create a streamlined process for addressing diversity needs on campus.

Current Status: During the summer of 2000, Brian Ott met with the Diversity Task Force to discuss the needs of the Commission in relation to the reorganization of the Diversity Advisory Committee.  During the 2000-2001 academic year, Nat Kees worked with the Diversity Advisory Committee in their efforts to coordinate diversity efforts on campus.  Nat was chair or the DAC subcommittee to plan the first CSU Diversity Summit, a recommendation of the Diversity Task Force.  This year’s summit, held on March 22, 2001, focused on student retention, particularly of underrepresented students.  The summit featured Dr. Sylvia Hurtado from the Unversity of Michigan, a specialist in the retention of diverse students.  Commission member, Carson Martin, participated on the student panel for the summit.  Evaluations for the day were very positive.  Nat Kees and Brian Ott also met regularly with Bob Gaines, Chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee, and Cara Neth, Assistant to the President, to discuss the needs of women on campus.

IV.  Campus Climate and Environment

Campus Safety

Subcommitte: Carol Dollard, Jill VandenBosch, Jennifer Yaffee, Carson Martin

Goal: To create a welcoming climate for all students.

Current Status: Lines of communication were developed between the Commission and the departments on campus which are involved in campus safety issues.  Corporal Veronica Olivas, who is in charge of the SafeWalk program, shared that their biggest need is for more funding and help in promoting the program.  Jennifer met with various individuals about the RA hiring process and was able to share some of the Commissions concerns with them.  Overall, the subcommittee learned that campus safety is something that needs to be embraced and promoted by the entire campus community, and that it is not simple enough to be taken care of in one year or by one organization.

Outreach to First-Year Students

Subcommittee: Jean Wyrick, Gaye DiGregorio, Jill VandenBosch, Carson Martin

Goal: Provide freshpersons with more knowledge about women’s programs, issues, safety, etc.

Current Status: Members of the Commission have worked with the Women’s Programs and Studies to select resource materials regarding gender issues for the first year seminar.  This information will be used in the IUCC 192 The Student, University, and Society first-year seminar this fall and will also be available as a resource for other first year seminar instructors across campus.


Subcommittee: Nathalie Kees, Carson Martin, Laura Joens, Jean Wyrick

Goal: To get information out to the CSU community on gender issues.

Current Status: This subcommittee worked with Dr. Bill Timpson of the Center for Teaching and Learning to facilitate a noon presentation on creating gender equitable classrooms.  On February 15, 2001, Drs. Cindy Griffin of Speech Communication and Jane Kneller of Philosphy, speaking as the coordinators of the Women’s Studies Program on Teaching, Curriculum, and Scholarship, presented this topic to a group of 30 faculty, staff, and students.