Initiative on the Status of Women at
Introduction to the Initiative on the Status of Women
at UW-Green Bay
In the fall of 2000, in response to President Lyall's mandate, Chancellor
Mark Perkins announced that "The Status of Women" had been
identified as "one of our 'Big Rocks'- one of our institutional
priorities." He stated, "our work will build upon the System
report, 'Equality for Women in the University of Wisconsin System: A
Focus for Action in the Year 2000.'" He indicated that the goal
of our work at UW-Green Bay would be to develop an action plan that
would establish a coordinated set of goals and objectives to address
the recommendations outlined in the UW System report and would be organized
around four major areas:
o Opportunities for Women Students
o Hiring, Promotion and Retention for Faculty, Academic Staff and Classified
o Enhancing the Learning and Working Environment
o Balancing Work and Personal Life
The responsibility for developing the UW-Green Bay Action Plan would
rest with four work teams and a Planning and Oversight Committee. Each
work team would focus on one of the issues listed above.
The work teams would consist of nine to twelve members with team membership
being a mix of faculty, staff and students, with representation of both
women and men. Consideration was given to including a mix of individuals
in the early stages of their careers and those with a great deal of
experience; individuals encompassing a range of family responsibilities
and traditional versus non-traditional age students.
The general charge for the UW-Green Bay initiative was for each of
the four work teams to review a series of suggested initiatives related
to one of the four recommendations contained in the "Equality for
Women in the UW System" report (Appendix II). Each team would then
submit a written summary of their findings to the Planning and Oversight
The Planning and Oversight Committee would be responsible for monitoring
and sharing work team efforts and shaping the summary reports into a
comprehensive action plan. Recommendations would be subject to the review
of appropriate governance and administrative groups before being implemented.
Methods: How the work teams addressed their charge
Between October and December 2000 each work team developed a process
and strategy for fact-finding and campus assessment that was applicable
to their charge. The initiatives as presented from UW System were reviewed;
resource lists were compiled and strategies were developed to gather
information regarding the current status of these initiatives on the
UW-Green Bay campus.
The campus assessment was done in a variety of ways that included the
review of historical documents, archived files, current policies, personal
interviews, focus groups, short questionnaires, and campus assessment
surveys. An attempt was also made to review both historical and current
data pertinent to the status of women at UW-Green Bay. However, it was
determined that the current data collection process was insufficient
for gathering and compiling data pertinent to this initiative.
Therefore the work teams relied on the information gathered from other
implemented strategies to complete their assessment. These assessments
were used to document the current state of affairs on UW-Green Bay campus,
to identify areas of need and to make recommendations for action.
A summary of strategies used by each work team is as follows:
Enhancing the Learning and Working Environment:
The Enhancing the Learning and Working Environment work team was charged
with developing proposals for making the learning and working environment
more welcoming to women, especially women of color and those who identify
as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT).
The work team used the review of documents, archived files, interviews,
focus groups, short questionnaires, and publication gathering and analysis
to complete their assessment. They then reviewed their findings by dividing
them into perceived positives and negatives.
The work team used their findings to identify needs and to make recommendations
Hiring, Promotion and Retention of Women Faculty, Academic Staff
and Classified Staff:
The Hiring, Promotion and Retention of Women Faculty, Academic Staff
and Classified Staff work team focused its efforts on a review of historical
and current data to determine trends with regard to hiring, promotion
and retention of women at UW-Green Bay.
It became apparent that a current systematic method of gathering and
collecting human resources data for employees at UW-Green Bay was needed.
Efforts to determine why individuals were leaving employment were also
hampered by an incomplete exit interview process.
The team's focus turned to existing employees and their perceptions
of the hiring process and perceptions of campus climate that may impact
retention and promotion. Accordingly, a pilot Campus Climate Survey
was conducted. An interview guide was developed and designed to explore
newly hired employee perceptions. This guide allowed the committee to
gather qualitative and quantitative data.
The interviewees were asked broad-based questions and the responses
isolated some highly actionable issues that are data driven. Numerous
interviewees expressed concern about confidentiality and questioned
the impact of such a survey, as history had shown that surveys were
completed with no action taken (Appendix III).