Initiative on the Status of Women on the UW-Green Bay Campus
The Committee was greatly challenged in attempting to assess the current status of women on the UW-Green Bay campus due to the lack of pertinent and current data. In many cases, gender specific data relating to students, staff, and faculty were non-existent. In other cases, data could be found in raw form.
What is the current status of UW-Green Bay students? The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay provides quality post-secondary education to a wide range of students. The UW System and UW-Green Bay are committed to offering educational opportunities that work to "improve the human condition." One element of the Core Mission is directed at serving the "needs of women, minorities, economically disadvantaged, disabled and non-traditional students."
Women are appropriately recruited in UW-Green Bay pre-college programs. The Regional Center for Math and Science and Upward Bound pre-college programs have been successful in attracting and serving high school females in math and science programs. The programs accommodate all students equally and faculty is diverse.
Women have consistently comprised more than half (60%) of the UW-Green
Bay student body, however, enrollment of non-traditional women students
has dropped a full 10% since 1990 (Figure 1. Fall
Enrollments). Once in the system, there is poor retention of students
interested in Education and Social Work, programs that attract high
numbers of women students.
UW-Green Bay offers limited options to acquire a degree by attending only evening and weekend classes or through Internet courses. The only major that is currently awarded through a combination of Saturday classes, audio tapes and Internet courses is the Interdisciplinary Studies major through the Extended Degree program.
Analysis of student grades revealed that in a number of general education courses male students perform significantly higher than female students. In at least six courses, male students received a full letter grade higher than female students.
The UW-Green Bay Education program has a history of turning away qualified students who meet all the requirements for enrollment in the program due to program enrollment caps. Historically, Education has attracted a high number of female applicants and accepted a proportionally high number of female Education majors. In recent years, admissions to the program have remained stable while denied applications have risen to a high of 43 in the fall 2000 semester. While there is no documentation of the number of students UW-Green Bay has lost due to this problem, anecdotal evidence has provided numerous examples of students who have been denied entrance into UW-Green Bay's Education program and have transferred to other colleges where they were accepted into the education program. The Committee notes particular concern for women students in math and science, fields traditionally dominated by men, who are unable to gain admission to the Education program.
The interdisciplinary Women's Studies minor offers courses from multiple disciplines, however there is only one full-time faculty member in the Women's Studies minor. Most of the Women's Studies courses are at the mercy of individual faculty members' home units. Women's Studies courses are lacking in consistent periodicity and are often cancelled so the home unit may offer required courses. Data indicates that other UW System schools offering a Women's Studies minor do not have the same problem.
Chairing the Women's Studies program carries a load reassignment, however, clerical services become the additional responsibility of the staff of the current chair's unit. A small budget is administered by the Women's Studies chair and is insufficient to the needs of the discipline. UW-Green Bay currently offers no classes in Gay and Lesbian Studies. The UW-Green Bay Women's Center was closed in 1995.
It appears that there are excellent opportunities for women in athletics at UW-Green Bay. The University offers additional support for both men and women athletes in the form of study tables, tutor arrangements, course selection advisement, and grade/attendance checks. Concerns have been raised regarding the facilities used for women's games on campus. The playing floor in the Phoenix Sports Center is marked for several sports, making it difficult to clearly and quickly identify boundaries, acoustics are poor, and dressing/locker rooms are inadequate.
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