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 Tuesday, March 22, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Improving the Climate for CU-Boulder Women

As you may know, the Chancellor's Committee on Women issued a report last month on the campus environment for women. I will work with the committee and other campus leaders this summer to address their top recommendations. I'd like to share with you some of our plans to enhance the living, learning and working environment for CU-Boulder women faculty, staff and students.

First of all, I greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in the study. I would like to thank the Chancellor's Committee on Women for their work in identifying the issues facing women at CU-Boulder and in generating ideas to address these issues. I also want to thank the faculty, staff, and students who participated in the discussions and contributed valuable suggestions.

Next Steps

This summer, the committee and I will work on high-priority recommendations with key campus administrators, including Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, vice provost and associate vice chancellor of diversity and equity; Paul Tabolt, vice chancellor for administration; Ron Stump, vice chancellor for student affairs; and Michael Grant, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education, among others. We will look for ways to improve programs and services already in place, in addition to possible changes in policy regarding the issues that were raised. As the report noted, some recommendations could be implemented rather quickly; others will take more time to achieve.

The top issues that we will address include (in no particular order):

  • Improving building security and campus safety
  • Options for flexible work hours and tenure schedules
  • Options for expanding campus childcare facilities
  • Training for administrators, department chairs and directors on policies (particularly family and medical leave), gender bias and other climate issues
  • Professional development and mentoring opportunities for graduate students, instructors, research faculty, research associates, professional research assistants and staff
  • A first-year experience course for undergraduates that addresses issues of gender, race, sexual orientation and sexual violence
  • Additional recognition and reward programs for faculty and staff

Undoubtedly, the nature of the campus environment for women is critical to the University's success. Important actions that we should continually undertake and evaluate include fostering women's networking opportunities and women's development, both professionally and personally; encouraging research by and for women; providing forums for discussion on women's issues; and analyzing our performance on gender and equity issues, such as standardized pay and workloads. It's also important that we establish workplace environments that are respectful to everyone, regardless of gender or job classification.

Successful campus programs in place that assist with these efforts include the Leadership Education for Advancement and Promotion Program (LEAP), Women in Engineering Program, Women's Studies program, Women's Resource Center and the National Center for Women & Information Technology. These are tremendous resources for all of us to draw on and I encourage you to do so.

It's important to recognize that these issues are not limited to women faculty, staff and students - men also play an important role in resolving gender inequities on campus and holding each other accountable for our behaviors. There are opportunities available, both on campus and externally, for men to learn more about the issues and how we can help to develop a more equitable and inclusive environment.

Fall Update

I will convene a public meeting early in the fall to discuss the CCW study and the progress toward implementing its recommendations. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the full text of the study at

Again, I'd like to extend my great appreciation to the Chancellor's Committee on Women and numerous others in the CU-Boulder community for your diligence and hard work toward fostering an educational environment in which women can be successful, both personally and academically, on the Boulder campus. Thank you.

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