The PCW in cooperation with the UK Work Life Office has compiled the report, Women's Work, examining women's responses to the 2006 Faculty and Staff Work Life Survey. Click here to view this informative document.
UK Leads State in OWHE Kentucky Network
Since 1973, the Office of Higher Education (Office of Women in Higher Education, a division of the American Council on Education) has served to promote the advancement of women leaders in higher education.
The office seeks to advance women’s leadership by identifying women leaders nationally in higher education through extensive networks, developing women’s leadership abilities through state and national programs and encouraging women to use those abilities. OWHE functions to link women leaders to one another and supports the tenure of mid- and senior-level women administrators and presidents through their careers.
Recently, UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. agreed to serve as a Presidential Sponsor for the development of a Kentucky OWHE Network. The UK President’s Commission on Women is taking the lead in this initiative and is currently gaining support for the initiative from other presidents in Kentucky higher education.
The immediate goal for 2007 is to begin a dialogue to foster commitment on the part of the attendees to support the Kentucky Network. Goals that will be discussed include the development of an infrastructure that can efficiently promote women leaders in higher education in Kentucky and sustain this endeavor. Through the development of an advisory board consisting of men and women presidents from across the state, a state planning committee comprised of senior-level women, an institutional representative panel to provide feedback and creativity, and a media/communication plan to provide community interaction, the outcome of this effort to establish the Kentucky Network will provide stronger women leadership for Kentucky’s higher education and will advance Kentucky in efforts toward women’s equity, diversity and advancement nationally. –Diane Snow
PCW Studies Salary Equity at UK
An important goal of the President’s Commission on Women is to achieve equity in the compensation of women faculty and staff. Historically, studies initiated in 1989 and 1999 by the Senate Council Ad Hoc Committees on the Status of Women and subsequent studies by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women have highlighted the need for monitoring the representation and compensation of faculty and staff women across ranks, job categories, and university sectors.
What initially sounds like a simple problem is quickly complicated by the need for facts regarding what men and women are paid in salaries as well as additional compensation in the form of bonuses/awards, overloads/overtime, administrative assignments, and as independent contractors. In addition, determining gender equity is a “moving target” in that the gender composition, as well as ranks, job titles and terms of individuals within academic department faculties and administrative unit staffs change yearly.
Working with university administration to provide the needed facts, the PCW has developed a Web-based data base for the examination of gender equity in faculty compensation that is automatically updated yearly. Plans are under way to establish a similar data base for the examination of gender equity in staff compensation.
Although the PCW is still perfecting the system, preliminary reports have been useful. Presentations have been made to the deans and department chairs of the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education. Across the entire university, women make up 34.8 percent of the 2,645 faculty. The five largest colleges, Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, and Medicine, account for over 65 percent of the faculty. After grouping the faculty by college and assistant-, associate- and full-professor ranks, the PCW has made over 50 comparisons, finding that about three out of five times men have higher salaries than women.
Making information available to administrators in a usable framework provides the means to develop a blueprint for achieving gender equity in compensation. It also requires a partnership between the PCW and the university administration. Such a partnership has been established, making the goal of the PCW achievable. – Mitzi Schumacher
Student Climate Survey
In 2004-2005, the President’s Commission on Women in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research surveyed undergraduate and graduate students to ascertain the social and academic climate on UK’s campus.
The survey was designed to measure dimensions of campus life that contributed to student satisfaction and identified areas where UK needs to improve upon its overall sense of community. Promoting a greater sense of belonging on campus should lead to higher retention rates and increase the likelihood that students will graduate.
One important outcome from this survey was the need to address campus safety. With the formation of the Office of Violence Against Women and Women’s Place, numerous programs and initiatives have been instituted on campus over the past two years to make UK a safer community. –Sue Scheff
Safety Set as Priority for Campus
College campuses are not immune from crime, particularly the types of offenses that disproportionately impact women. For this reason, the President’s Commission on Women has played a formative and visible role in addressing women’s safety on campus. That effort has targeted strengthening of services and protections available to victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking; raising public awareness of the nature and extent of these crimes; and promoting research on our own campus.
In 2003, the President’s Commission on Women was part of a consortium of campus groups led by the Division of Student Affairs and the Center for Research on Violence Against Women that collaborated on a grant to the U.S. Department of Justice. Funded the second year of its submission, that grant now funds Women’s Place within the Division of Student Affairs.
The Commission also aided in funding, and a Commission member served as principal investigator for, the 2004 Women’s Safety Study that offered the campus its first empirical look at the prevalence and impact of violence against women at UK. The Commission will further support the 2007 Replication of the Women’s Safety Study.
In 2003, the President’s Commission on Women began a several-stage project addressing the issue of sexual harassment. In its first step, the Commission conducted a thorough review of the sexual harassment policy and procedures of the university and successfully lobbied for an increase in the time limit for filing a sexual harassment claim to more sensitively address the needs of student victims of these cases. The Commission also worked to revise and update the UK Web site as it related to sexual harassment. In 2004/05, the Commission partnered with Human Resources on development of an online training on sexual harassment in the workplace. – Carol Jordan
PCW Leads Campus in Work-Life Initiatives
In August 2002, President Lee T. Todd, Jr. established the UK Work-Life Task Force following a recommendation from the President’s Commission on Women. This Task Force was charged to provide recommendations that would enhance employees’ ability to balance their work and off-the-job lives, thereby improving employee satisfaction, commitment and retention as well as increasing productivity. At the top of the list of recommendations submitted to President Todd was the establishment of a Center for Work-Life Excellence at the university. In July 2004, the Office of Work-Life was formed and a director hired. Early last year, nearly half of all faculty participated in the first-ever university-wide survey of work-life issues (known as UK@Work). This survey followed a similar survey of staff in October 2005, which achieved a response rate of over 50 percent. In collaboration with Work-Life director, Laura Koppes, PCW Commission members have taken a closer look at issues important to women faculty and staff on campus. As a result of this further study, both the Commission and Work-Life sponsored four brown-bag workshops this spring semester:
In addition, the Commission is working on a publication that will highlight all work-life issues of importance to women on the UK campus. -Sue Scheff
Dorothy Brockopp, PCW chair, found it "discouraging that faculty and staff on campus would repeatedly refer to problems on campus without supporting data." Brockopp marshalled the forces of the Commission and gathered relevant data and published the brochure: Diversity at the Unviersity of Kentucky: At a Glance. This document has become a valuable tool in administrative planning sessions. It includes 2004-2005 data that provides detailed information about the gender and race of faculty, staff and students in all UK colleges, as well as the potential for mentoring among undergraduates and the percent of women in leadership roles at UK.
Please CLICK HERE to view this informative document. If you would like a hard copy of this report, please stop by the President's Commission office in the Main Building, Suite 203C
Since 2004, the PCW has done considerable research on the status of women in academic science and engineering. This research was done in preparation for submitting an NSF ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers grant.
In June 2005, the PCW Chair and staff attended Women's World International Caucus in Seoul, South Korea. There, they presented findings from a small study done at UK to assess the needs of women in academic science and engineering.