Emory Report

January 12, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 16

Issues in Progress

President's Commission
on the Status of Women

The commission held its final 1997 meeting Dec. 4. Staff concerns committee chair Deb Floyd reported on a meeting with consultant Joan Herald, who gave advice on organizing the glass ceiling study. Mandy Gordon, who is organizing the focus groups, will look at including more medical staff and faculty, who weren't well represented in the previous focus groups. Herald suggested the committee test a pilot survey and focus group of selected Emory women before undertaking a full-blown effort.

Joyce Jones said Human Resources Vice President Alice Miller would be visiting the Employee Council meeting on Dec. 17. Council members planned to ask her questions relating to the glass ceiling, Jones reported.

Neither chair for the faculty concerns committee was present at the commission meeting. However, commission Chair JoAnn McKenzie attended the committee's last meeting and reported they are continuing work on leave policy and tenure equity for women as well as a mentoring program. They will select five or six comparable institutions and compare their leave policies to Emory's, McKenzie said. Ali Crown said a file in the Women's Center contains information about model mentoring programs at other colleges and universities. The committee decided to take the time to do thorough research before issuing recommendations, McKenzie said.

Karen Brown-Wheeler reported for the student concerns committee that "Prune" Harris is taking over compiling the handbook. Brown-Wheeler will review a final draft over the semester break, and the handbook should be ready for printing in January.

In preparation for the commission's next meeting, which President Bill Chace will attend, McKenzie plans to meet with him on Jan. 13 for a briefing. She asked that committee members be prepared to discuss priorities with him. Brown-Wheeler said she thinks the president could give students suggestions for pursuing greater faculty-student interaction. Floyd said the staff concerns committee would need his help in securing the approximately $5,000 it may cost to undertake the glass ceiling survey.

Gordon gave an overview of the first bylaws committee meeting. They plan to look at the commission's mission and see if it needs updating or revising, as well as look for outdated or inaccurate rules. McKenzie said she's gathered bylaws and mission statements from other commissions for comparison.

Discussion followed as to how presidential commissions serve the Emory community and how they are empowered to represent their constituencies. Jones said as the commission goes through the nominating process for next year, the process should be as inclusive as possible in representing the women of Emory.

During liaison reports, Jones said disabled student access around campus was a topic at a recent University Senate meeting she attended. The suggestion was made to invite Rebecca Katz-Doft, the student who spoke at the Senate meeting about disability issues, to a future commission meeting to see what solutions she proposes and how the PCSW can become involved.

The commission's next meeting will be held at the Women's Center on Jan. 15 at 3:30 p.m.

-Stacey Jones

Employee Council

Following the call to order, President Erik Oliver greeted the council and introduced Alice Miller, vice president of Human Resources. Miller's talk mostly focused on the perceived 'glass ceiling' for women at Emory.

Miller told the council that the glass ceiling was mostly a perception problem. She listed numerous women who hold upper management positions at Emory. She told members that recent studies showed salaries were equal for men and women with similar jobs.

She went on to say that the University is implementing several new initiatives in the new year and the ultimate goal is to have all promotions go to current employees. Miller then opened the floor to questions. She was asked about mentoring programs, cafeteria benefits plans and the ability to bank sick leave. When questioned about the number of women recruited from outside the University, she said sometimes women have to switch employers if supervisory positions become fewer and the 'job pyramid' shrinks.

Following the question-and-answer session, the council elected Ann Holt to serve as secretary elect.

-Scott Barker

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