November 16, 1998
Volume 51, No. 12
Issues in Progress
President's Commission on the Status of Minorities
The President's Commission on the Status of Minorities convened its October meeting to perform a post-event assessment of its Sept. 29 symposium, "Honoring Our Vision." The event featured keynote speaker Mildred Garcia, associate vice provost for academic affairs at Arizona State University West, and brought together members of the Emory community to form a campuswide view of diversity.
Attendees at the symposium formed groups that examined issues such as defining diversity, developing a campus climate, faculty recruitment and retention, and community relations. Transcripts of the group sessions were reviewed at the October meeting. Notes were also translated into drafts of possible action items that the PCSM will incorporate into its goals and purposes for this year.
Commission members decided to formulate a more definitive report that will eventually be given to President Bill Chace. The tentative deadline for report comments and views by all commission members is Nov. 15.
Those present also discussed the status of current membership and plans for a spring student event. This event's focus will be to get an idea of minority status from a student perspective.
President's Commission on the Status of Women
At the beginning of the meeting on Nov. 5, Chair-elect Catherine Howett-Smith asked members to take copies of flyers for the commission's fall event and pass them out on campus. The Nov. 18 event, a luncheon honoring Provost Rebecca Chopp, also will be listed on LearnLink and student listservs to get the word out. Howett-Smith said information tables will be set up there on the PCSW and its committees, breast cancer awareness and women's safety.
Chair Mary DeLong announced that the date for the spring event has been changed to Wednesday, April 14, to accommodate speaker Rosalynn Carter's schedule. The speech will take place at The Carter Center, and the commission will provide shuttles.
Kay Casarella gave the faculty concerns committee report. The group is still meeting to investigate mentoring programs. Maureen St. Laurent said they are beginning to envision how mentoring and sponsorship training would begin to work together. Ali Crown suggested graduate school alumna Paula Washington as a leadership trainer. She was the first doctoral recipient in women's studies.
Allison Adams said the staff concerns committee is about a week away from finishing the "Invisible Barriers to Advancement" survey. They contacted 500 people by phone to complete the survey, and the next step is finding a student or faculty member willing to interpret the data. The committee plans to send a report to President Bill Chace by the end of the academic year.
Danielle Sered of the student concerns committee has been shepherding the student initiative modeled on the Safe Space program of the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Student Life. The PCSW program will be called Emory Women's Alliance, and Sered showed the newly designed logo that will be placed on office doors indicating participation. She sent 100 query letters and received 50 "yes" responses. The student committee plans to kick off the program spring semester. Jennifer Lowry announced the faculty student tea, held on Nov. 11 at the Women's Center and limited to 20 students and faculty each.
DeLong said she has already submitted the commission budget for next year. She asked for additional funds, she said, primarily for the student handbook, for the fall and spring events and for updating the PCSW web page. She asked members to reconsider the issue of campus child care and to think about mounting an effort to bring together other concerned organizations on campus to find out more about the administration's plans. She asked permission to speak with Carol Burns, a commission member who also serves on the board of Clifton Child Care, about ideas regarding the effort. DeLong will send those ideas via e-mail to the entire commission membership for input.
Ali Crown said the Women's Center has contacted Lani Guinier as a potential speaker for Women's History Month. The center is using the $25,000 Eckerd grant to create the Mary Lynn Morgan lectureship. An ad hoc committee, on which Morgan will also serve, will be formed to select lecturers.
The next PCSW meeting will be Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in 400 Administration Building.