Emory Report
October 31, 2005
Volume 58, Number 9


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October 31 , 2005
President Wagner guides PCSW at Oct. 20 meeting

BY Christi Gray

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) welcomed President Jim Wagner to its Oct. 20 meeting, held in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library.

Wagner talked about how the commission can achieve its 2005-06 goals, focusing on three tasks: assessment, recommendations and celebration.

On assessment, Wagner told the commission to seek stories and look for trends. Once trends are revealed, tangible goals for necessary change can be established. “In assessment, you must gather stories,” he said. “If you can be specific, assessment can be a powerful tool.” Junior Chair-Elect Susan Carini said a “telling stories” program was in the works, and Wagner suggested diversity as a possible subject.

After assessment, Wagner said recommendations must be made. Areas of possible recommendation topics included awareness, mentoring, networking and best practices.

“Celebrate,” he continued. “Reward what’s good about the University in reference to women’s issues.”
After Wagner’s address, commission members discussed ways to change the differentiation between policy and reality, such as stricter consequences for those who don’t observe University policies, or making policies more widely known. “Knowing that the leadership cares about issues goes a long way,” one member said.

Tenure extension associated with maternity leave was another issue of concern. Currently there is no permanent tenure-extension program, but Wagner said the Faculty Council will address the issue in the near future.

Chair Allison Dykes asked what PCSW can do to encourage more diversity in hiring in leadership positions. “We are concerned that only one of seven deans and vice presidents recently hired was a woman,” Dykes said. Wagner suggested placing more women in leadership on hiring committees, informing existing deans of diversity concerns and gathering stories from candidates who were offered positions but didn’t accept.

Student representatives voiced their concerns, such as the facts that students are not recognized under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and there is no policy in place for stalking. The student concerns committee recently took out a full-page Emory Wheel ad to increase awareness of stalking and sexual harassment. Wagner called the ad “refreshingly powerful.”

In commission business, faculty member Kay Vydareny and graduate student Amy Webb were voted in as new members. Members also approved a bylaw change reducing the required 60-day notice for commission sponsorship requests to 30 days. This will give students time to apply for sponsorship upon fall arrival.

If you have a question or concern for PCSW, send e-mail to Chair Allison Dykes at adykes@emory.edu.