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Annual Report 2001-2002  


2001-02 Annual Report from
NC State University's
Council on the Status of Women
July 11, 2002

Overview

In its role as advocate for issues of concern to all women on campus, the Council on the Status of Women is an advisory body to NC State's provost.  This year, Council members welcomed Provost Stuart Cooper to the first meeting of the academic year (September ), where the Provost expressed his commitment to extending the reach of the Council.  To accomplish that, he agreed to watch for opportunities to convey relevant messages to the Vice Chancellors for Student Affairs and Finance & Business, as appropriate.  The Council is grateful for Dr. Cooper's acknowledgment of the fact that-though he receives Council recommendations that are intended to increase the well-being of women on campus-women's welfare is affected by policy and practice that fall outside the domain of the university's chief academic officer.

­2001-02 Membership

Twenty-five (25) men and women this year represented all campus constituencies:

Four students served as members.  There were representatives of the Graduate Student

Association and the (undergraduate) Student Senate.  At-large positions-one for an

undergraduate and one for a graduate student-were filled by Sociology and Computer

Science majors, respectively.

Five SPA staff represented Legal Affairs, Facilities Operations, Public Safety, DH Hill

Library and the Staff Senate. 

Seven EPA staff included representatives of the Colleges of Education and Natural

Resources, the Provost's staff, and the Office for Equal Opportunity, as well as directors

of Employment and Compensation, Academic Personnel Services and Student Health

Services. 

Nine members of the general faculty represented CALS, CHASS, COM, CVM, and

PAMS, and included the immediate past-chair of the Council, chair-elect of the Faculty

Senate, director of Gender Affairs and coordinator of Women and Gender Studies. 

The Council's Focus on Issues

Five work groups were formed at the outset of 2001-02, with the expectation that group study would yield reports with further implications.  Groups made a year-long commitment to focus on one issue, accepting the charge to develop suggestions for improvement of climate and working conditions for women at NC State. 

The five issues were Council Operations, Health, Aging, Employee Benefits and Salary Equity. Outcomes of the study groups are summarized below:

1.      Council Operations

To increase the effectiveness of the Council's work, a work group created several drafts of comprehensive by-laws for the organization.  Just in time for the final meeting of the academic year, the document was presented and approved.  A copy of the Council's By-Laws is available with a click on Operations at this URL: http://www.ncsu.edu/csw/reports.

2.      Health and Aging

Over time, the decision was made to combine study of concerns about Health and Aging.  In

the end, discussion of health issues served to enrich planning for the Women's Professional

Development Conference (see below) and did not yield a separate report. 

3.      Employee Benefits

This work group learned that a number of benefits already available to employees are not widely utilized.  Exploration of little-known options led the group to conclude that there is already the potential for enhancement of quality of life in the workplace at NC State.  In general, the study pointed to a need for comprehensive education of employees and supervisors about job flexibility.  The task remains for next year's Council to design a campaign that will make women at NC State (and their immediate supervisors) aware of many poorly understood options, e.g., flex-time, job-sharing, telecommuting and family leave.

4.      Salary Equity

The goal of the work group was to examine concerns regarding pay equity issues of both EPA professional employees and SPA employees.  There is a salary equity study conducted for faculty on a consistent basis; therefore, the committee did not need to explore issues regarding pay equity among EPA faculty.  Committee members learned that there are specific guidelines for SPA classification and salary increases.  Classification and salary increase guidelines are not as clearly stipulated, however,  for EPA professional positions.  Therefore, the group focused its attention on understanding and advocating for pay equity for EPA professionals.

The highlights of the group's findings follow:

With Reference to EPA Employees

  • There is often a wide salary range within the existing EPA titles.  In addition, there are no taxonomy specifications existing to enable a comparable review of positions.  It will be difficult to render a taxonomy until a fair and equitable performance evaluation is strictly required and administered for all EPA professionals.
  • In compliance with the Board of Governors' requirements, the Provost mandates annual performance reviews.  There is no consistent format, however, provided for use in evaluating EPA employees. 
  • There is a need for the regulation of hire and promotion dates and job description changes.

With Reference to SPA Employees

  • The SPA comprehensive compensation plan does not adequately address the issue of merit.  The University needs to have a compensation plan that is both market driven and based on merit.
  • The current classification program for SPA employees was developed in the 1950's.  This plan is very outdated and inflexible. 

Pay Equity Work Group Summary

The Council recognizes the need for improvement in the university's systems for job

classification and salary determination.  Until flaws are addressed, the Council is not satisfied that

increases are fairly distributed or that there is pay equity for EPA professionals.  Study of the pay

equity issue suggests that changes may best be guided by first establishing a compensation

philosophy for the university.  In addition, there is reason to believe that the university needs a

comprehensive market analysis of SPA and EPA salaries, as well as strategies in place for

promoting retention among both groups.  The absence of university guidelines cripples

supervisors and unit heads when the time comes to make merit and pay equity decisions.

Deliberation over these and related issues will be continued by next year's Council.

The Council's Sixth Issue: Sustaining the Community of Women

Annually for a number of years, the Council on the Status of Women has organized two campus-wide events to celebrate women on campus: the Sisterhood Dinner and the Women's Professional Development Conference.  Both have in recent years been spring events, and this year the pattern was continued.

Sisterhood Dinner

On February 12, 2002, in the ballroom of the Talley Student Center, with generous support from the Provost's Office, the Council co-hosted with the Women's Center a gala dinner, the theme of which was Moving Forward in the Community of Women.  The popular event was subscribed to capacity, thanks to responses from across the campus-including both college deans and heads of administrative units-who willingly reserved tables for faculty, staff and students.  Fifty-six individual tickets were sold, many of which were purchased by off-campus friends of the university.  With the addition of complimentary reservations, the guest list numbered more than 150.

As entertainment, the Twenty-First Annual Sisterhood Dinner offered a multi-arts collage which included violin solos, a capella choral music and slides of visual art by students, followed by a dazzling presentation of the spoken word by Becky Stone.  Ms. Stone is a resident of the Asheville area and a storyteller whose specialty is traditional Southern folk tales, including the Uncle Remus series by Joel Chandler Harris.

Women's Professional Development Conference

A total of 159 participants were present for the 2002 conference on April 3 at the university's Jane S. McKimmon Center.  The theme of the conference was Restore and Rejuvenate.  Opening the conference was Caterina Rando of PowerDynamics in San Francisco.  Rando's keynote address, Success with Ease: How to Find Fulfillment in a Fast-Paced World, was enthusiastically received.

It has become the Council's practice over time to make a presentation at the conference luncheon.  This year, following a brief update on the university's progress in diversity issues, Rupert Nacoste, Vice Provost for Diversity and African-American Affairs, presented the Equity for Women Award to the Council's choice among five nominees from the university at large.  Frances Graham, director of the Women Center and assistant vice provost for Gender Equity was the 2002 honoree.  Nominees represented Humanities & Social Sciences, Engineering, the Provost's Staff and Undergraduate Affairs.  Both campus-based and off-campus presenters offered breakout sessions after lunch. The conference closed with remarks from Charlene Hayes, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources.

Leadership for 2002-03

The Council has the privilege of selecting its own chair, chair-elect and secretary for one-year terms which may be renewed one time.   To chair the Council in the year ahead, the membership elected Deborah Harvey from the university's Office of Legal Affairs.  Samara Fleming, from the Provost's Staff, was chosen Chair-Elect.  David Serxner, from DH Hill Library, was elected to continue as the Council's secretary. 

Summary

Work begun and sustained by the Council this year has enriched ongoing campus dialogue about the workplace climate and professional growth opportunities for women on campus.  Events sponsored and co-sponsored by the Council have fostered a sense of community among women and friends of women.  Members are convinced that the Council's existence is an important part of advocacy for women's concerns and express our gratitude for the opportunity to continue as an advisory group to the university's provost.

 



 


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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2002

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