The University Record, February 6, 1995

Task force addresses violence against women

Appointment of a 14-member President's Task Force on Violence Against Women on Campus has been announced by President James J. Duderstadt, who considers the group's work "a vital component of the Michigan Agenda for Women."

In a letter to task force members, Duderstadt noted that "violence, including violence against women, is an enormous and complex area," adding that a separate task force within Human Resources/Affirmative Action is "examining the specific issue of violence in the workplace. I would like you to focus your efforts on other manifestations of violence against women on our campus." A significant portion of the task force's work is expected to focus on students.

The president has indicated that he wants to receive suggestions, recommendations and proposals as they are developed by the task force, adding that he is "prepared to move forward with specific actions as soon as possible." He has asked the group for a report at the end of the winter term.

The task force will remain in place for approximately one year following the submission of recommendations--to monitor progress, help with implementation and pursue additional efforts as necessary.

In an insert on violence in the workplace in general, published in the Record in January, the president noted that "faculty, staff and students have a joint responsibility to confront this issue and to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and personal well-being.

"As an employer and an institution of learning, the University is an important place for this problem to be confronted and, over time, eliminated through education. We must work together to create a safe, healthy and supportive environment in which we work and live," he added.

The task force is co-chaired by Debra L. Cain, coordinator, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, and Daniel G. Saunders, associate professor of social work.

Other members are: Julie K. Field, clinical assistant professor, Law School; Leo J. Heatley, director, Public Safety and Security; Nancy E. Abinojar, academic secretary, Department of Chemistry; Eric D. Luskin, director, Family Housing, North Campus Area;

Susan W. Kaufmann, associate director, Center for the Education of Women; Phoebe C. Ellsworth, the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law; Julie Stacey, student; Elizabeth M. Shadigian, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology;

Beverly Jones, associate hospital director, chief of nursing affairs and associate dean and lecturer, School of Nursing; Wendy N. Powell, personnel representative, Employee Relations, Human Resources/Affirmative Action; Jeff Brown, student, chair, Michigan Student Assembly Committee on Campus Safety; and Stephanie Bulger, student.