The University Record, March 20, 2000

Teleconference opportunity to help set national agenda for women

By Jane R. Elgass

Members of the University community are invited to participate in a two-part program March 27 and 29 titled “Women’s Lives, Voices, Solutions: Shaping a National Agenda for Women in Higher Education.” The keynote address and opening and closing panel discussions of this national conference, taking place at the University of Minnesota, will be available via teleconferencing on the U-M campus.

Johnnetta Cole, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and former president of Spelman College, will deliver the keynote on “Women’s Voices: Imagining Ourselves in the 21st Century” at 1 p.m. March 27 in the Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union. She will be followed by a panel discussion on the same topic.

Following the national teleconference panel, Susan Kaufmann, associate director of the Center for the Education of Women, and Sally Johnson, director of the Consultation and Conciliation Service at the U-M, will facilitate a discussion of the views of students, staff and faculty on issues that affect women’s roles in higher education and strategies to help achieve goals.

A number of campus organizations have been invited to participate in this discussion and representatives of those groups will give short presentations. Other members of the University community will be able to offer suggestions following the formal presentations.

Conference organizers have suggested that organizations and individuals focus on priorities in the following areas:

  • Teaching/Learning/Research: supporting women’s research, preparing for shifting demographics in higher education, the future of women’s studies, creating more inclusive learning communities, preparing women students to succeed in work, identifying priorities of women students.

  • Work/Life: improving work environments for women faculty, staff and administrators; achieving pay equity for women faculty and staff; creating multicultural campuses; improving human resource policy and practice in higher education.

  • Partnerships/Linkages/Outreach: developing the pipeline for the next generation of women, influencing communities through higher education partnerships, expanding corporate/higher education partnerships to support women.

  • Leadership in a New Century: working to change public policies that affect higher education; funding women’s programs and research; keeping gender on the table in developing and assessing institutional policy; recruiting, retaining and advancing women faculty and administrators; using technology to advance women in higher education.

    “This portion of the conference gives members of the U-M community an opportunity to help shape the national agenda,” Kaufmann notes.

    Statements from the organizations participating in this discussion as well as suggestions from other participants will be faxed to the national conference on March 28.

    The teleconference will reconvene 11 a.m.–1 p.m. March 29 in the Pendleton Room, Michigan Union, for a panel that will respond to the suggestions made at Minnesota and those from other teleconference participants. Panel members will synthesize this input into the beginnings of a reformulated national agenda for women in higher education.

    For more information on the program, contact Kaufmann, (734) 998-7250.

    The Center for the Education of Women is sponsoring the teleconference sessions, with support from the Office of the Associate Provost.