Task Forces on Status of Women 1988-1999
The Georgia State University Committee on Faculty Concerns was established in 1988 by Thomas Brewer, Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1989, the committee presented its first Status Report on Faculty Women at Georgia State University that contained 24 recommendations for further actions by the university. The committee continued its work and was restructured in 1991 to become the Task Force on Faculty Women’s Concerns (Chairs, Mary Radford and Linda Bell). The 1992-1993 Report on the Status of Faculty Women: Measurements and Recognition of Performance was supported by a grant from the Office of the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs under Provost Tom LaBelle.
Georgia State University also participated with four other Georgia universities for the InGEAR Project: Integrating Gender Equity and Reform. Georgia State University InGEAR Director Dr. Molly Weinburgh, and strand leader, Dr. Beth Farokhi, were principal investigators of a climate study for women at Georgia State University entitled, Issues Dealing with Gender Equity: Institutional Self-Study 1990-1998. The study identifies institutional factors that affect advancement for women faculty, administration, and staff and includes recommendations that are supported by the AofW taskforce committee. A shortened version of the InGEAR Report (Highlights) may be viewed for a summary of findings.
In 1999 the Ad Hoc Task Force on the Advancement of Women, appointed by the Provost and chaired by Marjorie Fine Knowles, was charged with developing an action plan to assist more women in the preparation for senior academic administration. The taskforce’s initiative was to review issues on the status of advancement of women at Georgia State University derived from earlier discussions among the President and the University’s Executive Committee. Its report, Ad Hoc Task Force on the Advancement of Women report, was issued in May 1999. The objective of the most recent task force report was to “develop an Annual Action Plan to assist more women at Georgia State University in preparing for senior positions in academic administration” and to “indicate the responsible committees and/or persons to implement the plan.”
Advancement of Women Office Established in 1999
The Office for the Advancement of Women (AofW) was established with the charge to execute the recommendations in the Ad Hoc Task Force on the Advancement of Women report. As recommended in that report, the first Senior Faculty Associate for the Advancement of Women, Dr. Pauline Rose Clance, Professor of Psychology, was appointed and served in this position from 1999 – 2003. Following its directives from the Task Force Report, AofW activities focused on two tracks: 1) women academics (e.g., Faculty, Chairs, Deans, VP, Associate & Assistant Provosts) and 2) women administrators (e.g., Non-Faculty Administrators and Staff). Four primary areas – recruitment, career development, university policies, and data collection and reporting – were identified in the Task Force Report. Additionally, Georgia State University Senate endorsed the Policy for the Advancement of Women into Academic Administration.
Dr. Clance was succeeded in spring of 2003 by Dr. Susan Talburt, Associate Professor of Education. She formed two steering committees (one for staff and one for faculty) to assist the AofW in implementing the recommendations from the Task Force Report. Talburt conducted a climate survey of female faculty in May 2003 to identify what they perceived to be barriers to their advancement at Georgia State University. In Fall of 2003, Dr. Mary Finn, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, became Senior Faculty Associate for the Advancement of Women. She was succeeded in fall 2007 by Dr. Dana Fox and in fall 2008 by Dr. Denise Donnelly.
During these years the AofW created important programming for women staff. This included leadership development programming for women staff from 2005. This was formalized in 2012 as the Executive Leadership Academy for Women (ELAW), which continues today. The Women’s Mentoring Program was also established to inspire, empower and support women staff at Georgia State University through mentoring, training and networking.
In 2018, the Women Inspire Speaker Series was integrated into the AofW. Previously established through a co-sponsorship of the Office of the Provost and the Women’s Philanthropy Initiative, this speaker series provides a platform for outstanding Georgia State women faculty to share their research with a broader Georgia State audience. The AofW programs are currently managed by the Office of Faculty Affairs.