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UNH President's Commission on the Status of Women

Report on the Status of Women

Report Overview and Recommendations

Areas of Progress

1. Twenty-one (9.8%) of the full professors are women, an increase over 1992-93 (14 or 6.8%).

2. The distribution of teaching versus research assistantships is roughly the same for graduate student women and men. Even so, graduate student men receive a significantly higher percentage of fellowships with neither teaching nor research obligations. Thus, men are better able to devote full time to study. However, this gap has narrowed from the previous year.

3. The percentage of female graduate students receiving financial aid has improved over the 1992-93 figures (45.8% versus 38.5%). In addition, the percentage of women receiving financial aid who get full support (stipend plus tuition or tuition waver) has improved over that year's figures (87.0% versus 77.9%). Thus, gaps between women and men graduate students receiving financial aid in these ways have narrowed from the previous year.

4. Operating Staff salaries have improved. In addition, only 12.1% of Operating Staff jobs are 10% or more below market rates. This marks a vast improvement over 1992-93, when fully 35% of Operating Staff jobs were 10% or more below market rates.

5. Cooperative Extension Service has made significant progress in the area of salary equity of Cooperative Extension Service Educators. By 1993-94, women, on the average, were making slightly more ($96.00) than comparably qualified men.


Areas in Need of Improvement

1. Women faculty are still underrepresented in many areas. Faculty hiring has just recently reached a level commensurate with the percentage of new Ph.D.'s who are women, but this rate is still not sufficient to address past imbalances or provide adequate role models for both women and men on campus.

2. There is a specific need to increase the representation of minority women on campus in all areas: students, faculty, administrators and staff.

3. Rank and salary inequities continue to discriminate against women in all constituencies. Women are disproportionally concentrated in the low salary, low status jobs.

4. There is still a dearth of women administrators at the higher levels. The negative consequences are that women's particular concerns often are not sufficiently represented at the highest levels where decisions are made; or are not given voice sufficiently early in the planning stages to affect the outcome of University decisions that involve women's issues.

5. While the University has done much to address issues of sexual and gender harassment on campus, there is still much work to be done in this area.

6. The University also needs to consider the negative effects of the current financial crisis on its goals of bringing about gender equity on campus. Constraints on hiring make it difficult to improve the gender ratios among faculty and staff through new hires.


Recommendations to the University:

* Make special efforts to increase the representation of minority women on campus in all areas: students, faculty, staff and administration. The hiring of women from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds to top administrative and faculty posts would be particularly important for their modeling effect on campus. The current figure of about 3% is unacceptable in a University committed to diversity.

* Make special efforts to recruit women and minorities to top level positions in the Administration, in order that their voices be represented in decision-making at the top. In particular, the Commission urges that women and minority candidates be considered in all searches and that the Women's Commission be represented in any searches for high-level positions.

* Take concrete steps to see that the bottom-line financial constraints under which the University is currently operating do not undermine increasing the representation of women and minorities or lead to disproportionate cutbacks of women and minorities on campus.

* Take active steps to address gender-based rank and salary inequities among staff and faculty. Two areas that need to be looked at with a critical eye are job classifications and the large number of staff members who are clustered in the lowest third of pay grades.

* Continue efforts to recruit women faculty, particularly in areas such as the sciences where they are severely underrepresented, or in areas such as Life Sciences where women constitute most of the student body, but are underrepresented in the faculty.

* The University should hire additional women at the full professor level, rather than waiting for women to work their way up through the ranks. The ultimate target goal should be to have women make up approximately 50% of the faculty.

* Have more flexible timetables and policies on a number of issues specifically relevant to non-traditional students who have family or work responsibilities outside of school.

* Develop a better system for tracking why people leave the University. The Commission recommends that a system of in-depth exit interviews be set up for this purpose. Of particular interest here is the larger percentage of women or men who leave the University for reasons currently coded as resigned (for reasons unknown).

* Reinstate the position of Coordinator of the Commission to become once again a permanent, full-time position funded by the University. As the only organization on campus representing women from all constituencies and specifically charged with monitoring the status of and making policy recommendations concerning women, the Commission's work requires continuity of leadership and representation on University Committees. This is particularly necessary because all other Commission members (except the secretary) function on a rotating and volunteer basis.

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