IUPUI Office for Women
by Kathleen S. Grove
The current Office for Women was established in October 1996 following a recommendation of the Task Force on the Status of Women. The establishment of this task force in 1994 was the starting point for the latest discussion of the status of women at IUPUI. Chancellor Maynard Hine had appointed the first IUPUI Commission on the Status of Women in 1973 with Frances Dodson Rhome as Chairperson. The purpose of this earlier commission was to assure that the campus was in alignment with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibited sex discrimination in education.
In August 1994, Kathleen Warfel, President of the IUPUI Faculty Council and William Plater, Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties, established a new Task Force on the Status of Women. Chaired by Barbara Wilcox (8/94 to 10/95) and Rebecca Porter (11/95 to 5/96), the task force completed its report in May 1996 and concluded:
"IUPUI must expand the positive actions already in place in order to remove the barriers which limit or negatively impact on women's recruitment, productivity and advancement on this campus. New programs, structures, and opportunities for women must be designed to enhance their productivity and advancement. It is not enough to develop mechanisms to describe the changes in diversity in our institution over time. IUPUI can become an institution with a work and learning environment where diversity is valued and all members of our community can thrive, but the time for action is now."
The Task Force recommended the establishment of the Office for Women and the creation of a Commission on Women. In early 1996, the Task Force and the IUPUI Administration submitted a Strategic Directions Charter Initiative Proposal to the IU President Myles Brand to fund the Office for Women for three years. When the initiative was funded, Chancellor Gerald Bepko initiated the search for a Director and appointed the Commission on Women Steering Committee to provide oversight for the office. Kathleen Warfel, a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine was named director and the office was established in October 1996. Other staff included Kimberly Quaid, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Molecular Genetics as Assistant to the Director and Betty Wolf as Secretary.
The office was charged with providing leadership and action for the creation of an inclusive campus environment where women could succeed as faculty, staff, and students.
A Commission on Women was also organized in 1997 to address concerns in the areas of pay equity, recruitment and retention of women, sexual harassment, child care needs, campus climate and work/life balance. A history of the accomplishments of the Commission on Women is detailed in documents listed in the archives section of Office for Women website:
In 1998 Kathleen Warfel resigned and Kimberly Quaid became the Director. Rebecca Van Voorhis was appointed Assistant Director at that time. Although FTE support for the office was substantially reduced at this time, activities of the office and the Commission on Women continued to address the concerns of women on campus. During this time the new Center for the Young Child, IUPUI's childcare center, was opened; a Professional Staff Compensation Equity Review was completed; the original key indicators on the advancement of women were updated; a Sexual Harassment Leadership Orientation program was presented to deans, chairs and directors of the school units; and programming on career and professional development continued.
In July 2001, Kimberly Quaid resigned as director and the position was vacant for several years. Activities of the office were continued under the auspices of the Office for Professional Development. After an evaluation of the role of the office, it was determined to make the position of director a staff position and to seek to fill it. In 2004, Kathleen Grove was hired as the part-time director of the office which was at that time an advocacy office within the Office for Professional Development. Ms. Grove has a background as an attorney, marriage and family therapy and business woman and came to the university from The Julian Center, a domestic violence shelter and counseling center for women. She convened an Advisory Council which adopted the following vision and mission statement to guide the office.
The IUPUI Office for Women envisions an energized community of faculty, staff, and students pursuing opportunities for full participation, shared influence, and equity among women and men in all aspects of the work and learning environments at IUPUI.
The IUPUI Office for Women supports the IUPUI mission to provide excellence in teaching and learning; research, scholarship and creative activity; and civic engagement. The office promotes an inclusive environment that benefits women and men by collaboratively and proactively:
• Addressing the diverse needs and interests of IUPUI women faculty, staff and students;
• Empowering women to attain their full potential;
• Building open and welcoming work and learning environments; and
• Promoting a safe and supportive climate free from harassment, discrimination and privilege based on gender
through advice, advocacy, collaborations, dialogue, information, partnerships, recognition, research, and pursuit of best practices.
In 2007, the position of director was made full-time. With the dissolution of the Office for Professional Development in 2008, the office became part of the Office of Academic Affairs reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The office has developed programming addressing tenure and promotion issues, career development, and women's leadership skill development. In April 2007, the office hosted a 10th Anniversary Celebration with a luncheon featuring Dr. Ora Pescovitz, then the CEO and President of Riley Hospital for Children. The Office for Women partners with the Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence in hosting the annual Hazelett Women in Leadership Forum; with the Office of Student Involvement in making the annual Women's History Month Leadership Awards; with the IUPUI Athletics Department in co-sponsoring the annual Jag Jaunt walkathon for women's athletic scholarships'; with the IU School of Medicine Women's Advisory Council on special events; with the Office of Faculty Appointments and Advancement on seminars; with the Office for International Affairs in hosting international women leaders; and with community partners such as the Indiana Commission on Women, the Madame Walker Theatre Center, and the American Association of University Women.
The office obtained an update of the key indicators on the advancement of women on campus and presented a report to the Chancellor and the Diversity Council in 2009. At the request of the office, Executive Vice Chancellor Uday Sukhatme ordered a faculty pay equity study in 2009 which has been conducted by the Office of Equal Opportunity. Ms. Grove has also collaborated with her women's center peers at IU Bloomington and Purdue University to form an interest group, the Inter-campus Coalition for the Advancement of Women.
As part of the IUPUI 40th Anniversary Celebration, the office is partnering with the University Library and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to develop this archival exhibit documenting the contributions of women to IUPUI.
For information about current programming and events, please visit http://ofw.iupui.edu
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