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K-State Today

December 16, 2011



Update and actions following survey of women faculty and staff

By Noel Schulz/Nancy Baker

A survey of K-State’s female faculty and staff was administered in August 2010. The top concerns from the survey were identified in a report written by Chris Feit of the office of planning and analysis (Appendix A). A committee composed of three members of the Women of K-State Leadership Committee and three members of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women met in January 2011 to discuss the best ways to address these concerns. Recommendations were developed (Appendix B), and then were discussed in meetings of both groups. 

In May 2011, Noel Schulz, chair of the Women of K-State Leadership Committee, and Nancy Baker, chair of the President's Commission on the Status of Women, met with President Kirk Schulz, Associate Provost Brian Niehoff (representing Provost and Senior Vice President April Mason), Vice President of Administration and Finance Bruce Shubert, Vice President of Student Life Pat Bosco, and Assistant to the President Jackie Hartman. The list of recommendations was presented and discussed in this meeting. President Schulz discussed the issues with his cabinet, and then Hartman provided a written response. 

The following will occur in response to the requests and discussions:

  1.  President Schulz has established a $10,000 fund to be used for professional development activities for classified and unclassified employees. Information on the distribution of this fund will be available by January 2012.
  2. Since both the Unclassified Task Force and the survey of female employees identified supervisory training as an area needing improvement, the president and the assistant vice president for the Division of Human Resources and Parking have agreed to arrange for a needs assessment of our Human Resources Division to identify potential training opportunities as well as other areas where we can improve. In addition, the Division of Human Resources is working to improve the classification of unclassified employees to provide consistency across titles and classifications.
  3. The Division of Facilities has a form on its website to report lighting outages. In addition, outages can be reported by calling 532-6389 or by sending an email. Facilities is conducting an on-campus lighting study to determine areas where lighting will be added. In some areas, new lights have already been installed. 
  4. President Schulz has agreed to fund a graduate research assistant to reevaluate the statistical model of the Faculty Salary Equity Study so potential salary discrepancies can be determined and addressed. An update will be available in June 2012.
  5. K-State will participate in the FY 2012 COACHE Survey, administered by Harvard University. This climate survey will be received by all faculty members. After the Higher Learning Commission visit is completed, an internal climate survey will be developed and administered to unclassified and classified staff. 
  6. A program for nonacademic directors will be conducted, beginning in January 2012, to focus on leadership, professional development, policy issues, resources and other information and networking to assist these leaders in their job responsibilities.

In addition to the actions approved and supported by President Schulz, the following have been addressed by the President's Commission on the Status of Women and Women of K-State Leadership Committee. 

  1. Round table discussions were held during a women’s luncheon that took place in summer 2011 and during a women’s breakfast held as part of the Research and Extension annual conference to allow opportunities to share ideas and concerns on balancing personal and professional activities. 
  2. Brown bag lunches are being held twice a month during the fall semester to provide networking opportunities for women, as well as information on subjects relating to life outside of work.
  3. The President's Commission on the Status of Women has identified 16 areas across campus and met with facilities and human resources personnel to convert these spaces to lactation rooms for nursing mothers. Seven of the spaces have been approved and are now awaiting the work necessary to prepare them for use. 

Within the last year, a search committee training program was developed. While this was not done in response to the survey results, it addresses some of the hiring and retention concerns brought forth by survey respondents. Focus groups have been conducted to collect further information and suggestions on the hiring process. The results of these groups will be available in spring 2012.

A survey of female students was conducted in October 2011 and the results from this will be combined with the faculty and staff survey results to see if there are similar concerns and /or student-focused issues. The Women of K-State Leadership Committee and President's Commission on the Status of Women will work with student leaders to determine recommended actions based on the results of the student survey. 

The Women of K-State Leadership Committee and President's Commission on the Status of Women will continue to follow-up on the activities outlined in this report and updates will be provided as new information is available. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Nancy Baker                                      Noel Schulz
Computer Information Specialist         Chair, WoKSLC                    
Former Chair, PCSW                          Paslay Professor, Elect. & Comp. Engr.
njbaker@k-state.edu                          noels@k-state.edu