FROM THE PRESIDENT
to The Gender Equity Report
2000, Provost Barchi and then Faculty Senate Chair Larry Gross,
convened a joint faculty/administration committee to undertake
a systematic review of the status of women faculty at the University
of Pennsylvania. Their final report
has been submitted and is published in this issue.
Equity at Penn
"good news" is that Penn's persistent focus since 1970
on gender equity issues among faculty has resulted in "marked
progress" in increasing the percentage of women among the
University's faculty (rising from 7% to 24% University-wide).
This reflects the notable gains that the University has made in
the hiring of women faculty over the past 10 years. The result
is roughly consistent with changes at Penn's peer institutions
during this period.
addition, the study found few instances of statistically significant
salary differentials between women and men. Also, women have entered
administrative positions in the schools and the University administration
in rough proportion to their numbers in the University's faculty.
And in areas such as the awarding of University Research Foundation
grants and Lindback Teaching Awards, women faculty have achieved
and maintain parity with their male colleagues.
challenge now is that Penn, like most of its peers, seems to have
reached a "plateau" in achieving gender equity among
the faculty. Many academic departments do a superb job of recruiting,
hiring, supporting, and promoting women faculty, but others--despite
our longstanding institutional commitment--still do not.
while the University has made considerable headway in appointing
women to University and mid-level administrative posts, women
are significantly under-represented among department chairs. Women
also tend to be under-represented among holders of endowed and
term chairs. Finally, while there was not a significant overall
difference in salaries between men and women, the fact that some
specific disciplinary groupings show women with lower salaries
is a matter of concern.
Penn women faculty are more satisfied with some aspects of their
work than women faculty nationally, survey data showed that most
women faculty and many of their male colleagues feel that women
are at a disadvantage in the University and--despite data to the
contrary--many women continue to believe they are paid less than
their male counterparts.
together, findings such as these buttress the committee's conclusion
that gender equity "problems reside primarily in individual
departments rather than at the University level." Thus, their
suggestion that we work more closely with the deans to develop
ways to correct these departmental problems seems appropriate,
and we intend to do so.
far back as the Cohn Commission report of 1971, Penn has made
an institutional commitment to gender equity amongst its faculty.
In the Agenda for Excellence (1995), Penn re-committed
itself to "attract and retain underrepresented minority and
on these commitments, persistent efforts have gotten us this far--but
it will require more to improve beyond this point in some instances
and to avoid slipping backwards.
with our own efforts we are asking the Deans and department chairs
to be responsible for redoubling their efforts to assure gender
equity among the faculty. Specifically, we will:
gender equity (including the accurate perception of
equity) again a priority of the new University strategic
plan now being prepared and ask that the Deans make it a major
priority in their new strategic plans.
with the Deans within the next two months to develop concrete
policies and methods to hold all academic departments accountable
to increase the number of women taking into account their
numbers in the Ph.D. pool.
develop concrete incentives and disincentives to
promote such increases.
the Deans and the Provost's Staff Conference to monitor the
appointment of women as senior faculty and bring better balance
to the appointment of women and men at the senior ranks.
both School and Administration efforts to retain senior women
gender equity in salaries in all of the Schools and ask the
Deans to correct any inequities found.
with the Deans to see that women attain the leadership and
scholarly rewards in the Schools consistent with their interests
and capabilities and find additional ways to enhance the environment
for women at Penn.
a series of discussions on this report and the University's
progress in responding to it in a variety of campus venues,
including the Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting in
December, the University Council meeting in January, and the
next meeting of the Affirmative Action Council.
back to University Council, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee,
the Affirmative Action Council, and the campus community (via
Almanac) by the beginning of the next academic
year on the completion of the steps outlined above.
annually to University Council, the Faculty Senate Executive
Committee, the Affirmative Action Council, and the campus
community (via Almanac) in the fall of each academic
year on our progress in improving Penn's gender equity profile.
this occasion of the 125th anniversary of women students at Penn,
we take great pride in Penn's achievements in making women faculty
integral and equitably represented members of the University faculty.
Given Penn's record of past success in this area, we are confident
that focused attention to the current challenges of furthering
equity at the departmental level across the University will help
assure continued progress towards full gender equity among Penn's