the President and Provost
Equity: Penn's First Annual Report
response to the Gender Equity Report of December 4,
2001, the President and Provost described a series
of steps Penn would take to redouble our efforts to
assure gender equity among the faculty. Although the
University has made gains in the hiring of women faculty
over the past 10 years, we had reached a hiring "plateau" that
prompted additional attention and effort in this critical
area, in particular at the school and department level.
The President and Provost pledged to report back to
the University Council, the Faculty Senate Executive
Committee, the Affirmative Action Council and the
campus community (via Almanac)
during the 2002-2003 academic year on the completion
of the steps outlined that are designed to eventually
improve Penn's gender equity profile. This report
provides an overview of the steps that were proposed
and have since been taken.
Proposed and Taken
Gender Equity a priority in the new strategic
#1 of the University's strategic plan, presented in
2, 2002 Almanac, focuses on the
faculty. Building and retaining a universally outstanding
faculty requires us to increase the presence and leadership
of women and underrepresented minorities on the faculty.
This goal also recommends that the administration
assist schools and departments in identifying outstanding
candidates for the faculty, paying particular attention
to gender and minority equity. The deans have been
asked to address these same priorities as they develop
their school plans, which will be completed by mid-spring
semester, 2003. As part of its strategic planning
process, the School of Medicine has identified as
one of its goals the creation of a more diverse faculty.
To this end, two faculty work groups have been named,
one to look at gender related issues and the second
focusing on underrepresented minorities.
with the deans, develop concrete policies to
hold all academic departments accountable for
hiring women, taking into account their numbers
in the Ph.D. pool.
a meeting with the deans in February, the Provost
issued a memorandum on March 4, 2002, asking them
to take a number of steps to correct the problems
noted in the Gender Equity Report. For each faculty
search undertaken, the deans were asked to track the
number of women in the department and the Ph.D. pool;
the number of women on the search committee; the steps
being taken to learn about senior women in the field
who may be targets of opportunity for recruitment;
and to track all relevant data relating to gender
equity throughout the hiring process. This coming
year the Deans will be required to provide updates
on their efforts, particularly in those departments
well below the expected numbers given the pool in
concrete incentives to promote an increase in
June 12, 2002, the Provost announced the creation
of a new fund to provide financial support for the
recruitment of new, and the retention of current senior
women faculty. The schools have also developed incentives
to correct gender inequities. For example, the Deans
of Wharton and SAS have asked their department chairs
to look for targets of opportunity for women in fields
where they are underrepresented.
and department chairs alike are focusing on those
departments that have traditionally hired a disproportionate
percentage of male faculty, and appropriate measures
are being developed to ensure equal opportunity exists
throughout the University for qualified women.
of searches by the deans has helped to ensure the
consideration of gender equity. In several instances
this past year, deans have identified search processes
that were not designed to promote gender equity sufficiently. In
those instances, the deans asked that the search process
be corrected to assure the appropriate consideration
of women candidates. Once compliance with gender equity
guidelines was assured, the searches moved forward.
example, SAS intends to increase the involvement of
SAS Affirmative Action officers in all of its searches.
Furthermore, the Dean and his Associate Deans will
be convening regular meetings with women faculty of
all ranks to address strategies for the recruitment
and retention of women faculty and other work-related
appointments of women as senior faculty and bring
better balance to the appointment of men and
women at the senior ranks.
of women to the senior faculty are now being monitored
by both the deans and the Provost Staff Conference.
efforts to retain senior women faculty.
addition to the fund mentioned above, the Provost
has encouraged the deans to seek opportunities for
research funding, endowed chairs and other leadership
opportunities that would enhance the careers of senior
women at Penn and increase the likelihood of retaining
them. Several senior women faculty members were retained
as a result of mutual efforts made by the Deans and
gender equity in salaries in all the schools
and ask the deans to correct any inequities found.
Provost conducted another review of faculty salaries
in spring 2002 and found, as in the earlier study,
that in the overall analysis there were no gender
differences in salary. Salaries were also examined
more closely in all the schools and where specific
individual inequities existed, the Provost asked the
deans to correct them. The deans also have taken concerted
action to identify individual professors whose compensation
may be lagging.
with the deans to ensure that women attain leadership
and scholarly rewards in the Schools consistent
with their interests and capabilities and to
enhance the environment for women at Penn.
Provost's memorandum of March 4, 2002 also asked the
deans to track research space, leadership positions,
endowed chairs and teaching awards for women.
example, two committees in the School of Nursing are
developing specific recommendations that grew out
of a recent Faculty Retreat focusing on a number of
topics including Building Community/Work Environment
and Diversity and Cultural Competence. Among the strategies
discussed: a faculty orientation program that would
focus on professional, instructional, organizational
and leadership development; a more formalized program
for mentoring Assistant and Associate Professors;
the creation of greater opportunities for faculty
collaboration; and the possible development of a comprehensive
plan that would help to advance the tripartite mission
of the school--research, teaching and practice--while
facilitating the recruitment and retention of a more
the publication of the Gender Equity Report last year,
SAS scheduled a series of discussions with women faculty
to talk about ways to enhance the environment for
women in SAS. When appropriate, the School will facilitate
mentoring for junior female faculty by a faculty member
from outside that junior woman's department. The School
will also designate a person in the SAS administration
as a point person' for issues of concern to
women faculty, acting both as a resource and, as appropriate,
as a mediator.
Law School has made a concerted effort to appoint
qualified women to leadership positions, most recently
a woman was appointed Vice Dean for Student Services.
order to improve the visibility of women in Penn Engineering,
the School started its "Grace Hopper Lectures
Program." With this initiative, individual departments
invite accomplished women faculty members from other
institutions to visit Penn and deliver research seminars.
Grace Hopper lecturers are also asked to meet with
women on the faculty and with women undergraduate
and graduate students. They thus serve as role models,
have an opportunity to share their experiences and
to provide advice on career issues and challenges
faced by women.
a series of discussions on this report and the
University's progress, including the Faculty
Senate Executive Committee, University Council
and Affirmative Action Council.
Lowery and Phoebe Leboy, co-chairs of the Committee
on Gender Equity, presented the Gender Equity Report
to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on December
12, 2001. Drs. Lowery and Leboy also presented the
Report to University Council during its January, 2002
meeting. The Affirmative Action Council members heard
from Barbara Lowery in January of 2002 and from School
of Arts and Sciences Dean Sam Preston on the issue
of gender equity later in the spring semester.
it is too early to expect to see quantifiable changes
as a result of the steps taken since last winter,
their cumulative effect reinforces the central idea
that gender equity is a shared priority among all
of Penn's schools and departments. The steps taken
to date will also help instill and reinforce an atmosphere
at Penn in which the perception of equity and
the reality of equity are synonymous. Meaningful
change will come incrementally, and over a greater
period of time, but every improvement will be important
and will be tracked. The final commitment made in
the President's and Provost's Reply to The Gender
Equity Report was to provide annual updates to the
University community on the progress made in the preceding
year. They look forward to sharing Penn's progress
next year in greater detail when they will be in a
position to discuss specific actions taken within
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 13, November 19, 2002