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Campus Women Lead

Fall 2004/Winter 2005

Volume 34
Numbers 1-2

Engagement, Resistance
and Student Learning




Director's Outlook



From Where I Sit



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In Brief



National Initiatives



Global Perspective



Data Connection



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In Brief [Printer Friendly]

Engaged Women: Student Engagement Stronger at Women's Colleges
A new study by the National Survey of Student Engagement reports that students at women's colleges are more engaged than their peers at coeducational institutions. The findings reported in "Women Students at Coeducational and Women's Colleges: How Do Their Experiences Compare?" are a part of a larger study of student engagement at 290 four-year colleges, including twenty-six of the sixty-eight U.S. women's colleges. Compared to women at coeducational institutions, students at women's colleges report higher levels of academic challenge, higher degrees of engagement in active and collaborative learning, and more participation in activities that integrate curricular and co-curricular experiences. Among women's college students, however, African American and Asian Pacific Islander report lower levels of satisfaction than do their white peers. Nevertheless, the authors note that the study's findings support long-standing claims that women's colleges "offer female students a more equitable, and therefore a higher quality, developmentally powerful learning environment." While more research needs to be done to learn about the policies and practices that shape the learning environment at women's colleges, the study's findings suggest that coeducational institutions, which enroll 98% of all female students, have much to learn from women's colleges about improving the campus climate and learning environment for all students. To read the full report, visit www.iub.edu/%7Ensse/pdf/research_papers/ASHE_2003_womens_colleges.pdf.

Gender Equity on Campus: Two AAUW Reports
Two new reports from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) document women's progress--or lack thereof--towards achieving gender equity on campus.

Tenure Denied: Cases of Sex Discrimination in Academia (2004) reports on nineteen cases from the Legal Advocacy Fund's archive of sex discrimination cases. The focus of the report is not second-guessing judicial decisions. Instead, Tenure Denied draws on analyses of these cases to examine the tenure process and describes the difficulty of pinpointing and proving sex discrimination in the tenure promotion process. The report also challenges universities to take a closer look at their hiring and tenure/promotion systems, systems that privilege the status quo and perpetuate sex discrimination in academia. To read more about the report or to purchase a copy, visit www.aauw.org/newsroom/presskits/tenure_102004.cfm

Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Projects in the Sciences argues that the first step to achieving gender equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is to understand what has been done thus far and which approaches have been favored or ignored. To that end, Under the Microscope examines and analyzes more than 400 gender equity projects specifically aimed at increasing the participation of girls and women in STEM disciplines. The report identifies programmatic patterns, highlights the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and provides both a synthesis of gender equity projects and a road map for the next generation of STEM gender equity projects. Visit www.aauw.org/research/microscope.cfm to learn more about the report or to download a free copy.

Women of Color Research Collective Awarded Ford Foundation Grant
The Ford Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to Delia Saenz, Kathleen Wong(Lau), and Caroline Turner to examine the role of diversity in the professoriate in 20 public research universities. The research project, "Diversification and the Academy," will track changes in diversification practices related to recent critical Supreme Court cases and will also examine the experiences of women of color faculty. Saenz, Wong, and Turner are members of the Women of Color Research Collective (WoCRC), a national consortium of researchers and higher education administrators whose main activities involve research on the participation, contributions, and experiences of women of color in higher education. WoCRC, based in the Intergroup Relations Center (IRC) at Arizona State University, also works to identify and develop best practices in the area of diversification and the academy. Wong serves as the executive director of WoCRC.

NWSA Announces New Executive Director
After twelve years of volunteer leadership, the National Women's Studies Association board has decided that the organization has grown significantly and that the time has come to transition once again to a full-time executive director. After a national search, Allison Kimmich was appointed to the executive director position. Dr. Kimmich was among the first wave of Women's Studies PhDs in the United States, having earned her master's and doctorate degrees in Women's Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. She assumes leadership of NWSA after five years at Barnard College in New York where she was the Director of Pre-College Programs and taught Women's Studies. Her prior experience includes working with the Women Involved in Living and Learning program at the University of Richmond and serving as a consultant for the Georgia Department of Human Resources' sexual assault prevention program. Jacquelyn Zita, NWSA president and Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Minnesota, notes that Dr. Kimmich's leadership in building educational organizations, graduate training in Women's Studies, teaching experience, and activist record provide the necessary vision to steward the National Women's Studies Association into a new era of growth. With more than 2,000 individual and institutional members nationally and internationally, the National Women's Studies Association has been the leading organization dedicated to advancing feminist teaching and research for more than 25 years. NWSA conducts and disseminates research on graduate and undergraduate programs in Women's Studies, hosts an annual conference to highlight the latest issues in feminist teaching, scholarship, and activism, and publishes the NWSA Journal.

The Women's Review of Books to Suspend Production
The Women's Review of Books recently announced that its December 2004 issue will be its last, at least for the time being. Hosted by the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and in production for over twenty years, Women's Review costs have risen while subscription and advertising revenues have fallen over the course of the past ten years. Editor-in-chief Amy Hoffman attributes the financial difficulties to several sources: "the faltering economy, the conservative political climate, the rise of the Internet, the demise of independent bookstores, cutbacks in library subscription budgets, [and] paper and postage price increases." Hoffman reports that the Women's Review can no longer rely on WCW's support alone while continuing to operate at a loss. Because the financial troubles are chronic, the publication has decided against making an appeal to readers for more funds. Instead, production will be suspended while editors search for additional, long-term support for the Women's Review. For updates on the status of the Women's Review or to suggest ideas for funding, visit www.Wellesley.edu/womensreview.



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