Women in Higher Education

By W. Todd Furniss; Patricia Albjerg Graham | Go to book overview

KATHERINE M. KLOTZBURGER


Advisory Committee Role in Constructing Affirmative Action Programs

What role can an ad hoc advisory committee contribute to the construction of an affirmative action plan? The experiences of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women at the City University of New York (CUNY) aptly illustrate some functions of such a committee.

In late 1971, Chancellor Robert J. Kibbee appointed the CACSW to recommend changes in policy to redress discrimination against women and to advance the status of women at CUNY. "Its mission is important," said Chancellor Kibbee, "not only for CUNY, but because it suggests a new mechanism for providing university administrators with women's perspective in matters relating to employment of women."

The committee was not assigned a direct role in developing a comprehensive affirmative action program for the university. However, because affirmative action guidelines were, at that time, the sole legal means of achieving equality of opportunity and treatment for women in academe, the committee decided to give particular attention to the university's formulation of an affirmative action program.

The committee early decided that, to carry out its mandate, it must necessarily undertake a comprehensive statistical investigation and assessment of the status of women at CUNY, encompassing an employment inventory in line with affirmative action considerations for federal contractors. As a first step in determining any patterns of job discrimination against women at CUNY, the committee consulted the basic data files only to discover that the computer roster listed employees by last name and first initial, without indication of sex. Clearly, then, a major committee responsibility was

I wish to acknowledge the assistance of Linn Shapiro and Amy Bridges, members of the research staff of the CACSW, in the preparation of this paper.

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