Spring 2004 Senate Plenary Planning Committee
Meeting on Workshops
Minutes for January
Attending: Fran Czak, Jean Ferketish, Irene Frieze, Stephanie Hoogendoorn, Randi
Koeske, Padi McFadden,
Ellen Olshansky, Jo Olson, Ann Ostroski,
Richard Tobias, Amy Wagner, Kathie Wishner, Darlene Zellers
We began the meeting with a review of plans for Main event
activities and written report. For more
information on this, see http://www.pitt.edu/~frieze/senateplenary.html
We than discussed three different
scenarios for the workshops, described below as Plans A, B and C:
A. We should have two workshops
before the main event. [12-12:45
and 1-1:45]. These would be small,
informal discussions held at tables near the main event room. Each table
would have one or two facilitators who would lead the discussion. Snacks and beverages would be served.
B. Like Plan A, except that we
would have one workshop from 12-1:30 to allow for more discussion and for
people to have a break before the main event at 2.
C. Workshops would be held
throughout the Spring and Summer terms. Events would be advertised, along with
the main events. Each would have a
brief presentation and then discussion following this. Workshop participants would be asked to
contribute feedback and ideas for the written report for the Plenary.
In order to make sure we heard from everyone, each person
was asked to provide her or his thoughts.
Points raised included:
Wisner. Preferred Plans B and
C. Suggested we include a workshop
on negotiation skills and perhaps something on successful women in
Preferred B and C. Asked
about programs specifically for graduate and undergraduate students. Mentioned that we might meet with
student groups to discuss the plenary and publicize the event and get
student support. She volunteered to
coordinate these efforts.
Preferred B and C, pointing out that it would be better not to have
multiple workshops scheduled in the same time period. She suggested that we think of
scheduling all the workshops into a limited block of time, perhaps with a
“women’s week” of events.
- Ann Ostroski.
Pointed out that we can’t make the workshops too close together in
time if we want staff to be able to participate. Suggested that we schedule them over a
two week period. We need to think
carefully about the times of day that will work best.
- Ellen Olshansky.
Mentioned that having a one or two day conference separate from the
Plenary might be an excellent way of women
getting to know each other and having an intense experience. Even if we can’t do this in the Spring, it might be one of our recommendations for a
future event. She volunteered to
help organize a workshop on Creating A Relational
Wagner. Agreed that we need to
spread the workshops over a period of several days, at least, so that
people can attend more than one.
She described some specific ideas she has been working on for the
workshop on Combining Work and Family.
The best format might be to have some type of handout from the
Benefits office about family-friendly policies and have that to hand out
at the panel and then follow this with informal discussion.
Tobias. Suggested that we need to
create a culture so that people are talking about the plenary issues and
generating excitement. We might
schedule some early events to help in this. He mentioned that another idea that has
been successfully used to get people talking about the same issues is that
we could all read and discuss one book.
- Padi McFadden.
Pointed out that we need to think carefully about the audience for
the different workshops. She also
liked the idea of going to student groups to get more students involved
and interested. We could even set
up a listing of all the women’s groups on campus so that groups would know
more about one another.
Olson. Preferred Plan C. She pointed out that we need to be
careful not to promise more than we can do. We only have a few months left for
planning and publicizing all our events.
- Jean Ferketish.
Pointed out that we need to think carefully about what we are
trying to accomplish. Do we just
want publicity for the Plenary event, or do we
want long term change? It is
important that we devise a set of recommendations for the future.
- Randi Koeske. Pointed out that in thinking about work
and family issues, we need to remember that a major reason women leave
Pitt or turn down job offers is the lack of positions for their
partners. Solutions to this problem
need to be included in our report and recommendations. We should think about handouts that
might be useful for workshops. She
will be coordinating a packet of handouts for the plenary itself and can
also help with the workshops. We
should think about publicity and how to reach interested groups such as
There was general agreement with Plan C, with the
modification that most of the workshops be held from March 29 through April 2.
We then discussed questions such as: What is the purpose of
the workshops? Who is the audience for
the workshops? What should the content
of the workshops be? When should the
workshops be held?
Since we ran out of time, we decided to have another meeting
in late January to continue the discussion of the workshops and finalize issues
such as when and where they should be held.
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