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Spring 2004 Senate Plenary Planning Committee

Minutes for December 16, 2003


Attending:  Rita Bean, Lisa Brush, Jean Carr, Jean Ferketish, Kathryn Flannery, Irene Frieze, Susan Hansen, Ann Sutherland Harris, Stephanie Hoogendoorn, Scott Kiesling, Amy Knapp, Randi Koeske, Joan Lakoski, Padi McFadden, Audrey Murrell, Guy Nicoletti, Jo Olson, Lorie Osho, Ann Ostroski, Karin Porada, Maureen Porter, Jennifer Stephan, Judy Stern




Minutes Approved for September 26 planning committee meeting. See .


Date Finalized.  The Spring 2004 Plenary is scheduled for 2 to 5pm on April 7, 2004 in the Assembly Room, William Pitt Union.


Discussion of Major Speaker.  Joan Lakoski recommended that we invite Joan Reede from Harvard as our main speaker.  She is the Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at the Harvard Medical School.  Those at the meeting were generally in agreement about inviting her, but we decided to send out information and solicit comments over e-mail in December.  [This was done and all the comments were positive.  Dr. Reede has been informally invited and has agreed to come.]  For more information, see .


Guiding Principles for the Plenary.  Maureen Porter outlined 7 guiding principles for our Plenary activities.  These are accessibility, transparency, consequence, community and connection, humor, serious recognition, and perspective and context.  For more information, see .  There was general agreement that these were excellent guidelines.


Recognition for Service to Women at Pitt.  PACWC will develop a brief ceremony to recognize the many years of service by a senior women who is retiring.  This will probably be done before the major speaker, since the presentation will discuss the situation of women at Pitt, at least briefly.


Information Packets.  Our schedule for the afternoon plenary activities will be very full. Randi Koeske suggested that we have a packet of information available at the session for those who attend.  She agreed to coordinate this and welcomes suggestions about what should be in the packets or actual materials.  For further information, see .


Panel Discussion on “Strategies for Creating Change.”  Lisa Brush has agreed to organize this part of the plenary that will present information on things being done and discuss what else we might be doing.  Senior Vice Chancellor Arthur Levine has agreed to be one of the panelists.


Written report.  This will be presented at the Plenary and submitted for endorsement to Faculty Assembly and Senate Council.  Kathryn Flannery will draft the report.  Planned sections include the following:

a.  Mission of the committee.  Lisa Brush and Scott Kiesling.  A new draft of the mission statement was presented and approved.  Send any additional suggestions to Lisa and Scott.  See .

b.  Accomplishments of  and for women at Pitt.  A general approach throughout this section of the report will be to first review some of the goals articulated by the Provost about women and diversity and then to see how well we are meeting each of these goals. Jean Carr is coordinating this section.

c.  Current personnel policies relating to women and families.  We will ask the head of personnel, Ron Frisch, for information to include here.  Irene Frieze and Jean Ferketish are working on this.

d.  Best practices at comparison schools.  Kathryn Flannery is working on this section.  A summary of some of the things other schools are doing was presented at the meeting.  This is available at ***webaddress.

e.  Recommendations for Pitt.  Areas where additional work is needed.

1.  Training in leadership skills for women faculty.  Audrey Murrell is working on this.

2.  Proposal to encourage women staff to upgrade skills.  Ann Ostroski is working on this.  She presented a report on what she is doing that is available at .

3.  Including more women in the public face of Pitt.  Adding women on the webpages and using more women as major speakers.  Ann Sutherland Harris will work on this.

4.  Something for women in sciences and engineering?  Guy Nicoletti and Stephanie Hoogendoom will work on this.

5.  Something for women in health and/or medicine?  Padi McFadden will work on this.

6.  Something for women in humanities and social sciences?

7.  Addressing the needs of women students.  Jennifer Stephan and Karin Porada will work on this.


Related Workshops.  [Dates and locations to be determined].  Workshops will be asked to help in the development of recommendations for the written report.  They will also allow the Pitt community to discuss various related issues.  We were not able to discuss this in detail.  Another meeting is scheduled to do this on Wednesday, January 7 at 10am in 4127 Sennott Square.  Some ideas for workshops include:

1.      Discussion of careers for those interested in women’s issues.  Focus is on careers for undergraduates.  Jennifer Stephan

2.      Strategies for combining work and family.  Amy Wagner and Randi Koeske

3.      Discussion of issues women will encounter in professional jobs.  “Things your mother never told you.”  Stephanie Hoogendoom.

4.      Issues for women in the sciences.  Guy Nicoletti and Stephanie Hoogendoom

5.      How to be a more effective negotiator.  Katherine Wisner

6.      Changing the climate to improve the experiences of women students.


Related Exhibit:  The History of Women at Pitt display will again be shown in Hillman Library.  At least part of the exhibit will be shown at the Plenary Session itself.  Amy Knapp is coordinating this.  We are hoping to create at least one new panel on PACWC. 


Future Agenda Items

  • Book display at the Plenary?
  • Publicity for the Plenary and the report.


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