In the Fall of 1998, President Katharine Lyall announced the establishment of the UW System Initiative on the Status of Women. She appointed two ad hoc committees--the Committee on the Status of Women, and the Steering Committee on the Summer Leadership Institute. Chosen from recommendations made by Chancellors and others, members were selected to represent all UW System institutions, as well as specific constituencies within the system, such as students, faculty, and both academic and classified staff. The University of Wisconsin System Initiative on the Status of Women began as a one-year project designed to evaluate all aspects of university life as they relate to the status of women students, staff, faculty, and administrators. In accordance with the recommendation to create an effective organizational structure for improving the status of women in the University of Wisconsin System, the position of UW System Coordinator for Women's Issues was created in October 2000. Louise Root-Robbins was hired to oversee the implementation of the recommendations detailed in the 1999 UW System Status of Women report. Under the direction of President Lyall, and based on the campus progress reports, the UW System Coordinator for Women's Issues will collaborate with all UW institutions' faculty and staff to increase effective actions toward achieving the following objectives:

  • Improve campus climate/reduce violence in any form;
  • Recruit and retain more women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology related areas;
  • Create environments that allow for increased balance between work/study and personal life; and
  • Promote increased participation in decision-making, governance and leadership.

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