September 10, 2010

COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN:

2009-2010 ACADEMIC YEAR FINAL REPORT TO THE SENATE

Profs. Patricia Kitcher & Maya Tolstoy, Co-Chairs

                                                                                                                     
Consensual Relationship Policy: We've continued to work with Associate Provost Susan Rieger in theOffice of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action on fine-tuning the Consensual Relationship Policy, which the CSW helped craft in previous years.  Designed to bring our policy more into line with our peer schools, the policy explains steps that must be taken to avoid any conflict of interest in the event of a consensual relationship between a faculty member and a student. .  The policy is currently in the last stages of review in the Provost’s Office.   Arrangements for review by deans and chairs will shortly be announced.  The hope is that the policy will be completed by the end of this academic year.     

Academic Calendar: We provided requested input into the proposed changes in the Academic Calendar.  We encouraged the Senate’s Education Committee to consider aligning both fall and spring calendars more closely with New York City school vacations to ease the burden on parents with school-age children. 

Manhattanville Planning: We provided our recommendations for the Manhattanville campus and in particular emphasized the need for on-site childcare. We noted that a full-service childcare center in Manhattanville could efficiently solve many of the University’s childcare problems in a cost effective way. It would also dramatically signal Columbia’s commitment to being family-friendly.

Use of Fringe:  We spent much of the year beginning a study of the equitable distribution of fringe. A significant obstacle was that, although we asked several relevant offices for the needed data, no one provided these data to us.  Although we requested a place on the recently established Task Force on Fringe Benefits Programs, the CSW was not represented in the final 27-member panel. This was a disappointment. We hope to provide input to the task force through the Senate.

Vice-Provost Position:  The CSW met with Provost Steele concerning the administration’s views on diversity issues formerly handled by the Vice-Provost for Diversity.  We are pleased to see that he has now filled the position of Vice-Provost for Academic Planning, and we look forward to working with Vice-Provost Andrew Davidson in the coming year.