University Faculty Gender Equity Council

Background

Faculty gender equality is an essential component of a well-functioning diverse and inclusive university. Recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty is a key step toward promoting gender equity. Gender equity also requires continuous examination and improvement of policies and practices that promote inclusion, reduce bias, and increase diversity. To advance gender equity, the UFGEC was formed under the charge of the Executive Vice President and Provost in 2014. (Prior to the formation of the UFGEC, the Council on the Status of Women Faculty considered the issue of gender equity following the 2008 Gender Equity Task Force Report.)

The purpose of the UFGEC is to advance gender equity among faculty at UT Austin. The Council annually conducts an analysis of factors that demonstrate progress towards this goal, identifies areas for improvement, and develops best practices and solutions to promote a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive university.

Previous UFGEC work has focused on employment issues, climate and family health issues, and best practices. For example, the Council engaged in analysis of gender inequities in compensation, time to promotion for both associate professor (tenure) and full professor, and endowment decisions. Additionally, the Council has presented best practices for equity, diversity, and inclusion, including specific ideas for recruitment, retention, and promotion. The Council conceived and developed the Provost’s Distinguished Service Academy to recognize faculty who exemplify scholarship and have extraordinary achievements in mentoring and service to their college, the University, and the State of Texas and the Nation.

The UFGEC is joined by the Council for Racial and Ethnic Equity and Diversity (CREED) and the Council for LGBTQ+ Access, Equity, and Inclusion (Q+AEI) in seeking to remove barriers, ensure fairness in University policies and practices, and facilitate an inclusive climate of advancement and growth for all faculty.

Current Work

The UFGEC continues to fulfill its mission to advise the executive vice president and provost through collection and analysis of data and through recommendation of best practices for achieving equity and recruiting, retaining, and advancing women faculty members.

xThe UFGEC along with CREED and Q+AEI, the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Vice Provost for Diversity monitor progress through annual data collection and analysis from UT Austin and peer institutions.

For the 2019-20 academic year, the UFGEC focused on issues related to women faculty equity via the following subcommittees:

  • Data and COACHE – Chair, Shardha Jogee
    This subcommittee helped with the 2020 COACHE survey by developing relevant questions and providing input on how to communicate, request, and encourage participation, and how to address confidentiality concerns. The committee also provided questions to the Provost office to help guide their data collection on endowments from different colleges, with the long-term goal of exploring potential gender differences among endowment holders and evaluating the processes via which endowments are allocated across the University. The committee also provided best practices on the allocation of endowments, and on the promotion and tenure process. The Chair served on the Misconduct Working Group set up by President Fenves to explore how UT Austin can better address sexual misconduct, and shared recommendations from the UFGEC’s work in 2018-19 on Title IX issues. Many of these recommendations (e.g., better communication of findings of sexual misconduct to stakeholders, stronger disciplinary actions, and improved streamlined resources) have been adopted by UT.
  • Diversity and Inclusion and Title IX – Chair, Shelley Payne
    This subcommittee considered diversity and inclusion statements, including how to prepare and evaluate the statements as well as how to promote wider adoption throughout the University for candidates, merit review, and promotions. This subcommittee also continued the work that has already been done to understand current practices and develop best practices for Title IX in order to foster an inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Mentoring, Sponsorships, and Awards – Chair, Liz Jacobs
    This subcommittee analyzed how to implement best practices for faculty mentoring and sponsorship. The committee focused on mentoring and sponsorship at all levels of faculty development. This subcommittee also considered best practices in decisions on endowments, research and teaching awards.

For the 2020-21 academic year, the UFGEC is focusing on issues related to the impact of COVID-19 on productivity measures used by the University for evaluation of promotion and tenure, and identifying potential long term impacts of COVID-19 on productivity, promotion, and gender equity.

2021-22 UFGEC Membership

Executive Coordination
Edmund T. Gordon, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Co-chairs
Shardha Jogee, College of Natural Sciences
Lynn Katz, Cockrell School of Engineering

Members
Amelia Acker, School of Information Megan Alrutz, College of Fine Arts
Germine Awad, College of Education
Jane Dimmit Champion, School of Nursing
Julia Clarke, Jackson School of Geosciences
Jennifer Glass, College of Liberal Arts
Sirkka Jarvenpaa, Red McCombs School of Business
Lee Ann Kahlor, Moody College of Communication Smilja Milovanovic-Bertram, School of Architecture
Sheila Olmstead, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Michele Rountree, Steve Hicks School of Social Work
Elizabeth Sepper, School of Law
Holli Temple, College of Pharmacy
Yvette Williams-Brown, Dell Medical School

Members-at-large
Shuping Chen, Red McCombs School of Business
Minette Drumwright, Moody College of Communication
Fernanda Leite, Cockrell School of Engineering
Jennifer Maynard, Cockrell School of Engineering
Elizabeth Mueller, School of Architecture
Shelley Payne, College of Natural Sciences
Christen Smith, College of Liberal Arts

Ex Officio Members
Caroline Bartel, Office of the Faculty Ombuds
Tasha Beretvas, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Marquita Booker, Office for Inclusion and Equity
Andrea Gore, Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, Faculty Council
Domino Perez, Faculty Council
Mackenzie Smith, Student Government
Mark J. T. Smith, Graduate School
Betty Jeanne Taylor, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
Del Watson, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost