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 2021-22 academic year, the UFGEC focused on issues related to women faculty equity via the following subcommittees:

  • Gender Differences associated with the Long Term Impacts of COVID-19 on research, teaching, service and career paths – Chair, Lynn Katz
    Numerous studies have highlighted the greater impact of COVID-19  on productivity metrics tied to research and publication for female over male faculty.  Additionally,  female faculty (and minorities) have continued to assume greater services roles and more family caregiving during the COVID pandemic  compared to their male counterparts. UT and other academic institutions across the nation must proactively document and address these concerns with innovative strategies that enable all faculty to build (or rebuild) their research programs and achieve their potential across research, teaching and service. This subcommittee will focus on:
    1. Identifying best practices and strategies that have been successful at UT and across the nation;
    2. Provide recommendations to the Provost for policies that should be implemented at UT;
    3. Helping with any documentation effort  (e.g., data  collection or/and analysis) that the Provost office might request.
  • Academic and Research Leadership Program – Chair, Shardha Jogee
    University leadership development programs that train faculty members who are under-represented in academic and research leadership roles can help to foster a culture of inclusive excellence and breakthroughs. Such a program can provide mentoring and training in key skills, such as communication, negotiation, team management, mentoring,  development of strategic plans, strategies to foster a diverse and inclusive culture, networking, advocacy, external relations, fundraising, writing large grants. Charges to the sub-committee include, but are not limited to:
    1. Help to assess the demographics of faculty in academic and research leadership roles (e.g., department chairs and associate chairs, associate deans, directors of centers, organized research units and large research initiatives);
    2. Provide perspectives on whether a leadership development program (such as the one outlined above or based on a different model) would be useful, and provide recommendations on the recruitment, mentoring and training components of such a program;
    3. Provide recommendations on how this program could build on existing programs at UT Austin and aspirational peer institutions.
  • Promotion and Tenure for Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty and Professional Track Faculty – Chair, Becky Petit
    The guidelines for promotion and tenure for faculty at UT continue to remain ambiguous especially with respect to early promotions, promotions from associate to full professors, considerations of diversity statements, professional track faculty promotion, COVID impact statements.    As a result, the implementation of these guidelines is not consistent across departments, colleges and schools.  The goals for this committee are to:
    1. Collect data to assess how specific promotion and tenure track guidelines are applied across campus. This year the focus will be on:
      • COVID impact statements, diversity statements and early promotion criteria
      • Practices In place to support promotion of professional track faculty
    2. Develop recommendations for improving consistent implementation of promotion guidelines
    3. Identify barriers and opportunities that hinder and support timely promotion to full professor, senior lecturer, etc.

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
Megan Alrutz, College of Fine Arts
Germine Awad
, College of Education
Jane Dimmit Champion, School of Nursing
Julia Clarke, Jackson School of Geosciences
Sirkka Jarvenpaa, Red McCombs School of Business
Lee Ann Kahlor, Moody College of Communication Smilja Milovanovic-Bertram, School of Architecture
Smilja Milovanovic-Bertram, School of Architecture
Sarah Norris
, School of Information
Sheila Olmstead
, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Becky Pettit, College of Liberal Arts
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
Joe Cutbirth, Faculty Welfare Committee Representative
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