Faculty Council Committee Corner: Women

CU Women Succeeding Symposium among group’s many initiatives
By Staff

Faculty Council Committee members, top from left, Melzer, Anderson, Piket-May, Ferguson, Gruber, Buszek; bottom from left, Gillanders, Kass-Wolf, Johnson, Bugros McLean, Kopaneva, Tallman, Notestine.
Faculty Council Committee members, top from left, Melzer, Anderson, Piket-May, Ferguson, Gruber, Buszek; bottom from left, Gillanders, Kass-Wolf, Johnson, Bugros McLean, Kopaneva, Tallman, Notestine.

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing CU Connections series in which the Faculty Council highlights each of its committees and their efforts. See past installments here.

More than 250 CU faculty and staff gathered Feb. 22 at CU Boulder for the 17th Annual CU Women Succeeding Symposium. This annual event, presented by the Faculty Council Women’s Committee, provides professional development and networking opportunities to all attendees.

The symposium is organized by the Faculty Council Women’s Committee, which is charged with: assessing the cultural climate of the university as it pertains to women’s opportunities for advancement, productivity, and appropriate compensation; making recommendations for creating an academic environment that fosters women’s success; working to assure fairness in the recruitment and retention of women; developing support networks and recommending policies to address the needs of women; and administering the Elizabeth Gee Memorial Lectureship Award.

Our theme this year was Women Engaged and On the Move. We encouraged participants to reflect on how their engagement in their career empowered them and how their movement has resulted in personal and professional accomplishments. We challenged attendees to think to the future of how new or renewed engagement might move them in an even better direction.

We started the symposium this year with a mini-retreat organized by Kate Tallman. The Faculty Council Women’s Committee and the CU Boulder Chancellor’s Committee for Women hosted junior faculty women who joined CU in Fall 2018.  

The symposium consisted of numerous breakout sessions, lightning-round mini-talks, and our keynote – this year, a mid-day panel discussion, Women Leading the Way in the Innovation University, led and moderated by Terri Fiez, vice chancellor for research and innovation and professor of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at CU Boulder.

We were pleased to present this year’s Elizabeth Gee Memorial Lectureship Award to Anne M. Libby, PhD. The vice chair of academic affairs and professor in the CU School of Medicine, Libby presented the Gee Award lecture, speaking about her movement through her career.

One of her key messages to attendees was that “No one succeeds alone, so find trusted others and nurture relationships.” The selection committee and attendees were impressed with her success, energy and determination. We look forward to her continued leadership and mentoring of women within the CU community.

The growth and longevity of the event is not possible without the generous support of our CU sponsors, which allowed us to keep this year’s symposium free for attendees and available for up to 400 people. Together, we are advancing an academic environment that fosters the professional success of all CU women.

Our successful symposium could not have been possible without the outstanding administrative and operational work of Rian Cheley, administrator for Faculty Council. We also would like to thank the Faculty Council Women’s Committee representatives Kate Tallman, CU Boulder; Polly Bugros McLean, CU Boulder; Annie Melzer, CU systems; and Jan Owens, CU Boulder Chancellor’s Committee on Women representative, for the time and effort they poured into making this year’s symposium a great success.

Other initiatives in which we have been actively engaged during the current academic year include advocacy for the addition of infertility benefits, advocacy for increased lactation space resources and a lactation policy, involvement in reviewing and revising CU Regent Laws and Policies and Administrative Policy Statements, and reviewing and revising our committee charges.

We aim to create new plans of action for the upcoming academic year around ensuring availability and access to gender-neutral bathrooms on each campus and advocating for increased involvement of women faculty members in academic leadership search committees.

University of Colorado Faculty Council Women’s Committee members (2018-2019): Sarah Anderson (co-chair; CU Anschutz, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences), Melinda Piket-May (co-chair; CU Boulder, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering), Jane Kass-Wolf (CU Anschutz, Nursing), Michaele Ferguson (CU Boulder, Political Science), June Gruber (CU Boulder, Psychology and Neuroscience), Kathryn (Kate) Tallman (CU Boulder, University Libraries), Polly Bugros McLean (CU Boulder, Media Studies), Irina Kopaneva (CU Colorado Springs, Communication), Lori Notestine (CU Colorado Springs, Counseling and Human Services), Cristina Gillanders (CU Denver, Education), Maria Buszek (CU Denver, Visual Arts), Heather Johnson (CU Denver, Education), and Annie Melzer (CU system, Employee Services)