Affirmative action for women: an assessment of progress at doctorate-granting universities and an analysis of successful approaches
Hyer, Patricia B.
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Implementation of affirmative action policies at doctorate-granting universities was examined using quantitative and qualitative research methods. The first phase included a quantitative assessment of the collective and individual progress made in hiring and promoting women faculty during the 1970s. Institutional data reported in the annual Higher Education General Information Survey were used to construct an index reflecting the degree of change experienced by the institution in five areas. After institutions were rank ordered on the basis of their composite change score, three of the most successful were selected for site visits. Major findings from the first phase of the research include: 1. The percentage of women on the faculties of doctorate-granting universities has increased from 14.7% in 1971 to 18.8% in 1980. However, the variation in current female representation is great, from 0% to 68%. Women are least well represented at universities characterized by a low percentage of women students, a technical curriculum, and a strong research orientation. 2. There is also wide variation in the amount of change that has occurred on “these campuses . At some institutions, the percentage of women has increased considerably more than the average (4%); at others, the percentage has decreased. Greater change occurred at universities which had a very low percentage of women in the base year, expanded their faculty, and were located in New England. The second phase of the study included on-site interviewing of faculty and administrators, and document review to discover what strategies, policies, programs and other factors were associated with positive change for women at the three successful institutions selected in phase one. Commitment of top administrators was a crucial factor in successful affirmative action implementation. A vital aspect of leader commitment was the creation and support of effective affirmative action staff roles. Women's groups also played an important role in pressuring for change. Federal intervention mobilized leaders at the point of policy adoption, but had little effect on implementation. All three campuses monitored faculty appointments closely and gave affirmative action issues high administrative priority.
- Doctoral Dissertations