Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University Commission on the Status of Women records

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Southern Methodist University
Title: Southern Methodist University Commission on the Status of Women records
Inclusive Dates: 1973-2010
Bulk Dates: 1976-2010
Abstract: The Commission on the Status of Women at Southern Methodist University addressed women’s issues on campus. The records in this collection are from the third Commission on the Status of Women, which was formed by James H. Zumberge in September 1976. Materials in this collection include correspondence, minutes, meeting agendas, recommendations for action, annual reports to the president, subcommittee reports, memos, notes, newspaper and magazine articles, newsletters, questionnaires, surveys, workshop materials, and membership and subcommittee lists.
Accession No: SMU 2009.0419
Extent: 1 box (1 linear foot)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

The first Commission on the Status of Women was formed in 1971 in order to conduct a study at Southern Methodist University of what the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare called a "discriminatory attitude in regard to female employees in general." The Commission concluded its study by December 1971. The second Commission on the Status of Women formed in 1972 to assist the Vice-President, Dr. Charles R. Vail, and the Provost, Dr. H. Neill McFarland, in implementing the goals of the Affirmative Action Plan in relation to women. This Commission disbanded in 1974.

Southern Methodist University president James H. Zumberge re-established the Commission for the Status of Women in May of 1976 based on recommendations established by the SMU Affirmative Action Plan and the Women’s Faculty Caucus. Zumberge charged the Commission with the following responsibilities:

assist in enlarging the pool of candidates available for employment at SMU, undertake a study to determine the best methods through which personal and professional development could be achieved within the university environment and advise the appropriate administrative officials of actions to be recommended, help to sensitize the university community to the imperative of achieving equality of opportunity and treatment for women, focus attention of faculty and students upon the importance of actively encouraging women students to enter academic and professional training in fields other than those traditionally filled by women, and work closely with the President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity, using it as a resource body and as an instrument for complaint resolution.

Zumberge selected members for the Commission by asking for recommendations from deans and women’s groups on campus, as well as from various individuals. Membership included representatives from the faculty, student body, administrative staff, and non-academic employees. Bonnie Wheeler, Associate Professor of English, was the first chairperson of the Commission. There were 18 members when the Commission had its first meeting in September of 1976.

When R. Gerald Turner became president of SMU in 1995, he would return the Commission’s yearly report with a set of action items or next steps proposals—with copies to the departments connected with each issue. Some issues, of course, take years to resolve, but others were funded or resolved quickly.

Sources:

Richardson, Darlene. "Women’s committee defines goals." The Daily Campus, September 28, 1976, pg. 1.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection contains the records created and collected by Southern Methodist University’s Commission on the Status of Women from 1973 to 2010. The collection is in one box (37 Folders). Materials in this collection include correspondence, minutes, meeting agendas, recommendations for action, annual reports to the president, subcommittee reports, memos, notes, newspaper and magazine articles, newsletters, questionnaires, surveys, workshop materials, and membership and subcommittee lists.

The collection is arranged in four series. The material in each series is arranged by school year, and the contents of each folder are in chronological order. Undated material is placed in the back of the folder. The first series contains the Commission’s records from the 1970s. Issues addressed include affirmative action, women’s participation in the university’s athletics and band, equality in faculty salary, hiring, and promotion, need for child care on campus, cost of living raises, tuition benefits for employees, women and older students returning to school, and Blue Key Honor Society’s exclusion of women. Two items from the previous Commission on the Status of Women are also included.

The second series includes records from the 1980s. Salary equality, affirmative action, job mobility, sexual harassment, and non-sexist language were the main areas addressed during this decade. Other issues addressed include uniform job descriptions, women in college sports, grievance policies, sanitary napkin dispensing machines, health center protocol, maternity leave, rape prevention, safety on campus, and expanding the day care facility on campus.

The third series contains the Commission’s records from the 1990s. Records concerning a new day care facility on campus, salary equity, and sexual harassment are the most plentiful. The Commission also addressed maternity leave, serious offense student judicial procedures, recruiting minority women, health and safety, benefits for domestic partners, and drug and alcohol abuse.

The fourth series contains the Commission’s reports from the 2000s and President R. Gerald Turner’s response. Major concerns of the committee include: faculty and staff salary equity; health and safety oversight for students—including campus security and violence against women, and daycare issues for working faculty and staff.


 

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 4 series:
Series 1: 1970s
Series 2: 1980s
Series 3: 1990s
Series 4: 2000s

Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.


Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Southern Methodist University -- History.
Women -- Employment -- Texas -- Dallas.
Women in higher education --Texas -- Dallas.
Women college students -- Texas -- Dallas.
Affirmative action programs in education -- Texas -- Dallas.

Related Material

This is one of the collections in the Archives of Women of the Southwest.

For additional material pertaining to the Commission on the Status of Women please see:

Claire Cunningham papers, 1972-1997. (A 2002.0101)

Margaret Brand Smith papers (A 1996.2101)

The report of the Commission on the Status of Women, Southern Methodist University, 1972-73 by Southern Methodist University: Commission on the Status of Women. (LD5101 .S36499 Wom)

For additional material related to women’s issues in the Dallas area please see:

Emmie Baine papers (SMU 2006.0387)

Nancy Kruh papers on SMU women athletics and Title IX (SMU 2008.0414)

Southern Methodist University Human Resources records (SMU 1992.0134)

Southern Methodist University Women's Center records (SMU 2005.0370)

Southern Methodist University YWCA Records (SMU 2005.0369)


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Southern Methodist University Commission on the Status of Women records, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Transfer, 2005. Gift, Kathy Rowe, 2011.

Processing Information

The collection was received with the records arranged by both subject and date. Some files were organized according to which subcommittee produced them. The majority of the documents were arranged by date. However, most folders contained several years’ worth of documents, and they were in no apparent order within each folder. During processing, the records were arranged by school year, and materials in each folder were placed in chronological order. Acid-free paper was placed around newspaper clippings.

Finding aid written by

Allison Osborn, 2009.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2009.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
1970s
7 Folders

This series contains records created and collected by the Commission on the Status of Women between 1973 and 1980. It includes correspondence, recommendations for action, annual reports, minutes, meeting agendas, subcommittee reports, memoranda, notes, magazine and newspaper articles, a questionnaire on women’s intramurals and athletics, newsletters, and an employee attitudes survey. It is arranged by school year, and thereunder chronologically. Undated material is placed in the back.
Box Folder
1 1 Previous Commission on the Status of Women, 1972-1973, copy 1 of 2
2 Previous Commission on the Status of Women, 1972-1973, copy 2 of 2
3 May-December 1976
4 January-May 1977, and undated
5 1977-1978 school year
6 1978-1979 school year
7 1979-1980 school year



 

Series 2:
1980s
9 Folders

This series contains records created and collected by the Commission on the Status of Women between 1980 and 1988. It includes correspondence, minutes, notes, subcommittee reports, newspaper and magazine articles, recommendations for action, memoranda, a women’s symposium packet, a survey of women’s athletics, meeting agendas, membership and subcommittee lists, a staff survey, parental leave report, guidelines for the use of non-sexist language, workshop materials, and newsletters. It is arranged by school year, and thereunder chronologically. Undated material is placed in the back.
Box Folder
1 8 1980-1981 school year
9 1981-1982 school year
10 1982-1983 school year
11 1983-1984 school year
12 1984-1985 school year
13 1985-1986 school year
14 1986-1987 school year
15 1987-1988 school year
16 1980’s school year unknown



 

Series 3:
1990s
11 Folders

This series contains records created and collected by the Commission on the Status of Women between 1991 and 1998. It includes correspondence, memoranda, proposals, a sexual harassment survey and results, subcommittee reports, meeting agendas, membership and subcommittee lists, a sexual experiences questionnaire and results, minutes, annual reports, recommendations for action, notes, a survey on the need for day care, newspaper and magazine articles, child care materials from other universities, goals, newsletters, journal articles, and other reports and surveys. It is arranged by school year, and thereunder chronologically. Undated material is placed in the back.
Box Folder
1 17 1991-1992 school year
18 1992-1993 school year
19 1993-1994 school year
20 1994-1995 school year
21 1995-1996 school year
22 1996-1997 school year
23 June 1997-January 1998
24 February-May 1998
25 1997-1998 school year undated
26 1998-1999 school year
27 1999-2000 school year



 

Series 4:
2000s
10 Folders

This series contains the report created by the Commission on the Status of Women between 2001 and 2009. It includes the report and President R. Gerald Turner’s response.
Box Folder
1 28 2000-2001 school year
29 2001-2002 school year
30 2002-2003 school year
31 2003-2004 school year
32 2004-2005 school year
33 2005-2006 school year
34 2006-2007 school year
35 2007-2008 school year
36 2008-2009 school year
37 2009-2010 school year