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Women at ODU : Builders of Communities & Dreams
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The University Women's Caucus, formed in 1974, is an organization of women whose concerns include actively advancing the welfare of women throughout the university. Specifically, the caucus:

  • aids affirmative-action efforts to recruit and retain women
  • lobbies for equal treatment in salary, rank, tenure, promotion, research leave, and responsibilities
  • sponsors workshops and presentations on a wide variety of topics for personal and professional development
  • provides a forum to discuss policies and decisions affecting women on campus http://orgs.odu.edu/womenscaucus/ 

Carolyn Rhodes, 1970s
Carolyn Rhodes

VP Letter to the Editor VP 1979
"Affirmative Action at ODU." Letter by Carolyn Rhodes, June 19, 1979, Virginian-Pilot

Co-organizers of the Faculty Women’s Caucus of 1974

 

VP Letter to the Editor

Dorothy Johnson
Dorothy Johnson

Read an excerpt from an oral history interview with Dorothy Johnson on Sept. 26, 1980 discussing the Caucus

"Unbiasing." Letter by Carolyn Rhodes, Sept. 28, 1976, Virginian-Pilot


 

Article from the Mace and Crown discussing
the formation of a student women's caucus

"Student and faculty women form caucus"

Building a Woman-Friendly Campus:
Some Selected Achievements of the Old Dominion University Women’s Caucus

from http://orgs.odu.edu/womenscaucus/

Surveys : Since 1974, the Caucus has sponsored a number of surveys. The most recent survey was done in 2004-2005. Based on this survey, the Caucus will provide a series of opportunities for women and minorities to discuss their concerns and suggestions with various administrators and suggest solutions for the perceived "chilly climate" on campus.

Salary and Equity : In the early years of the Caucus, members learned that at every rank women were earning about $1000.00 a year less than men. Now the Caucus completes annual salary and equity reviews for both faculty and faculty administrators and makes recommendations for gender and equity adjustments. Although the administration would prefer less frequent reviews, the Caucus encourages them to continue annual reviews.

Promotion and Tenure : By 1980, the Caucus had begun sponsoring workshops on faculty tenure and promotion; these are usually held in the spring.

Safety : Since 1974, the Caucus has worked with University officials and police on issues of campus safety such as adequate lighting, the campus escort service, and sexual assault. In 2001, the University formed its first "official" Safety Committee.

Sexual harassment : The Caucus funded an expert on sexual harassment to meet with administrators and faculty. Partly as a result of these meetings, in the mid 1980's the current sexual harassment policy was adopted.

Family Matters: The Caucus was instrumental in helping revise the tenure policy for faculty, allowing faculty to temporarily stop the 'tenure clock' when they must care for dependents. The Board of Visitors approved this revision in 2002. For many years, members of the Caucus worked with faculty and administrators to provide more adequate childcare on campus and day care became available in the Child Development Center in the mid 1990's. As a result, the situation has improved somewhat, but issues of childcare remain a concern for many women on campus.

Speakers: In cooperation with other campus organizations, the Caucus has sponsored and co-sponsored a series of speakers on subjects important to women, including professional advancement, racism, safety, finance, negotiating skills, health, and managing stress.

Organizations That Benefit Women : Partly because of Caucus efforts, the Women's Center, Women's Studies and the AA/EO office were established in the mid 1970's.

Professional and Moral Support: The Caucus provides opportunities for women to network, share information, and mentor each other. Through the list-serve, web page, and announcements, Caucus members can share information about opportunities for the advancement of women and minorities at Old Dominion University and at other universities. The Caucus supports services and programs for both the Women's Center and Women's Studies. The achievements of women are recognized both on the Caucus web page and at an annual award ceremony for women who have made positive contributions to the cause of women at the University.

Plaques hang in Webb Center's Honor Hall with Women's Caucus Past Presidents and Annual Award Recipients.

Caucus Past Presidents


Award Winners
1974
Lindsey Rettie
1988
Karen Polonko
1989
Carolyn Rhodes
1990
Jane Hager
1991
Shirley Glover
1992
Maggi Curry-Williams
1993
Sue Gelo-Doviak
1994
Julie Dodd
1995
Mikki Flowers
1996
Lorraine Connaughton
1997
Glenda Humphreys
1998
Wendy Larry
1999

Janis Sanchez

2000
Debbie Byrne
2001
Anita Fellman
2002
Judy Bowman
2003
Renee Olander
2004

Mona Danner

2005

Barbara Winstead

Past Presidents
1974-75
Dorothy Johnson
1975-76
Tania Modieski
1976-77
Carolyn Rhodes
1977-78
Pat Hyer
1978-80
Julie White
1980-81
Fran Hassencahl
1981-82
Freda Stohrer
1982-83
Ellen Morris
1983-85
Deanne Shuman
1985-86
Karen Polonko
1986-87
Shirley Glover
1987-88
Jane Hager
1988-89
Janet Katz
1989-90
Lorraine Lees
1990-91
Andrea Scholloert
1991-92
Helen Eigenbert
1992-93
Marty Smith Sharpe
1993-94
Janis Smith
1994-95
Barbara Winstead
1995-96
Sue Doviak
1996-97
Penny Craig
1997-98
Linda Vahala
1998-99
Mona Danner
1999-00
Caretta Cooke
2000-01
Jeanie Kline
2001-02
Dianne Carmody
2002-03
Carol Locke
2003-04
Ruth Triplett
2004-05
Sheila Powell

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