In an effort to improve the climate on campus for female faculty, officials at the University of Missouri-Rolla have announced plans for a celebration to raise awareness of the accomplishments and research achievements of women on campus, as well of those of its alumnae.
The UMR Woman’s Day celebration is planned for April 18, 2007. The day’s events will include poster sessions and seminars presented by UMR’s women faculty to highlight their contributions in research, teaching and service.
The celebration will also include the UMR Woman of the Year Banquet. During the banquet, the annual Woman of the Year award is presented. The award is sponsored by the chancellor’s office to recognize an outstanding female faculty member who has helped improve the campus climate for women and has served as a role model for other faculty and students through her research, scholarship and service. 2007 will be the 11th year for the award, which is funded by UMR graduate Cynthia Tang, the founder of Insight Industries Inc. of Platteville, Wis., and a past president of the UMR Board of Trustees.
This year an additional Alumna of the Year Award is planned to recognize the accomplishments of UMR’s women graduates.
In future years, the group hopes to expand to a week-long celebration.
In late October, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a report on gender equity in higher education. In the report, UMR was noted for having a low percentage of females among the ranks of tenured faculty. UMR faculty and administrators are working to improve the campus climate for women in hopes to increase recruitment and retention of female faculty.
Plans for the UMR Woman’s Day celebration are being coordinated by the UMR women faculty. The group is led by Dr. Dee Haemmerlie-Montgomery, Curators’ Teaching Professor of psychology at UMR. The group is also exploring the issue of daycare on campus.