UA hosts women's conference

By Michelle Roberts

Arizona Daily Wildcat

In an informational conference addressing women's issues, visitors such as the first female president of NAU will discuss various topics of concern to women working in higher education.

Approximately 80 people are expected to attend the conference hosted by the University of Arizona Commission on the Status of Women. The conference will address issues such as the campus climate for women, pay equity in the workplace, career development and family support and child care concerns.

"(The purpose of the conference is) to help the campus community know that the commission exists. We're still at that point in a certain way. It is also to give the campus community an update on what the commission has been doing," said Connie Gajewski, coordinator of the commission's work.

The commission was formed in early 1992 after the Arizona Board of Regents released a report listing 50 recommended areas of improvement for women's issues. Gajewski said the commission's job is to advise the administration regarding implementation of the regents' recommendation and that the conference is a way to give the campus community a progress report on their work.

Judy Temple, a women's studies professor and the president of the Association of Women Faculty, said that members of her association will be happy to hear what the commission has to say because the two groups have an ongoing liaison relationship.

She also said the information will be valuable because the commission has done extensive and careful research in areas such as sexual harassment.

Northern Arizona University President Clara Lovett will speak about her experience as a female administrator in higher education. Lovett became the president at NAU last year, and is the first woman president at any of the Arizona universities.

Donna Shavlik, Office of Women in Higher Education director, will moderate a forum on the progress that has been made in the commission's committees. Gajewski said that because she works in Washington D.C., Shavlik will be able to provide a national perspective on women's education issues.

The conference begins with an informal reception with Lovett this evening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday there will be four sessions with various moderators on women's issues. In the afternoon there will be a showing of a woman's video documentary, as well as a luncheon and workshop put on by the Theater Arts Department.

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