Wayne State University

Aim Higher

1980 : Second Beginning

In 1980, President Thomas Bonner announced the reorganization of the President's Commission on the Status of Women. As previously, the Commission was to act in an advisory capacity to the Office of the President with four principal areas of concern:

  1. Equity and equality in policies, procedures, and customs with regard to sex in employment, placement, and promotion at WSU among faculty, staff, and administration.
  2. Policy, climate, and customs in the counseling of women students at WSU, especially in those areas where gender was believed to be a determining factor in recruiting and admission.
  3. Increased communication among women about issues of special interest to them.
  4. Redefining the function, staffing, and reporting relationship of WSU's Women's Center to the University generally.

The membership of the Commission was to reflect the diverse population of the WSU campus. Every year, the Office of the President would request self-nominations for service on the Commission to maintain a membership of 20. A committee of the Commission then would screen the nominations and submit recommendations to the Commission for approval and transmission to the University President for appointment. Effective September 1981, all members regularly appointed would serve for two years. Bargaining units on campus could select liaison persons to the Commission; these ex-officio members could attend and participate in meetings and take part in Commission activities, but could not vote.

The University granted the reconstituted Commission an initial budget of $10,000 and office space in MacKenzie Hall, and President Bonner appointed Professor Winifred Fraser as Chair. At its first meeting, four standing committees were formed: Information, Career Development, Affirmative Action and Equity, and Outreach. Each member of the Commission would serve on at least one committee. The Commission thus assumed the structure it would have for the next decade.