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Release: Immediate

Annual report highlights UI progress in hiring women, minorities

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The number of women and minority employees at the University of Iowa increased from 1996 to 1997, according to the annual report of the UI Office of Affirmative Action.

From October 1996 through September of 1997, the number of women employees rose by 114 and the number of minority employees rose by 63. During that time, the overall UI workforce increased by 121 employees, from 12,734 in 1996 to 12,855 in 1997.

"Our progress from 1996 to 1997 has been mixed," said Susan Mask, assistant to the president and director of Affirmative Action. "We experienced some gains and some losses. The gains have been encouraging, but we are not satisfied with our progress. We are striving to achieve representation of women and minorities in our workforce that reflects their availability in the labor market, but we're not there yet."

In addition to the comparison of 1996 and 1997, the report provides some statistics for the past five years. For 1996-97, women faculty received 37 percent of the promotions among tenure track faculty, the highest rate over the past five years. Over that same five-year span, the percentage of women faculty promoted has been consistently higher than the percentage of women faculty on the tenure track. Women currently make up 24 percent of that group, up from 22.4 percent the previous year.

Likewise, the rates of promotion and tenure for minority faculty in 1996-97 were the highest in five years. In the past year, minority faculty received 19 percent of all promotions and 22 percent of the tenure awards, which is higher than the minority representation among tenure track faculty, currently 11 percent. While the percentage of minority tenure track faculty has remained virtually unchanged in the past three years, the actual number of minority faculty has decreased in each of those years, including a loss of two in 1997.

The report notes that the UI met its hiring goals for women in all eight primary occupational activity groups. Likewise, minority hiring goals were set and met for six of eight primary occupational activity groups. However, underutilization of women and minorities remains in a number of job categories within the larger groups.

Hiring goals are set each year and represent the number of women and minorities that should be employed during the year in order to reduce underutilization of women and minorities. The primary occupational activity groups include jobs that are similar in content, salary and employment opportunity. The eight groups are tenure track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, executive/administrative/managerial, professional and scientific staff, secretarial/clerical, technical/paraprofessional, skilled crafts, and service/maintenance.

These are some of the other highlights of the report:

* One minority and two women were appointed to senior-level administrative positions.

* Two women were hired as deans and another was appointed department chair.

* There was a net gain of 18 women tenure track faculty.

* The percentage of women holding executive, administrative and managerial positions increased from 22 percent in 1992 to 28.8 percent in 1997. However, the 1997 figure was a drop from the 1996 figure of 29.6 percent.

* From 1992 to 1997, the number of minority employees in executive, administrative and managerial positions has remained unchanged. The percentage of minorities in those positions has dropped from 9 percent in 1992 to 8.5 percent in 1997.

* The number and percentage of minorities appointed to non-tenure tack faculty, professional and scientific, and merit staff positions increased from 1996 to 1997.

* Increases were also recorded during 1997 in the number and percentage of women in the ranks of tenure track faculty, professional and scientific staff, secretarial and clerical staff, and service and maintenance positions.

The purpose of the University of Iowa's Affirmative Action Program is to reaffirm the institution's policy of and commitment to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action and to ensure that the recruitment, appointment and promotion of persons in all job classifications occur without discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, gender (except where gender is a bona fide occupational qualification), age, disability, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or disabled veteran.

The statistical information in the UI's annual Affirmative Action report is prepared from workforce data compiled in accordance with Board of Regents guidelines. The annual report includes all permanent, full-time and part-time employees working 50 percent time or more during the period from Oct. 1, 1996 to Sept. 30, 1997.

In defining the term "minority," the UI follows federal guidelines. The term refers to Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans/Alaskan Natives.