II. Addressing the Charge
Addressing the charge required that the Task Force undertake a number of educational initiatives. Predominant was the need to understand the nature of legal prohibitions against sex discrimination and how those prohibitions related to the status of women faculty in educational institutions. The need to understand the sociological and organizational literature addressing the status of women in educational institutions was similarly important. To address these educational goals, several methods were used. For those Task Force members whose disciplinary backgrounds and experiences did not include knowledge of quantitative methods of data collection, analysis and reporting, more knowledgeable Task Force members provided information and explanations. Finally, all Task Force members benefited from presentations by Jesuit colleagues about Decree 14, the Mission of Marquette University, and their derivative implications for women in the institution. In addition to presentations from Task Force members, a number of scholarly articles in the areas of law, social science, and organizational behavior19 were provided and reviewed for meetings that occurred in September, October, December, and January. Additionally, each Subcommittee of the Task Force reviewed scholarly literature to develop a theoretical construct for addressing their assigned aspects of the charge.
1. Part I of the Charge
Part I of the Charge required the Task Force to determine if there were areas of perceived gender inequity among the faculty, both full-time and part-time, with an awareness that gender might intersect with other issues such as age, race, and ethnicity. To address Part I, the Task Force created the Subcommittee on Perceptions Measurement. The Subcommittee was directed to: (1) determine which perceptions were to be measured; (2) design a survey instrument; (3) recommend other sources of information from which to assess perceptions of gender equity; and (4) determine if and how to address the perceptions of faculty who have left Marquette, and/or faculty who chose not to accept positions at Marquette.
Perceptions Measurement Subcommittee.
The activities of the Subcommittee on Perceptions Measurement were summarized in a memo from Subcommittee Chair Maranto, dated February 11, 2000.20 Under her leadership, the Subcommittee reviewed the academic literature and identified theoretical constructs for assessing the perceptions of faculty in an educational institution. From this analysis, the Subcommittee concluded that a survey instrument measuring the climate or environment was an appropriate means of measuring faculty perceptions of gender equity and inequity. The Subcommittee met four times during the fall semester of 1999 to develop the survey instrument. It obtained and reviewed several survey instruments used by gender equity task forces at other institutions. These included: Kansas State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the American Association of University Professors.
The first draft of the survey instrument consisted of questions borrowed from other task force surveys as well as items contributed by Subcommittee members. Recognizing that the development and design of such instruments could be enhanced by the expertise of other faculty who were not Task Force members, the Subcommittee solicited input and advice from a number of faculty within the University. Associate Dean Shirley Wiegand of the Law School, who chaired the Gender Equity Task Force at the University of Oklahoma, spoke with the Subcommittee. The first draft of the survey was reviewed and critiqued as well by Dr. Connie Bauer, Associate Professor of Marketing; Dr. Robert Griffin, Professor of Journalism; Dr. James Holstein, Professor of Social and Cultural Sciences; and Dr. Courtney Marlaire, Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural Sciences. The principal recommendation which surfaced from this review was the need to identify the theoretical constructs which the Subcommittee sought to measure, and then to construct questions specifically designed to measure those constructs, preferably from published articles that reported on surveys which were previously developed and validated.
Under the leadership of Task Force member Maranto, the Subcommittee reviewed the academic literature and identified the theoretical constructs related to climate, perceived inequities, work-family conflict, and gender and sexual harassment. Based on this review, the survey was redesigned. The redesigned survey was again critiqued by Dr. Griffin and Dr. Holstein. The survey was pilot-tested by seven faculty members in the Colleges of Business, Education, and Engineering, and modified based on their feedback.21 Although the Gender Equity Task Force Survey did not require Institutional Review Board approval, the survey was submitted for expedited review to Marquette's IRB and approved. At each stage of the development, design, and distribution of the survey, the entire Task Force afforded review and critique of the survey.
The "Marquette University Climate Survey" was subsequently sent to all faculty in the University, both men and women, during March of 2000, accompanied by a letter from Fr. Wild. The questionnaire was distributed and returned with the assistance of O'Hara Hall personnel. The surveys themselves did not contain an identification number. Each questionnaire was accompanied by a card containing an ID number that corresponded to a list of faculty names. This ID number was not a Social Security number or an employee ID number. Respondents were asked to return the card under separate cover to the Gender Equity Task Force Chair. The ID numbers of respondents then were checked off as the cards arrived so that follow-up requests could be sent only to non-respondents. The list of names and ID numbers, and the list of actual respondents, were secured by the Task Force Chair to preserve anonymity.22
Analysis and interpretation of the survey results was undertaken by Task Force member Maranto. At the June, 2000 meeting, Dr. Maranto provided an Interim Report during which Task Force members posed inquiries and offered suggestions regarding analysis and interpretation of the data. Additional details of the exact methodology, as well as the survey itself and results of the analysis, are set forth in other sections of this Task Force Report.
Anecdotal Evidence Subcommittee.
The Task Force also deemed it important to create a forum for individuals to provide narratives of perceived gender inequities at Marquette. Thus, the Task Force agreed that part 4 of the charge to the Subcommittee on Perceptions Measurement would effectively be addressed by the creation of another Work Group, the Anecdotal Evidence Subcommittee. Led by Task Force member Wiseman, this group was charged to gather case studies and other accounts from faculty who had left Marquette or from faculty who sought to report events in greater detail than could be captured by the survey instrument. As noted in the Subcommittee Report, their initial methodology was to review and analyze narratives of perceived gender inequities at Marquette University as provided by self-selected individuals.23 The Subcommittee:
coded only those materials containing recorded perceptions of inequities expressly linked to gender by the authors. The perceptions of these complainants were coded by theme. . . . The Subcommittee elected to identify complaints only by theme because the Subcommittee conducted no investigative hearing to assess the veracity of the information provided; that determination was beyond the scope of the Subcommittee.24
In addition to narratives from self-selected individuals, the Subcommittee also reviewed narratives articulated within the Climate Surveys. After compiling this information, the Subcommittee organized this material under ten gender themes. From these themes, they generated findings and offered recommendations for action.25