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The Chancellor's Commission on Women's Affairs was established by University of Maryland Chancellor Charles E. Bishop on December 3, 1973, to address the needs and concerns of women on the University of Maryland campus. Among the commission's goals were to maintain systematic contact with organizations on campus concerned with women's affairs and to identify unique problems faced by women at the university, including safety, implementation of Title IX in women's athletics, and the needs of campus working women. The commission's records include correspondence, minutes, administrative materials, commission-sponsored publications, and newsletters.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
1.00 Linear Feet
Materials in the Chancellor's Commission on Women's Affairs records date from 1971 to 1988, with the years 1974 to 1984 most heavily represented. Meeting minutes and agendas, dating from August 1974 to November 1981, comprise the bulk of the collection. Subcommittee reports, discussions of actions taken, correspondence, and organizational matters are documented in the minutes. Internal memos, organizational and administrative materials, and mass mailings are also included in the collection, as is incoming and outgoing correspondence. Finally, the records contain publications sponsored or used as information sources by the Commission, as well as reports and news clippings about subjects relevant to the Commission's goals.
Chancellor Charles E. Bishop established the Chancellor's Commission on Women's Affairs on December 3, 1973, to address the needs and concerns of women on the University of Maryland, College Park, campus. The Commission, consisting of appointed faculty members, professional staff, classified staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, had the following goals:
While retaining these early goals, the Commission's purpose expanded to include such issues as campus safety, implementation of Title IX in women's athletics, and meeting the needs of working women and women of color in a university environment. The Commission served as a voice for women and women's issues in the university community, advocating equality of rights and representation for all.
The Commission established subcommittees to concentrate efforts on specific issues such as personnel practices, professional growth, needs of returning women students, sexual harassment, child care, and elder care.
Among the major accomplishments of the Commission were the establishment of a day care center on campus, development and enforcement of a sexual harassment policy, and a major study of inequity in faculty salaries on campus. In addition, the Commission sought to insure that non-sexist language was used in all university publications. From 1986 to 1994, the Commission published annual reports regarding the status of women on campus.
All Commission members served in a voluntary capacity. Original members of the Commission included Dr. Virginia Beauchamp, Dr. Vivian Boyd, Dr. Richard Jaquith, and Dr. Margaret Bonz, who served as the first Chairperson. A full list of chairpersons of the commission is appended.
In 1987, the Commission changed its name to the President's Commission on Women's Affairs, and in 1996 it became the President's Commission on Women's Issues. According to a 2001 essay on the Commission's history, "The change from Chancellor to President mirrored a University evolution in language, and the change from affairs to issues resulted from a Commission decision. ‘We weren't having affairs,' explained former Commission Secretary Mary Shipley. Shipley remembered good old boys who asked, ‘Well, are you women having many affairs?'"
Today, the primary mission of the President's Commission on Women's Issues is to advocate for the interests of the entire community of women at the University of Maryland, following closely in the footsteps of the Chancellor's Commission on Women's Affairs.
Chairpersons of the Commission
This collection is organized as three series:
Dr. Virginia Beauchamp donated the records of the Chancellor's Commission on Women's Affairs to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1987. Dr. Beauchamp donated additional materials in 1988. In 2004, Pat Johnson, Coordinator of Health Education, also donated Commission records. In 2009, Marsha Guenzler Stevens, from the Office of Campus Programs, donated additional Commission records.
Materials were separated by document type and arranged chronologically. Exact duplicates were removed and discarded. Metal paperclips and staples were removed from items, and they were refoldered in acid-free folders and reboxed. The following accessions were incorporated into the processed collection: 1989-46; 1991-268; 2004-148; and 2009-189.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives