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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Sept. 26, 2008

ISU to host national work/life conference

by Erin Rosacker

Representatives from research universities around the country will meet at Iowa State Oct. 10 and 11. Organizers are calling it a "unique" gathering of national experts to examine the work/life balance issue for women in higher education.

"The New Norm of Faculty Flexibility: Transforming the Culture in Science and Engineering" conference is being staged by ISU ADVANCE, a grant-funded program focused on the participation and advancement of women faculty in the science and engineering fields. Up to 200 participants are expected to take part in the conference.

"Administrators, faculty and prospective faculty will benefit by participating in the discussions that occur at this conference," said Bonnie Bowen, ISU ADVANCE program director. "Because our focus is on scientists and engineers, we share concerns about career flexibility with businesses and industry that employ scientists and engineers. We will have speakers from the private sector and we think that industry leaders and managers also would benefit from the conference."

Participants will take a look at how flexibility could help keep and promote women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. A lineup of speakers and panelists will discuss what programs are working, and what still needs to be done to help women balance their professional careers and personal lives.

"Hosting the conference is a demonstration of ISU's dedication to being leaders in designing flexible faculty careers in STEM disciplines," said associate provost Susan Carlson.

The conference opens Friday morning with a keynote address by Mary Ann Mason, University of California, Berkeley. Other keynote speakers include Shirley Malcom, American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York City; Joan Williams, University of California Hastings Law School, San Francisco; and Laura Sherbin, Center for Work-Life Policy, New York City.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Scheman Building. Registration for ISU faculty, staff and students is $75 ($100 after Sept. 30). Meals are included. More information is available online.


"Hosting the conference is a demonstration of ISU's dedication to being leaders in designing flexible faculty careers in STEM disciplines."

Susan Carlson, associate provost