Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

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

Jan. 30, 2009

Design college is current focus of trends reports

by Anne Krapfl

When the next dean of the College of Design arrives on campus this summer, members of the University Committee on Women (UCW) hope his or her reading list will include their just-released "Status of Women in the College of Design" report, scheduled for completion in May.

The report is the latest in a series by the UCW. Previous college reports looked at the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2000), Engineering (2005) and Business (2008). Yet to be done in this initial cycle are the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Vet Med and Human Sciences. All of the reports are on the committee's web site.

Ingrid Lilligren, professor of art and design who's serving as UCW chair this year, called the reports "tools for understanding the ways in which faculty, staff and students are present in numbers and, in the case of faculty and staff, also in terms of rank.

"The intent is to provide greater transparency on this issue," she said.


The reports cover a decade and track trends during the 10 years. They rely on data provided by the colleges and the office of institutional research. They also compare ISU trends to national trends in the same academic discipline.

For example, the UCW's College of Business review completed last spring found a declining percentage of female undergraduate students over 10 years, and a female-male student ratio about 8 percentage points behind the national average. Lilligren said Business dean Labh Hira was "very receptive" to talking with committee members about the results, Lilligren said.

"We interpret the data and we talk in a narrative about strengths in a college and about areas for growth -- if we see them," Lilligren said. "We don't assume there will be problems."

Reading audience

In addition to the dean and the executive vice president and provost, Lilligren said a college report is "important reading" for department chairs, faculty advancement and diversity committees and promotion and tenure committees.

"We're presenting factual information that's intended to be helpful to administrators," she said.

Why these studies?

The purpose of the University Committee on Women is to promote a university climate that fosters the full participation of women faculty, staff and students. In its advisory capacity, the committee addresses policies and practices that may cause particular difficulties for women as employees and students. The college trends reports respond to one of the committee's seven specific goals: its responsibility to "monitor the institution's performance in regard to representation and advancement of women."

"The price of democracy is eternal vigilance," Lilligren noted.


"We interpret the data and we talk in a narrative about strengths in a college and about areas for growth -- if we see them. We don't assume there will be problems."

Ingrid Lilligren, UCW chair