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University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women records

Identifier: IWA0338

  • Staff Only
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Scope and Contents

The University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women records date from 1976 to 2005 and measure 5.25 linear feet. The records are arranged in six series: Administrative, Subcommittee work, Parenting concerns/childcare subcommittee, Sexual harassment subcommittee, Affirmative action subcommittee, and Herstory Committee

The Administrative series (1976-2005) contains organizational by-laws and mission statements, meeting minutes, correspondence, reference files, and a variety of other operational materials for the group.

The Committee work series (1977-2005) includes materials from small projects initiated by subcommittees of the Council on the Status of Women, including correspondence, meeting minutes, and research reports on campus lighting, homophobia, and sexism.

The series from the Parenting Concerns and Childcare Subcommittee (1976-1998) contains meeting minutes, correspondence, and reference files from the subgroup's work toward improved childcare for University of Iowa workers.

The series of materials from the Sexual Harassment Subcommittee (1977-2000) includes newspaper clippings on testimony from University of Iowa women with sexual harassment grievances. In addition, the series includes University of Iowa policies on sexual harassment and a 1992 sexual harassment survey of University of Iowa women by the subcommittee. It also includes the transcripts of anatomy professor Jean Y. Jew's sexual harassment lawsuit against the University of Iowa, as well as the materials relating to the Women's Rights Award that is named in her honor.

The Affirmative Action Subcommittee series (1976-2001) contains subcommittee rosters, meeting minutes, reference files, and correspondence from the subgroup's work. Also in the series are surveys and reports on the state of affirmative action at the University of Iowa compiled by the subcommittee in the late 1980s.

The Herstory Committee series (2008 - 2010) contains information about interviews conducted as part of the "Women at Iowa" project. The project, started by Renee Sueppel, Kelly Johnson, and Diana Harris, aimed to interview women who had been active and influential on campus. The first interview premiered on August 26, 2008 on the UI TV channel. Copies of each program were made and distributed to the interviewee and the Iowa Women's Archives. Each interviews' folder in this series may include resumes, examples of pictures of works, pre-interview questionnaires, interviewer questions and cue cards, and thank you letters.


  • Creation: 1976-2005


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

The University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women was founded by Vice President for Academic Affairs May Brodbeck following her participation in the International Women's Year program on women's education and employment in 1976. The council consisted of twenty voting members drawn from four distinct components of the University of Iowa community: students, faculty, professional and scientific staff, and merit staff. Faculty and staff members served three-year terms and students served one-year terms. The council met monthly from September to June.

The council served as an advocacy group for women on the University of Iowa campus. During its first two decades of service, the group focused on childcare, women's athletics, university safety and security, homophobia, and sexual harassment. Subgroups of the council met separately and orchestrated campus-wide surveys on salary and wage discrepancies between men and women, childcare needs, and sexual harassment on campus. From these studies, the groups proposed new campus policies regarding childcare centers, affirmative action, family leave, and sexual harassment grievance procedures. The council was inactive during the 2001/02 and 2002/03 academic years. In 2003, the council initiated a review of the 2000 merger of the men's and women's athletics departments. The Athletics Merger Review Committee's report, issued in 2005, led to the formation of a Gender Equity in Athletics ad hoc committee.


5.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Women seeking solutions to problems of sexual harassment, violence, homophobia, and childcare at the University.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 462) were donated by Delores Nesbitt in 1997 and Jan Warren in 2003.

Related Materials

Jean Jew Justice Committee records (IWA).

Heather Stecklein, 2002; Elizabeth Engel, 2005.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)