Guide to the University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1976-2005
Creator: University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women
Extent: 5.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0338
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Women seeking solutions to problems of sexual harassment, violence, homophobia, and childcare at the University.

Administrative Information

Access: The records are open for research.

Use: Copyright has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.

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

Preferred Citation: University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Biographical Note

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.

Content Description

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 five series: Administrative, Subcommittee work, Parenting concerns/childcare subcommittee, Sexual harassment subcommittee, and Affirmative action subcommittee.

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.

Related Materials

Jean Jew Justice Committee records (IWA).

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women


Child care
Sexual harassment
Affirmative action programs
Women in higher education
Campus violence
College sports for women
Parental leave

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Iowa City

Genre/Form of Materials:
Administrative records

Women's Clubs and Organizations