Since 1989, the President’s Advisory Commission on Women’s Issues (PACWI) has provided recommendations to University leaders on a wide range of issues affecting women students, faculty and staff. The objective of the Commission is to help women achieve full and equal participation in all aspects of life and sleadership at the University of Michigan. PACWI promotes the development of new policies, practices, and procedures designed to enhance gender and racial equity.

Recent PACWI efforts include:

  • PACWI collaborated with a number of other diversity groups on campus to write a public letter to the Regents and Presidential Search Advisory Committee. The letter, published in The University Record and the Michigan Daily on November 4, 2013, urged them to select someone experienced and successful in increasing diversity among students, faculty and staff. It said the new president must be accomplished in promoting a healthy climate that respects the contributions of every person, regardless of differences of race, gender, sex, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, documentation status or other factors. Read the full text of the letter’s five recommendations.
  • Input from postdoctoral fellows (“postdocs”) and key stakeholders serving them was incorporated into a set of PACWI recommendations for the Postdoctoral Advisory Group, President Coleman, chairs of the U-M Postdoctoral Association, and the deans. Many of these recommendations were incorporated into a revised policy and a new campus-wide handbook for postdocs.
  • As far back as 2009, PACWI suggested amending the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities to use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in all formal hearings of sexual assault complaints. In 2011, the U.S. Office of Civil Rights advised universities to use this standard and to investigate all reported incidents, even if an alleged survivor did not wish to pursue a complaint. Across the country, colleges came under public scrutiny for the way in which sexual violence was addressed on each campus. Staff from the Center for the Education of Women worked closely with U-M and community partners and national experts to develop a two-day conference at which universities could examine their policies and practices related to student sexual misconduct. PACWI members’ recommendations were instrumental to the University of Michigan creating a strong new structure and policy for responding to sexual assault by students.