skip page navigationOregon State University
OSU HomeCalendarFind SomeoneMapsSite Index

Faculty Women's Network


OSU's Faculty Women's Network (FWN) is celebrating its 22nd anniversary. Female professionals from across campus joined forces in 1986 to build community, extend professional networks and wrestle with the issues of parity, tenure, professional isolation within units across campus, and other topics. Each year the FWN sponsors fall and spring community building receptions and quarterly professional development programming uniquely relevant to faculty women on campus. In an audio interview, available online, Beth Rietveld, a founding member, sits down with Beth Wasylow, one of the current co-chairs, and reflects on the history and future of the organization.
Link to the interview or download it from:

In 1986, initiated by Mimi Orzech and Jo Anne J.Trow, the Faculty Women's Network came into existence. Nearly 200 of the 500 faculty women at OSU responded to an invitation to meet informally to discuss issues that affect the lives of women in higher education. With that overwhelming response, a steering committee was formed to organize brown bag lunch sessions built around various topics, such as sexual harassment, promotion and tenure, child care, mentoring, publishing and moving into administration.

Within the next two years, a faculty women's network directory was developed, a newsletter was initiated, programs were planned, and receptions were held allowing faculty women to network.

With a startup budget of $200 from the Vice President of Student Affairs, it quickly became apparent that additional monies would be needed in order to provide programming and related mailings. This need was met in the form of dues. From 1998 through 1990, dues were $5. In 1991 they were raised to $10, which increased to $20 in 2004. These monies are used to produce informational flyers, to reimburse speakers for travel expenses, and to pay for receptions held Fall and Spring Terms each year.

Support groups developed in past years to assist faculty women on tenure-related issues and to review writing and potential publications. While the original groups are no longer active, support and interest groups develop easily around any theme for which there is interest.

Faculty Women's Network Detailed History 1986-2008(Download Word document)