Oregon State University

Advancement & Equity

Advancement & Equity             

Leadership and Work-Life

The invisible glass ceiling is a systemic barrier that has prevented women and individuals from underrepresented populations from advancing to higher level positions in academics and the corporate environment. Title IX benefits all who want to achieve their maximum potential in education by protecting the rights of all students to learn in a healthy environment.2 Quality in Leadership and Work-Life is recognized as an important piece for Oregon State. However, as the figure below indicates, female employees holding leadership positions is less than 50% within several positions. Numerous efforts are in progress to increase awareness of the concerns surrounding women’s advancement in leadership and work-life.

Oregon State’s Office of Academic Affairs serves as one of the many examples of reducing barriers for advancement.  In 2010, the Office of Academic Affairs at Oregon State University began the Leadership Academy, a professional development opportunity designed to advance the next generation of academic leaders at Oregon State and further the development of current School Heads and Chairs.

Oregon State has further recognized the importance of supporting work-life balance. Rebecca Warner, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs is responsible for leadership in all areas of academic personnel policy.  In collaboration with a variety of Oregon State University stakeholders, Dr. Warner strongly advocated for the development of a new Work-Life coordinator position. The office has recently employed Robynn Pease to fulfill this role which was  established in order to research, design, and carry out essential programs to better support faculty who strive to balance both career and life demands.

Leadership Demographics

Rebecca Warner

“Family consists of relationships people make with others and is not necessarily just about women ...culture change is key to create a broader  understanding of the varying family dynamics .. .”

Rebecca Warner, Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs

Advancement in Higher Education

Providing equal opportunity to access graduate education is essential in order to reduce the inequities women face. The Graduate School at Oregon State University is committed to equalizing educational opportunities for all while serving as an important pipeline to expand professional opportunities for women.

Recently, the Graduate School, which oversees 80 graduate programs, has recently initiated a five year planning process focused on advancing quality and effectiveness of graduate education specifically regarding recruiting, retention, supporting students, and increasing opportunities for financial support. Committed to providing students with opportunities for success, Brenda McCombs, Dean of the Graduate School, is leading a number of strategic initiatives. Under her leadership, the Graduate School is focusing on assessing the needs of graduate students and promoting various educational programing and mentoring resources available such as: mentoring workshops, professional and career development workshops, graduate student newsletters, career fairs, and seminars. Dr. McCombs noted that “it is important that were able to attract new students to OSU. Once students are here, it is important for us to focus on retention...” She also stated that there is approximately 3.5 million dollars in student funding right now, with 50% of graduate students’ having tuition covered with assistantships, fellowships, or Laurels Tuition scholarship. “Nudging that number to 60% is a goal that we have established recently and hope to achieve in 5 years.”

Nonetheless, significant progress has been made in establishing resources for career advancement since Title IX was first implemented. Since then it has provided an opportunity to expand the discourse surrounding women’s advancement and gender equity in academia. 

Advancement & Equity (.pdf)


2National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE). Title IX at 40: Working to Ensure Gender Equity in Education. Washington, DC: NCWGE,2012.

Contact Info

Equity and Inclusion 327/330 Snell Hall Corvallis, Oregon 97331 phone: 541-737-3556
fax: 541-737-8232
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