The History of the WFA at UCR
Our NSF-supported FORWARD program has provided the impetus to reinvigorate the UCR Women's Faculty Association, providing a mechanism to sustain the programming developed through our ADVANCE program beyond the grant period. The Women's Faculty Association is open to all ladder rank faculty. Many of our activities are also open to lecturers and research professionals who do not have formal academic appointments, for example agriculture extension specialists.
The UCR Women's Faculty Association was an important institutional presence on our campus for many years. Started by Prof. Betty Lord and later shepherded by Prof. Nancy Beckage, the Women's Faculty Association fostered community and provided a voluntary mentoring service connecting junior faculty with more senior mentors outside their department. As the driving forces behind the Women's Faculty Association transitioned to retirement, the organization became inactive.
Through our NSF ADVANCE grant, the Women's Faculty Association has sponsored a series of lunch meetings that provide opportunities for women to share in a lecture/discussion of general interest, meet informally and develop a support community outside of their department. During the 2011-2012 academic year, luncheon topics included a discussion of the promotion and tenure process at UCR, strategies for effective mentoring, women's health and well-being, the extraordinary differences between males and females in the animal kingdom, and how the myth that women faculty can 'Just Say No' to service obscures and promotes gender inequities.