In the early 1970s the Oberlin Womens Group, comprising female
faculty members and wives of faculty members, held discussions on
the inequalities and difficulties facing women at Oberlin College.
As a response to these discussions, President Robert W. Fuller (b.
1936) and various members of the College community in 1971 established
an Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women to explore these questions
This ad hoc committee was composed of faculty members, students,
an administrator, a secretary, and wives of members of the faculty
and or administration. Anna Ruth Brummett, associate professor of
biology, was elected chairperson. Five subcommittees were established
to accumulate data and make recommendations concerning the status
of the major groups of women at Oberlin. The committees findings
and recommendations were finalized in a report dated December 8,
1972. The 22 recommendations were aimed at rectifying current sexual
discrimination, preventing such discrimination in the future, and
creating new employment opportunities for women at Oberlin College.
The General Faculty adopted the committees report, including the
call for the formation of a standing committee to oversee the status
and interests of women at Oberlin College.
The Committee on the Status of Women is composed of 15 members
representing the faculty, staff, students, service workers, and
wives of facuity members. The associate dean of the College of Arts
and Sciences, who is responsible for issues related to the status
of women, is consulted when the other 14 members are chosen. The
Nomination Committee of the General Faculty appoints five faculty
members and four persons representing the staff, service workers,
and wives of faculty members. Under the existing student government,
the Student Appointment Committee appoints four students to the
committee. The Committee on the Status of Women is charged with
implementing the recommendations of the ad hoc committee and, through
its discussions and investigations, continues to work toward sexual
equality at Oberlin College.
Scope and Content
The records of the Committee on the Status of Women document the
committees efforts to study, survey, and report on the status of
all women in the Oberlin College community. The file is divided
into eight series: minutes, 1971-1983; correspondence, 1971-1982;
reports, 1972-1983; subcommittees, 1972; conferences and symposia,
1972-73, 1979; surveys, 1972; general, 1971-1985; and collected
materials, 1971-1976. The minutes, reports, and correspondence are
arranged chronologically. The minutes record the agenda, discussion,
and decisions of the biweekly meetings; however, there are gaps
until the fall of 1978. Correspondence, both incoming and outgoing,
covers employment practices, instances of alleged discrimination,
and women students. The Reports and Recommendations of December
8, 1972, and the Final Disposition of September 1973 comprise
the bulk of the report series. The subcommittees proposals and
recommendations are arranged chronologically. Three surveys on sex
equity at Oberlin, with sample responses and tabulated results,
are arranged alphabetically. The general file, arranged alphabetically,
contains correspondence and financial records for the womens handbook;
notebooks of Betty Hayward, an original committee member, and Phyllis
Glazier, the first chairperson of the standing committee; and resource
lists given to spouses of new personnel who were seeking employment.
The collected materials, arranged alphabetically by title, consist
largely of articles on the status of women in the Oberlin community
and of issues of Coming Out, an alternative campus newspaper.