Women's Faculty Cabinet


The mission of the Women’s Faculty Cabinet is to improve and enrich the academic and professional environments for women faculty at the University of Minnesota and to ensure that the University continues and strengthens its commitment to the success of its women faculty members.


The WFC is collecting caregiver testimonials, modeled on work done by the University of Wisconsin's system-wide Caregiving Task Force. The current world situation creates additional responsibilities for University community members who are in the role of caregiver, broadly defined. This might be because caregiving roles have changed due to the schedules of daycares and K-12 schools, issues with adult care and nursing homes, a return of adult children to the family home, changes in shared living spaces, caring for a friend or family member who is physically ill, being a support person for a friend or family member who is experiencing emotional suffering or mental illness, changes in self-care, or anything else. The testimonials recorded here are collected to document our stories and build awareness of our individual and collective experiences.


  • We represent women-identified faculty as an advisory board to the Provost. We recommend guidelines and policies to the Provost, Faculty Senate, Deans, and Departments on issues affecting women, gender equity, and campus life.
  • We undertake research important to the working and living environment for women-identified faculty at the University of Minnesota.
  • We sponsor activities such as workshops, forums, and retreats to improve equity, diversity, and overall campus life for everyone at the University of Minnesota.


The WFC was created in Fall 2006. The cabinet membership aims to represent the full range of women faculty at the University, including women at all academic ranks and in a variety of colleges and disciplines. The members are appointed for three-year terms jointly by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the current members of the cabinet. Eligible faculty members include both regular faculty (tenured and tenure-track) and contract or term faculty with appointment codes of 9401, 9402, and 9403. The Women's Faculty Cabinet reports to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. The cabinet meets monthly throughout the academic year.



  • Sara Mack, Senior Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Studies
  • Catherine McCarty, Professor, Medical School 


  • Anitra Cottledge, Director, Women’s Center
  • Kerry Fierke, Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Gayle (G.G.) Golden, Senior Lecturer, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Gretchen Hansen, Assistant Professor, Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
  • Beth Hartman, Lecturer, American Studies
  • Carrie Henning-Smith, Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management
  • Helen M. Kinsella, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Jamie Lohr, Associate Professor, Pediatrics
  • Wendy Lutter, Senior Lecturer, Marketing
  • Carrie Neerland, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
  • Rebecca Ropers, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs
  • Elizabeth Sumida Huaman, Assistant Professor, Organizational Leadership, Policy, & Development
  • Weihong Tang, Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Let's Talk!

The WFC is proud to bring you a new seminar and workshop series: Let's Talk! Our main message is acknowledging that the goal is progress not perfection. The final session of the 2020-2021 academic year, The Fighting Spirit, was be presented by Nicole Swentzell on May 19. Through an empowerment self-defense lens that emerges from work with Indigenous communities in the U.S., this session focused on the philosophy and practice of the fighting spirit, which is the belief that “I can, I will, and I deserve to defend myself.” Let’s Talk workshops are free of charge to University of Minnesota faculty.

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2019-2020 ACTIVITIES

POLICY WORK 2019-2020

  1. Requested the inclusion of non-tenure track faculty into the Salary Equity Review process; requested updated salary analysis.
  2. Analyzed the gender composition at mid-level leadership (i.e., departments, units) at the U and plan to track it over time.
  3. Supported the nomination of female faculty for University level awards and reviewed Women’s Center Awards.
  4. Worked with VPFAA to brainstorm and communicate solutions to pandemic-induced equity issues.

EVENTS 2019-2020

  1. Met President Joan Gabel for lunch to discuss strengths and challenges for achieving gender equity at UMN.
  2. Planned a “Forum with President Gabel” for all faculty at the Twin Cities Campus for April 2020 (*cancelled due to the pandemic)
  3. Planned the annual Women’s Faculty Retreat for May 2020 with the theme: “Inclusion and Risk-taking in the Career Path”  (*cancelled due to the pandemic)
The 2019-2020 Women’s Faculty Cabinet and President Joan Gabel

2018-2019 ACTIVITIES

View a recap of our 2019 retreat here!

POLICY WORK 2018-2019

  1. Finalized work on the Student Ratings of Teaching (SRT) project
  2. Discussed Salary Equity Review Committees (SERC) at the University
  3. Served as awards committee members for Women’s Center awards
  4. Brought more women forward for University awards
  5. Provided input on dependent care reimbursement when traveling for University business

EVENTS 2018-2019

  1. Annual WFC Women’s Faculty Retreat, May 16, 2019.
  2. WFC Provost Forum: November 28, 2018, 10 - 11:15 a.m., URC Beacon Room
The Women's Faculty Cabinet at the 2019 Retreat

2017-2018 ACTIVITIES

View a recap of our 2018 retreat here!

POLICY WORK 2017-2018

  1. Continued work on an addition to the Tenure Code to allow modified teaching duties of tenure and tenure-track faculty who bring home a baby. Talking Points on the Modified Teaching Duties for recent parents was proposed for the Tenure Code and was then was put into policy in April 2018.
  2. Continued to examine the process of salary equity
  3. Explored the impact of using Student Rating of Teaching (SRTs) when evaluating female faculty teaching performance
  4. Contributed to finding solutions to child care needs at the University

EVENTS 2017-2018

  1. Planned the 2018 Annual WFC Women's Faculty Retreat that addressed effective ways to restructure the work environment that allow all women to thrive
  2. Considered how we can create organizational change to enhance the climate for women at UMN
  3. Hosted a lunch forum with Provost Hanson attended by over 100 women faculty
Kaaren Williamsen addressing WFC retreat attendees


General inquiries: [email protected]

Catherine McCarty
[email protected]umn.edu

Sara Mack
[email protected]


WFC Bylaws 2018