IDENTIFICATION OF PROBLEM AREAS Effects of Fiscal Constraints The size of the Amherst campus leveled off in 2010 after a period of modest growth. Progress towards achieving affirmative action goals is promoted by robust placement opportunities, which become more limited in times of fiscal constraint. The total number of employees decreased from 5,273 in 2008 to 5,258 in 2010; a decrease of less than one-half of one percent. The overall percentage of women in the workforce decreased slightly to 50.1 in 2010, while the percentage of minorities increased from 16.2 in 2008 to 17.1 in 2010. After instituting a 3 percent cut in the operating budget, the campus expected to navigate the balance of fiscal year 2011 without further reductions.
Faculty Resources Although the campus has been successful in recruiting outstanding new faculty, the number of full-time faculty is still below the level reached earlier this decade, before early retirements and budget cuts took a toll. The Amherst 250 Plan, an initial blueprint released in 2005 for hiring 250 additional faculty members over five years, targeted teaching deficits in academic departments as well as key research needs across the campus. A key goal of the Amherst 250 Plan was to rebuild and rebalance the faculty after years of random attrition that left the campus with significant gaps between instructional demand and teaching resources. During academic year 2008-09, 78 new tenure stream faculty members were hired, while during academic year 2009-10, 37 new tenure system faculty members were hired. Although fiscal realities necessitated a reconsideration of all aspects of the Plan, campus leaders continue to seek ways to support its priority for faculty resources and recruitment. One of the goals in Chancellor Holub’s Framework for Excellence report is to increase the size of the tenure stream faculty to 1,200 by 2020.
Skilled Crafts Workforce Few women and minorities work in the Skilled Crafts area. In 2010, there were a total of 13 women (5.8%) and 13 minorities (5.8%) in the Skilled Crafts workforce. Minorities were underutilized in three Skilled Crafts job groups in 2010 (Construction Trades, Non-Supervisory; Mechanics and Repairers, Non-Supervisory; and Skilled Crafts, Supervisory). Women were underutilized in all four job groups within Skilled Crafts. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of women within Skilled Crafts increased by two, from 11 in 2008 to 13 in 2010, and the number of minorities increased by three, from 10 in 2008 to 13 in 2010.
To help address issues of access, the Apprenticeship Program in the Physical Plant was reinstituted in FY2000. The Apprenticeship Program provides opportunities for advancement in the trades to traditionally under-represented populations as well as current employees seeking to improve their skills and promotional potential. At the present time there are two active apprentices in the program, one of whom is female.
Training Needs Employee training is an essential component of developing a workforce that is culturally competent. While campus leadership has reinforced the expectation that promoting employee development is an essential supervisory responsibility, it is still the case that employees, particularly classified employees, have difficulty obtaining release time to take job related classes or attend training. This ongoing issue has been identified by many constituents including the Faculty Senate Council on the Status of Women, the Labor/Management Workplace Education Advisory Council and in the context of departmental focus group sessions and a campus wide needs assessment survey.
Often, diversity related problems involve supervisory relationships. The Administration and Finance executive area has made it an expectation of performance that all of its supervisory staff attend some level of supervisory training offered through the Supervisory Leadership Development Program. This six series program focuses on four competency areas: Managing Self, Managing Others, Managing the Work, and Managing the System. Included in these competencies are the knowledge and skills required to be an effective manager in a multicultural workplace. One of the stated goals of this program is to increase supervisory expertise in diversity and multiculturalism.
In response to campus need for more training opportunities, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity has expanded the number and variety of educational workshops and trainings it provides to the campus community to assist in combating sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The following types of workshops/trainings are provided: diversity training, new employee training, complaint handler training, individualized training, search procedures training, sexual harassment prevention training, and harassment/discrimination prevention training. Workshops can be tailored for specific audience needs or workplace area; separate trainings can be provided for supervisors. The series of workshops scheduled for this spring 2011 includes: How to Respond to Sexual Harassment; Sexual Harassment 101; Preventing Harassment and Discrimination; and Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE PROBLEMS & ATTAIN GOALS Hiring Procedures One of the ways that the campus seeks to provide opportunity is through its active monitoring of the search process. The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office (EO&D) reviews recruitment plans and advises search committees and hiring authorities on matters related to affirmative action and equal opportunity. Guidelines on how to incorporate affirmative action principles into the search process are included in the campus’ Search Procedures: Faculty and Professional Staff; this document is distributed to all hiring authorities, and is also available on the EO&D Web site (http://www.umass.edu/eod). These procedures outline recruitment activity for selecting qualified individuals for administrative, faculty and professional/non-faculty (exempt) positions at the University. One of the goals of these procedures is to train hiring officials to identify the EO&D Office staff as technical assistants and not as regulators in recruiting activity. The recruitment strategy stresses interaction between the EO&D Office, the hiring official, and the search committee at the beginning of the recruitment process in order to better insure creative and effective announcement of the position vacancy, as a means to generate a more diverse pool of qualified applicants.
As outlined in the document Search Procedures: Faculty & Professional Staff, notice to the EO&D Office is required if the pool of qualified, bona fide applicants does not approximate availability and the hiring unit or campus is underrepresented with respect to protected group members. After considering what steps may be taken to address the underrepresentation identified in the pool of qualified applicants, the hiring official or designee may accept the pool, identify additional activities to improve the pool, or may close the search. It is anticipated that such monitoring by the hiring official (or designee) of the diversity of the applicant pool will encourage more attention to the importance of widespread, creative recruitment.
In June 1981, the Amherst campus and the four unions for classified (non-exempt) employees (AFSCME, USA/MTA/NEA, IBPO [A and B Units]) entered into contractual agreements which allowed for some deviation from the otherwise negotiated procedure for hiring and promoting employees. Under the contractual agreements, vacancies where protected categories are underrepresented in the job group can be targeted for special recruitment efforts. The targeting process has been included in collective bargaining agreements since its inception in 1981.
The targeting process begins when the EO&D Office, upon receiving notification of the vacancy, determines that the vacancy is in an underutilized job group according to the Affirmative Action Plan. The EO&D Office initiates the targeting process by sending a memorandum, which designates the position as an Affirmative Action Target Position, to the originating department, along with a copy to the Labor Relations Administrator and the bargaining unit involved. The hiring authority is informed by the Employment Office on the specific procedures to follow in filling the targeted position. To ensure adequate documentation of the search process, the Employment Office has directed special attention to compliance with the requirement to complete the Applicant Profile Summary Sheet on which the hiring official documents the outcome for protected group and all off-campus applicants. In addition, the EO&D Office requires a memorandum from the hiring authority stating the reason for rejection of protected class applicants for targeting positions.
In 1998 the University replaced its testing program for clerical employment with QWIZ, a software system that evaluates applicants’ office and business skills using automated testing. QWIZ offers self-administered computerized testing in the following areas: data entry, office automation, primary skills, and secretarial/clerical skills. QWIZ Testing replaced a more limited battery of “paper and pencil” and typewriter based testing that has been in place at the University for almost thirty years. QWIZ Testing meets legal and professional standards, and test fairness studies demonstrate that these tests are unbiased with respect to race and sex.
This past year the Employment Office continued its recruitment efforts for qualified minority applicants by collaborating with the Five Colleges consortium to sponsor and host recruitment fairs with an emphasis on generating interest in the greater Springfield/Holyoke minority community to pursue employment opportunities in higher education. Efforts were also continued to recruit minority candidates for non-exempt positions through networking with community, social and faith based organizations in the greater Springfield/Holyoke region.
Improving Campus Diversity During the spring of 2010, new steps were taken to strengthen and revitalize diversity initiatives on campus. Chancellor Holub formed the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee to serve as an advisory board on matters of diversity. This committee brings together offices, programs and individuals who do important work to advance the campus’s commitment to diversity and equity, and is comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members. Chaired by Debora Ferreira, Executive Director of Equal Opportunity & Diversity, the Committee was charged to: review campus policies and procedures related to diversity; help to develop new, coordinated initiatives to advance diversity and equity on campus; and contribute to the development of a comprehensive diversity and equity plan. Currently, the Committee is reviewing a draft of such a diversity plan. A campus diversity website, with the aim to foster communication on diversity related topics, is now under construction. The vision for the UMass Amherst Diversity Website is that it will be the hub of all diversity work and activity taking place on campus and in the neighboring communities, and will provide a place to communicate and be informed on how to collaborate on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity.
Mentoring The Mutual Mentoring Initiative is a campus-wide faculty development initiative that seeks to support, develop and retain new and under-represented faculty through mentoring; this program is funded by a generous three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. With this grant, the Provost’s Office and the Office of Faculty Development have established two grant programs for UMass Amherst faculty.
The Mellon Mutual Mentoring Team Grant Program: Team Grants support faculty-driven, context-sensitive projects based at the departmental, school/college, interdisciplinary, or inter-institutional levels. The most successful faculty mentoring projects originate at the faculty ranks and are carried out by teams that conceive and implement their own project plans.
The Mellon Mutual Mentoring Micro Grant Program: MicroGrants are individual mentoring grants that are intended to encourage pre-tenure faculty to identify desirable areas for professional growth and opportunity, and to develop the necessary mentoring relationships to make such change(s) possible.
Springfield Initiatives Officials from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the City of Springfield formalized a Greater Springfield-University of Massachusetts Amherst Partnership in 2008 designed to promote collaborations that will lead to the revitalization of Springfield’s economy. The partnership aims to position the city in the long term as a center for environmentally beneficial green industries, to boost the city’s arts and creative economy, and to expand relevant university teaching and outreach initiatives. Key goals include revitalizing Springfield’s economy and establishing an effective university-city framework for cooperative activities that benefit the citizens of Springfield and its surrounding communities.
In 2010, the UMass Center for Public Policy and Administration was awarded $40,000 by the UMass President’s creative Economy Initiative to help create a center dedicated to alleviating poverty and inequality in Springfield and other western Massachusetts cities. The Springfield Initiative provides a bridge between university research and resources and city residents working to make their lives and communities better. Its focus is on strategies to improve the lives of marginalized communities as an integral part of improving the prosperity of cities and regions. This program will bring together faculty and students on campus interested in working on areas of educational inequity in the Springfield Public Schools.
Our Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures manual was originally adopted in 1982. In 2001, the Sexual Harassment Procedures were modified to facilitate a more efficient process for handling complaints. Although the policy has remained the same, the following are a few notable changes in our procedures:
Complaint Handlers are trained to receive sexual harassment complaints, advise regarding options, fact find, resolve informal complaints, report complaints to EO&D and do appropriate follow-up to ensure non-retaliation. Department Heads and Chairs, Managers, Directors, Deans, Vice Chancellors and all administrators with line authority are designated Complaint Handlers.
The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity maintains a current list of the Support and Referral contacts who offer advice concerning options for confronting sexual harassment, make referrals, do follow-up and provide support during the complaint resolution process. The names of the Support and Referral contacts are included in the EO&D Sexual Harassment brochure which is on its website: www.umass.edu/eod.
The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity offers sexual harassment prevention workshops to departments upon request. During 2009 and 2010, EO&D continued with trainings on sexual harassment for area managers, assistant managers, supervisors, and employees. The training focused on what is sexual harassment, what is the law concerning sexual harassment, what to do if someone is being sexually harassed or accused of sexual harassment and how to address a problem dealing with sexual harassment. Trainings are scheduled on an on-going basis. This year the Office continued a sexual harassment/discrimination training that it offers for new employees, employees that have not taken the training in a while, and other employees who want to get updated on the laws relating to sexual harassment. Workshops can be tailored for specific audience needs or workplace area; separate trainings can be provided for supervisors. The series of workshops scheduled for spring 2011, includes: How to Respond to Sexual Harassment; Sexual Harassment 101; Preventing Harassment and Discrimination; and Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
During fall 2010, a nationally known expert in the field of sexual harassment education presented a series of sexual harassment prevention workshops for the faculty. These programs were designed to provide the faculty with essential information about how to respond if a student or employee raises concerns related to sexual harassment, with a goal to minimize the occurrence of sexual harassment and to ensure an appropriate response when it does occur. In spring 2011, this same expert presented sexual harassment prevention workshops for staff.
The Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures is available on the Equal Opportunity and Diversity website (www.umass.edu/eod). The Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity has developed a sexual harassment brochure that has been distributed campus wide, and is also available on the EO&D website. The Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures were mailed out to all full and part-time employees, temporary employees and graduate student employees in April 2011. Sexual harassment brochures are periodically distributed to deans, directors, department heads and chairpersons.
Training Programs In response to campus need for more training opportunities, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity expanded the number and variety of educational workshops and trainings it provides to the campus community to assist in combating sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The following types of workshops/trainings are provided: diversity training, new employee training, complaint handler training, individualized training, search procedures training, sexual harassment prevention training, and harassment/discrimination prevention training. Workshops can be tailored for specific audience needs or workplace area; separate trainings can be provided for supervisors. The series of workshops scheduled for spring 2011, includes: How to Respond to Sexual Harassment; Sexual Harassment 101; Preventing Harassment and Discrimination; and Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
During fall 2010, a nationally known expert in the field of sexual harassment education presented a series of sexual harassment prevention workshops for the faculty. These programs were designed to provide the faculty with essential information about how to respond if a student or employee raises concerns related to sexual harassment, with a goal to minimize the occurrence of sexual harassment and to ensure an appropriate response when it does occur.
Workplace Learning and Development (WLD) has worked on diversity, inclusion and respectful workplace issues with departments and organizations within many of the executive areas of the university and with their external clients. During FY'10, over 62 contact hours of customized training in these areas were delivered to over 468 participants. Central to the diversity efforts of WLD is the Five College Intergroup Dialogue initiative. In its second year, WLD plays a major role in the continued development of this important and exciting educational opportunity for faculty and staff from the five colleges. This collaboration between the Five College Training and Development Collaborative, the campus diversity directors and Dr. Ximena Zúñiga, Associate Professor, Social Justice Program, School of Education at UMass Amherst offers 60 faculty and staff an opportunity to begin to develop facilitation skills in intergroup dialogue during the three day IGD Institute in June. Those trained during the institute then facilitate introductory dialogues for their faculty and staff colleagues during the Days of Dialogue in the fall. The Days of Dialogue are intended to be a starting point for initiating more dialogues about important issues on our campuses to help create welcoming and inclusive campus communities. During the Days of Dialogue in FY'10, over 80 faculty and staff participated in dialogues on the topics of Class, Gender, Race and Religion.
The programming offered by the campus’ Labor/Management Workplace Education Program (LMWEP) brings together labor and management to address workplace issues such as diversity, civility, bullying, conflict, respect, and classism via workshops and courses geared primarily to a non-exempt workforce. LMWEP continues to address the needs of the campus for English as a second language programs in our maintenance and dining workplaces as well as education geared to our older workforce to increase their skill level with computer based applications used in their jobs. LMWEP builds sustainable futures for frontline workers, particularly women and workers of color, through grant-funded career ladder frameworks (e.g., pre-apprenticeship opportunities and education linked to job certification).
REPORTS FROM CHANCELLOR’S & VICE CHANCELLOR’S AREAS The Executive Director invited the senior administrators to report on activities related to affirmative action, equal opportunity and diversity during the past year, including recruitment and retention efforts for women and minority faculty, staff, and students, and to describe plans for the coming year. Their responses follow:
Chancellor’s Area Athletics The UMass Athletic Department promotes and supports the University’s comprehensive commitment to diversity and equity, providing equitable opportunity for all students and staff including minorities and women. Freshmen student-athletes are required to take a course a one credit course called “Your Winning Season” in which they are educated on a number of issues. Within this curriculum there is a section devoted to diversity. Athletics provides special programs to its athletes and coaches, such as one last spring by Break the Cycle. BTC assists youth in addressing their academic and personal needs by developing effective and relevant strategies and providing positive alternatives within a supportive community-based setting. Athletics has a committee for Student Athlete Welfare. It is our hope that this group will help our department remain proactive in developing initiatives and identifying priorities regarding diversity.
Gender Equity 2010
The University of Massachusetts Athletics Department is committed to monitor and maintain its efforts and dedication to gender equity. The Athletic Director has assigned the Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) as the main contact person responsible for the active monitoring, evaluation, and review of all gender equity issues within the department. The Senior Management team plays an active role in assisting the SWA with the daily monitoring of all issues as sports program administrators. The staff pays particular attention to roster management, the allocation of scholarship dollars, and the financial and staffing needs of all programs. The Senior Woman Administrator also provides the Faculty Athletic Council a report on all equity, gender and minority issues annually. The SWA, in cooperation with the Associate AD for, also compiles feedback directly from the student-athletes through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Student-Athlete Exit Interviews. As part of NCAA Certification, the Department adopted a Gender Equity Plan for 2007-2011. This plan is available upon request.
The Department of Athletics remains committed to efforts which support providing opportunity to minority student-athletes and staff. The Athletic Director reports annually to the University through the Faculty Athletic Council on the representation, opportunities and support services for Student-Athletes, and the attention given to minority representation in coaching and administrative positions. In the spring of 2010, the Athletic Department established a Diversity Committee. This committee consists of senior management, support staff, male and female coaches, and student athletes. The Senior Management Team also interviews (through the exit interview process) all student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility, on matters concerning race or ethnicity. In the past two years, this survey has resulted in a yield of about 80% return. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which meets monthly, is also encouraged to bring any issues regarding diversity to the athletic administration. As a part of NCAA Certification, the Department adopted a five year Minority Opportunities Plan. This plan is available upon request.
Disability Services Disability Services works to ensure that reasonable and effective accommodations and support services are in place for members of the university who have a documented disability. The following services are provided: support for employees with disabilities, assistance with employee accommodations, academic access, classroom access, commencement accommodation, exam proctoring, disability advising, disability advocacy, disability workshops for employees/supervisors, faculty notification of students’ accommodation eligibility in the classroom, open house sessions, orientation for incoming/prospective students, a scholarship program, a speakers bureau, and verification of eligibility for various campus services. Information provided by Disability Services to prospective students and their families encourages enrollment and leads to the diversification of the campus with regard to ability.
Office of Information Technology (OIT) Office of Information Technology management has long endorsed a training program aimed at providing OIT staff with an understanding of diversity in its many forms. In 2009, new employees and current staff were encouraged to attend a New Employee Training on Harassment and Discrimination. With the recent hiring of the Assistive Technologies Center Specialist, OIT established an active bridge between Academic Computing Computer Classrooms and the Office of Disabilities. In the Assistive Technologies Center (ATC), consumers registered with Disability Services will find six workstations, four with electric adjustable height desktops, housing three Windows and three dual-boot Macintosh computers. The ATC is also equipped with flatbed and multifeed scanners, optical character recognition software, document and screen reading software, voice recognition software, text enlargers, and other assistive technologies. The ATC Specialist’s role extends to assisting any UMass users, whether registered with Disability Services or not, through screen magnification and screen reading software.
Accommodations for wheelchair users are also found in all OIT Computer Classrooms facilities across campus. Consulting, instruction and links to tools are provided for campus web developers to allow them to check their sites for accessibility issues. In collaboration with the Library, OIT Computer Classrooms has plans to assist citizens of the Commonwealth with disabilities to gain access to the Library’s computing resources at the public stations in the Learning Commons. In the approach to instructors’ use of teaching technologies, the Faculty Support group in Academic Computing emphasizes how the technologies can be used to engage students of different learning styles and abilities.
Universal access is a theme throughout all OIT workshops that involve the building of content and use of tools. Faculty are urged to make sure that what they are doing is accessible to all. The Telecommunications area of OIT provides a TTY machine (a typewriter-like device) which allows the hearing or speech-impaired to communicate via telephone lines. OIT sponsors the UMass Summer Computer Technology Internship Program. The program is intended to attract traditionally underrepresented minorities and women in order to provide them an opportunity to work in a technology-focused environment and to consider technology-related careers.
Ombuds Office Established by the Board of Trustees in 1969, the Ombuds Office opened in 1971. Mandated to “assist any petitioner in the procurement of a just settlement of a grievance”, the Ombuds Office staff works to ensure fair and equitable treatment in matters of concern or grievance. Depending on the problem, the Ombuds Office mediates disputes, facilitates communication, investigates claims of unfair treatment or erroneous procedure, listens, advises, and makes recommendations. Initial inquiries are treated confidentially and no action is taken or names used without the permission of the complainant. The Ombuds Office also manages the existing academic grievance and academic honesty appeal procedures.
The Ombuds Office has a role in providing assistance and advice to members of the University community concerned with possible violations of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy. In addition, Ombuds Office representatives serve on various University committees and task forces which address issues of climate, civility, and fair treatment.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Provost I am pleased to report that in academic year 2010-2011, the University successfully recruited 40 tenure system faculty members. As always, department were encouraged to search for new hires with Affirmative Action obligations as a priority. The results of the 2010-2011 recruitment efforts are as follows:
Caucasian Males: 19
Caucasian Females: 13
Minority Males: 4
Minority Females: 4
Commonwealth Honors College Commonwealth Honors College continues its long history of building an open environment that embraces diversity and encourages dialogue. The group of faculty, staff and graduate students that comprises our Community, Diversity and Social Justice Committee regularly organizes events, workshops and discussions for all who work in the Honors College. Over the past 10 years this committee has played a major role in developing staff awareness around diversity issues and in catalyzing change in policies and procedures to lead to greater inclusiveness.
Each year, the Honors College requires its student staff to attend and participate in a day-long workshop focused on community, diversity and social justice. The focus of the Spring 2010 workshop was to raise issues and participate in conversations about ability and disability and the ways in which differing abilities affect the campus and the Honors College office. Twice-a-month faculty development meetings led by the Honors College's Community Engagement Program have given faculty teaching Community Service Learning courses and other honors faculty opportunities to discuss articles on diversity and social identity and examine together how to address these issues in teaching.
Over the past seven years, Commonwealth Honors College has made strides in bringing the demographics of each incoming class into alignment with the University's admission statistics for ALANA students.
In its academic programs, Commonwealth Honors College promotes diversity as well as creates opportunities for developing multicultural awareness.
In Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC), motivated students have the opportunity to construct concentrations relating to the experience of minorities that are not available through the University's standard majors. For example, BDIC students have developed concentrations in Latin American Studies and Asian American Studies.
All of our service-learning programs and courses offered through the Honors College's Community Engagement Program work to promote a diverse and multicultural environment for students. Community Service Learning (CSL) courses send students into communities (within western Massachusetts and across the country) to engage in community service; often this work requires students to cross boundaries of race and class and other dimensions of social identity. CSL courses, which operate as anti-discriminatory learning communities, prepare students for this work by exploring issues of diversity, social identity, power and privilege that they are likely to encounter in their community service.
Commonwealth Honors College collaborates with Undergraduate Advising and the Office of Admissions to recruit students to Emerging Scholars, an Honors Residential Academic Program (RAP) for traditionally underserved and underrepresented first-year students with strong academic records. While living together in a hall, these students, representing a range of racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds, take courses together that engage them in exploring issues of diversity, such as "Culture, People and Society" and "Beyond Borders." Students in Emerging Scholars are invited to apply to Commonwealth Honors College after receiving their first-year grades. This program will continue next year.
This year, the Honors College hosted a reception to bring together honors faculty, faculty of color who teach honors classes, new faculty of color, honors students of color, prospective honors students of color and honors staff. With about 100 in attendance, the informal gathering was well-attended. It paved the way for setting up faculty and student mentoring, establishing connections between faculty and students and Honors College staff. Faculty shared their thoughts with students about the importance of higher education, rigorous research, making the most of their tenure at UMass, using available resources, and the urgency to share their skills in their communities. The faculty underscored the significance of undergraduate research and shared with students their own experiences with engaged, honors-level teaching.
The Honors College often coordinates events that offer students intellectual stimulation as well as social interaction. A series of events including films, discussions and a campus visit from the author complements the book selected each semester for the Honors Seminar Series.
Weekly Pizza and Prof Nights provide opportunities for honors students to engage informally with faculty on a variety of topics, many of which incorporate social or cultural matters. Topics for the spring 2010 semester include a discussion of gender, sexuality, and culture in 1960 American society, an exploration of the assumptions and attitudes people make based on variations in speech, and a presentation on the intersections between gender, race and food.