Women's Center Charter, circa 1971

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Since its founding in 1889, Barnard College has distinguished itself as a women's college within the challenging atmosphere of a large, urban, ma1e—oriented university. To affirm its traditional commitment to educate women in the changing context of its closer relationship with Columbia, Barnard in 1971 established a Women's Center. The realization of a purpose long shared by many in the Barnard community, the Center's underlying aim is to assure that women can live and work in dignity, autonomy, and equality. Acknowledging that the broad needs and aspirations of women are often unrecog- nized or inadequately defined by the society at large, the Barnard Women's Center is dedicated to addressing those needs through the various groups it serves: students, faculty, administrators, alumnae, and women in the larger community. It endeavors to foster a heightened sense of woman's identity to the end that women may be free to cultivate their interests and talents and realize their potential as fully creative and contributing human beings. To encourage the open sharing of knowledge and experience, it seeks to increase ties among diverse groups of women. Its further aim is to create an atmos- phere and develop programs which will invest women with confidence and a sense of purpose. The Center welcomes the cooperation of all--men and women-—who are in sympathy with its aims. '


The Center is a physical and a psychological meeting ground for wo- men. Because it is open to a diversity of cultural styles and endeavors, its projects reflect wide ranging points of view.

As a part of Barnard College, the Center draws upon the academic community whenever a member of the College can further, through teaching, rew search, or other personal endeavor, some aspect of its work. The Center con- centrates on developing projects which complement or coincide with Barnard’s distinctive academic strengths in women's studies. These projects include a research library, departmental and interdepartmental courses, conferences, lec- tures, and publications. The Center encourages members of the Barnard faculty to engage in research in women‘s studies and to participate in the ongoing in- tellectual dialogue on feminist scholarship in professional and interdisciplin- ary organizations.

In addition, the Center engages in a variety of non-academic programs. It regularly provides information on activities and organizations of special in- terest to women, initiates n0n—credit courses on feminism, and sponsors projects in the arts. It provides vocational counseling for college women in the metro- politan area, acts as a clearinghouse for women's professional and educational projects, and carries on research on the career development of women.


Serving the College at large, the Women's Center is directly respon- sible to Barnard's President and Board of Trustees. It is governed by an Ex- ecutive_Committee which is its policy—making body. Representing the four major constituencies of the Center, the Comittee is composed of three stu- dents, three faculty members, three alumnae, and three administrative staff members. The Director of the Center is an ex officio member of the Committee; she does not vote except to break a tie. The student members of the Committee are elected according to procedures determined by the Undergraduate Association in consultation with the Director. Other members of the Committee are nominated by the Executive Committee of the Center in consultation with appropriate officers of the College: in the case of alumnae members, the President of the Alumnae Association; in the case of faculty members, the Dean of the Faculty; in the case of administrative staff members, the President of Barnard College. Upon the nomi- nation of the Executive Comittee, the President appoints the members for two year terms. Members may serve two consecutive terms. A member who has served on the Committee for four consecutive years may be reappointed only after a lapse of two years. The meetings of the.Committee are always open and the minutes are available to the public. '

The President of Barnard College appoints the Director, subject to

Trustee approval, upon the recomendation of a five—person Search Committee of which at least two are members currently serving on the Executive Comittee.

The President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will invite members to serve on the Search Committee. The Director's general functions are to initi- ate programs and projects with the approval of the Executive Committee and to implement the decisions taken by that body. She personally maintains liaison with the Columbia community. She also contributes to good public relations with other institutions and organizations. She and the Executive Committee, jointly or separately, are empowered to form subcommittees which deal with matters of concern to any or all parts of the Center's constituency. These subcommittees report their findings and recommendations to the Director and Executive Committee. The Director is responsible for seeing that these subcommittees include as mem~ bers representatives from groups whose interest is at stake. She has the re- sponsibility and duty of preparing and administering budgets, implementing per- sonnel policies, preparing reports, participating in meetings, and cooperating with other administrators in developing and carrying out programs for the good

of the College.

. Amendments to this charter require a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Committee and the approval of the Faculty, President, and Trustees of Barnard College.