Skip to Main Content

Women at Carolina: Barriers

Chat with a librarian

chat loading...


"Barriers" refers to the challenges and obstacles women battle at UNC-Chapel Hill. Topics include discrimination, hiring, admissions, Affirmative Action, tenure and compensation, Title IX, and sexual harassment.

Archival Collections

School of Law of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1923-2005

Box 8, Folder 298: correspondence with and about Pauli Murray, who had inquired about graduate coursework in law in light of the McKissick v. Carmichael and Epps v. Carmichael cases and the issue of integrated admissions at the School of Law, 1951.

Assistants to the Chancellor of the University of the North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Susan H. Ehringhaus Records, 1964-1985 particularly Series 2 and Series 6

Susan H. Ehringhaus was appointed assistant to Chancellor N. Ferebee Taylor in 1974. Her primary responsibility was to provide legal counsel to the chancellor on university policies; faculty, student, and employee grievances; and matters pertaining to academic tenure appeals. She also served as the university's Title IX compliance officer and as university liaison with the North Carolina Attorney General's office in court cases to which the university was a party. Included are files on complaints of discrimination in education and employment; tenure appeals; employee grievances of various kinds; and the university's efforts to comply with Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972. Of particular interest are files related to the tenure appeal of Sonja Haynes Stone, a faculty member in the Curriculum in African and Afro-American Studies.

Department of Athletics of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1919-1997, 2000 (Bulk 1919-1997) of particular interest would be Box 21-22

Intercollegiate athletics at the University of North Carolina began in 1884 with a baseball game against Bingham Military School. There were no official intercollegiate women's teams at the university until the early 1970s. In 1974, the women's intercollegiate athletics program became part of the Department of Athletics.Of particular interest are materials related to Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972 and its impact on women's athletics.

University Women for Affirmative Action Records, 1972-1974 particularly Folder 5: Discrimination Complaint to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against employment practices of UNC-CH Dept. of Economics, Mar. 1972-Dec. 1973

University Women for Affirmative Action (UWAA) was organized on 27 February 1973 in response to the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Affirmative Action findings that discriminatory practices in hiring and promotion appeared to be widespread on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The goals of the organization were to work against discriminatory hiring and promotion practices, to work to equalize salary and fringe benefit levels, and to promote the organization of a comprehensive University-sponsored day care facility for children of University employees and students. The UWAA was organized into five caucuses: (1) faculty, (2) EPA non-faculty employees, (3) SPA personnel, (4) graduate students, and (5) undergraduate students. Representatives of each caucus formed a steering committee, which selected the coordinator and other officers. By mid-1974, UWAA membership had declined to the point that only the steering committee remained active. Functions of the UWAA had been assumed by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Affirmative Action and the faculty Committee on the Role and Status of Women. Records of University Women for Affirmative Action (UWAA) include minutes of meetings, attendance lists, correspondence, publicity material, and other documents.

Office of the Provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1917-2017 (bulk 1954-2013)

The Provost is the university's chief academic officer, serving as liaison between the Chancellor and various deans and directors. Of particular interest is "Glass Ceiling Study," "women faculty," "Women at Carolina Task Force," and "Equal Pay" (search on the page).

Equal Opportunity/ADA Office of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1965-2006

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill put its first affirmative action plan into effect 1 July 1973. In September of that year, the chancellor appointed an affirmative action officer and advisory committee. Note "An Analysis of the Female Faculty: Discrimination at UNC" by Cathy Combs, 1975 (honors thesis in Sociology) in Box 1:1.

Status of Women Committee, 1972-1997, in General Faculty and Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1799-2015

The Status of Women Committee, created in 1973, is a standing committee of the university's faculty. It is appointed by the chair of the faculty and is responsible for investigating and making recommendations on problems affecting women faculty members. Records of the committee, 1973-1997, include correspondence (some regarding affirmative action), minutes of meetings, annual reports to the Faculty Council, and various surveys and studies concerning issues affecting women at the university, particularly salary and benefit inequities and child care.

Women's Concerns Coalition of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1988-1996

The Women's Concerns Coalition formed in the summer of 1988 in preparation for the installation of Chancellor Paul Hardin. Its purpose was to allow leaders from various campus organizations that dealt with issues of concern for women to present their views and priorities to the new chancellor with a unified voice. Following Chancellor Hardin's installation, the group regularly discussed university reports and policies pertaining to women. Meetings and discussions on such topics became the basis for coalition statements and recommendations that were presented to campus administrative leaders. These statements dealt with issues ranging from child care to faculty development to harassment policies.

Suit filed against UNC-Chapel Hill by FAST (Fight Academic Sexism Today) - tenure denied to women faculty, Folder 12, Women’s Forum, Box 1, Margaret Anne O'Connor Papers, 1972-1989

Admission correspondence from Edwina Thomas (1938) and Pauli Murray (1939), in Box 13, Office of President of the University of North Carolina (System): Frank Porter Graham Records, 1932-1949

Frank Porter Graham (1886-1972) was the first president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, which included the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina State College in Raleigh, and Woman's College in Greensboro.

Black Cultural Center

The fight for a Black Cultural Center culminated in the building of the Stone Center named after faculty member Sonja Haynes Stone. Documentation of this issue is in numerous collections including Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Records, 1984-2013 and Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Paul Hardin Records, 1988-1995 (Box 2:5) Margo Crawford was the one-time director of the BCC.

Publications and Reports

An analysis of faculty salary levels at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with reference to female salary inequities authorized by the UNC-Chapel Hill Chapter of the American Association of University Professors and carried out by its Committee on the Status of Women, professor Gillian T. Cell, chairperson. [Chapel Hill, N.C. : The Committee], 1979. North Carolina Collection (Wilson Library) Cp378 UM12

Manual(s) on recruiting black faculty members, 1973 and 1979

"Minority and female presence report ... for the..." 1983 - 1987, 1991

Theses and Dissertations

Sexual harassment in the University of North Carolina system : policies, programs, and practices by Leslie Anne Dare. 1999. North Carolina Collection (Wilson Library) C378.1 D217s

Sexual harassment perceptions : collegiate female athletes and non-athletes by Kelly L. Mieszkalski. 1999. Davis Library — Thesis (3rd floor)
Thesis Phys. Educ. 2000 M632 / North Carolina Collection (Wilson Library) C378 UO2 2000 MIESZKALSKI, K.L.

The status of athletics in relation to compliance with Title IX at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 by Karen Ellis Arwe. 1981. North Carolina Collection (Wilson Library) C378 UO2 1981 ARWE, K.E. 

Carolina women and the ramifications of Title IX by Patricia Lyn Hurst. 1988. North Carolina Collection (Wilson Library) C378 UO30 1988 

SOHP Interviews

University of North Carolina: University Faculty and Diversity, 1960-1990

Relating to an SOHP-coordinated and Association for Women Faculty (AWFP)-initiated project commemorating the AWFP's 30th anniversary, these interviews were conducted in 2007 and 2008 with professors, activists, and other community members. Founded at UNC Chapel Hill in 1978 by leading women faculty and administrators, the AWFP seeks to advance the status of women on campus. The interviews address changing hiring practices, tenure and promotion policies, department cultures, discrimination and affirmative action, and the role of minority and women faculty on campus between 1960 and 1990.

An additional four interviews (L-0384 to L-0387) were conducted in 2012 by Brooke Midkiff, PhD candidate at the UNC School of Education, as part of her research on women faculty's discourse about feminism, themselves, and their professional experiences as scholars in the current higher education environment.

In summer 2014, SOHP field scholar Katie Womble conducted four additional interviews with female faculty members hired in the 1970s and 1980s at UNC Chapel Hill.