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Trustees accept plan to implement gender equity (Released: 11/14/95)

by Thomas Becher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- With the Board of Trustees's acceptance today (Nov. 10) of a plan that includes adding women's sports and reducing male participation, the University of Connecticut is among the first universities in the country to begin addressing Title IX gender equity.

The plan to comply with Title IX, the statute requiring equal opportunities for men and women in intercollegiate athletics, will be ready for trustee approval in January or February, Athletics Director Lew Perkins said.

"We've examined this and it's time for us to move on," Perkins told trustees. "This is a very important issue we can't take lightly. It's not an athletic issue. It's a University issue."

The board requested the report in March. Among the recommendations: adding women's lacrosse and ice hockey to bring the University into compliance within five years; hiring more full-time women assistant coaches; having 27 fewer male athletes in cross country and track; and adding 26 more female athletes in other sports.

During the 1994-95 academic year, women made up 51 percent of the undergraduate of enrollment (5,181 of 10,239), but they represented only 38 percent of the University's athletes (211 of 554).

"It's absolutely essential that women's programs are proportionate with the student body," Perkins said.

There have been signs of improvement, he said. In 1990, the University offered 40 scholarships to women; now there are 70. "We need to go farther," Perkins said. "We've come along, but we're not there."

The costs and timetable of the equity plan won't be determined until it is reviewed by trustees in early 1996. Title IX, in effect since 1972, stipulates the withdrawal of federal funding from universities that do not comply.

The consultant, Lamar Daniel, is a partner in the Georgia firm of Andrus, Daniel and McCulloch. He had worked for more than 20 years for the Office of Civil Rights, the agency that oversees compliance of Title IX, before retiring in 1994.

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