PULLMAN, Wash. — A leadership award honoring Washington State
University’s president has been established by the Association for Faculty
Women of WSU.
The AFW Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award will be presented for the first
time in the fall of 2000.
An AFW committee recommended the award to honor Smith’s commitment to
women faculty during his presidential tenure, said Charlotte Omoto, AFW
president and biosciences professor. Now in his 15th year leading WSU, Smith
retires as president on July 1. Committee members included chair Carole
Schulte-Johnson, teaching and learning; Lori Carris, plant pathology; and Jan
Omoto said those selected for the award will have “a strong and continuous
record of leadership in advancing the role of women on campus, or in
leadership at the community, state or national level in private, government or
“Through his hard work and leadership, Dr. Smith has helped improve the
climate for women at WSU. This award recognizes him for what he has done,
and it shall continue to honor him in the years to come,” Omoto said.
The creation of the award was a surprise to Smith. He learned of it at a Nov. 3
AFW meeting during which organization members Carolyn Clark, Inga
Kromann-Kelly, Sue Armitage and Sue Durrant highlighted the President’s
Seminar Series, how he appointed task forces dealing with gender issues, and
how he is addressing institution barriers to the advancement of women and
people of color at WSU.
“The presidential requirement that university administrators develop plans to
improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty
members and a Women’s Issues in Higher Education statewide conference in
Pullman were also major improvements,” said the report.
The committee cited Smith’s role in the development of an effective sexual
harassment and complaint policy, yearly salary equity reviews, partner
accommodations, Women’s Resource and Research Center reconfiguration, a
direct line of communication between him and the Commission on the Status of
Women, and gender equity in intercollegiate athletics.