The Academic Women’s Caucus began informally in 1985 with a group of faculty women who met to discuss issues pertinent to female faculty. The Caucus was originally formed as a political lobby group to act in matters of interest to the women on campus and, in particular, to work for the implementation of the university equity policy. Since then, the Caucus has been involved in other matters such as the re-organization of the Harassment and Sexual Harassment policy, lobbying for increased daycare spaces and other relevant issues.
The Caucus gained official status in 1986 when Murray Fraser, VP Academic, formalized the group as the Ad Hoc Committee on Women’s Academic Affairs. Since that time, the group was known as the Faculty Women’s Caucus, until it changed its name to the Academic Women’s Caucus in January of 2008. The Caucus remains a network of women in all parts of the university who keep in touch with each other and share information in both formal and informal ways as well as offering support to members who are in need of it.
The first chair was appointed in 1987; incumbents include: Marilyn Callahan, 1987-88; Patty Tsurumi, 1988-89; Maureen Maloney, 1989-90; Christine St. Peter, 1990-91; Nancy Galambos, 1991-92; Judith Terry, 1992-93; Alison Preece, 1993-94; Sneja Gunew, 1994-95; Ginni Eden, 1995-96; Laurie Baxter, 1996-97; Margot Young, 1997-98; Lily Dyson, 1998-2001, Misao Dean, 2001-02; Radhika Desai, 2002-04; Hester Lessard, 2004-05, Margo Matwychuk, 2005-07, Lynne Marks, 2007-09, Maneesha Deckha, 2009-2010.