Montana State University

Cruzado announces formation of MSU President's Commission on Status of University Women

September 16, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Montana State University President Waded Cruzado has formed a 24-member commission to study, evaluate and advise her on issues related to diversity and gender equity.

Cruzado said the President's Commission on the Status of University Women, to be chaired by Anne Camper, associate dean of the MSU College of Engineering, will identify institutional strategies to improve campus climate, alleviate the isolation of women in academic and work units through hiring and retention initiatives and accommodate the needs of diverse workers.

"My charge to the commission is to identify areas of concern and to help us go forward," Cruzado said. "Together, we will become the best university possible, a university where differences of any kind are respected and where bias of any kind is nonexistent."

MSU is just one of four research institutions in the United States where both the president and the provost are female. Only one-third of tenured faculty at MSU are women while 60 percent of adjunct instructors, who are often paid less and have fewer benefits, are women.

"Over the years, MSU has made significant progress in addressing diversity issues and the status of women, but there is still room for improvement," Camper said. "Through open dialogue about our challenges and opportunities we can identify key strategies for creating a more welcoming climate at the MSU campuses."

In addition to Camper, members of the commission, who represent all of MSU's four campuses and the community, include:

Phenocia Bauerle, Diversity Awareness Office; Cami Bechtold, MSU associate athletic director for Compliance/Student Services; Mary Kay Bonilla, MSU-Great Falls executive director of Human Resources; Beth Burroughs, MSU Department of Math, chair of Women's Faculty Caucus; Kari Cargill, MSU Department of Microbiology, Adjunct Union president; Betsy Danforth, program director of the MSU Women's Center; Christina Fastnow, MSU Planning and Analysis; Joy Crissey Honea, MSU-Billings Department of Sociology; Kristen Intemann, MSU Department of History and Philosophy, chair of the Women and Gender Studies Committee; Marvin Lansverk, MSU Department of English, chair of Faculty Senate; Diane Letendre, Affirmative Action; Marilyn Lockhart, MSU Faculty Development; Theresa Marchwick, MSU Office of HR|Affirmative Action; Erin McCormick, Career, Internship and Student Employment, representing MSU non-academic staff; Celia O'Connor, MSU alumna; Sandy Osborne, Department of Health and Human Development, Tenure Track Faculty Union president; Sara Rushing, MSU Department of Political Science, University Family Advocate; Alanna Sherstad, VOICE Center; Jessi Smith, MSU Department of Psychology; Tracy Sterling, MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Services; Rosalyn Templeton, MSU-Havre provost and vice chancellor; Kevin Thane, Information Technology Center, chair of Staff Senate; Jeannie Wilkinson, Techlink Center, chair of Professional Council.

The commission was announced at "Why So Slow," a day of activities and conversations about gender equity held Sept. 16 at MSU that featured Virginia Valian, author of "Why So Slow? The advancement of women." Valian is an expert on the advancement of women in the sciences, engineering, and in higher education. She is also co-director of the Gender Equity Project at Hunter College, which is dedicated to "demolishing the glass ceiling for academic women scientists."

Contact: Anne Camper (406) 994-2272, anne_c@biofilm.montana.edu