Bylaws

 

Article I: NAME & PURPOSE

Section 1.1 Name

The name of this commission shall be the President's Commission on the Status of University Women, hereafter referred to as the Commission.

Section 1.2 Purpose

In an advisory capacity, the Commission evaluates and works to improve issues related to gender equity and diversity on Montana State University's four campuses.

It is the Commission's pledge to facilitate the creation and sustainability of an environment of accountability, integrity, and optimism through collaboration between and among the MSU campuses, ensuring an atmosphere of equity, support, and balance. Through its continued efforts, the Commission will work toward the discovery and elimination of institutional barriers to the success of women and inspire women to become leaders, problem solvers, and innovators making meaningful contributions to MSU, the state of Montana, and society at large.

Article II: MEMBERSHIP

Section 2.1 Appointment of Members

Individuals appointed shall be persons interested in and willing to contribute to improving opportunities for women in the University community. Appointed members are responsible for attending scheduled commission meetings and participating on the committee.

The President of the University appoints the chair and chair-elect from the general commission members.

The Office of Institutional Equity liaison will maintain a listing of all members and affiliates with their current committee responsibilities, and will make the listing available to all members. The lists will remain current and reflect any changes in membership.

Section 2.2 Members

The Commission shall consist of no more than twenty-five members. The Commission shall have four classifications of members as follows:

Subsection 2.2.1 By Position

People serving in these positions are automatically appointed to the Commission and serve as eight members of the Commission.

  • VOICE Center Coordinator
  • Women's & Gender Studies Chair
  • Women's Center Director
  • Office of Institutional Equity Director (inclusive of Title IX Coordinator)
  • Chief Human Resource Officer
  • Senior Woman Administrator from Athletics
  • Women's Faculty Caucus Chair
  • Diversity Awareness Office Coordinator

Subsection 2.2.2 By Constituency

One member will be selected from each of the eight groups by their respective constituency.

  • Deans
  • Department Head/Chair/Director
  • Extension MSU—Billings
  • MSU—Northern
  • MSU College of Technology—Great Falls
  • Professional Council
  • Faculty Senate
  • Staff Senate

These members will serve for two year terms and may be reappointed or re-elected by their constituent group. If any member is unable to fill their two year appointment, their constituent group will select a replacement to fulfill the two year term.

Subsection 2.2.3 Student representation

One undergraduate student representative will be selected by ASMSU to serve on the Commission for a two year term. A graduate student representative will also be appointed.

Subsection 2.2.4 Additional Members

Other members may be appointed for two year terms as needed by the Chair or the President of the University. Examples of additional members can be found on the Commission's website.

Section 2.3 Officers

All officers shall hold office for two years beginning fall semester or until their successor is determined. In the event both officers resign or are otherwise unable to serve, the Executive Committee shall request the President to appoint replacements for the chair and chair-elect.

Subsection 2.3.1 Chair

The chair shall be the presiding officer of the Commission. The duties of the chair shall be to preside over all meetings of the Commission; to respond to and initiate communications with the Office of the President; to serve, ex-officio, on all committees of the Commission; to oversee and monitor the commission development activities; and to assume all functions usually associated with the office of chair(s). The chair will previously have served as the chair-elect as appointed by the President of the University.

Subsection 2.3.2 Chair-Elect

The chair-elect is appointed by the President of the University on even years and shall automatically succeed to the position of chair during his/her second year in office. During his/her first year, he/she shall assume the duties of chair when that officer is absent and shall perform the duties appropriate to that office. In the event the chair resigns or is unable to serve, the chair-elect shall move into that position immediately. His/her vacant position shall be appointed by the President at the request of the Executive Committee.

Subsection 2.3.3 Past Chair

At the end of his/her term, the chair shall automatically succeed to the position of past-chair. The past-chair shall assume the duty of chair of the Nominations Committee. In this role, he/she is responsible for managing the election process for the at-large Executive Committee members, Standing Committee members, membership replenishment, and changes and amendments to the bylaws.

Section 2.4 Office of Institutional Equity Liaison

A liaison from the Office of Institutional Equity shall be appointed to serve as staff support for the Commission. The liaison will attend all Executive Committee and Commission meetings, assist in maintaining commission records, assist with commission-related logistics, and perform other duties as needed.

Article III: ELECTIONS

Section 3.1 Election Schedule

The Commission shall elect the at-large Executive Committee members in odd numbered years and replace or change, if needed, the Standing Committee members and chairs in even numbered years. Elections will be held in March of each year and the elected members shall take office at the beginning of fall semester.

Section 3.2 Election Procedures

The Nominations Committee shall conduct all elections. Elections shall be conducted by confidential balloting via mail or electronic vote. The Nominations Committee will assemble a list of nominees from a list of commission members, including incoming members but excluding outgoing members and excluding members already selected to serve as committee chairs. The ballot shall be distributed by and returned to the Nominations Committee.

Subsection 3.2.1 At-Large Executive Committee members

The three members receiving the highest number of votes will assume the three at-large Executive Committee member positions.

Subsection 3.2.2 Standing Committee Members & Chairs

The members receiving the highest number of votes will assume the vacant position on the appropriate standing committee.

Article IV: COMMITTEES

Section 4.1 General

Commission committees serve as advisory bodies to the Executive Committee and, by extension, to the full commission. Committee chairs are responsible for reporting the status of their committees' programs and initiatives to the Executive Committee. They are not authorized to make decisions without Executive Committee approval unless they receive specific, issue-related authority from the Executive Committee.

The chair of each committee is responsible for scheduling regular meetings of the committee, preparing meeting agendas, and taking and distributing meeting minutes, with a copy to be filed with the Office of Institutional Equity liaison. The chair of each committee is responsible for providing a year-end report with recommendations to the Executive Committee.

Section 4.2 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall coordinate the activities of the Commission and its committees; it shall act for the Commission during and between meetings and shall serve as an advisory council to the elected commission officers. The Executive Committee will disseminate their decisions to the general committee via in-person meetings, email or by other electronic communication methods. Information and suggestions from the standing or ad-hoc committees will also be distributed to the general committee by the Executive Committee.

Purpose:
To choose and prioritize issues, to set up ad hoc committees to work on those issues, and to serve as the rapid-response team for salient issues as they arise.

Members:
Chair, chair-elect, and chairs of the Assessment Committee, Communication Committee, Recognition Committee, Nominations Committee and three at-large members elected from the general committee. Chairs of the ad hoc committees will attend meetings of the Executive Committee. They will be non-voting participants unless otherwise on the committee by virtue of election as an at-large member.

Subsection 4.2.1 Resignations and Temporary Inactive Executive Committee Members

If a current member of the Executive Committee finds it necessary to be absent from the University for a period of six months or more, he/she will be asked to resign, and the remainder of the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement.

Section 4.3 Standing Committees

Standing committees accomplish the Commission's substantive work. The Commission shall determine its committee structure and composition with the following stipulations: any University employee or any student on the Commission may be appointed to a standing committee. Committee chairs will be elected by the general commission to serve for two years. Committee chairs are members of the Executive Committee.

With the approval of the Executive Committee, all committees may add to their memberships any member of the University staff or faculty or any student of the University on the basis of his/her interest, expertise, or membership in a particular sector of the University community. Five members from each standing committee can be from outside of The Commission and are voted on by The Commission. All committees are encouraged to seek advice or consultation on particular questions as circumstances might indicate.

Subsection 4.3.1 Assessment Committee

Purpose:
To review current information/data or collect new data to assist in identifying issues; report general findings. Issues can be raised through the Assessment Committee or by constituent approaches to the commission or liaison contacts, etc.

Members:
Five representatives elected from the Commission.

Subsection 4.3.2 Communication Committee

Purpose:
To increase the visibility of the Commission, promote the purpose and accomplishments of the commission, recommend updates to the web site, and publicize its special programs and events.

Members:
Five representatives elected from the Commission.

Subsection 4.3.3 Recognition Committee

Purpose:
To implement and select the winners of the Commission's recognition awards.

Members:
Five representatives elected from the Commission.

Subsection 4.3.4 Nominations Committee

Purpose:
To solicit nominations for the executive and standing committee members and to replenish the appointed membership. The past-chair will oversee and handle the process for the Executive and Standing Committee member election processes, new appointed-member nomination and selection process, and changes and amendments to bylaws.

Members:
Past-chair

Section 4.4 Ad-Hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees are appointed by the Executive Committee as needed. Ad hoc committees may be short or long term, depending on the nature of the issues to be addressed. All policies and procedures that apply to standing committees also apply to ad hoc committees.

Article V: MEETINGS

Section 5.1 Schedule

Regular meetings of the Commission shall be held once a semester on dates to be announced by the chair. In addition, Executive Committee meetings shall be held each month. The standing and ad-hoc committees shall meet as needed.

Section 5.2 Rules of Order

The rules of procedure in the meetings of the Commission shall be those of Robert's Rules of Order, most recent edition.

Section 5.3 Non-Member Attendance Protocol

All meetings of the Commission are open to employees of the University and members of the community, unless matters of a confidential nature are being discussed. Any employee of the University or community member not a member of the Commission may request the privilege of speaking on any item of business before the commission provided sufficient time is given so the item for discussion can be included in the agenda prior to the meeting.

Section 5.4 Minutes & Agendas

The Commission shall publish minutes and agendas of its proceedings in a timely manner.

Section 5.5 Decisions

A simple majority of casted votes settles the specific issue under consideration. Voting may take place electronically, by paper ballot, or during scheduled meetings.

Article VI: SPONSORSHIP

The Commission may provide sponsorship (attaching the Commission name) to an event and/or program. Decisions will be on an individual basis and determined by need, appropriateness to Commission goals, and available funds.

Decisions are made by the Executive Committee with input when possible/appropriate by the Communications Committee.

Article VII: REVISIONS AND AMENDMENTS

Amendments to the bylaws may be adopted by simple majority vote from the appointed membership, either electronically or by paper ballot. Revisions and amendments are presented at a full commission meeting or via e-mail, and ballots are sent to the voting membership within a week after the meeting or distribution of the email.

By-Laws approved by membership on May 16th, 2012.

Revisions approved by membership on September 23rd, 2013.