Past Newsletters, Correspondance, and Meeting Notes

It has been a wonderful year serving as your Chair. I enjoyed getting to know some of you at our workshops, happy hours, and hikes. I hope to continue to get to know more of you as move into my new role as WFC Outgoing Chair.


Associate Professor in Education, Ann Ewbank, will take over as Chair of the WFC starting this month and will serve for the 2019-2020 academic year. I will continue to stay involved as Outgoing Chair and serve on the WFC Steering Committee and on the President's Commission on the Status of University Women (PCOSUW) Policy Sub-Committee for the next academic year.


WFC Leadership Opportunities:

We will be looking for nominations and volunteers to serve as the:

  • Incoming Chair: This woman faculty member would assist Ann Ewbank this year, and serve as Chair and/or Co-Chair in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • WFC Steering Committee: This group would represent a college or other subgroup of the women faculty and attend monthly/bi-monthly meetings to address policy issues on campus. The work of this committee will dovetail with other committees on campus such as the PCOSUW Policy committee but will focus on developing the goals, programs, and policy campaigns of the Women Faculty specifically. We will be announcing opportunities to get involved.


Year-End Summary

This year we had some great opportunities to mentor, honor, and connect women across campus. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Honored Elizabeth Burroughs with the Distinguished Mentor Award at a January Social Event
  • Mentored Promotion and Tenure Candidates at a workshop, mentorship program, and co-working sessions.
  • Identified new policy and program goals for 2019 at the Visioning Session.
  • Informed women faculty about events and programs on campus through newsletters, the website, and Facebook.
  • Coordinated events with other women-oriented groups on campus, including co-sponsoring events with the Women's Center and the Center for Faculty Excellence.
  • Connected women socially at 1 happy hour and 2 hikes.

I greatly enjoyed being the Chair of this group and look forward to working with many of you in the future!

I hope you are all having a great summer. The WFC is ending its academic year with a few summer activities to help you relax, stay productive, and prepare for Promotion and Tenure reviews.


We will hold several happy hours and hikes this summer. Coming up is:

  • Spring Hike at Middle Cottonwood CreekSaturday, June 1, 9:30 AM to Noon, weather permitting. Meet the trailhead. The hike should be about 2 hours long, and have a 450 ft climb. If anyone wants to carpool, you can email Susanne Cowan for a ride. RSVP by email to or via our Facebook page.

Retention, Tenure, and Promotion- Mentoring and Co-working

This summer the WFC has two programs to support RTP Candidates.

  • The WFC RTP Mentorship Program is pairing up senior faculty with candidates for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion. We are in need of more volunteers to be mentors. I will email matches pairs of mentors and mentees in early June. If you are interested in being a mentor or mentee please sign up here: RTP Mentorship Sign Up list
  • The WFC RPT Co-Working Events will create an opportunity for candidates to sit together while working so that they can get encouragement, ask questions, share work, and brainstorm on strategies. Based on the survey results, I have chosen the meeting time and location in June to be held: Tuesdays (June 4, June 18, and June 24) 10 am to Noon at the International Coffee Traders. In July, we can continue or reevaluate this meeting time and location.

More Co-working

The Junior Faculty League will also be hosting the "Shut-Up and Write" Club this summer, with weekly meetings for coworking on Research/Scholarship/Creativity. These events are open to all faculty. For Junethese events will be held: 

  • Wednesdays 10 am to 1pm at Treeline Coffee on Wallace starting May 29.
  • If you are interested in getting emails about this and other coworking opportunities, sign up on this Co-working email list.

Racial Equity Training

Earlier in the year, some WFC members expressed interest in an in-depth racial equity training with the Montana Racial Equity Project. I will be looking into scheduling a one-day training this summer. If you are interested please add your name to this Diversity Training Sign Up list for more information and to help chose dates.
For more info on events this summer, join our facebook page, and/or keep an eye on our events web page.
Have a great summer!



Congratulations on completing another semester. This summer WFC will be hosting more events to help you be productive; prepare for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion; and relax and enjoy Bozeman. I hope you can join us!

Additionally, I would like to draw attention to a training this week which may interest and benefit the women faculty: 

  • Managing Conflict in AcademiaFriday, May 10, 2019 from 9:00am to 12:00pmMSU Library, Innovative Learning Studio
  • Conflict is part of our academic life, whether it be in the classroom, mentoring/advising or in our research and creative teams. This workshop discusses the different sources of conflict and provides practical steps to manage it. Participants will get a chance to practice these steps in scenarios and start to develop a comfort with conflict.

Retention, Tenure, and Promotion- Mentoring and Co-working

A reminder to those of you going up for Tenure and Promotion that the Research Dossier for External Review is due on Friday, May 10. Retention candidates do not need to turn anything in until the Fall semester.

This summer the WFC has two programs to support RTP Candidates.

  • The WFC RTP Mentorship Program will pair up senior faculty with candidates for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion. If you are interested in being a mentor or mentee please sign up here: RTP Mentorship Sign Up list
  • The WFC RPT Co-Working Events will create an opportunity for candidates to sit together while working so that they can get encouragement, ask questions, share work, and brainstorm on strategies. I will set up a series of events that anyone may attend once or weekly. If you are interested in participating, I encourage you to fill out a survey so I can gauge the potential number of participants, and our preferences on the frequency, timing, and location of the events. WFC RPT Co-Working Preference Survey


Productivity- More Co-working

The Junior Faculty League will also be hosting the "Shut-Up and Write" Club this summer, with weekly meetings for coworking on Research/Scholarship/Creativity. These events are open to all faculty but focus on the needs of Junior Faculty preparing for tenure. If you are interested in participating in our work days, you may participate in the survey to help choose the times and locations. JFL Co-working Preference Survey


We will hold several happy hours and hikes this summer to facilitate bonding between the women faculty. Here are the first of each:

  • Monday,May 13, 5-7pm, Happy Hour, Blend, 31 S Wilson Ave.
  • Saturday, June 1, TBA am, Morning Hike. More info to come.

For more info on events this summer, join our facebook page, and/or keep an eye on our events web page.

In March, MSU hosted some powerful events to address women's issues on campus. In particular faculty, and administrators rallied around the ideas presented at Anna Kirkland's enlightening talk, "Sexual Harassment: Improving Academia’s Campus Climate and Culture." She recommended: addressing more subtle forms of discrimination and harassment, allowing department heads to withhold discretionary perks from those who have been accused of harassment, and developing informal or anonymous ways to report harassment.For those of you who were not able to attend the event, I suggest taking a look at the findings in the Report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, on which the talk was based. Kirkland also recommended a survey tool, the ARC3 Campus Climate Survey which is being considered for use here at MSU. I hope this talk can help us gain moment for positive change to the campus climate around gender equity.


President's Commission on the Status of University Women (PCOSUW)

On March 14 the PCOSUW had its biannual meeting. We discussed three main topics:

  • Formation of a PCOSUW Task Force to address Sexual Harassment Assessment and Prevention: This group will consider some of the Assessment tools we could employ, taking into consideration recommendations from last month'stalk byAnna Kirkland, "Sexual Harassment: Improving Academia’s Campus Climate and Culture."
  • An update from the Relationship Policy Task Force which is currently drafting language on a new policy regarding Relationships between faculty/staff and students. There is no official language yet to share with you, but I will also be reviewing the policy at part of the PCOSUW  Policy Sub-Committee. Please reach out if you have concerns you want to share.
  • Updating the Bylaws to include the new Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer position as a member.

Visioning Session

On March 8 we held a visioning session with 9 participants which explored ideas around the WFC mission and goals, including:

  • Diverse Hiring Practices 
  • Workplace Equity
  • Reporting Discrimination and Harassment
  • Leadership and Professional Development 

Our first major Action Item will be Reestablishing the Steering Committee next Fall to follow up on the ideas generated. For more of the notes from the meeting see our newsletter archives.

Retention, Promotion, and Tenure

Thank you to Ann Ewbank for Organizing and Moderating the Retention, Promotion, and Tenure Panel Discussion. We had a great turn out of 16 participants and covered a wide range of topics. Thank you also to the panelists: Tricia Seifert, Sarah Pennington, Graham Austen, and Carly Urban for giving their time and their insight into the tenure process.

In May, we will be organizing: a mentor matching program to get more individualized feedback, and a peer matching program for co-working.

The official P&T training for the university is scheduled for this Friday: 

  • "Best Practices in Assembling a R,T&P Dossier From People Who Have Read a Lot of Them – Target Audience: RTP candidates, Friday, April 19 ,SUB Ballroom B || 10:30 a.m. – 12:00. 
  • In this session that targets retention and tenure candidates, faculty will interact with other faculty who have served on Promotion and Tenure Committees and reviewed numerous dossiers. The experienced faculty will discuss best practices in assembling a dossier. The purpose of this session is to help take the mystery out of the process of putting together a dossier.  Examples of topics discussed include the role of the personal statement, how to best demonstrate your teaching and service in your CV, and obtaining names for external review letters.  Sample dossiers will be available online for review after the session. The session will begin with a brief summary of policies and procedures given by David Singel."

Women’s Faculty Caucus (WFC) Visioning Session Meeting Notes

March 8, 2019 12:00-1:30 pm, Animal Bioscience Building 138

List of Participants:

  • Susanne Cowan, Assistant Professor, Architecture, Chair of WFC

  • Ann Ewbank, Associate Professor, Education, Incoming Chair of WFC

  • Diane Debinski, Professor, Department Head, Ecology

  • Mary Hubbard, Professor, Earth Sciences

  • Jennifer Brown, Associate Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering

  • Holly Hunts, Associate Professor, Health and Human Development

  • Brooke Bocast, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

  • Sara Branco, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunololgy

  • Jennifer Lachowiec, Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology

Mission (Re)Definition or Pivot

What distinguishes us from other groups focused on women’s issues?
  • No other group on campus handles networking, socializing, community building for all women faculty on campus (including Arts and Humanities)

  • More accessible to new faculty

  • More grassroots and informal that other groups like PCOSUW

What portions of the mission should we pursue?
  • Should aim to Address and Bridge the gap between administrators and faculty

  • Liaison, gather and distribute information to other groups like PCOSUW

  • Help build awareness among faculty of resources on campus

  • Advocate for Implementation of Change

Ranking Our Issues

What issues should we take on in the next year? Rank your top 3 using stickers.

  • Leadership Development for Women- 3 dots

  • Retention and Promotion of Women- 2 dots

  • Salary Equity: At Hiring, Promotion, and Merit Raises- 3 dots

  • Diverse Hiring Practices and/or Partner Hiring- 5 dots

  • Family Leave/ Pregnancy Leave / Tenure Clock Stops- 1 dot

  • Child CareOn Campus- 1 dot

  • Health Care:Coverage for Women and Children- 1 dot

  • Workplace Equity: Improving the Climate and Implementing Best Practices- 4 dots

  • Service Load for Women- 1 dot

  • Reporting Procedures: OMBUDS / Title IX / Human Resources / Training- 3 dots


Discussion of Issues

 Diverse Hiring Practices (5 dots)
  • Improve equity in Search- use existing tools on campus (like examining success in the Engineering department), equity advocates?

  • Concern that trainings are not effective. Improve depth of Search Training, Research on the impact of trainings on searches

  • Concern over searches with no women candidates, or committees who need to be told at each stage to be more inclusive, and then react by saying it is merit based.

 Workplace Equity (4 dots)
Ensure Equal Workload
  • Some faculty working higher teaching loads then their contract or higher than other faculty. Lack of clarity in contracts between units and number of courses

  • Higher service loads for women, not all faculty pulling service load weight.

  • Women spend more time per student in advising and mentoring die to style.

  • Women faculty spend more time in trainings and are in higher numbers at trainings.

  Improving Faculty Meetings
  • Tracking data on (in)equity of talk time during faculty meetings

  • Training faculty and department heads on good meeting techniques

 Reducing Harassment
  • Addressing micro aggressions, language, more subtle forms of harassment.

  • Using the Academies of Sciences’ report to make a case for climate change

  • Informal Reporting and Monitoring not Title IX/HR

  • Department heads use position and discretionary powers as advised by Anna Kirkland

  • Collecting Anonymous reports and data, like Yale

  • Apply anonymous data to give more urgency to trainings and dept head talks

Training Graduate Students
  • Help model and promote climate change for men and women grad students

  • Awareness exercises and role playing

  • Responding to incidents of inappropriate behavior by grad students, training to prepare, having a response ready, follow up after the fact

  • Make trainings annual, improve the quality, bas trainings do more harm than good.

  • Trainings should focus not on legality, but on culture, best practices

 Reporting Incidents (3 dots)
  • Means for reporting subtle (not illegal) forms of discrimination and harassment

  • Informal Reporting: Less trauma and backlash than existing through Title IX and HR

  • Ombuds- Reestablish the Pre-Advance tradition to have outside counsel

  • Another model: Mediator/Negotiator, problem solver, also occasionally served as meeting facilitator

  • Ombuds or mediator on retainer no cost to departments, prevents legal costs later.

Leadership and Professional Development (3 dots)
  • DEAL program: Apply, selected, only a few per year, make women faculty more aware of the program

  • HERS Institute- National program, 2-3 per year from MSU

  • Ask those with outside leadership training (like HERS) to have a workshop to spread knowledge more through faculty (such as Tricia Seifert, Suzanne Held)

  • Add WFC Drop In/ Informal leadership trainings to augment but be more accessible than semester-long structured courses like DEAL

  • Mentorship in leadership: Common strategies for effective communication in face of conflict

  • Scholarship Enhancement Certificate coming from Faculty Excellence

  • Help new faculty understand the resources available

  • Use social events to spread info about professional development activities

  • Better targeted trainings and orientation for new faculty, information packets

  • Early oureach and Mentorship for New Tenure track faculty in WFC (some new faculty did not have success getting matched in the Faculty Excellence Program)

Salary Equity (3 dots)
  • Make salary information more easily accessible, so that candidates can check info before negotiating on contract (right now hard to access, unclear how, at Office of Institutional Equity?)

Family (1 dot)
  • Family advocates missing meetings during searches, less resources since Advance?

Next Steps and Action Items
  • Set goals: Long term, medium term, and short term (yearly) goals.

  • Re-establish the Steering Committee, representatives by college?

  • Question: should we vote on steering committee, have people nominate themselves?

  • Priorities: Search trainings, informal reporting procedures, support for new faculty

  • Trainings for this year: Meeting facilitation

  • Continue Newsletters- Organized Information rather than sporadic

Next month is Women's history month, so there are quite a few events organized both on and off campus. I am emailing you all early this month so you can put them on your calendars. I would like to highlight two events, Dr. Anna Kirkland's talk, "Sexual Harassment: Improving Academia’s Campus Climate and Culture,"on March 7, and the Women’s Reproductive History Alliance talk, "Reproductive Rights--They Just Won't Go Away!", March 11. I hope these events are inspirational for you. This month is a chance to see how far we have come, and what we can do to continue to make progress in gender equity. 

Visioning Session/Policy Committee

 So far we have a small group registered for the Visioning session. If you are interested in helping frame the WFC's upcoming policy goals, I hope you will join us for this event. We will brainstorm ideas for how the overall mission of our group and what we should focus on for more immediate action items. The ideas from this session will be recorded and shared with the WFC Policy Committee to be formed after the meeting.

The Visioning Session will take place Friday, March 8 Noon-1:30 pm in Animal Biosciences Building (ABB) 138. You are welcome to come by spontaneously or for part of the meeting. We will provide lunch for those people who RSVP for the Visioning Session. We will have Web-X, so please let me know if you are interested in remote participation.


Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Roundtable

So far we have 15 people registered for the WFC P&T roundtable. This event will allow women faculty to talk about preparing to go up for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion, including sharing experiences, asking questions, and getting advice. It is not the official campus P&T training, but a great opportunity to get a wide range of experiences, or to problem solve personal issues. We will have several tenured women faculty, who are either full Professors or have served on P&T committees, or as Department/College/University administrators. The first portion will be a panel presentation, and we will then break into three groups (retention, tenure & promotion, and promotion to full) to discuss strategies and answer questions. Some faculty indicated a desire to receive feedback on their dossiers. While we will not do this at this event, we can discuss possible mentoring and feedback opportunities. Anyone interested in additional discussion may also continue discussions and coworking across the street at Cafe M from 3-5 pm.

 Faculty planning to go up for review in the 2019-2020 academic year are encouraged to attend this event or another we will hold in May. Those going up for Tenure or Promotion will have external review materials due May 10, so now is a good time to get started. We are aware that some faculty, especially in Nursing, may not be in Bozeman to attend. If you would like to “beam in” please contact Ann EwbankThe event will take place Friday, March 1, 1-3pm at the Bozeman Public Library. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP for P&T Roundtable by Wednesday, February 27Please contact Ann Ewbank if you have any questions regarding this event, or to share information about dietary restrictions.

Opportunity to Travel to Cuba

Youare invited to join the U.S. Women & Cuba Collaboration on our 2019 Delegation, May 3-12, 2019. Their educational program serves as an opportunity to learn from and exchange with Cuban women grassroots and national leaders while offering us other cultural perspectives and best practices about relevant critical issues facing the U.S. Trip Co-Leaders Jan Strout and Lauren Gette-King are both Instructors at Montana State University and have lead numerous Delegations to Cuba. The PRIORITY DEADLINE TO APPLY is on or before Monday, February 25, 2019, but applications will continue to be accepted through April 1, 2019. For more information see the WFC Events webpageFor the Application package with details and pricing, email:


WFC Events:

  • Friday, March 1, 1-3pm, WFC Retention, Promotion, and Tenure RoundtableBozeman Public Library, Small Conference Room, Lunch provided.
  • Friday, March 8, Noon-1:30 pm, WFC Visioning Session, Animal Biosciences Building (ABB) 138. Lunch will be provided.


Other Group's Events:  (updated throughout the month on our website)

  • Tuesday, February 26, U.S. Women & Cuba Collaboration on our 2019 Delegation, Application Priority Deadline (accepted until April 1)
  • Tuesday, February 26, 12-1pm, IDEA (Online) Course Evaluations, Women in STEM/SBS Faculty Learning Community, Montana Room (NAH 239 – Asbjornson Hall), Lunch will be provided. 
  • Wednesday, February 27, 12-1pm, FEEL: A Supportive Team Approach for Eating and Body Concerns Women's Center Sack Lunch Series, SUB 168
  • Sunday, March 3, 4-6 pm (doors open 3:30), True Postpartum Stories Panel DiscussionThe Third Annual Moms Like Me Event, Rialto Theater, Bozeman
  • Wednesday, March 6, 12-1pm, "Unorthodox: Experiences of Birth Control" Women's Center Sack Lunch SeriesSUB 168
  • Thursday, March 7, 6 pm, Dr. Anna Kirkland, "Sexual Harassment: Improving Academia’s Campus Climate and Culture," sponsored by the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women, held in Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center, Inspiration Hall
  • Monday, March 11, 6:30-7:30 pm, "Reproductive Rights--They Just Won't Go Away!" Jennifer Hill and Stacey Haugland from the Women’s Reproductive History Alliance, Sponsored by the Women's Center.
  • Wednesday, March 13, 12-1pm, "Why Lavender Celebration?" Women's Center Sack Lunch Series, SUB 168
  • Tuesday, March 26th, 5-7 pm, Diversity Showcase, in Inspiration Hall, Norm Asbjornson Hall. 
  • Wednesday, March 27, 12-1pm, "Women on Wheels: Suffrage, Social Justice, and the Bicycle," Women's Center Sack Lunch Series, SUB 168


Over the past 12 years, since the WFC was formed in 2006, this group has helped improve the conditions for women on campus at MSU, with progress on issues like: family leave policies, tenure-clock stops, family care rooms, partner hiring, recruitment and mentorship of women in STEM, and more. The Advance Program, the Family Advocate program, and the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women have helped to institutionalize these activities. Now that it has been 18 months since the Advance grant ended, it is a good time to regroup and decide what our mission should be moving forward.


Visioning Session/Policy Committee

In order to discuss the future policy goals for 2019, we will be holding a Visioning Session to brain storm ideas for how the overall mission of our group may evolve to face the challenges of the next decade, and what we should focus on for more immediate action items. The ideas from this session will be recorded and shared with the WFC Policy Committee to be formed after the meeting.

The session will take place Friday March 8 Noon-1:30 pm in Animal Biosciences Building (ABB) 138.Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP. Coming for part of the meeting is fine; we welcome all feedback. Please let me know if you are interested in remote participation, and I will do my best to include you. I know we are all busy, so if you can’t make it but would like to serve on the Policy Committee, or share ideas with them, please send me anemail.

Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Roundtable

The WFC will hold a roundtable event for women faculty to talk about preparing to go up for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion. This informal roundtable event will allow women faculty to share experiences, ask questions, and get advice. It is not the official P&T training, but a great opportunity to get a wide range of experiences, or to problem solve personal issues. We will have several tenured women faculty, who are either full Professors or have served P&T committees or as Department Heads, present to help mentor. Faculty planning to go up for review in the 2019-2020 academic year are encouraged to attend this event or another we will hold in May. Those going up for Tenure or Promotion will have external review materials due May 10, so now is a good time to get started. We are aware that some faculty, especially in Nursing, may not be in Bozeman to attend. We are looking into options for remote participation. More information will be sent closer to the date. The event will take place Friday March 1, 1-3pm at the Bozeman Public Library. Lunch will be provided. Please contact Ann Ewbank or myself if you have any questions regarding this event.


Survey Results

We have over 350 subscribers on the WFC listserv, of which 34 participated in last month's survey. While this is a small sample (less than 10%) it starts to give me some ideas of what is important to the WFC members, particularly the newer members since 47% of the survey participants were Assistant Professors. The new policy committee will use these results, and the findings from the Visioning Session as a starting place for setting policy priorities.  Ann Ewbanks and I will also use the information as we make decisions about scheduling upcoming activities. Here is the report. Some of the major findings are:

  • Benefits of WFC: While the faculty gained a wide range of benefits, some of the highest scoring were: Social connections, Networking, Mentorship, and Promoting Policies.
  • Policy Priorities: The highest scoring policy priorities were Leadership Development for Women, Retention and Promotion of Women, and Salary Equity. Some write in votes also discussed creating an OMBUDS, and improving partner hires and family leave.
  • Activity Types: All categories scored high, some write in answers included a request for more accessibility in workshops for those Faculty not located in Bozeman.
  • Meeting Times: Preferred weekday meeting times were Friday lunch, Monday/Wednesday lunch, or Friday afternoons. There was also a request for Webex or video conferencing, and varying meeting times so they are different days and times.
  • Equity Training: There was some interest in a workshop with Montana Racial Equity Project. The highest scoring option was for a summer one-day workshop, which I will look into scheduling.


Upcoming Events Calendar 

  • Wednesday, February 6, 12-1pm, Global Solidarity in the #MeToo EraSUB 168
  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019-1:30-2:30 pm, Mandatory Reporter Training, Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), Register
  • Tuesday, February 26-8:30-9:30 amMandatory Reporter Training, Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), Register

  • Tuesday, February 26, 9am-12pm, DIV 110- Intersectionality & PrivilegeDiversity Development Certificate Program (prereq. DIV 100) 
  • Tuesday, February 26, 12-1pm, IDEA (Online) Course Evaluations, Women in STEM/SBS Faculty Learning Community, Montana Room (NAH 239 – Asbjornson Hall), Lunch will be provided. RSVP.
  • Wednesday, February 27, 12-1pm, FEEL: A Supportive Team Approach for Eating and Body Concerns, SUB 168
  • Friday March 1, 1-3pm, WFC Retention, Promotion, and Tenure RoundtableBozeman Public Library, Lunch provided.Please RSVP.
  • Friday, March 8, Noon-1:30 pm, WFC Visioning SessionAnimal Biosciences Building (ABB) 138. Lunch will be provided.

The awards committee of the Women's Faculty Caucus has chosen Professor Elizabeth Burroughs, Professor and Department Head in the Department of Mathematical Sciences for the 2019 Women's Faculty Caucus Distinguished Mentor Award.

Professor Burroughs exemplifies the model of mentor that this award seeks to acknowledge: a person who "creates a supportive environment that fosters a protégé's realization of long- and short- term professional and life goals."

Former graduate students, current faculty members, and post-doctoral researchers all testified to the impact that Beth's mentoring has had in shaping their careers.  She is noted not only for encouraging their research and teaching through collaboration and astute guidance, but in her capacity as department head, she has provided crucial support in a myriad of ways.  Several colleagues noted that not only had she supported their mathematical work, but had provided a steady hand and a role model in balancing the demands of work and other parts of life.  Multiple comments reflected her ability to help steer young colleagues through the job hiring process, university systems for promotion and tenure, successful sabbatical and Fulbright applications, family leave.

One graduate student reflected that as she progressed through her doctoral work, Beth "intentionally gave me less direction and less explicit guidance so that I would learn to work more independently [and] to ask my own questions."  Junior colleagues praised Beth's collegiality in including them in her research projects and helping to foster the development of their own research programs.  

It is clear that Beth's students and colleagues appreciate her ability to see "that academic life can be difficult" and to be transparent, encouraging "everyone to have a voice" when hard topics need to be addressed.  As her nomination noted, Beth "helps to create a supportive environment for women in the Department of Mathematical Sciences which contributes to the overall happiness and success of the department."   Beth Burroughs understands that mentoring young female scholars creates a stronger university.

I would like to welcome you to the Women’s Faculty Caucus Annual Winter Social. My name is Susanne Cowan. I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture. I am the 2018-19 Chair of the Women’s Faculty Caucus. I’m the one sending you those monthly newsletters!  I would also like to introduce Ann Ewbank, Associate Professor in the Department of Education, who this week volunteered to be the Incoming Chair, taking the reigns next Fall 2019. I am excited to work with her to lead this group.  

For those of you who are new to this organization, the Women’s Faculty Caucus is a group formed 13 years ago to help represent the policy goals of Women Faculty on campus, and to encourage mentoring and networking activities. The group helps us to create a community across the University connecting women from different colleges and ranks to support one another and achieve common goals. I hope that tonight you have the chance to meet or reconnect with faculty you don’t otherwise get to work or socialize with with.

I want to thank you all for being here today to help us celebrate this year’s WFC Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award honoree. This award recognizes the extraordinary efforts by a faculty or staff member in mentoring women students, staff, research associates, and faculty at MSU. In particular it aims to distinguish someone who has mentored junior faculty members both prior to and beyond tenure. Each year, a selection committee composed of former honorees evaluates several nominees, put forward by their mentees and colleagues. I would like to thank this year’s selection committee, Elizabeth Bird, Mary Murphy, and Tracy Sterling for generously giving their time and expertise to confer this year’s award.

Now I will turn over the floor to Mary Murphy who will present this year’s award. Mary Murphy received this honor in 2017 and is a Full Professor in the Department of History. Thank you Mary.

Dear Women’s Faculty Caucus Members,

Usually I only writeone newsletter per month, but since there are so many events in January that didn’t make it into my last message or have since added RSVP links, I will include an addendum here.


Thank you to everyone who attended the WFC Winter Social and helped us to celebrate our 2019 Distinguished Mentor Award honoree, Beth Borroughs. It was heartwarming to hear from her mentee and nominator Megan Wickstrom about the positive influence Beth has had at on women at MSU. To read the Award letter, presented by Mary Murphy, visit our Newsletters Archive.

Leadership Succession and Policy Committee:

I am excited to announce that Ann Ewbank has agreed to be the Incoming Chair for WFC and will serve as Chair during the 2019-2020 academic year. This semester she will be helping to organize the upcoming Promotion and Tenure Workshop planned for late February. If you have an interest in getting involved in WFC leadership please reach out to me or Ann. We will also be forming a Policy Committee for those faculty interested in advocating for policies on campus. We will hold a Visioning Session to determine our policy aims next month.


One last reminder to faculty to participate in our brief seven question survey. We have had a strong showing from Assistant Professors, but few responses from Full Professors. We would love to hear from all demographic groups. Thank you! The results will be shared next month.


Trainings to Promote Diversity and Equity:

Starting this month there are two opportunities for all of us to receive training to improve our ability promote diversity and protect equity on campus. I highly recommend that all the WFC members attend these trainings, not only to assist us in our mission of supporting women, but to learn about the how to protect other groups on campus, and to understand the intersectionality of identity based discrimination. The two trainings include the Diversity Development Certificate Program and the Mandatory Reporting Equity/Civil Rights Training by the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). Both trainings include multiple opportunities to attend, however the prerequisite class for the Certificate Program is only offered twice this semester, January 22 and 30. For more information follow the links above or see the WFC Events page. The WFC is also considering organizing a training with the Montana Racial Equity Project this summer.



Please note that some previously announced events require RSVP. 

For more information about these events, please visit our Events page.

  • Tuesday, January 22, 9:00 am - 12:00, Diversity Development Certificate Program, DIV 100-Exploring Cultural Identity, RSVP
  • Wednesday, January 23, at 6:30 p.m, Procrastinator Theater, Strand Union BuildingThe Future of Choice: Roe v. Wade at 46 Years
  • Wednesday, January 23, 12:00 – 1:00 PM, SUB 23, Lunch will be provided. RSVPManaging Time: Women in STEM/SBS Faculty Learning Community


  • Wednesday January 28, Noon-1pm, SUB 168, Women's Center Sack Lunch Series: Holy Fire Reiki


  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 5:30-8:30 pm, Museum of the Rockies, Hager Auditorium, EHHD Talks
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 2:00 pm - 5:00 p, Diversity Development Certificate Program, DIV 100-Exploring Cultural Identity, RSVP
  • Thursday, January 31, from 12:00 – 1:00. SUB 233. Lunch provided. RSVP, Integrative Learning Strategies for Community Engagement 
  • January 31, 2019-1:30 to 2:30 pmProcrastinator Theatre in the SUB. RSVP., Equity/Civil Rights Mandatory Reporter Training, Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)

Dear Women’s Faculty Caucus Members,

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed your break and had happy holidays.

I hope you can all join the WFC in some of the many events planned for this semester, particularly our Winter Social this Friday 5-7pm at Lockhorn Cider.



We start the semester by honoring Elizabeth Burroughs, Department Head of Mathematics who was chosen as this year's WFC Distinguished Mentor. President Cruzado will recognize Dr. Burroughs at the Spring Convocation ceremony Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 10 am in Reynolds Recital Hall in Howard Hall. The WFC Selection Committee (Elizabeth Bird, Mary Murphy, and Tracy Sterling) will be celebrating Dr. Burroughs at our annual Winter Social, which will be held Friday, January 11, 2019 from 5-7pm at Lockhorn Cider House. I hope you all can join us. 


Thank you to those of you who already filled out the survey. If you haven't yet, I would greatly appreciate your feedback, which will help me finalize plans for this semester's events. I invite you to take a brief seven question survey to help with planning the types and times of events, and to get a sense of the interests and priorities of the membership.


  • Tuesday, January 8, 10am: Spring Convocation, in Reynolds Recital Hall in Howard Hall
  • Friday, January 11, 5-7pm: WFC Winter Social and Mentor Award Celebration, at Lockhorn Cider House. Appetizers will be provided. Cider will be available for sale. Award presentation at 6pm.
  • Thursday, January 31, 12-1pm: Integrated Learning for Successful Community Engagement in SUB 233. Presented by: Jill Davis, Department of English and 
    Jan Strout, College of Letters and Sciences. Lunch provided. RSVP information will be announced by the
     Center for Faculty Excellence.
    • Looking to build authentic relationships between your students and community partners? This workshop will center on cultural competency strategies and skills that are inclusive, and that enhance critical thinking and communication skills. Presenters and participants will share and develop course applications that can be implemented in a variety of MSU disciplines. In this workshop the presenters will:
    • Explore the benefits of community engagement,
    • Demonstrate how community engagement moves from charity to a socialjusticemodel of “compassion in action,”
    • Deconstruct cultural competency – cognitive, affective, behavioral, and cultural humility - to ensure that self-reflection and effective partnership development occurs, and 
    • Explain how we and our Community Partners measure success.

Spring Events in Planning (Dates TBD)

  • Preparing for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion (February and May)
  • How to Facilitate Inclusive Meetings
  • WFC Happy Hour
  • Women in the Arts and Humanities Happy Hour
  • Intercepting Racial Bias Training by Montana Racial Equity Project
  • P&T Mentoring and Co-working Partners Program
  • Spring Hike (May)

 I hope you have a great semester!

On Friday, I had the joy of attending the luncheon for the honorees of the 125 Extraordinary Ordinary Women of Montana State University, which celebrated the accomplishments of so many amazing women connected to MSU. Hearing about the achievements of women past and present, I was reminded of all the progress we have made, and in the strength we have to continue to make positive change. I hope all of you are similarly inspired by the role models and leaders-in-the-making among us.
This celebration was a needed tonic of hope after a week of sadness. This past week several tragic events have reminded us that hate persists within our society. Earlier this month, fliers posted on campus by Identity Evropa aimed to spread white supremacy ideology. As WFC Chair, I condemn these acts of hate and call for us all to take action where we can to stop them. Nobody should have to feel fear because of their faith, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, political beliefs, or any other aspect of their identity. We can no longer ignore this type of hate, or mislead ourselves that it is from some other time or place. If you have not already done so, I encourage each of you to attend a training with the Montana Racial Equity Project to learn how we can help in our every day lives. I took the training last year and learned a lot, and yet I feel I still have so much more to learn and do. I will look into the possibility of scheduling a training for interested faculty sometime this academic year.
In the meantime, here are some other events that may be of interest to the WFC membership.


Events on and off campus that may be of interest to the WFC members.
  • Women's Center Sack Lunch SeriesWednesdays Noon-1pm, SUB 168. This month: "Women, Wake Up! Buddhism, Gender and the Enlightenment Experience" (11/7/18), "Holy Fire Reiki" (11/14/18), "Mormon Feminism(s)" (11/28/18).
  • Broad Comedy, Thursday-Saturday November 15-17. I think we could all use a laugh right about now. 


  • I would like to congratulate the many current faculty members who were honored at this week's 125 Extraordinary Ordinary Women of Montana State University. I encourage everyone, especially those of you not in attendance, to check out the display at the library,  which will be up until November 9, and/or the online bios.
  • Thank you to everyone who nominated someone for the 2018 WOMEN’S FACULTY CAUCUS DISTINGUISHED MENTOR AWARDElizabeth Bird, Mary Murphy, and Tracy Sterling are serving on the selection committee. The honoree will be announced in December and will be honored at Spring Convocation in January. The WFC will also host an event celebrating the honoree in December or January. 


  • Ariel Donohue has been selected as MSU's first Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Her experience as the Director and Program Manager of MSU’s Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons will be very applicable as she starts her new position this month.
I hope all of you stay warm and productive as you adjust to the changes in the weather, and off of daylight savings time this week.

 I hope your semester is off to a great start!



This month there are more events across campus that may be of interest to the WFCmembers.
  • Shannon Weatherly Memorial LectureSarah Deer, “Sovereignty of the Soul: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America”, Monday 10/8/18 7:00 pm SUB Ballroom A.
  • Women's Center Sack Lunch SeriesWednesdays 9/26/18-11/28/18 Noon-1pm, SUB 168. This month: "Who are you Calling Queer?" (10/10/18) and "Human Trafficking in Our Daily Lives" (10/24/18).


The portal is now open to nominate colleagues for the awards given by the Office of the Provost at Spring Convocation.


  • I encourage you all to consider nominating someone for the 2018 Wmne;s Faculty Caucus Distinguished Mentor AwardThis award is intended to recognize the extraordinary efforts by a faculty and/or staff member in mentoring women students, staff, research associates, and faculty at MSU. In particular it aims to distinguish someone who has mentored junior faculty members both prior to and beyond tenure.  For more information and see theAward Narrative. This year's distinguished mentor will be chosen by past honorees: Elizabeth Bird, Mary Murphy, Linda Young, and Tracy Sterling.


  • The Office of the Provost includes a list of several other awards which may be of interest to the WFC including the the President's Commission on the Status of University Women Award.
  • To nominate visit the Nomination Portal by the deadline on October 31, 2018.


Last month I attended the semi-annual meeting of the President's Commission on the Status of University Women
  • I have joined the Policy Sub-Committee which will be looking at issues such as Pregnancy Policies for Students. If you have issues you think this committee should consider, please let me know.
  • The President's Commission has been focused on organizing the 125 Extraordinary Ordinary Women awards. I would like to congratulate all the women faculty who will be honored. I will be at the awards lunch on November 2 to represent the WFC.

Welcome back! I hope you all had a great summer. I am very excited to be the new Chair of the Women's Faculty Caucus (WFC). This summer I had the honor of talking to many of our past Chairs and Distinguished Mentors about how this group can evolve after the successes of the ADVANCE program.

Currently I have three broad goals:

  • To help women faculty learn about and connect with existing resources on campus.
  • To bring women faculty together for networking and mentorship opportunities.
  • To identify and advocate for policy and program improvements.


In order to do this I have updated our website's Resources Page and Events Page. I will also be sending out a monthly newsletter, and have revived our Facebook Page where we connect quickly and share information about childcare, housing, events, etc. Here are some upcoming events you might want to know about: 

  • WFC Fall Hike at Truman GulchSaturday 9/15/18, 9am-1pm, Meet at Café M, 33 W Kagy. 2.5 hours, 5 miles, 1000 ft elevation gain. Please RSVP on Facebook or email Susanne Cowan.
  • Women in STEM/SBS Faculty Learning Community, "How to be a PI," Tuesday, 10/2/18, Noon – 1:00 PM, Bradley Conference Room Wilson 2-257. Lunch will be provided.
  • Women's Center Sack Lunch Series, Wednesdays 9/26/18-11/28/18 Noon-1pm, SUB 168, This month: 9/26/18: The Challenge of Speaking Out: #metoo.
  • Shannon Weatherly Memorial Lecture: Sarah Deer, “Sovereignty of the Soul: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America”, Monday 10/8/18 7:00 pm SUB Ballroom A.

Other News: 

  • The 2018 WOMEN’S FACULTY CAUCUS DISTINGUISHED MENTOR AWARD nominations are coming up, so start thinking about who you would like to nominate. For more information see our Awards Page.
  • I would like to restart the tradition of having Incoming and Outgoing Chairs. If you are interested in becoming the Incoming Chair (taking over as Chair is in the next one to two years), please reach out to me and we can discuss what role you might be interested in playing this academic year.
  • If you would like to share information with our members on our website or in future newsletters, please send me an emailNewsletters will go out around the first of the month, so please contact me several days in advance. Feel free to post on our private Facebook Page at any time. You may send a request to join the group if you are not already a member.

Best wishes for a great Fall semester.