Download a PDF version of the Annual Report

The Commission’s year was comprised of two full commission meetings, one educational presentation (presented twice) and monthly Executive Committee Meetings.  The Committee continues to track its progress on its Strategic Plan and provide positive and necessary guidance to the University Community in regards to ensuring an atmosphere of equity, support and balance.

The major accomplishments this year are reiterated in the committee reports (see below), but in summary are:

  • Hosted two sessions of “Resources for Talking about Workplace and Pay Equity” and created an online presence for a recorded version.
  • Presented Faculty Award to Dr. Ian Handley.
  • Presented Student Awards to Annie Venters and Frances Ambrose.
  • Collected a fifth round of responses for the annual “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Self-Study.” from all academic departments and many units at MSU-Bozeman.
  • Executive Committee met with six member groups to improve communication and recognition.
  • Assisted in helping ASMSU pass a resolution concerning the Common Hour Exam policy to allow flexibility for parenting students. The resolution is currently with Faculty Senate.
  • Approved Adhoc Policy Review Committee as Standing Committee.

The following information about additional progress made this year:

            Committee Reports

                      Communications Committee

                      Recognition Committee

                      Assessment Committee

                      Policy Review Committee


           Accomplishments/Progress on the Strategic Plan

Communications Committee Report

Committee Members:

  • Chair: Yvonne Rudman – Outreach Coordinator, TechLink
  • Deb Redburn – Communications Specialist, EHHD
  • Sylvia Sparkman - UIT
  • Celia O'Connor, Alumna
  • Nilam Patel, MSU COmmunications
  • Nika Stoop - Center for Faculty Excellence; ADVANCE

The Communications Committee had a change in leadership due to Deb Redburn’s term expiring prior to the 2016-2017 year.  While Deb assisted with the transition, the committee found new leadership in Sylvia Sparkman.  Sylvia was unable to fulfill her term due to other work duties.  Yvonne Rudman assumed the Chair responsibilities.  Deb continued to assist in all transitions and assisted when needed.  Deb Redburn is to be commended for her continued support of the Communications Committee throughout the year.

The committee continued to make progress in the following areas throughout the year:

  • Updated the website and created an archive of past meeting minutes and agendas.
  • Began the process of redesigning the website to better represent the Committee’s goals and activities
  • Helped publicize faculty and student awards
  • Assisted in promoting the Educational Workshop in January & encore in April
  • Updated the PowerPoint Presentation to promote PCOSUW
  • Created a video stream of the “Resources for Talking about Workplace and Pay Equity” event and archived it to the website for future viewing.

The Committee will continue to work on the following for 2017-2018:

  • Monitor and update website in a timely manner
  • Continue to publicize the PCOWSUW and its events to the broader MSU community
  • Publicize the Policy Review Portal broadly
  • Assist the Awards Committee with disseminating award opportunities and solicit nominations from the MSU community.

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Recognitions Committee Report

Committee Members:

  • Chair: Betsy Danforth--Director, MSU Women’s Center
  • Marilyn Lockhart--Director, Center for Faculty Excellence
  • Ariel Donohue—Project Manager, Diversity Awareness Office
  • Anne Camper—Associate Dean, Engineering; Founding Chair, PCOSUW

  • Leila Sterman—Scholarly Communication Librarian, Renne Library; Chair, Women’s Faculty Caucus

  • Joyce Herbeck—Professor, Education

  • Geneva Zoltek—ASMSU Vice President (hopefully replace with new ASMSU Vice President and 2017 PCOSUW student award nominee, Micah McFeely, for next year!)


  • Created a call for Staff/Faculty Award featured in MSU Today
  • Worked with Julia Heard to add the following statement to MSU’s for all faculty/staff award nominations on the MSU Today homepage:
    • “In the interest of retaining, supporting, and recognizing women and diverse community members of Montana State University, and in the interest of inclusiveness, the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women encourages the nomination of a diverse pool of deserving faculty and staff for these awards.” 
  • Had  7 nominations and 5 applicants for staff/faculty award and chose faculty award winner Ian Handley

  • Created a call for student awards, had 11 nominations and 7 applications and chose student award winners Frances Ambrose and Annie Venters

 Future committee initiatives 

  • Continue to prepare and distribute calls for faculty/staff and student PCOSUW Award nominations
  • Follow up with individuals and departments about the call for nominations (though our numbers were up by almost 100% this year--yay!).  The more nominations and applicants, the better!
  • Possibly work again with the CFE on presentations about implicit bias and inclusive nominations, or find other venue for this valuable information


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Assessment Committee Report

Committee Members:

  • Chair: Becca Belou – Planning and Analysis
  • Jennifer Clark
  • Graham Austin – Associate Professor, Business
  • Kandi Gresswell – Associate Registrar
  • Abigail Richards – Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Sarah Mailhoit
  • Ashley Irion


The Assessment Committee collected a fifth round of responses to the Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Self-Study from all academic departments and many units at MSU-Bozeman, with the purpose of understanding what the challenges and successes involving diversity and equity are on campus. This year, Dr. Rusty Barcelo and Dr. Eric Lopez, leading the Diversity Planning efforts on campus, helped re-write the self-studies to work to get feedback applicable to their efforts, as well as to inform the PCOSUW’s efforts. The Assessment Committee updated the content and website for the Self-Study Supportive Feedback.

The Provost’s Office sent out the Academic Department Self-Study and PCOSUW leadership sent out the Unit Self-Study, in an electronic format (Qualtrics). During the next year, the Assessment Committee will assess the fifth round of studies to determine any progress, analyze and disseminate other diversity and equity metrics, and work to identify issues and barriers in place on campus that prohibit success. The feedback document will be updated with any new issues that may arise, and the committee will brainstorm other ways that the PCOSUW can help address any needs around campus.

As the ADVANCE Grant ends, the Social Science Research Team (SSRT), consisting of a multi-disciplinary mix of faculty and staff, will find a permanent home joining the Assessment Committee.

Policy Committee Report

Committee Members:

  • Chair:  Jyl Shafer– Director, Office of Institutional Equity

This year, the Policy Committee assisted in organizing the policy review portal to assure the portal was working properly. This portal is available for anyone to submit concerns that related to diversity and gender equality specific to institutional policies.

In addition, this committee provided guidance to ASMSU when addressing an equity concern about the Common Hour Exam Policy.  ASMSU passed a resolution supporting parenting students and the resolution is now with Faculty Senate for consideration.

In the future, the committee will solicit members from both PCOSUW members and external members.

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Accomplishments/Progress on the Strategic Plan





Progress to date



1 Assemble existing gender data

Assessment Committee




2. Identify appropriate internal benchmarks for success

Assessment Committee




3. Create easily interpreted reports & disseminate finding

Assessment Committee




1. Clarify & Establish structure for evaluating all university policies

Policy Review Committee

Policy Portal made live and linked to OIE



2. Advocate for and help guide appropriate policy changes and implementation

Policy Review Committee




3. Publicize policy review portal

Communications Committee




1. Collect and analyze annual department head and director self studies

Assessment Committee

Fifth round data was collected in April 2017.



2. Collaborate with University OPA and other surveys which might contain relevant data on equity

Assessment Committee




1.  Conduct diversity mapping at MSU.

Executive Committee

Diversity Inventory Created (Spring 2016) and posted on website



2. Identify strategies to disseminate this information

Communications Committee




3. Identify point people on every MSU campus to facilitate information sharing as it relates to efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion

Communications Committee & the Commission broadly




1. Through the creation of diversity task force, examine diversity on campus and the role of the commission in addressing these diversity issues.

Executive Committee




2. Invite governance groups and commission representatives to Executive Committee meetings to participate in conversations around challenges and opportunities specific to their governance groups

Executive Committee

FY16: Women's Faculty Caucus,  Human Resources , Office of Institutional Equity

FY17: Department Heads, ASMSU, Faculty Senate, ACE Fellow/Diversity & Inclusion Planning, Professional Council, and MSU Extension



1. Crate a PCOSUW Speaker series and programming that will carry on the legacy of ADVANCE.

Cultural Attunement Ad Hoc & Executive Committee

Cultural Attunement Ad Hoc disbanded FY16



2. Act in advisory role to integrate content about diversity, equity, and inclusion into HR and Professional Development Trainings

Executive Committee and Commission broadly.

-Presented Diversity & Inclusion Speaker Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin for Department Heads and PCOSUW (January 2016). 

-Hosted “Resources for Talking about Workplace and Pay Equity.” Speakers and Panel for unit directors and PCOSUW (January & April 2017)



3. Broadly advertise and encourage all administrators, faculty, staff, and students to attend inclusion trainings provided by appropriate campus units such as DAOE, OIE and other similar units.

Communications Committee & Executive Committee




4. Serve as an advisory board to Equity Advocate Program

Executive Committee




1. Disseminate award opportunities and solicit nominations via MSU Today, PCOSUW Website and listserv.

Communications Committee




2. Work with communications committee and office to develop strategies for branding and outreach to publicize commission.

Executive Committee & Communications Committee

·       Co-sponsored Anita Sarkeesian (3/2/2016)

·       Co-sponsored Irshad Manji(2/22/2016)

·       Co-sponsored CFE’s LGBTQ Inclusion in the Classroom (March 23, 17)



1. Offer trainings and collaborate with CFE and PDT on the value of writing nominations and the nomination process

Recognition Committee

·       Added Inclusivity/diversity statement to call for award nominations on MSU Today.

·       Presented "The Implicit Bias Trap" for CFE seminar “How to Write a Winning Nomination for Student Scholarships and Awards” (Oct. 2015)

·       Selected Faculty Awardee annually

·       Selected student awardees annually



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