Download a PDF version of the Annual Report

The Commission’s year was comprised of two full commission meetings, monthly Executive Committee Meetings, two presentations of the HERStory of MSU, the launch of the nominations for the “Extraordinary Ordinary Women of MSU,” and regular sub-committee meetings.  The Committee continues to track its progress on its Strategic Plan and provide positive and necessary guidance to the University Community regarding 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:

  • Approved the formation of an ad hoc Events Committee, which began work on the Extraordinary Ordinary Women of Montana State University, a women's hall of fame started in celebration of the 125th anniversary of MSU. The following events and nominations were featured in MSU News and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
  • Presented Faculty Award to Dr. Sara Rushing.
  • Presented Student Awards to Micah McFeely and Marena Mahto.
  • Collected a sixth 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 and met with Bozeman CEDAW to champion its importance in our community.
  • Worked on a Common Hour Exam Policy that accommodates students with family issues.

 Committee Reports

                      Communications Committee

                      Recognition Committee

                      Assessment Committee

                      Policy Review Committee

                       125th Event Ad-Hoc Committee (Extraordinary Ordinary Women of MSU)

           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
  • Nika Stoop - Center for Faculty Excellence; ADVANCE
  • Stephanie Wilson – Graduate Student
  • Kay LaFrance – University Communications 

There’s good overlap and synergy between the Commission’s Communication subcommittee and the 125th Event Planning committee, especially since Nika and Yvonne serve on both committees. The communication strategies that are being developed for promoting the Commission’s 125th events will carry over for future Commission communications to a larger community.

Primary to making this happen are the strengthened connections the Commission Communications subcommittee has developed with MSU Communications.  Hillary-Anne Crosby serves as the Commission’s point person for promoting 125th events.

  • Hardcopy materials: Cards, Posters, Mountains and Minds article in May issues, Press releases
  • Social media: Twitter, Facebook
  • MSU outlets: MSU Today, e-Invitations/RSVP process, MSU News, Mountains & Minds
  • Bozeman Daily Chronicle article
  • Website development, particularly critical for managing the nomination process, featuring the honorees, and serving as an archive of nominees and honorees into the future. Full launch in October.

Nika and Yvonne will be meeting with Hillary-Anne on Monday to take these items to the next step.

Also working on further, future developments:

  • Video/podcasts: for the Fall event, Nov 2-3
  • Working with Dennis Aig in Film, Kelly in Communications
  • Physical space, similar to the Native American space in the SUB

Women’s Hall of Fame

Suggestions: the new dining hall, Brett’s graciously offered space in the new engineering building to be considered

Once we’ve developed social media outlets, we’ll send out handles, asking each of you to participate, and send info out to five friends and colleagues.

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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—Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer
  • Anne Camper—Associate Dean, Engineering; Founding Chair, PCOSUW
  • Leila Sterman—Scholarly Communication Librarian
  • Micah McFeely—Student; ASMSU VP


  • Reached out to individuals and departments not previously represented in faculty/staff nominee pools and had record number of faculty/staff nominees.

  • Reached out to more student organizations and individuals and received more nominees and applicants for student awards than in the past.

  • Worked with Julia Heard once again 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.”
  • Chose faculty award winner Dr. Sara Rushing ($2,000 award presented at Spring Convocation)

  • Chose student award winners Micah McFeely and Marena Mahto (2/ $500 awards to be presented at Day of Student Recognition, April 19th).

 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 (we had a record number this year from these efforts) and highlight the validity of this unique award.
  • Possibly work again with CFE on presentations about implicit gender bias and inclusive nominations for both faculty/staff and students.

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Assessment Committee Report

Committee Members:

  • Chair: Jessi Smith, Professor, Psychology; Director, ADVANCE
  • Graham Austin – Associate Professor, Business
  • Becca Belou – Planning and Analysis; Co-chair, PCOSUW
  • Kandi Gresswell – Associate Registrar
  • Ian Handley – Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Joy Honea - Dept. Co-Chair, Social Sciences & Cultural Studies; Professor, Sociology (MSU-B)
  • Bryce Hughes – Assistant Professor, Education
  • Kristen Intemann – Professor, Philosophy
  • Abigail Richards – Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering; Chair-elect, Faculty Senate
  • Sara Rushing – Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Liz Shanahan – Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Monica Skewes– Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Leila Sterman – Assistant Professor, Library; Chair, Women’s Faculty Caucus
  • Nika Stoop - Center for Faculty Excellence; ADVANCE 


The Assessment Committee has had a busy year! Members of the team met one-on-one with Deans to report their unit’s specific data as determined by the COACHE Harvard faculty climate survey conducted last spring. These formative meetings were used to identify challenges and celebrate strengths. The full report from COACHE was provided to the Provost, including benchmarks compared to our 5 identified peer-institutions.

Moreover, the team evaluated and coded the past five years of diversity self-study reports from all of the STEM units to identify trends and examine progress. The team just completed personalizing every academic unit’s 2017 diversity self-study and sending out individual invitations to each department chair. All remaining unit supervisors on campus received an online version of the diversity self-study in coordination with Terry Leist’s office.  Now in its 6th year, the diversity self-studies are an important tool aimed at fostering unit-wide conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Policy Committee Report

Committee Members:

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

The Policy Committee, in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Equity, has a goal of developing a pregnant student rights policy this year. We identifying campus partners who need to be at the table to develop the policy. ASMSU Legal has also offered assistance. We have the goal of having a draft policy ready to move forward by the end of the fall 2018 term. We are preparing for new Department of Education guidance on Title IX this fall and will be working with campus partners, if those updates as released, to ensure gender equity and compliance in our policies and procedures.

The Policy Committee is in charge of the policy review portal, which is available for anyone to submit concerns that related to diversity and gender equality specific to institutional policies.

In addition, this committee has previously provided guidance when addressing an equity concern about the following policies:

  • Common Hour Exam Policy
  • Faculty Modified Duties
  •  Extending the Tenure Review Period
  • Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Rights and Responsibilities
  • ·Sick Leave Donation Pool

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

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125th Event Committee Report

In celebration of MSU’s 125th anniversary in 2018, the PCOSUW honored women leaders, problem solvers and innovators from today and throughout MSU’s history. The list of 125 honorees were selected from almost 400 nominations from across the state for women who have had an impact on the status of women at MSU and are inspiring or have inspired others by their example. The living honorees and representatives for the deceased honorees were invited with their families to a celebration on November 2, 2018 followed by an appearance on the field at the football game on November 3, 2018.

Committee  Members:                                                           

  • Chair:  Nika Stoop - Center for Faculty Excellence;
  • Terry Bradley - Student Director of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Betsy Danforth - Women’s Center
  • Jaynee Groseth - Alumna
  • Brett Gunnink - Dean, Engineering
  • Kerry Hanson & Jennifer Poser - Alumni Foundation
  • Marilyn Lockhart & Nika Stoop - Center for Faculty Excellence
  • Micah McFeely - Vice-President, ASMSU
  • Celia O'Connor - Alumna
  • Yvonne Rudman - TechLink

At the Fall 2017 full commission, we discussed the idea of doing an event to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of MSU. We formed an ad hoc committee to discuss ideas and put together a plan for the event.

The committee met regularly over the last 6 months to put to put together the following plan for 2018.

  • Inspire women to be leaders, problem solvers, and innovators
  • Provide a space to reflect and put in context – past, present, future, and on-campus and off-campus
  • Celebrate accomplishments and recognize all types of success
 March 2018 - Women's History Month

With the support of many folks from the colleges, we put together a presentation of the "HERstory" of Montana State University. From the university’s beginning 125 years ago, the women of Montana State University made remarkable contributions to the status of women a the institution, in the state and across the country. They included such women as Una Herrick, the first Dean of Women, who taught women skills to promote their financial independence in the 1920s. Or the group who challenged gender pay inequities in the 1970s. And today, the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women – formed by MSU’s first female president, Waded Cruzado – continues to work toward the discovery and elimination of institutional barriers to the success of women.

In this year celebrating MSU’s 125th anniversary, the PCOSUW is honoring women leaders, problem solvers and innovators from today and throughout MSU’s history. We will present the stories of some of these women at the Herstory of Montana State University at the Diversity Symposium on March 29 and invite YOU to celebrate a woman in your life by nominating them as an Extraordinary Ordinary Woman of Montana State University.

Women’s Center and MSU Foundation Event                                  Diversity Symposium Event

Date: Wednesday, March 28                                                                    Date: Thursday, March 29

Time: 5:30 – 7:00 PM                                                                                 Time: 4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Location: MSU Alumni Foundation                                                        Location: Ballroom B

Speaker: Micah McFeely                                                                          Speakers: Jaynee Groseth and Nika Stoop


Extraordinary Ordinary Women of Montana State University

The PCOSUW is seeking nominations for women who have had an impact on the status of women at MSU and are inspiring or have inspired others by their example. Those selected for this honor will be recognized at an event in the fall as the first class of inductees for what we hope will be an annual event.

 Nominations are open from March 29th until May 15th. Honorees were notified in June 2018. Visit the website

 Selection Criteria:

  • Affiliation with MSU
  • Had an impact on the status of women
  • Has inspired others by her example

Nominations Process

Selection Committee suggestions were made to President Crusado and the committee will meet on June 8th from 9 – 11 AM in the President’s Conference Room. The Event Committee notified the honorees in late June and will send them an invitation to the November event in July.

Celebrating the 125 Women

Website - We proposed to put together a website similar to the Johns Hopkins website that highlight the 125 honorees and a brief description of why they are being honored. We will also work with University Communications to create a ~2 min video about the honorees that will be on the website.

Installation - We propose to create an installation that will highlight the achievements of the 125 Extraordinary Ordinary Women to be displayed in the Exit Gallery in November 2018.

Event in November - The proposal is to have a celebration of the 125 honorees on November 2nd with a luncheon where they will receive a memento of their award. We will also invite them to go to the football game on Nov 3 to be recognized at halftime for their contributions.

The Future

The goal will be to continue this as a yearly tradition, recognizing additional Extraordinary Ordinary Women each year. We would like to create a permanent place to display the Herstory and the list of honorees. Eventually, we would like to create a mentoring program that connect these women to students today. 

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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

Common Hour Exam Policy

Faculty Modified Duties

Extending the Tenure Review Period

Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Rights and Responsibilities

Sick Leave Donation Pool


3. Publicize policy review portal

Communications Committee



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

Assessment Committee

Sixth round data in collection.


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

Assessment Committee

Collected, analyzed, and disseminated COACHE findings

Working on HERI Survey data collection


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

Created Facebook page, Twitter handle

Updated website


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

Working with University Communications closely on the 125th Event Committee work

Liaising with the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council


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

Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council, with representation from PCOSUW, formed by President Cruzado in Fall 2017


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

FY18: CEDAW, Legal Counsel, Women's Faculty Caucus, Family Advocates


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)

-Developed and shared the HERStory of MSU for the 125th Celebration (March 2018)


3. Broadly advertise and encourage all administrators, faculty, staff, and students to attend inclusion trainings provided by appropriate campus units such as DISC, 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)

·       Co-sponsoring Sarah Deer lecture

·       Created PCOSUW Logo

·       EOW featured in MSU News, Mountains & Minds, Blue & Gold News, Bozeman Daily Chronicle


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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