Table of Contents



Section 1.1 Name. 1

Section 1.2 Purpose. 1


Section 2.1 Appointment of Members. 1

Section 2.2 Members. 1

Section 2.3 Officers. 2

Section 2.4 Office of President Liaison. 3


Section 3.1 Election Schedule. 3

Section 3.2 Election Procedures. 3


Section 4.1 General 3

Section 4.2 Executive Committee. 3

Section 4.3 Standing Committees. 4

Section 4.4 Ad Hoc Committees. 5


Section 5.1 Schedule. 5

Section 5.2 Rules of Order 5

Section 5.3 Non-Member Attendance Protocol 5

Section 5.4 Minutes & Agendas. 5

Section 5.5 Decisions. 5





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.


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 (or co-chairs) and chair-elect (co-chairs).

The Office of the President 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 plus the chair. 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 twelve 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 Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Senior Woman Administrator from Athletics
Women’s Faculty Caucus Chair
Diversity & Inclusion Student Commons Coordinator
Center for Faculty Excellence
Past Chair PCOSUW
Chair-elect PCOSUW
Family Advocate
Office for Planning & Analysis, equity data analyst


Subsection 2.2.2 By Constituency

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

Department Head/Chair/Director
MSU Extension
Great Falls College MSU
Professional Council
Faculty Senate 
Staff Senate

Each member will serve for a two-year term 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 be appointed by the Graduate Student Council to serve on the Commission for a two-year term.   


Subsection2.2.4 Additional Members

Other members may be appointed for two-year terms and may be reappointed above the 25-member limit as needed by the Chair or the President of the University. For example, a community member can be appointed at President’s discretion.  Other 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 after the second year in office. During  the first year, the chair-elect 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. The vacant chair-elect position shall be appointed by the President at the request of the Executive Committee.

Subsection 2.3.3 Past Chair

At the end of the chair’s 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, the past chair 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 President Liaison

A liaison from the Office of President 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.


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 the Fall 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.


Section 4.1 General

Commission standing committees serve as advisory bodies to the Executive Committee and, by extension, to the full commission. Standing 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 standing committee is responsible for scheduling regular meetings of that committee, preparing meeting agendas, and taking and distributing meeting minutes, with a copy to be filed with Office of the President 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 standing 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 its 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.


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.


Chair, chair-elect, and chairs of the Assessment Committee, Communication Committee, Recognition Committee, Nominations Committee, Policy Review Committee, and three at-large members selected from the campus community.  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, that member 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 interest, expertise, or membership in a particular sector of the University community. All committees are encouraged to seek advice or consultation on particular questions as circumstances might indicate.

Subsection 4.3.1 Assessment Committee


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: Committee Chairs are elected from the Commission; members are selected from the campus community.

Subsection 4.3.2 Communication Committee


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: Committee Chairs are elected from the Commission; members are selected by the Committee Chair from the campus community.

Subsection 4.3.3 Recognition Committee


To implement and select the winners of the Commission’s recognition awards.

Members: Committee Chairs are elected from the Commission; members are selected by the Committee Chair from the campus community.

Subsection 4.3.4 Nominations Committee


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: Committee Chair is Past-chair/co-chair of PCOSUW; members are selected by the Committee Chair from the Commission.

Subsection 4.3.5 Policy Review Committee


To engage in on-going reactive and proactive policy review to identify current policies that need revision as well as suggest new policies, consistent with the PCOSUW mission of ensuring an atmosphere of equity, support and balance.

Members: Committee Chairs are elected from the Commission; members are selected by the Committee Chair from the campus community.

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.


Section 5.1 Schedule

Regular meetings of the Commission shall be held once a semester on dates to be announced by the chair to which the President will be invited. 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.



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.


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

Revisions approved by membership on April 15, 2015

Revisions approved by membership on September 26, 2016

Revisions approved by membership on March 14, 2019