Diversity Council Bylaws
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Adopted on the 18 day of February, 2021
Amended on the 31 day of March, 2022
Article I: Mission and Purpose
Section 1: Name
1.1 The name of this official group of Montana State University shall be MSU Diversity Council.
Section 2: Mission
2.1. The MSU Diversity Council provides guidance, consultation, and leadership to support the advancement of institutional efforts to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus environment.
Section 3: Purpose
3.1. To uphold the stated mission, the charge of the MSU Diversity Council is as follows:
3.1.1. Led by the Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer (SDIO), consider innovative solutions and strategies to increase diversity and inclusion at Montana State University;
3.1.2. Identify successful best practices that contribute to organizational change towards increased equity and belonging;
3.1.3. Provide a clear and coordinated voice for university-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion issues;
3.1.4. Provide institutional leadership to ensure that the development of short and long-term strategies related to diversity, equity and inclusion is in alignment with the university’s strategic goals;
3.1.5. Support engagement in diversity initiatives that further the knowledge, skills and competencies of the University community;
3.1.6. Review information provided by units on diversity-related initiatives to monitor, assess, and track outcomes for evaluation and accountability of MSU’s progress towards its diversity and inclusion goals.
Article II: Council Structure
Section 1: Membership
1.1 Members. In addition to the SDIO, the MSU Diversity Council will consist of 12 members, designated in the following categories:
The following members will serve a one-year term on the Diversity Council:
- Academic Diversity Partner (1)
- Dean representative (1)
- Associated Students of MSU (1)
- Student Diversity Representative (1)
The following members will serve a two-year term on the Diversity Council:
- All Staff Council (1)
- Faculty Senate (1)
- Graduate Partnerships (1)
- Bobcat Athletics (1)
- Division of Student Success (1)
- Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (1)
- Office of International Programs (1)
- Gender Equity Alliance (1)
1.2. The Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer will convene and chair the MSU Diversity Council.
1.3. If any member is unable to fill their full appointment, their constituent group will select a replacement to fulfill the term.
1.4. The Council should reflect the broad-based perspective, skills, and experience found at MSU and council membership shall be open to students, faculty, and staff.
1.5. Members will serve one-year and two-year staggered terms, with the option of re-election for up to one additional term. Terms will begin in July to align with the fiscal/academic year.
1.6. Liaisons. Council members from academic colleges with existing diversity committees or programs should be representatives of those committees or programs. These members shall act as liaisons between their college’s/unit’s diversity efforts and the university diversity efforts.
1.7 Administrative Support. The Office of Academic Affairs will provide administrative support to this Council. The Administrative support will be responsible for taking and posting minutes, assisting the Chair with creating and distributing an agenda, and scheduling monthly meetings.
Section 2: Duties of Membership
2.1. Attendance. Each Council member is expected to attend each meeting, participate in Council activities, and complete any assigned tasks. At a minimum, this includes preparing for Council meetings by reviewing and responding to minutes and relevant materials for discussion. If a member is unable to attend a scheduled meeting, the member should notify the Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer by email prior to the meeting. Members may send an alternate representative if unable to attend.
2.2. Committee Activities. Each Council member is expected to actively serve on one standing committee or ad hoc committee during the academic year, performing such duties as necessary for the committee to complete its charge.
2.3. Declared Vacancies. A member’s position will be declared vacant by the Chair if the member fails to attend three meetings during the year. The vacating member’s unit will be asked to facilitate the designation of a new member to serve for the time remaining in that committee member’s term.
Section 3: Meetings
3.1. Calendar. The Council shall meet regularly, throughout the semester, in a pre-arranged location or via WebEx.
3.2. Open Meetings. All meetings of official Montana State University committees and boards shall be conducted in accordance with the MSU Open Meeting Policy (https://www.montana.edu/policy/open_meetings/).
3.3. Special Meetings. Standing committees shall meet outside of Council meetings as needed to complete their charges. Special meetings may be called by the Chair as necessary to conduct Council work.
3.4. Calling –in. Members may attend by conference call. The member must notify the Chair in advance so arrangements may be made.
Section 4: Committees of the Council
4.1. The Council has the authority to create Committees to facilitate the accomplishment of the Council’s charge. Committees operate under the authority of the MSU Diversity Council and are advisory to the full Council. Committees may also work directly with the Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
4.2. Committees of the Council shall consist of standing committees and ad hoc committees, established as necessary to carry out the purpose and objectives of the Council.
4.2.1. Standing committees. Each committee shall include at least three (3) Members of the Council. Each Committee shall designate a “Committee Chair” to convene the group and facilitate discussion or actions. Standing committees may invite participation by non-Council members as needed. The standing committees of the Council are Campus Climate Committee; Education and Scholarship Committee; and Access and Success Committee
4.2.1.a. Campus Climate. The Campus Climate Committee assists in strategic planning related to the use and implementation of campus climate surveys; reviews current data and makes recommendations regarding data needs; and recommends targets related to campus climate measures.
4.2.1.b. Education and Scholarship. The Education and Scholarship Committee assesses campus-wide needs for various educational and academic opportunities related to diversity and inclusion efforts; provides recommendations related to diversity and inclusion related trainings, events, and forums; collaborates with the SDIO and other campus entities to recommend and plan diversity and inclusion related trainings, events, and forums; and recommends annual plans of action for implementing educational opportunities in alignment with the goals of diversity and inclusion.
4.2.1.c. Access and Success. The Access and Success Committee provides strategy and recommendations related to the recruitment, success, and sense of belonging of a diverse student body, faculty and staff; reviews data related to the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students; makes recommendations related to policies and practices impacting recruitment and retention efforts; and develops strategies and tools for increasing diversity and promoting inclusion in campus-wide recruitment and retention efforts.
4.2.2. Ad Hoc Committees. The SDIO, with Council approval, may establish ad hoc committees as necessary. The charge and responsibilities of ad hoc committees shall be defined at the time the committee is established. It is expected that ad hoc charges shall be resolved within one year; an extension may be granted by the Council, as appropriate.
Article III: Amendments to the Bylaws
Section 1: Amendments
1.1. Proposed Amendments. Notice of the proposed amendments shall have been given at the previous regular meeting, or shall have been communicated to all members of the Council in writing through email at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which the vote is to take place.
1.2. These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Council by a majority vote of those present.