Updated February 2020
The Commission on the Status of Women exists to promote gender equity at the University of Louisville.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all actions of the Commission on the Status of Women in all cases in which they are applicable and are not inconsistent with these bylaws.
Responsibilities and Powers:
It shall be the responsibility of the Commission on the Status of Women to advise the President on issues related to women, femmes, and gender non-binary individuals. The Commission will report directly to the President. Its functions will be as follows:
To serve as the President’s chief policy advisor on the status of women, femmes, and gender non-binary individuals at U of L.
To monitor and assess unit action plans to implement the University’s responses to the 1994 and 2009 Task Force Reports on the Status of Women.
To report to the President periodically on the progress of the units in implementing their action plans.
To monitor and make recommendations on existing initiatives supporting and improving the status of women, femmes, and gender non-binary individuals, and to recommend new initiatives to support and improve their status.
To recommend specific and annual funding strategies to the President and to achieve the objectives of the 1994 and 2009 Task Force Reports on the Status of Women and ensure gender equity at all levels across campuses.
To consult with members of the President’s Executive Cabinet, and individual units that seek assistance with implementing the Task Force recommendations.
Individuals who are appointed to the Commission should both be available for meetings and have an interest in the work of the Commission. Each member shall actively serve on at least one committee.
The Commission Chair will appoint a Nominating Committee to recommend individuals from the University community for membership on the Commission who fulfill the above stated objectives. Names of the nominees for membership on the Commission will be forwarded to the President for selection. The Nominating Committee will also secure a slate of nominees for the offices of Chair and Vice-Chair, and for three at-large members of the Executive Committee, as described in other sections.
Length of Appointment:
Appointment to the Commission is typically for a three-year period, with the term to begin on July 1.
For a vacated seat, appointment will be eliminated and a new three-year appointment will be made to begin on July 1.
An individual may serve two consecutive terms. An exception shall be made in the case of a member who is elected to the Commission’s Executive Committee or who is appointed as Commission Chair. In such cases, an exceptional appointment can be made to complete the term of office with a cap of eight total years not including an ex officio term of one year for a Chair. The rules governing vacated normal-term appointments shall be followed in the subsequent filling of that slot.
Each member appointed by the President shall have one vote.
A student member will be appointed annually by the President after consultation with the President of the Student Government Association. Additional student members may be nominated annually by the Commission for appointment by the President; these nominations should be accompanied by a brief supporting statement.
Staff Senate Members:
There shall be one Staff Senate representative serving on the Commission for a two-year term. Staff Senate member will be appointed by the President after reviewing recommendations from the Staff Senate.
Faculty Senate Member:
There shall be one Faculty Senate representative serving on the commission for a two-year term. Faculty Senate member will be appointed by the President after reviewing recommendations from the Chair of Faculty Senate.
Votes are usually taken by voice. Under exceptional circumstances, voting will take place by ballot submission or show of hands when at a commission meeting. Voting may take place electronically in lieu of a commission meeting when notice is given to the membership at least one week prior to the vote.
Fifty-one percent of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum.
Ex-officio members shall comprise the Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs, the Vice President for Human Resources, the Chair of the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality, the Director of PEACC, and a representative of each of the following: the Women’s Center; the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; the LGBT Center; the Office of the President; the Office of Academic Planning & Accountability; and the Athletics Department. The immediate past Chair will serve in an ex-officio capacity for one year in the event that the individual would not be continuing as a voting member of the Commission. Other ex-officio members may be invited to attend at the discretion of the Executive Committee. If an individual holds dual status as an appointed member and an ex-officio member, the individual will have voting rights only for the term of their appointment by the President.
The Officers of the Commission on the Status of Women shall be a Chair and a Vice-Chair.
The Nominating Committee shall nominate three candidates for Chair of the Commission from those members who have served at least one year on the Commission. The slate will be forwarded to the President, in April, for appointment of the Chair. The Chair of the Commission will serve as an ex-officio member of the President’s Executive Cabinet as shown in the outline of the Administrative Structure of the University and will attend its scheduled meetings. The Chair shall preside over meetings of the Commission. The President shall provide a budget to support the Commission’s functions, including appropriate operational support and appropriate compensation, which may include release time for the Chair. The Chair of the Commission shall serve a two-year term and normally alternates between a faculty member and a staff member. Term of office will begin on July 1.
The Vice-Chair of the Commission shall serve in the absence of the Chair, assuming all duties as directed by the Chair.
The Nominating Committee of the Commission shall nominate a slate of candidates for Vice-Chair from those members who have served at least one year on the Commission. The Commission shall elect a Vice-Chair from this slate of nominees.
Elections will be held in March. The results of the election will be forwarded to the President for review. The Vice-Chair of the Commission shall serve a two-year term with the expectation that they will agree to have their name submitted to the President on a slate for consideration for an appointment to the Chair position.
The voting members of the Executive Committee shall comprise the Chair, Vice-Chair, three members elected at-large from the body, and the Chairs of the Commission Standing Committees.
The members of the Executive Committee shall serve a term of two years. The immediate past Chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee for one year following the expiration of the term.
The Nominating Committee shall be composed of a minimum of three members appointed by the Chair. Individuals appointed to the nominating committee shall not be candidates for the office of Chair or Vice-Chair. The charge of the Nominating Committee is to develop slates of candidates for Commission membership, Chair, Vice-Chair, and three at-large members of the Executive Committee.
Standing committees of the commission are Campus Climate; Communications; Integration of Work and Family; and Representation, Recruitment and Retention. Standing committee Chairs shall be elected at-large from the body and serve a one-year term.
The Campus Climate Committee will monitor the University’s provisions of a safe and secure environment for all members of the campus community and play an active role in maintaining this environment through direct participation in programs and services.
The Communications Committee will be responsible for the dissemination and publication of COSW information to membership and the university community. Items the committee will develop and maintain can include but are not limited to the following:
website, newsletter and calendar,
annual goals and report of accomplishments,
nomination and new membership information,
meeting, election, and regular business, and
Commission sponsorships and events.
The Integration of Work and Family Committee will monitor various policies with concern for the quality of benefits such as health insurance, leave policies, childcare programs, and tuition subsidies for children.
The Representation, Recruitment and Retention Committee will promote gender balance and equity as well as support programs in career development and mentoring for women.
Other membership committees will be created and disbanded at the discretion of the Executive Committee, will support commission goals, and will be aligned with the areas of priority identified in the 1994 Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women and the 2009 Update of the Task Force Report.
The Commission will hold regular meetings at a time and place arranged by the Chair, usually monthly.
Individuals serving on the Commission should attend at least 8 of 11 regular meetings. Individuals who fail to meet this requirement may be replaced.
Staff support will be provided by the Office of the President.
Amendment of the Bylaws
These Bylaws can be amended only by a vote of the Commission membership, provided the membership has been apprised of the proposed changes in writing at least one week prior to the vote. Approval of Bylaw amendments requires an affirmative vote of the majority of the voting membership. Electronic voting will not be permitted for bylaw revisions.