PDF OF THE BYLAWS AVAILABLE HERE (updated 3.25.22)
Table of Contents
ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE.
Section 1. Responsibilities and Powers.
Section 2. Staff Support
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP.
Section 1. Commissioner Appointment & Duties.
Section 2. Voting Membership.
Section 3. Non-Rotational-Voting Membership.
Section 4. Meetings.
Section 5. Voting Procedures.
Section 6. Ex-Officio Members.
Section 7. Volunteers.
ARTICLE III. OFFICERS, COMMITTEES & ELECTIONS.
Section 1. Officer Roles.
Section 2. Committees.
Section 3. Elections.
ARTICLE IV. AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS.
ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE
The Commission on the Status of Women [Commission] 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.
Section 1. 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:
1. To serve as the President’s chief policy advisor on the status of women, femmes, and gender non-binary individuals at U of L.
2. 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.
3. To report to the President periodically on the progress of the units in implementing their action plans.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. To consult with members of the President’s Executive Cabinet, and individual units that seek assistance with implementing the Task Force recommendations.
Section 2. Staff Support
Staff support will be provided by the Office of the President.
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Commissioner Appointment & Duties
The appointment process is as follows. Each spring, the Nominating Committee (outlined in Article III, Section 2) will compile a slate of candidates from self-nominations and nominations from other members of the University community. This slate is presented to the University President who makes final appointments.
Individuals who are appointed to the Commission should have an interest in the work of the Commission and be available for meetings. Each member shall actively serve on at least one committee.
The nominating committee will review the numbers of women, femmes, and gender non-binary individuals identifying employees within UofL and make a recommendation to the general body on the current membership numbers and potential additional seats. It is recommended that the number of appointed commissioners shall not exceed 50.
Attendance: Individuals serving on the Commission should attend at least 8 of 11 regular meetings. Individuals who fail to meet this requirement may be replaced.
1. Length of Appointment: Appointment to the Commission is typically for a three-year period, with the term to begin on July 1.
2. Vacated Appointments: For a vacated seat, appointment will be eliminated and a new three-year appointment will be made to begin on July 1.
3. Extended Appointment: 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 ten 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.
4. Reappointment: Upon conclusion of an individual’s two consecutive terms, they will be eligible for Commissioner reappointment after sitting out from the Commission for one year or serving in a volunteer capacity for one year. The stipulated nominating procedures for any Commissioner appointment will then apply.
Section 2. Voting Membership
Each member appointed by the President shall have one vote.
Section 3. Non-Rotational-Voting Membership
1. Student Member(s): 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Section 4. Meetings
The Commission will hold regular meetings at a time and place arranged by the Chair, usually monthly.
1. Minutes: Minutes of General Body meetings shall be posted on the Commission’s website after they have been approved by the body. Minutes of Executive Committee meetings will be available by request, following their approval by the Executive Committee, from the Chair or Vice Chair of Administration of the Commission.
Section 5. Voting Procedures
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.
1. Quorum: Fifty-one percent of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum.
Section 6. Ex-Officio Members
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.
Section 7. Volunteers
Women, femmes, and gender non-binary identifying employees at UofL who indicate a willingness to accept the purpose of the Commission and contribute to its mission may serve as a volunteer for an undetermined period of time. Volunteers do not have voting rights. Should a volunteer be interested in applying for membership during the appointment process, they may designate their volunteer status on the application form and priority will be given to their appointment as a member.
ARTICLE III. OFFICERS, COMMITTEES, & ELECTIONS
Section 1. Officer Roles
The Officers of the Commission on the Status of Women shall be composed of a Chair, a Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, a Vice Chair of Administration, and three At-large Members.
1. 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 immediately following the conclusion of their term as Vice-Chair. Efforts will be made to have the Chair position alternate between a faculty member and a staff member when possible to effectively represent the interests of the body. Term of office will begin on July 1.
2. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: The Vice-Chair of the Commission shall serve in the absence of the Chair, assuming all duties as directed by the Chair. The Vice-Chair serves in a supportive role for the Chair in carrying out their duties, while also learning the role in preparation for their term as Chair. Additionally, the Vice-Chair shall oversee the Chairs of the standing committees and assist the nominating committee in convening to manage officer elections. The Vice-Chair of the Commission shall serve a two-year term with the expectation that they will agree to serve as the Chair of the commission for an additional two-year term.
3. Vice Chair for Administration: The Vice Chair for Administration (VCA) of COSW shall keep the minutes of all proceedings of the Commission and Executive Committee, track and provide budget updates, and track the attendance of voting and non-voting members present at any meetings. Additionally, the VCA of COSW shall see that proper minutes and records are kept of the standing and ad hoc committees. The VCA shall work with the Representation, Recruitment and Retention Committee to make determinations regarding sponsorship requests.
The VCA shall serve a two-year term. In the absence of the VCA at any general body or executive committee meeting, , the duties shall be temporarily performed by any Commissioner appointed by the Chair. Upon conclusion of their term, the VCA may decide to run for office again and may do so without any term limitations, assuming alignment with their commissioner appointment (that is, as long as the term of office can be completed within the commissioner’s current appointment period).
4. At-large Member: The at-large member shall serve on the executive committee and represent the voting membership. The at-large member shall serve a two-year term and shall be a member of the nominating committee to oversee the election process unless running for an elected position. The at-large positions will be open to nominations and self-nominations among the voting membership during the spring semester and as previous at-large positions become available. Upon conclusion of their term, the at-large member may decide to run for a second term, assuming alignment with their commissioner appointment (that is, as long as the term of office can be completed within the commissioner’s current appointment period).
Section 2. Committees
1. Executive Committee: The voting members of the Executive Committee shall comprise the Chair, Vice-Chair, Vice Chair of Administration, At-large members, and the Chairs of the Commission’s 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 their term.
2. Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee shall be composed of the 3 At-large members and any additional members as appointed by the Chair. Individuals appointed to the nominating committee shall not be candidates for the office of Chair, or Vice-Chair, and Vice-Chair for Administration. The charge of the Nominating Committee is to compile a slate of candidates for Commission membership from self-nominations and nominations from members of the University community. The Nominating Committee will also develop slates of candidates for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Vice Chair of Administration, the At-large members of the Executive Committee.
3. Standing Committees: Standing committees of the commission are Campus Climate; Communications; Representation, Recruitment and Retention; Work-Life Integration, and the New Commissioner Onboarding Committee. Standing committee Chairs shall be elected at-large from the body and serve a one-year term.
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. The Work-Life Integration Committee will monitor various policies with concern for the quality of benefits such as health insurance, leave policies, childcare programs, and tuition subsidies for dependents.
d. The Representation, Recruitment and Retention Committee will promote gender balance and equity as well as support programs in career development and mentoring for women. The committee shall work with the VCA to make determinations regarding sponsorship requests.
e. The New Commissioner Onboarding Committee will provide educational programs, networking opportunities, and support to new commissioners during the first 4 months of membership. This committee will oversee a welcome event.
4. Ad Hoc Committees
a. The Bylaws Committee will be convened as needed to develop, review, and recommend proposed amendments to the bylaws. The committee shall consist of no less than three members.
b. 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.
Section 3. Elections
The Nominating Committee shall oversee the election of new officers. In the event that a nominating committee member decides to run for office, they should immediately inform the Vice Chair such that another general body, voting member, may be appointed to the nominating committee in their place. In the latter scenario, there may be election years in which two nominating committees are formed to ensure fair election procedures.
The Nominating Committee will also secure a slate of nominees for the offices of Chair and Vice-Chair, and three at-large members of the Executive Committee, as described in other sections.
1. Chair: Upon the conclusion of their term, the previous Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect will assume the role of Chair.
a. Vacated Seat: Should the Chair-Elect be unable to fulfill the Chair role, the Executive Committee, including the outgoing Chair, will convene to develop an appropriate process by which to address this scenario and present this process before the general body for a vote.
During each election cycle, a vote of confidence will held for the Chair to allow for member feedback and provide an opportunity for ongoing professional development.
2. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Vice Chair for Administration, and At-large Member: The nominating committee will oversee the election process of the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, the Vice Chair for Administration, and any At-large Member. Commissioners can be nominated or self-nominated for officer positions. Officer positions must be held by members who have served at least one year on the Commission as a voting member in the preceding year.
The Commission on the Status of Women will hold elections annually during each April. The final submission of elected officers will be submitted to the University President by the first week of May for appointments to begin July 1st.
a. Vacated Elected Seat: Should the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, the Vice Chair of Administration, or any At-large member vacate their position or become unable to fulfill their duties prior to the conclusion of their two-year term, the Nominating Committee will solicit nominations from the floor to complete the current term of that office and an election will be held.
ARTICLE IV. 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. Asynchronous, electronic voting will not be permitted for bylaw revisions.