Explore UAB

Commission on the Status of Women


To ensure UAB serves the needs of women faculty, staff and advocating for inclusiveness and equitable opportunities for all.


UAB: Where women are inspired and empowered to thrive.

  • Goals
    • Advise the president and UAB administration on issues, policies and practices that affect women at UAB.
    • Assess the current climate and conditions in which women work, live and study and UAB.
    • Propose initiatives to ensure that UAB equitably services the needs of its women employees and students.
    • Support and provide resources for the development, education and advancement of women at UAB.
  • Bylaws


    The name of the commission shall be the Commission on the Status of Women, hereinafter referred to as the Commission.

    Purpose of Bylaws

    These bylaws of the Commission:

    1. Define the officers of the Commission;
    2. Establish duties, membership, and functions of officers and members;
    3. Specify guidelines and procedures to be used in the deliberation and activities of the Commission.


    The functions of the Commission are to:

    1. Advise the President and UAB Administration on issues, policies, and practices that affect women at UAB.
    2. Assess the current climate and conditions in which women work, live, and study at UAB.
    3. Support and provide resources for the development, education, and advancement of women at UAB.
    4. Propose initiatives to ensure that UAB fairly meets the needs of its women employees and students.


    Each academic school or college, library and administrative unit (Vice Presidential level with more than 50 staff members) will collect nominations for commission membership from faculty, staff, administrators, or students. Nominees should be committed to accomplishing the work of the Commission and must be available for and attend meetings. Each school, library and administrative unit can select and forward to the Commission the names of two nominees (one faculty and one staff member for academic units; two staff for administrative units). This will represent the official Commission voting members.

    The Chair and the Assistant Secretary will be responsible for reviewing the new Commission nominees and will verify the willingness and availability to serve as members of the Commission. The slate of nominees must receive a quorum vote by the Executive Committee to be approved as new Commission members. Once approved, the slate of nominees will be forwarded by the Chair to the President of the University for confirmation and appointment.

    Members are appointed for a three year period, typically with terms beginning in August. Renewal for a second term is possible based on the needs of the Institution and the Commission, as well as the availability and interest of the member. One-third of the membership will rotate off each year, allowing for each academic school or college to maintain a faculty and staff representative each year.

    Member responsibilities include:
    • Attend CSW meetings (10 in total) with appropriate RSVP by the deadline prompted in the electronic invitation. Missing more than 3 consecutive meetings is in violation of the bylaws.
    • Disseminate information from monthly meetings with area they represent.
    • Provide service to the Commission through committee membership and/or volunteering at Commission projects
    • Attend Commission events
    • If a member resigns from the Commission, a new member will be appointed by appropriate school, college, library, or administrative unit.

      The following units/offices/groups/organizations have Ex Officio membership to the Commission: 1) The Provost, and The Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; 2) the Council of Student Government for three students who represent undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students, respectively; 3) the UAB African American Faculty Association; 4) the UAB Faculty Senate; and 5) women organizations on campus (e.g. Women in STEM, American Association of Undergraduate Women, GROW, American Medical Women’s Association, etc.). The reappointment of Ex Officio appointees is the responsibility of the particular program. Ex Officio members are non-voting members of the Commission.

      Members cannot serve two roles on the Commission (e.g. Ex Officio role and academic unit role).

      Officers and Their Duties

      The officers of the Commission shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Assistant Secretary. The Commission Chair is appointed by the President of the University or a designee for a three-year term, and is eligible to serve one subsequent three-year term. The Vice-Chair is nominated and elected by the Executive Committee for a three-year term and is eligible for re-election to one subsequent three-year term. The Immediate Past Chair serves a one-year term at the conclusion of their term as Chair. The Secretary and the Assistant Secretary are nominated and elected by the Executive Committee for a one year-term, with eligibility for multiple renewals. Officers of the Commission must be full time regular employees of the University.

      The duties of the officers shall be as follows:

      1. The Chair presides over meetings of the Commission and appoints standing and ad hoc committees necessary for the function of the Commission. The Chair cannot serve as their unit representative.
      2. The Chair submits an annual report to the President through the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
      3. The Chair meets annually with the President of the University.
      4. The Vice-Chair serves in the absence of the Chair.
      5. Immediate Past Chair serves at the pleasure of the Chair and offers continuity, support and advice where necessary.
      6. The Secretary will record Commission and Executive committee meeting minutes, Box organization and upkeep, and works with the Chair in the preparation of reports to UAB Administration.
      7. Assistant Secretary will monitor member attendance and will work with the Chair to manage the membership roster.


      The Commission shall hold monthly meetings except during the months of June and July. The specific dates and locations for the meetings will be arranged by the Chair and shared electronically to Commission members via email and published on the Commission’s UAB Box page. Special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Chair or upon request of fifty percent of the members.

      The first meeting each year of the Commission shall be an organizational meeting to make committee assignments and to set achievable annual goals. Agendas for subsequent meetings will be determined by the Chair and the Executive Committee.

      A quorum for all Commission meetings shall consist of two-thirds, or sixty-six percent of the commission membership. Electronic proxy is permitted. Physical presence is not required. However, any member who fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings representation will be replaced on the Commission.


      1. General Provisions
        1. All committees are responsible to the Commission.
        2. Standing Committees will meet year round based on Commission needs or strategic objectives.
        3. The term of office for committee chairs and members of all standing committees shall be one year unless otherwise designated.
        4. All committee chairs shall be full-time employees and members of the Commission.
        5. Members of all standing committees shall be eligible for consideration of appointment for a maximum of two consecutive terms. Terms of student representatives shall be one year. The Commission Chair shall appoint standing committee chairs for a term of one year.
        6. Committees can invite ad-hoc members to participate in Commission initiatives.
        7. Policies related to committee functioning that are recommended by a standing committee will be taken directly to the Commission for the approval process before becoming effective.
        8. All standing committees shall integrate diversity initiatives into their respective committee work.
        9. A quorum for all meetings shall be a simple majority of voting members.
        10. Committee decisions shall be made based on a simple majority vote inclusive of absentee votes cast. Absentee ballots may be counted for proposals submitted prior to the meeting. Absentee votes are valid for the proposal(s) as distributed prior to the scheduled meeting only and do not apply to changes or amendments made during the meeting.
        11. Minutes of all meetings of standing committees shall be prepared and submitted to the chair of the Commission, with a minimum of a quarterly report (Oct, Jan, April, July) being submitted to the Commission Chair.
        12. A final report must be prepared by the committee chair and submitted to the Commission chair in July of each year, including committee members, any ad hoc members, and committee activities.
      2. Standing Committees
        1. Executive Committee
        2. Public Relations Committee
        3. Programs and Outreach Committee
        4. Representation and Compensation Committee

      The Executive Committee shall be responsible for assisting the Commission Chair with the planning and implementation of Commission activities. The Executive Committee includes the Commission Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, standing committee chairs, and the Assistant VP for Institutional Equity from the ODEI. The Executive Committee shall meet prior to each Commission meeting, if necessary, and at other times determined by the Commission Chair.

      The Public Relations Committee shall develop and oversee strategies and public relations material (in print and via social media) to increase and sustain awareness of the Commission and its mission.

      The Programs and Outreach Committee shall develop programs that support the Commission’s stated mission and goals. This committee is also responsible for oversight of the Commission’s annual signature events including, Suits 4 Success and the Outstanding Women Awards, and is also responsible for maintaining information regarding lactation centers.

      The Representation and Compensation Committee shall be responsible for reviewing and assessing the status of career development and compensation for women at UAB.

      Parliamentary Authority

      The rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern the Commission in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws of this organization.

      These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the votes cast, inclusive of votes made by absentee ballot at a regular or special meeting of the Commission, provided a copy of the proposed changes has been sent to all members one week prior to the meeting.


CSW logo

Padma Emblem

Known in many cultures as the sacred lotus, its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul or consciousness. The CSW Padma emblem represents all women at UAB: student, staff, and faculty. Just as the Padma rises above the surface to bloom daily, its resilience symbolizes CSW’s vision of a UAB where women are inspired and empowered to thrive.


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held its first official meeting Thursday, August 25, 2005, in the West Pavilion Board Room of UAB Hospital. As stated during the meeting by Dr. Mona Fouad, Chair and Associate Professor of Medicine at UAB, the overall objective of the newly formed commission was “to ensure that UAB meets the needs of women faculty, staff and students through a forum that advocates and examines the progress of the university’s commitment to securing equitable opportunities and rewards for all.” The commission, comprised of 42 regular, regular alternate and ex officio members from various schools and departments within the UAB community, committed to three main responsibilities and purposes:

  • to advise the president on issues, policies, and practices that affect women at UAB.
  • to propose initiatives to ensure that UAB fairly meets the needs of its women employees and students and.
  • to report regularly to the president and UAB community on the status of women at UAB.

The ad hoc committee that recommended the establishment of CSW consisted of the following members: Dr. Etty Benveniste, Professor and Chair, Cell Biology; Dr. Carolyn Braswell, Assistant Vice President, Office of Equity and Diversity; Dr. Mary Capilouto, Professor, Diagnostic Sciences; Dr. Louis Dale, Vice President, Office of Equity and Diversity; Dr. Jeannette Doeller, Research Associate Professor, School of Public Health; Dr. Michael Froning, Dean, School of Education and Human Sciences; Dr. Virginia Gauld, Vice President, Student Affairs; Dr. Shirley Kahn, Vice President, Development, Alumni & External Relations; Dr. Marilyn Kurata, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of English; Ms. Susan Marchase, Director of Administration and Fiscal Affairs, Department of Medicine; Ms. Patricia Robinson, Director of Employment, Human Resource Management; Ms. Bettye Wilson, Associate Professor, Radiologic Sciences Division.


Mona Fouad, MD

Mona Fouad, MD

Chair, 2005-2008

Donna Arnett, PhD

Donna Arnett, PhD

Chair, 2008-2011

Wendy Gunther Canada, PhD

Wendy Gunther Canada, PhD

Chair, 2011-2014

Alesia Jones

Alesia Jones

Chair, 2015-2016

Anita Clemon

Anita Clemon

Chair, 2016-2019

Nicole Wright, PhD

Nicole Wright, PhD

Chair, 2019-2021

Donna Williamson

Donna Williamson

Chair, 2022-2024

Feedback/Need Help?

Need assistance or want to find out more about the Commission on the Status of Women at UAB? Contact us at uabwomen@uab.edu.

Back to Top