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.


  • 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.

By Laws


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 on issues, policies, and practices that affect women at UAB.
  2. Propose initiatives to ensure that UAB fairly meets the needs of its women employees and students.
  3. Support and provide resources for the development, education and advancement of women at UAB.


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.

The Chair will appoint a three-person membership committee to be responsible for reviewing each pair of nominees from the schools and libraries, identifying one nominee for membership and one nominee for alternate membership. The membership committee will verify the willingness and availability of each nominee to serve as members of the Commission. The membership committee will present an annual slate of nominees to the Commission for approval. This slate of nominees should allow one-third of the membership to rotate off each year. Alternate members serve in absence of the corresponding members and may serve on committees. If a member resigns from the Commission, the alternate member will assume the role of member and a new alternate member will be appointed by appropriate school, college, library, or administrative unit.

The slate of nominees must receive a quorum vote to be approved by the Commission. If approved, the slate of nominees will be forwarded by the Chair to the President of the University for confirmation and appointment.

The Commission will have no more than 20 voting members. The 20 alternate members will be nonvoting Commission members unless they are representing the member who is unable to vote on the specific issue.

Members are appointed for a three year period, typically with terms beginning in August. An individual who serves one term and then sits out for a term is eligible to serve a second term. The reappointment of ex officio appointees is the responsibility of the particular program.

The Council of Student Government Presidents has ex officio appointments for three (3) students who respectively represent undergraduate students, graduate students, and students in the professional schools. Ex officio appointees are the responsibility of the particular organization. The President, Provost, and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hold ex officio memberships. The membership committee may recommend ex officio membership to others as necessary for the functions of the Commission. The UAB African American Faculty Association and the UAB Faculty Senate may each appoint an ex officio member to the Commission.

Officers and Their Duties

The officers of the Commission shall be Chair and Vice-Chair. 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 Commission membership for a three-year term and is eligible for re-election to one subsequent three-year term. The Immediate Past Chair is eligible to serve a one year term at the conclusion of their term as Chair. 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.
  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.


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 published on the Commission's SharePoint site. 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.

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.

Members are expected to attend all meetings. If unable to attend a meeting, arrangements should be made for the alternate member to attend in their absence. Any member who fails to attend 3 meetings without securing other representation will be replaced on the Commission.


  1. General Provisions
    1. All committees are responsible to the Commission.
    2. The term of office of elected and appointed members of all standing committees shall be 1 year unless otherwise designated. Members of all standing committees shall be eligible for consideration of appointment for a maximum of 2 consecutive terms. Terms of student representatives shall be one year. In the event that committee vacancies occur, a replacement shall be appointed by the chair of the Commission to complete the remaining term of office.
    3. The Commission Chair shall appoint standing committee chairs for a term of one year
    4. All committee chairs shall be full-time employees and members of the Commission.
    5. Alternate Commission members may be voting committee members.
    6. 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.
    7. All standing committees shall integrate diversity initiatives into their respective committee work.
    8. 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.
    9. Minutes of all meetings of standing committees shall be prepared and submitted to the chair of the Commission.
    10. A final report shall be prepared by the committee chair and submitted to the Commission Chair in November of each year.
    11. A quorum for all meetings shall be a simple majority of voting members.
    12. Standing Committees will meet August through May with no regularly scheduled meetings June and July. The work of the committees should take place within that time frame. Should emergent circumstances arise, the Chair can call a special meeting.
  1. Standing Committees
    1. Executive Committee
    2. Public Relations Committee
    3. Membership Committee
    4. Programs and Outreach Committee
    5. 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 and standing committee chairs. 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 Membership Committee shall review and maintain current and active membership rosters, reviewing nominees for membership and alternate membership including verification of willingness and availability to serve on the Commission.

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 Woman Awards.

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; 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