CSW Bylaws and Goals

These Bylaws establish the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the procedures for the conduct of its business.

  1. Name:This organization shall be called The Committee on the Status of Women and informally referred to as the CSW and is considered to be a standing committee of UTHealth.

  2. Purpose: The purpose of the CSW is to encourage open communication regarding the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women at UTHealth . The CSW will facilitate the development and contribution of women affiliated with UTHealth by expanding and improving the opportunities for the advancement of women to achieve their maximum potential.

  3. Membership: The CSW membership shall include exempt and non-exempt staff; faculty; research and clinical fellows; and students.

    Section 3.1: Members of the CSW may be appointed from exempt and non-exempt staff; faculty; research and clinical fellows; and students. These members will serve for one two-year term, which may be renewed for additional terms for those who actively participate in the activities of the CSW. An annual membership drive will be initiated in mid-summer to request new members from the Deans, Student Governance Organizations of each school, Office of Post Doctoral Fellows, University Classified Staff Council and other employee organizations as needed.

    Membership representation shall be as follows:
    One faculty and one staff representative from the School of Biomedical Informatics
    One faculty and one staff representative from the School of Dentistry
    One staff representative from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences 
    Two faculty and two staff representatives from the Medical School/IMM
    One faculty and one staff representative from the School of Nursing 
    One faculty and one staff representative from the School of Public Health 
    Three staff representatives from the UTHealth General Administration
    One faculty and one staff representative from Harris County Psychiatric Center
    One representative from Human Resources (HR) to be named by Chief HR Officer
    One representative from the University Classified Staff Council 
    Others deemed appropriate and appointed by executive leadership

    Section 3.2: Ex officio members to the CSW shall be persons whose professional responsibilities include participation on the CSW such as, but not limited to, representatives from the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs (EVPARA) and past chair of the CSW.

    Ex Officio Membership (without vote)
    EVPARA or designee 
    Immediate past chair of the committee
    Previous voting members who's designation (e.g. change in affiliation or role) at UTHealth may retain status on the committee in an ex officio position.

    Section 3.3: Active participation is expected of all members. Should a member miss more than three monthly meetings during the year that are unexcused, they shall be replaced.
  4. Officers of the Committee: Officers shall be comprised of the chair, chair-elect and secretary all elected through a vote by active members and each serving a one year term.

    Section 4.1: The chair shall preside at all official meetings, cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, approve meeting minutes and agenda prior to distribution, prepare annual report, and see that the rules of order and decorum prevail in all the deliberations of the CSW.

    Section 4.2: The chair-elect will serve for one year before assuming the duties of the chair. The chair-elect will assume the duties of the chair in their absence.

    Section 4.3: The secretary in concert with the EVPARA liaison, will be responsible for taking minutes at each meeting, keeping track of attendance and notifying members after three unexcused absences.

  5. Voting: A valid vote is constituted by a simple majority of those present when there is a quorum. The chair will declare a quorum at the beginning of each meeting with a minimum of 33 percent of voting members as present.

  6. SubcommitteesTo accomplish the objectives of the CSW certain activities may be more expeditiously done by delegation of such activities to the subcommittees that are formed based upon needs of the CSW. Each year, by vote of the CSW members, subcommittees will instantiated and lead by a chair elected by the subcommittee members. All subcommittees will be governed by the CSW bylaws and guidelines. Each subcommittee will provide an annual report to the CSW chair.

  7. Activities of the CSW: The CSW may:
    1. Identify opportunities for the advancement of women by:
      • Creating a forum for women to bring topics of interest or issues to the UTHealth.
      • Educating members of the UTHealth community to issues and practices that promote the advancement of women.
      • Providing a resource for women by cultivating programs for networking, mentoring, training, and referral throughout the UTHealth and the community at large.
      • Identifying obstacles to the advancement of women and developing strategies to address these obstacles.
    2. Assess the status of women:
      • The committee shall address issues including but not limited to: the general atmosphere for women within the UTHealth community; hiring and promotion practices; salary and professional equity; training; employment practices affecting women such as child care provisions, health services, maternity leave, child rearing, family sick leave, and flexible-time working arrangements. Documentation may include conducting surveys and collecting and maintaining data.
      • Recognize distinguished professional women and mentors’ of women.
    3. Make recommendations:
      • The committee shall report findings. Recommend policies to the university; establish immediate and long-range goals; and work with those designated responsible for their implementation.
    4. Collaborate with executive leadership, other departments and organizations within the university:
      • Providing requested review of changes in policy and practices affecting women.
      • The CSW shall provide an annual report to the university President through the Office of the EVPARA.
      • The CSW may request reports from departments, committees and other responsible offices on issues relevant to its function.
    5. Administer awards recognizing women:
      • The CSW will coordinate and recommend nominees to the president’s office for awards in recognition and support of the advancement of women faculty and staff.
    6. Initiate community activities and outreach:
      • The CSW may initiate outreach activity as identified by membership in the service of women and larger community support of the university mission.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Provide a forum for women at UTHealth to enable and support advancement in their professional careers by:
    • Identifying opportunities and strategies for advancement to assist in creating an optimal work environment;
    • Bringing issues forward that are relevant to women and the UTHealth community;
    • Identifying and creating strategies for overcoming obstacles to advancement
    • Developing and disseminating educational materials; and
    • Sponsoring seminars and workshops.
  2. Provide a forum for women at UTHealth to build collegial relationships by:
    • Involving committee members and the broader community in the activities of the CSW; 
    • Establishing a communication network including a website; and
    • Creating outreach and learning opportunities for women in UTHealth to interact.
  3. Supporting the advancement of women within UTHealth and the affiliated health care institutions and the community by:
    • Assisting in dissemination of information about site-specific activities to the larger UTHealth community;
    • Improving communication and efficient use of resources throughout the UTHealth community.
  4. Provide the university's executive leadership with ongoing information and recommendations for change, to improve the status of women faculty, staff and students at UTHealth.