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Association for Women Faculty and Staff: Steering Committee

UMSL Association for Women Faculty and Staff Bylaws

Spring 2022

Article I: Name

This organization at the University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL) will be called the UMSL Association for Women Faculty and Staff (WFS).

Article II: Mission and Purpose

To enable women staff and faculty at the University of Missouri – St. Louis to connect with and empower each other as we work to serve, collaborate with, and support the diverse groups that make up the UMSL and St. Louis community. We will identify, advocate for, and provide opportunities and resources that advance and enhance professional development, wellbeing, inclusivity, and equity.

The Association provides a forum for women faculty and staff to discuss relevant topics, to support women’s careers and lives, and to generate measures that serve UMSL women and the larger community. It provides vital input to university leaders regarding decisions that affect women across campus and in the surrounding community. It identifies and advocates for women-centered action, inclusive initiatives, gender equity, and informs policy-making at the university.

Article III: Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

The Association commits to promoting justice, equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion and supports the Compact for Inclusive Excellence in UMSL’s Strategic Plan that addresses access and success, campus climate and intergroup relations, education and scholarship, institutional infrastructure, and community engagement.

In our work together, the Association strives to foster a campus culture and surrounding community where everyone

  • Is valued and respected by their peers;
  • Can pursue their employment, educational, and service goals without bias based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status;
  • Has opportunities to engage, learn, and grow through interactions with people from different backgrounds; and
  • Develops a deeper understanding, respect, and appreciation for diversity in our society.

Article IV: Membership

Membership is open to UMSL employees who identify as and/or support women faculty and staff. Individuals of all gender identities, rank, track, or job title are welcome. Interested others, guests, and community partners may participate in the Association’s activities based on topics and relevance.

Article V: Committees

The Association will strive to ensure a culture of equality, diversity, community, and collegial respect, with a balance of committee membership and leadership encompassing various ranks, tracks, job titles, and diverse identities.

With the exception of the Steering Committee described in Article V.1, each committee should have at least three members. Committee members will serve three-year, staggered terms. Committees may and are encouraged to invite campus or community guests as needed.

  • Any member can nominate themselves or another member to serve.
  • A quorum will be defined as a simple majority of the members of each committee.
  • A representative from each committee will regularly update the Steering Committee and membership about their activities.
  • Ad hoc subcommittees may be formed as needed.
  • The Association recommends that committees be mindful of participants’ diverse responsibilities, working hours, and workload as they schedule meetings and other obligations.
  • To prevent overcommitment, members are encouraged to limit their membership to one committee at a time.

Standing Committees

The Standing Committees will focus on the issues reflected in their committee titles including raising, investigating and formulating recommendations related to their focus area; identifying data needs; proposing policy changes; providing updates and reporting findings; fostering campus and community collaboration; developing and proposing programs, etc. With the exception of the Steering Committee, each standing committee will determine its own leadership and reporting structure.

Committee Membership: The Steering Committee will consist of a Chair, Immediate Past Chair and Chair-Elect, with each position having a term of one year. The Chair-Elect will be elected by the majority of votes cast by the Association late in the Spring semester. Upon the election of the Chair-Elect, the previous Chair-Elect becomes Chair, the previous Chair becomes Immediate Past Chair, and the Immediate Past Chair rotates off the Committee. The slate of Steering Committee nominees will include faculty and staff representatives.

Members-at-Large may also serve one-year terms on the Steering Committee to ensure diverse  representation among the officers. The Members-at-Large will be elected by the majority of votes cast by the Association in an election following the election of the Chair-Elect.  


Committee Charge/Duties: The Steering Committee members will serve as the respective officers of the Association. Steering Committee members will decide or designate the distribution of duties, which include but are not restricted to:

  • programming; leading discussions; preparing meeting agendas; taking minutes; disseminating information; communicating with the membership, other standing committees and/or campus/other campus bodies; record keeping; receiving and disbursement of funds; establishing reasonable timetables for the consideration of action items. 
  • Establishing voting apparatus and ensuring timely access to secure ballots; identifying, nominating, and mentoring first time committee members and succession planning.
  • Each year the steering committee will examine/evaluate leadership structures and identify areas of need.
  • Address diversity issues in leadership. -The Steering Committee will meet prior to Association meetings in which formal business will be discussed to prepare the agenda; the agenda will be sent electronically to all members within 24 hours of the Steering Committee meeting. 

The Steering Committee will ensure that the Association meets  at least four (4) times a year. 



Unexpected Steering Committee Vacancies: For an unexpected vacancy of the Chair-Elect position, a new Chair-Elect shall be elected by the majority of votes cast by the Association in a special election. For an unexpected vacancy of the Chair position, a new Chair-Elect shall be elected by the majority of votes cast by the Association in a special election while the current Chair-Elect will become the Chair to complete the term; they also have the right to serve as Chair the following academic year. There will be no replacements for a vacancy of the Immediate Past Chair position.  

For an unexpected vacancy of a Member-at-Large position that occurs within the first half of the academic year, the Association shall elect a replacement in a special election to complete the term. If this vacancy occurs within the second half of the academic year, the Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee and other Association members, shall appoint a member of the Steering Committee to fulfill the duties of the Member-at-Large.


Standing Committee Vacancies: The Steering Committee is responsible for appointing members to fill unexpected vacancies on the standing committees. 

Committee Focus Areas: Examples include but are not restricted to mentoring; professional development opportunities; professional leave; and promotion/advancement for all tracks.  

Committee Focus Areas: Examples include but are not restricted to

  • Consideration of institutional data
  • Transparency
  • Actions relating to hiring
  • Workload
  • Promotion and salary equity
  • Family-friendly policies
  • Intersectionality and accessibility

Committee Focus Areas: Examples include but are not restricted to

  • Faculty-staff relations
  • Climate surveys and analysis, including at the department/unit level
  • Amplifying women’s voices
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Recognitions and achievements
  • Transparency and accountability
  • And wellness.

Committee Focus Areas: Examples include but are not restricted to community related issues that affect women’s ability to pursue meaningful careers, thrive in work and non-work settings, and build collaboration across institutional boundaries to elevate everyone’s well-being and effectiveness.

Article VII: Development of Recommendations

Any voting member or Committee may propose a recommendation be placed before the membership for its consideration. Such a proposal must be presented in writing to the Steering Committee, who will place it on the agenda for the next Steering Committee meeting and report on all proposals to the general membership.

Article IX: Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended by a majority of votes cast by the Association for the proposed changes, provided that reasonable notice and voting time has been given to all Association members of the proposed changes.

The individual(s) or Committee(s) proposing such changes will be responsible for notifying the Steering Committee far enough in advance that they can reasonably be expected to coordinate the notification of membership. Changes outside the general scope announced cannot be considered in voting on the amendments, but can be proposed for consideration at a future meeting provided that the same requirements for prior written notification are met.


These bylaws shall become immediately effective upon their approval through the majority of votes cast by the Association with the proviso that for the 2022-23 academic year, the Faculty Fellow for Faculty Success will serve as the Immediate Past Chair, and that the elections in Spring 2022 will be held for both the Chair and Chair-Elect.

Related Links
AWFS Home Page