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About the Commission

The President’s Commission for the Status of Women is dedicated to improving the status of women at California University of Pennsylvania. Appointed by the President, the commission functions as an advisory group, advocating for an equitable environment in which all women can flourish. In addition, it serves as a forum where the diverse concerns of women on campus can be heard, as well as for the development of scholarship inclusive of women. 

Mission: 

The President's Commission for the Status of Women at Cal U's mission is, "to promote a University culture supportive of inclusiveness, diversity and civility that empowers women and provides them with equality in the pursuit of study, work and career so they can be fully contributing members of the greater community.”

Purpose:

As a group dedicated to improving the status of women at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) and to carrying out the mandates of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) Affirmative Action Plan and the American Council on Education’s special report on women in higher education, the Commission for Women at Cal U will undertake the following functions:

  • To advocate for an equitable environment in which all women can flourish professionally, intellectually, and socially.
  • To advocate for development of scholarship inclusive of women.
  • To provide a forum in which the diverse concerns of women at Cal U will be heard.
  • To collect and review information about the climate for all women at Cal U, whether they are students, staff, faculty, or administrators.
  • To propose and recommend specific strategies for implementation.

History:

In 1988, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) recommended that the guidelines developed by the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on Women in Higher Education be adopted and that these guidelines be used as a checklist for assessing the current status of women in PASSHE. This action was unanimously adopted by the PASSHE Board of Governors on April 19, 1988.

Further, the Women’s Consortium of PASSHE, which has a long time commitment to improving the status of women within PASSHE, assumed a major role in implementing the actions taken by the Board of Governors. Recognizing the significance of a Commission for Women, the Board of Directors of the Women’s Consortium encouraged and advised individual campuses to form a Commission for Women on each campus.

In January 1991, President John Watkins (ret.) invited women faculty, staff and administrators to an informal meeting to explain the purpose and function of a Commission for Women and to ask for their support in the formation of such a group. After presentations and a period of discussion and questions, those present were asked to indicate a commitment to participate in a Commission for Women and were invited to attend a formal meeting on February 21, 1991. The twenty-six people who attended became the first members of the newly formed President’s Commission for the Status of Women.

The 1992 President’s Commission for the Status of Women’s Data Collection Committee (Joann-Rodriguez-Naser, Lenora Angelone, Marlene Anderson and Geraldine Jones) compiled a Facts on Women at California University of Pennsylvania report in October 1992. This report sought to help identify specific areas needing improvement in equity matters and also identify areas where the University was making substantial progress.

Since its inception in 1991, the President’s Commission for the Status of Women has sought to improve the lives of women at Cal U. For further information about the history of the Commission or a copy of the 1992 Facts on Women Report, contact the Office of Social Equity at 724-938-4014.