Home / About / Mission and History

Mission and history

In 1991, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) issued the report "Reaching the Vision: Women in Arizona's Universities in the Year 2000." The goal of this report was not only to acknowledge and highlight major problems affecting women in the Arizona University system, but it also sought to provide recommendations towards improving the status of women in three major areas: equity, career development and climate. Accordingly, following the release of this report, ABOR recommended the establishment of a Commission on the Status of Women at the three state universities. In 1991, the ASU President established the ASU Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The mission of the commission is to “identify and advocate for needed changes in the university environment in order to enhance opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups.” 

Each year, members of the commission dedicate countless hours towards investigating issues of inequality and towards finding solutions to these problems. Due to their hard work and dedication, by 1998 the ASU-CSW was able to report to the Regents that 80% of ASU's goals and objectives were at or near completion.

In 2001, ASU marked the 10-year anniversary of the commission, and in 2002, CSW developed a new Strategic Planning Initiative designed to highlight the issues and needs affecting the status of women at ASU. Focusing on six priority areas including Climate and Culture, Accountability, Compensation and Resources, Voice and Visibility, Training and Development, and Safety, CSW has developed both an immediate action and a longterm remedy plan to improve these priority areas. To address these issues, the CSW is driven by the concept of "impact." Nearly of our projects and initiatives are designed to provide impactful resources and support towards the success of women and other underrepresented groups.

Structure of the commission

The original structure of the CSW involved having a large group composed of representatives from each employment category across all ASU campuses. In 2004 however, the CSW reorganized its structure to meet growing needs of ASU. Accordingly, as ASU has become “one university in many places,” the CSW is now one commission in many places.

Currently, the CSW is divided into four campus committees located at the Downtown, Tempe, West, and Polytechnic campuses. All four campus committees are governed by an Executive Committee and supported by the CSW Program Director. The Executive Committee organizes the work of the CSW, sets over-arching goals under which the campus commissions develop projects, and runs the CSW Awards Program. Members of the Executive Committee include all four campus committee chairs, the President and Provost’s Ex-Officio to the Commission, the Vice President of Human Resources and the CSW Program Director.

Programming and goals

To fulfill its mission, the CSW believes that “education and empowerment” is vital to increasing the status and success of women and underrepresented groups.  To that end, the CSW is dedicated to identifying critical issues in the university environment and applying strategic, effective programming to provide ASU faculty, staff, and students with resources for success. 

Listed below are some of the many programs and initiatives that the CSW embarks on each year:

ASU CSW/SC Professional Development Conference

In partnership with the ASU Staff Council, the CSW organizes and coordinates all aspects of the CSW/SC Professional Development Conference which provides a full day of development workshops for all faculty, staff, and students at ASU.  The conference is hosted each October.  It is the largest university-provided development event for university staff nationwide!

CSW Staff Mentoring and Development Program

One of the only programs of its kind nationwide, the CSW Staff Mentoring and Development Program pairs experienced and excelling staff members with staff who are interested in developing their career and leadership skills.  Each program cycle/cohort runs from June to December.  Applications to participate in the Summer Cohort open each February (see program details).

Career Success Series and Yellow Brick Road to Leadership

Inaugurated in Spring 2012, the CSW Success Series provides special leadership and career development events designed to educate and empower, including the ever-popular CSW Yellow Brick Road to Leadership event hosted each February.  This event highlights successful staff leaders at all levels, across the university, providing inspiration and strategy driven advice on building a successful career at ASU.

CSW Keynote Event Series

The CSW will inaugurate our first ever CSW Keynote Event in Spring 2017.  For our first keynote, we will feature May Busch, former CFO of Morgan Stanley Europe and special advisor to President Crow on leadership. The focus of the keynote will be on career mastery at all levels. Mark your calendars for March 1, 2017 and join the CSW listserv for registration details.

Spring Workshop Series

The CSW provides a wide variety of workshop sessions designed to help one feel better at work and at home.  Some of our workshop topics include career development, leadership development, stress management, healthy living, and financial planning.

Community Outreach

Each year the CSW engages in community outreach projects to benefit those in need in our communities.   Past projects have benefited homeless shelters, women’s shelters, food banks, valley foster children, non-profit organizations, literacy programs, local area schools, and ASU programs providing outreach to staff and students.

As part of our community outreach, each winter, the CSW collects gift donations for valley foster children.  The CSW has coordinated this drive for the past eight years, benefitting groups such as Arizonans for Children, Helen’s Hope Chest, and the Arizona Department of Child Safety.  Look for information about the drive each November.

Annual Awards Program

Each year, the CSW recognizes individuals, groups and teams whose efforts have worked to benefit women and other represented groups at ASU and beyond.