SRU’s President’s Commission on Women advocates for advancement and equity
March 6, 2019
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Leading by example, supporting all and serving as a champion for gender equity. Those are the cornerstones on which the Slippery Rock University President's Commission on Women stands. And, with Women's History Month upon us, there is no better time to remind the campus of the commission's mission.
"Our overarching purpose is to advocate for the advancement of women by supporting women's leadership, promoting gender equity and advising the administration regarding the environment for women at the University including students, staff, faculty and administrators," said Kim Keeley, associate professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences and co-chair of the commission.
"The commission looks to address any barriers that women have for completing research, for getting more involved in committees, or anything else that may be outside of their day-to-day routines," Keeley said. "We aim to give women the support they need to overcome barriers."
As part of that support, Keeley and fellow co-chair Renee Coyne, assistant director for the Office of Career Education and Development, meet monthly with University President Bill Behre to discuss issues related to the commission and its mission.
"It's important that we, as a unit, continue to have that direct access to the administration in order to provide it with a clear view of the campus through the lens of women," said Keeley. "For instance, in terms of the safety of women on campus, if there are barriers to that in our environment, physical or otherwise, the commission wants to be able to recognize those and help the University to become more aware so that we can develop a positive and fruitful solution."
The commission also awards the Women of Distinction awards each year.
"The awards are an opportunity to recognize women who are doing great things in their fields and who are helping other women find their paths through mentoring," said Keeley.
Awards are presented in six categories: faculty, staff, administrator, student, alumni and ally/advocate. The newest of the categories, ally/advocate, was awarded for the first time in 2018. It was added to recognize mentors and leaders that aren't necessarily women, "but don't have to be in order to be able to support and lead women," said Keeley. Nominations will be solicited in the spring with recipients recognized in the fall.
Like all presidential commissions, the President's Commission for Women is comprised of volunteer student, faculty, staff and administrative members appointed by the president to provide leadership for maintaining a campus community that is open, caring, nurturing, personal, fair, engaging and respectful.
To learn more about the President's Commission on Women, click here.
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