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University Commission on Women: Raising Awareness and Equality.

Did you know there is a University Commission on Women (UCW) at the University of Houston? Although established in 1999, it may not be a voice you are familiar with, which is why HHP faculty Dr. Lisa Alastuey - a commission member, with help from the HHP web team, has devoted time to creating the commission’s first Web site which was launched this spring.

Lisa Alastuey
Two reports produced by the Women’s Commission,
one on the Status of Women at UH and one on Domestic Partner Benefits

Alastuey is in the second year of her three-year rotating term for faculty members. She believes the three-year term allows time for faculty to become familiar with the issues and processes that bring about equitable change. “It’s satisfying to see the fruits of your labor.” She said.

Lisa Alastuey
HHP faculty Dr. Lisa Alastuey
plays an active role in the UCW

Alastuey points to the UCW’s report: Domestic Partner Benefits at the University of Houston: Advancing Equity and Institutional Competitiveness as a major example of the scope of the commission’s work. The comprehensive report has been sent to Dr. Khator’s office for review.

Lisa Alastuey
Faculty Chair of the Women’s Commission, Dr. Holly Hutchins,
leads a Women’s Commission meeting

Under the leadership of Dr. Holly Hutchins (Faculty Chair) and Allison Odom-Bashir (Staff Chair), the UCW is not only striving to have more impact on the issues concerning women on campus, but it is also trying to raise the commission’s profile in the UH community.

The new Web site at, reveals UCW’s impressive work to-date concerning women’s issues beginning with their mission, which is to:

  • Identify the concerns of women at the university;

  • Promote gender equality throughout all areas of the university community;

  • Recommend to the appropriate administrative offices ways to address the concerns of women at the university;

  • Communicate and collaborate with other committees and organizations to provide support, advocacy and information regarding women's issues;

  • Raise awareness regarding behaviors, actions, issues, policies, and procedures that affect the status of women.

The commission is comprised of men and women representing faculty, staff and students from all levels of the academic and administrative areas of UH, as well as 17 appointed and nine ex officio members.

Recent UCW activities include: co-sponsoring with the Staff Council to award 10 staff scholarships for a total of $10,000; hosting new faculty luncheons and special presentations such as a sexual assault video screening and panel discussions, which have addressed domestic partner benefits and women’s full professorships. These events are free and open to the UH community.

Topics in the discussion stages include a mentoring program for tenured faculty mentoring tenure track faculty and the inclusion of a sexual violence awareness video in student orientation.

Visit the UCW Web site to learn more about what the commission is doing and how you can be a part of spreading the word.


- Martha Hayes


Visit the UCW website