A new era began in Maryland in 1988 when the State created the University System of Maryland
(USM), uniting eleven separate universities and colleges and two research institutes. This time also
marked a new era for women in the USM when Fay-Tyler M. Norton, wife of Interim Chancellor
James A. Norton, founded the USM Women's Forum on December 3, 1989.
At that time, most USM Institutions didn't have an organized group to address issues of special
concern to women. Serving as an advisory group to the Chancellor, the Women's Forum became
the first organization to represent the various communities of women including students, faculty,
For over twenty years, the Women's Forum has galvanized women from across the System in
unprecedented ways with the following goals in mind:
. To increase interaction among System women and to encourage and provide opportunities for
active participation in affairs important to women System wide.
. To review, study and make recommendations to the Chancellor about the development of
programs, structures and policies that address issues of concern to women.
. To exchange and disseminate information about women within the System that will assist
women in reaching personal and professionals.
. To serve as advocates for issues and concerns of the communities of women within the System.
. To recognize and foster the achievements of women within the System by providing awards to
promote research, scholarship, and professional development.
The vision of the Women's Forum is to serve as a leading organization within the USM
promoting equity to all.