Bylaws, Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies
To define the rules and regulate the affairs of the School of the Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies.
Faculty and staff within the Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies.
I. Mission and Objectives
The Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), established in 1959, coordinates an array of programs and serves as an intellectual hub of Latin Americanist scholarship and related activities that focus on Latin American cultures, societies, states, natural resources, and environments for students and professors at the University of Kansas (KU), as well as for the broader local, regional, and national community. The Center brings together the University’s topical, regional and methodological breadth on Latin America, and it coordinates interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs. The academic programs are established within the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program under the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Center Director is also the Program Director. The Center supports and advises the academic programs, but Center programs also target K-14 schools in the Midwest, as well as community, media, and business audiences beyond the University. Building upon longstanding institutional strength in Latin American and Caribbean studies at KU, global issues and multiculturalism are central to its curriculum and mission.
The CLACS: a) provides a single point of contact and organization for faculty and students with scholarly interests in Latin America; b) connects a strong group of faculty and students; c) offers both a major and a minor at the undergraduate level, and an M.A., as well as a joint M.A./M.B.A. degree, with graduate certificates in Mexican & Central American Studies and Brazilian Studies; d) offers and supports classes in Critical Languages such as Kichwa, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese; e) supports and advises the academic programs in Latin American and Caribbean Studies; f) promotes interdisciplinary studies, seminars, research and other activities related to Latin America; g) acts as a liaison with Study Abroad and other International Programs at KU; h) serves in an advisory capacity for the University at large related to issues and relationships involving Latin America; i) offers public service in the form of outreach events within KU, to K-12 schools, regional colleges, business, and the community; and j) contributes to KU through institutional grants that provide resources to faculty, graduate students, the library system, and the KU community.
II. Center Structure and Governance
A. CLACS Faculty Membership, Decision-making and Voting Rights.
Affiliated Faculty to CLACS are categorized as Core, Associate, and Adjunct. In addition, the CLACS regularly serves as host to Visiting Scholars from other universities in the US or abroad.
For Core and Associate membership in the CLACS, faculty members must hold an appointment at the University of Kansas. Core and Associate Faculty Members (who do not hold budgeted Full-time Equivalency (FTE) in CLACS), can be appointed by the Director of CLACS at any time, or a faculty member may submit a request to be included in of these categories. The list of Core and Associate Faculty shall be revised at least once every three years by the Executive Committee (EC).
1. Core Faculty. Core faculty are faculty members who receive a courtesy appointment at CLACS. They hold a tenured and tenure-track appointment in another unit at KU. These faculty members 1) have area training; 2) know one or more area languages; 3) teach one or more courses with area content; and 4) do research on Latin America. A core member has the right to serve on one or more of the CLACS Standing Committees as outlined in these bylaws. Core Faculty can vote in standing committee meetings or on CLACS initiatives. Decisions related to the Center’s mission, strategy, bylaws, as well as changes in degree and certificate program requirements need to be ratified by the Core Faculty. The courtesy appointment is renewable every three years and requires approval by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
2. Associate Faculty. Associate faculty hold a tenured, tenure-track, or lectureship appointment in another unit at KU. They 1) have area training or experience; 2) teach courses with substantial Latin American content; and/or 3) do research in, on, or related to Latin America. Associate faculty members have the right to serve on one of more of the CLACS Standing Committees and have voting rights when they serve on these committees.
3. Adjunct Faculty. These are faculty members in colleges and universities of the region who provide certain services to KU as affiliates and volunteers without compensation. Adjunct Faculty 1) have area training; 2) know one or more area languages; 3) teach one or more courses with area content; and 4) do research on Latin America. A request for Adjunct status must be submitted by CLACS to the Office of Research for approval.
4. Visiting Scholars. These scholars provide an opportunity for professors, practitioners, graduate and undergraduate students to exchange in meaningful and beneficial ways, creating long relationships. A prospective Visiting Scholar, normally sponsored by a CLACS Core or Associate faculty member, can apply to the CLACS by sending a cover letter indicating his or her interests and a curriculum vita. The decision to appoint a person as a visiting scholar is made by the CLACS Director in consultation with the EC. These appointments are processed through International Programs.
1.Director. Oversight of the Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies is the responsibility of the Director, who also serves as the Chairperson of the EC. Appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Director’s contact dean is the Associate Dean of International & Interdisciplinary Studies in the College. The Director is the official representative of CLACS to all other units and administrators of the University. In all matters on which the Director needs to act on behalf of CLACS, it is desirable that he/she should ascertain by consultation the will of CLACS faculty, and act accordingly. Consultation may take many forms. This statement is in no way to be construed as inhibiting the right of the Director to speak as an individual faculty member when appropriate.
The term of office of the Director is determined by the Dean of the College, but is usually for a period of from 3-5 years, renewable for up to a ten-year period of total service. The Director is appointed by the Dean, after an appropriate search by a search committee, and based on the recommendations of acceptable or nonacceptable candidate(s) by the EC of CLACS. Searches are governed by the University and College regulations and procedures (See the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff at: https://documents.ku.edu/policies/provost/FacultyandUnclassifiedStaffHandbook.pdf) and the Procedures for the Selection and Appointment of Chairpersons/Directors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at: (https://documents.ku.edu/policies/CLAS/procedures_for_selection_of_chairs.htm).
Major Duties include:
1. Provides oversight and leadership for all unit activities, including outreach.
2. Reviews and modifies, in consultation with the unit’s EC and Core faculty, the long-range planning for the unit as it concerns the unit’s curriculum, faculty support, outreach, and fund raising.
3. Oversees all internal budgetary, administrative, and personnel matters.
4. Seeks enhancement of all unit resources by actively seeking external funding. Prepares US/ED Title VI National Resource Center proposals every four years (current cycle), and seeks to identify and secure additional unit and student funding.
5. Administers the undergraduate and graduate academic programs of the unit.
6. Supervises and reviews the unit’s faculty and professional, academic, and University support staff.
7. Administers and serves as PI for the US/ED Title VI National Resource Center Grant when KU is so designated, and oversees the administration of other grants, fellowships, and prizes.
8. Develops and enhances research and educational relationships between the unit and other units within the University, as well as with agencies outside the University, international, governmental, public, or private.
9. Executes College and University policy in the unit effectively, holding regular meetings of the EC, annual meetings of the CLACS Core and Associate Faculty, and communicating regularly useful information to faculty, staff, and students
10. Represents the unit and reports to CLAS, and represents the unit to other University entities.
2. Associate Director and Graduate Director. The position of Associate Director and Graduate Director is a combined one and is selected by the Director, in consultation with the EC, and serves at the pleasure of the director with a term that is usually associated with the term of the Director. The Associate Director serves in place of the Director in Center committees in the absence of the Director or as a representative of the Director when so asked.
Major duties include:
1. Overseeing, reviewing, and revising the CLACS Graduate Program, including serving as Chair of the Graduate Committee;
2. Recruiting, advising, and mentoring of graduate students;
3. Assisting the Director with conferences, grant development, seminars, outreach, report writing and other Center activities;
4. Evaluating students for relevant scholarship, and processing of graduation checks for graduate students.
3. Undergraduate Director. The Undergraduate Director is selected by the Center Director, in consultation with the EC and serves at the pleasure of the director with a term that is usually associated with the term of the Director.
Major duties include:
1. Overseeing, reviewing, and revising the CLACS Undergraduate Program, including serving as Chair of the Undergraduate Committee;
2. Recruiting, advising, and mentoring of undergraduate students;
3. Coordination of the University Honors Program and undergraduate student internships;
4. Evaluation of undergraduate students for relevant scholarships; and,
5. Processing graduation checks for undergraduate students.
C. Committee Duties and Assignments.
The Center’s policy and curricular decisions are made by CLACS committees. There are three standing committees: an Executive Committee (EC), a Graduate Committee, and an Undergraduate Committee, plus additional Ad Hoc Committees, as detailed below. These committees meet depending on the workload and the directives of the Committee Chair and Center Director.
Members of these committees may be Core and Associate Faculty and they should be broadly representative of Latin Americanist scholars and scholarship at the University of Kansas, as well as representative of the Center’s curricula. Committees should include a faculty member from a professional school, when appropriate. Members of the Executive Committee are elected from the Core and Associate Faculty; faculty receiving the most votes for each position are elected for a three-year term; these terms should ideally have rotating expiration dates. If possible, faculty will serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms on a standing committee. Votes in committees are carried by simple majorities. The Director, Associate Director, and Undergraduate Director may be ex-officio members of some standing committees. When appropriate, students will be appointed to committees, but will not participate in personnel or hiring matters or on committees that evaluate other students.
Article XVI of the University Senate Code (http://policy.ku.edu/governance/university-senate-code#art3sect1) indicates that each department and program shall make provisions for the inclusion of a number of students as voting members on all policy‑making committees and at all full program meetings. The number of students on each such committee shall be no less than 20 percent of the number of faculty members who hold the rank of instructor or above and who serve on the committee. A quorum for all committee meetings shall be considered no fewer than 20%, plus one of the members appointed or elected to the committee. Faculty who depart committee assignments prior to the expiration of their term may be replaced in the next annual election; for the remainder of an existing term, the members of the EC may select a temporary replacement.
1. Executive Committee (EC). The Executive Committee plays the largest role in CLACS oversight.
Major duties include: a) advising and assisting the Director and Associate Director with the development, interpretation and implementation of policies; b) grant development; c) recommending curricular changes to the core faculty; d) faculty appointments and nominations for on-campus scholarly awards; e) hearing faculty and student petitions and grievances; f) annual review of the Center and degree requirements; g) evaluating the process for recommendation of faculty tenure and promotion if appropriate, and h) appoint standing and ad hoc committees.
The EC may also urge that important policy issues be referred to the full CLACS Core Faculty. Members of the EC include eight CLACS Core Faculty members from across the University, including scholars from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, professional schools, the Libraries; and the CLACS Director; Associate Director; and Undergraduate Director (ex-officio). Ideally, there will be two members each from the humanities and the social sciences division, one each from the natural sciences and mathematics division and the professional schools, and the Latin American bibliographer from the KU Library. Depending upon the disciplinary homes of the Director and Associate Director, they may be seen as also representing one of these areas. The Director serves as Chair of the EC and does not vote, except to break a tie. The immediately preceding Director may serve on the EC in an ex officio capacity. Faculty members on the EC are elected by a mail or electronic ballot sent to all CLACS Core Faculty. Nominations for membership to the EC may be submitted by any member of the Core Faculty to the Director, who shall submit a list of all eligible nominees to the CLACS Core Faculty for election. While the EC is the main policy making body of the program, student participation on the EC is restricted to policy-making decisions and should never involve participation on hiring or promotion and tenure related committees or personnel committees. Graduate student members will be appointed by the EC and should be recommended by the graduate students. Elections will be held every year generally at the end of spring semester. If a member of the EC is unable to attend a significant number of meetings during their term, the EC may vote that the member step down so that their position may be reassigned.
2. Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee provides oversight for matters concerning the M.A. Program in Latin American Studies.
Major duties include: a) evaluating graduate student applications; b) nominating applicants for on-campus scholarships, fellowships, and GTA positions; c) preparing recruitment materials; revising program information; and updating graduate booklets, website, and related materials; d) advising the Director and Graduate Director on curriculum planning, review, and revision of the graduate program; e) coordinating course offerings with other units on campus; f) appointing a subcommittee for hearing and evaluating graduate student petitions and grievances; and, g) coordinating graduate assessment.
Members of the Graduate Committee include the Associate Director/Graduate Adviser, plus four members of the Core and Associate Faculty, plus a graduate student representative. The Director, in consultation with the EC., appoints members. Membership terms and eligibility are governed by the rules outlined above. The chair of the Graduate Committee is the Associate Director/Graduate Adviser.
3. Undergraduate Committee. The Undergraduate Committee provides oversight for matters concerning the B.A. and B.G.S. Programs in Latin American Studies.
Major duties include: a) revising program information and updating undergraduate booklets, website, and related materials; b) nominating undergraduate students for on-campus scholarships and fellowships; c) advising the Director and Undergraduate Director on curriculum planning, review, and revision of the undergraduate program, helping coordinate with other departments and disciplines across campus; d) appointing a subcommittee for hearing and evaluating undergraduate student petitions and grievances; and, e) coordinating graduate assessment and senior exit surveys.
Members of the Undergraduate Committee include the Undergraduate Director, plus four members of the Core and Associate Faculty, plus an undergraduate student representative, in accordance with the University Senate Code. The Director, in consultation with the EC., appoints members. Membership terms and eligibility are governed by the rules outlined above. The chair of the Undergraduate Committee is the Undergraduate Director.
4. Ad Hoc Committees. Ad Hoc Committees will be formed when deemed necessary by the Director and the EC. The duties of ad hoc committees shall not overlap with the duties of the standing committees. Ad hoc committees address special initiatives, such as the Language Committee, NRC Grant-Writing Committee, Multi-Media Committee, the Publications Committee, Tinker Field Research Grant Committee, and grievance committees.
Members of ad hoc committees shall be determined by the Director, in consultation with the EC, or by the EC and are appointed for a determined period of time, normally less than one academic year.
III. Advisory Board
The Center of Latin American Studies will have an Advisory Board, convened by the Director in accordance with KU guidelines concerning the constitution and maintenance of such Boards, and in accordance with the Bylaws developed specifically for the CLACS Advisory Board. The Advisory Board comprises alumni who have achieved distinction in international affairs, either in government service, the private sector, or non-profit endeavors, along with other prominent members of the academic, business, and civic community whose accomplishments are similarly distinguished and who have demonstrated an interest in the mission of the Center. The members meet twice a year (including possible conference call meetings) and work closely with the EC on communications and fundraising for CLACS programs. The Board will also serve as a strategic “think tank” to advise the Center’s goals of becoming more regionally, nationally, and internationally prominent.
IV. General Meeting
A general business meeting of the CLACS Core and Associate Faculty will be held at least once each academic year. The meeting will include a report from the Center Director, Graduate and Undergraduate Directors concerning Center/program activities, a time for questions from the faculty, and a time for discussion and recommendations from the faculty in attendance concerning future directions or current operations of the Center.
The bylaws may be changed by a simple majority vote of approval by a quorum of the faculty making up the CLACS Core Faculty. Members may be present to vote or use a mail or electronic ballot (for, against, or abstention) as determined by the Director. A quorum for purposes of such a vote shall be defined as active participation in voting by no fewer than 20% plus one of the eligible voting members of the CLACS Core Faculty.
VI. Budgetary Matters
Budgetary matters are primarily the responsibility of the Director, who is accountable to the EC and the Dean and Associate Dean for International and Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
The hiring of Unclassified Professional Staff and University Support Staff is the responsibility of the Director in consultation with the appropriate search committee. Faculty hiring follows University and Human Resources and Equal Opportunity guidelines.
Director, Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies
08/14/2017: Policy updated.
02/01/2017: Approved by the faculty of the Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies.