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Bylaws, Kress Foundation History of Art Department


To define the rules and regulate the affairs of the History of Art Department.

Applies to: 

Faculty and staff within the History of Art Department.

Policy Statement: 


A. Departmental Membership

For purposes of governance, the department shall be comprised of the regular faculty and graduate student representatives.

The regular faculty includes all tenure-track and tenured members holding appointments in Art History with the rank of assistant professor or higher.

Two graduate student representatives of the department—one representing East Asian art, the other European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary art—will be selected annually by the membership of the Graduate Students of the History of Art (GSHA) organization to serve as liaisons between the faculty and GSHA.

Regular faculty members constitute the voting membership of the department. For decision-making purposes, normal parliamentary procedure will be followed in departmental meetings.

B. Departmental Responsibilities

Departmental meetings shall normally be held monthly during the academic year. Normally these meetings will be held in person; on occasion, department meetings may be held electronically, and departmental business may be conducted electronically. The time and place of departmental meetings shall be determined by the department chairperson prior to each semester. The agenda for regular department meetings shall be prepared by the chairperson with the assistance of the members of the department and distributed at least 24 hours in advance of each meeting. A quorum representing 51% of the voting department members not on leave is required for the conduct of business.

The department has responsibility for the development of policies and programs for graduate and undergraduate teaching/advising, for research, and for academic and community service.

Department faculty members are responsible for instructing and advising students; for research and dissemination of knowledge in their areas of expertise; and for other professional activities that advance the program of the department, the missions of the College and the University, and the profession. The standard allocation of effort is 40% teaching/advising, 40% research, and 20% service. Any changes to that allocation must be approved by the department chairperson and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The normal teaching load for regular faculty members holding full-time tenure-track or tenured appointments in the department is four courses per academic year, excluding independent study, directed readings and thesis or dissertation advising. The normal teaching load is reduced for the chairperson in accordance with College policy. The unit procedures for the determination of differential allocation of a tenured faculty member can be found in the unit’s Faculty Evaluation Plan, located at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/faculty-evaluation-plan-art-history. Changes in the normal teaching load for faculty members with full-time appointments in the department must be approved by the Dean of CLAS and limited to a term of no more than three academic years. Faculty members shall publish and maintain a regular schedule of at least two office hours per week.


Departmental officers and advisors selected from the regular faculty are the Chairperson, Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Advisors in European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary Art and in East Asian Art, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Chairperson of the Art History Travel Committee.

A. Department Chairperson

The chairperson serves a three- or five-year term. The chairperson is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Dean of CLAS. When the position is vacant, a search process is initiated by the Dean of the College, according to the established College procedures located at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/chair-director-selection. An incumbent department chair may be re‑elected for additional 3- or 5-year term through the same procedures as the original appointment, and only after undergoing a review prior to the completion of the fifth year of appointment, in accordance with University procedures.

1. Duties

The department chairperson shall represent the department to the higher administration.

The chairperson shall coordinate departmental activities, including:

a. Calling meetings and acting as presiding officer.

b. Appointing the following departmental officers and advisors:

1. Director of Graduate Studies

2. Graduate Advisor in European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary Art

3. Graduate Advisor in East Asian Art

4. Director of Undergraduate Studies

5. Members of special or ad-hoc committees as required

c. Nominating a regular faculty member as Chairperson of the Art History Travel Committee, subject to the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

The chairperson shall be responsible for the hiring, assigning of duties, and supervision of all department staff. Supplies and administrative support services shall be available to departmental members, as they are needed, on the basis of a reasonable distribution of resources among the faculty and programs.

The chairperson shall prepare the annual maintenance and equipment budget requests concerning the department and shall assume responsibility for administering the departmental budget.

The chairperson shall provide tenure-track and tenured faculty members with written evaluations of their performance each spring semester; and shall provide written statements of their recommended salaries at the appropriate time during the year. Each faculty member shall have the opportunity to meet with the chairperson before and after the evaluation to discuss it.

The chairperson shall maintain personnel records for the faculty that include at least a current curriculum vitae, peer evaluations of teaching, annual evaluations of faculty teaching, research, and service, and student evaluations of teaching.

The chairperson shall evaluate the performance of and assign merit salary increases to university support staff and unclassified professional staff.

The chairperson shall exercise leadership and initiative in the development of the department in such areas as:

a. Faculty development

b. Curriculum development

c. The summer session

d. Liaison with other departments, programs, and university divisions

e. Liaison with alumni, KU Endowment Association and donors to the department.

The chairperson shall coordinate any financial proposals to external sources.

The chairperson shall recommend to the Dean of the College a member of the faculty to serve as acting chairperson in the absence of the chairperson.

B. Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)

The Director of Graduate Studies oversees all aspects of graduate education within the department. Along with the COGA (College Office of Graduate Affairs) Graduate Program Coordinator, the DGS serves as a liaison between the College/Graduate Studies and the department. This includes attending all COGA/Graduate Studies meetings for DGSs, maintaining basic knowledge of university policies relating to graduate education, overseeing any graduate curricular or program changes for the department, and working with COGA/Graduate Studies to resolve any graduate student issues and support any graduate student petitions.

In conjunction with the Graduate Program Coordinator, the DGS also helps guide students through completion of all program milestones. Additionally, the DGS plays a vital role in recruitment, admission, and matriculation of new graduate students.

The faculty member serving as DGS typically serves also as either the Graduate Advisor in European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary Art or the Graduate Advisor in East Asian Art.

C. Graduate Advisor in European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary Art

The Graduate Advisor in European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary Art advises all M.A. students and Ph.D. students in these areas of study who have not yet submitted and had approved their Doctoral Program of Study Petition on course requirements and helps them establish a plan of study.

D. Graduate Advisor in East Asian Art

The Graduate Advisor in East Asian Art advises all M.A. students and Ph.D. students in East Asian art who have not yet submitted and had approved their Doctoral Program of Study Petition on course requirements and helps them establish a plan of study.

E. Director of Undergraduate Studies

In collaboration with professional advising staff in the College or University, the Director of Undergraduate Studies advises students in relation to art history major and minor requirements; certifies art history majors and minors; serves as Honors coordinator; approves study abroad courses and courses offered by other domestic institutions for art history transfer credit; advises students about internships; advises majors about the accelerated M.A. program (in coordination with the DGS); provides departmental approval of various petitions relating to the undergraduate degree; serves as liaison between faculty, GTAs, and students for problem solving related to issues arising in undergraduate classes; and coordinates departmental reporting for recertification of KU Core courses. The DUS meets with prospective undergraduate students considering the study of art history at KU and meets with students at the time they declare the art history major. The DUS organizes events that help foster a sense of community among undergraduate majors, for example workshops and social gatherings, and consults with undergraduate student groups interested in art history. As online class coordinator, the DUS also provides orientation for GTAs teaching undergraduate classes, coordinates and tracks course updates, and serves as a general teaching resource for online instructors.


Standing committees of the department shall be the two Graduate Admissions Committees, the Faculty Evaluation Committee, the Degree Assessment Committee, and the Travel Committee.

The chairs and membership of each standing committee shall be determined annually or as needed by the chairperson. On matters of instruction, research and service, the department serves as a committee of the whole, excepting for the graduate student representatives.

Ad-hoc committees, including faculty search committees, sabbatical committees, grievance committees, and committees to consider cases of promotion and tenure, shall be constituted as needed by action of the department. Promotion and tenure committees will be constituted of regular faculty at ranks higher than the candidate in question.

A. Committees on Graduate Admissions

These committees (East Asian; European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary) will meet at least once a year to review applications for admission to the graduate programs in their respective areas and make recommendations to the full department on admissions and awards (scholarships, assistantships, etc.).

B. Faculty Evaluation Committee

Annual Faculty Performance Evaluation: This committee is responsible for the annual evaluation of faculty. This committee meets annually to conduct evaluations of all faculty members reporting ultimately to the department chairperson, in accordance with the department’s Faculty Evaluation Plan. The Faculty Evaluation Procedures are described in the Faculty Evaluation Plan document, formally located in the Policy Library at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/faculty-evaluation-plan-art-history.

Progress Toward Tenure Review. The department follows CLAS and KU guidelines in conducting a formal progress toward tenure review of all tenure-track faculty members, formally located in the Policy Library at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/progress-toward-tenure-review.

Tenure and Promotion. The Department articulates its standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure in its Promotion and Tenure Procedures located in the policy library at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/promotion-tenure-art-history.

Post-tenure Review. The department's Post-tenure Review procedures are formally located in the policy library at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/post-tenure-review-art-history

C. Degree Assessment Committee

This committee will meet annually to prepare the department’s degree-level assessment report for discussion by the faculty and submission to the University.

D. Travel Committee

Following its published guidelines, this committee is comprised of a chairperson (appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research), a member of the Art History faculty (selected by the department chairperson), and a representative selected by the Vice Chancellor for Research. The committee meets as needed to monitor activity in the department’s Travel Fund, to review guidelines governing the fund, and to make decisions on applications for support from eligible faculty and graduate students.

E. Other Committees

1. Grievance Committee

Pursuant to Article XIV of the University Senate Code and Articles V and VI of the University Senate Rules and Regulations to the University of Kansas, the Department of Art History has established procedures to hear grievances arising within the department. These procedures are formally located in the Policy Library at: https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/grievance-procedure-art-history

2. Grade appeals

The department shall establish a grade appeal policy and procedures to be formally located in the Policy Library.


The department’s bylaws may be changed by a two-thirds majority vote of the regular faculty members.

Amendments to regulations involving major departmental policies (e.g., curricular changes, major, minor, or graduate degree requirements, procedural changes, and personnel changes) shall be communicated to department members at least three working days prior to the first department meeting at which the amendment will be considered.


Department of Art History
University of Kansas
Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi Street
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Faculty of the Kress Foundation History of Art Department
Approved on: 
Friday, September 30, 2016
Effective on: 
Friday, September 30, 2016
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
By-Laws, bylaws, Standing Committees, Program Review, Art History
Change History: 

12/13/2023: Fixed broken link.
11/30/2022: Policy reviewed and updated.
12/14/2021: Reviewed and updated policy.
10/19/2020: Policy updated to replace "undergraduate coordinator" with "director of undergraduate studies"; revised statement of duties for director of undergraduate studies.
01/22/2019: Technical edits.
01/14/2019: Policy updated to replace "undergraduate advisor" with "undergraduate coordinator".
08/04/2017: Updated Policy Statement.
07/31/2017: Policy updated. Policy formatting (e.g. spacing, bolding).
09/30/2016: Approved by the Faculty of the Kress Foundation History of Art Department.

School/College Policy Categories: 
Code of Conduct/By-Laws

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