Bylaws, Department of American Studies
To define the rules and regulate the affairs of the American Studies Department
Faculty and Staff within the American Studies Department
The American Studies Department offers critical, integrated, and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of American national identity; immigration, transnationalism and globalization; and American culture in the context of global change.
(A) The Faculty shall conduct the governance of the Department in accordance with the applicable rules of the University Senate and the Bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
(B) The Faculty delegates the authority to make decisions regarding routine departmental affairs to the Chair.
(C) The Faculty shall provide for participation and include in all its deliberations, to the extent permitted by the applicable rules of the University Senate and the Bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts Letters and Sciences, the entire teaching staff, non-academic personnel, and students of the department.
Membership in the Faculty of the American Studies Department shall include all tenured or tenure-track faculty holding full or partial appointments in American Studies.
Membership in the American Studies Voting Department shall include all members of the Faculty not on leave and student representatives equal to 20 percent of the faculty members plus one. The definition of Faculty leave varies according to University, College, and Department policy and by virtue of fellowship and travel requirements. Accordingly, faculty who are released from the standard teaching load but who are located in the vicinity of Lawrence may participate in the Voting Department but shall not be required to do so.
The student representation shall be defined as follows:
At-large representatives who serve overlapping two-year terms (at least one of which shall be an MA student);
One first-year student representative who serves a one-year term.
The Voting Department will meet at least three times during each of the Fall and Spring semesters. The meetings shall be called by the Chair with a minimum notice of one week. The Chair may invite adjunct or non-tenure-track faculty, non-departmental faculty, staff, and students to attend these regular meetings and shall give the courtesy of the floor.
Additional Voting Department meetings may be convened by the Chair as needed. Any member of the Voting Department may also ask the Chair to convene an additional meeting. Members of the Voting Department may submit with five days notice agenda items to be considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Minutes will be taken at each meeting and distributed for approval at the following meeting. Meetings will be adjourned by consensus vote.
The agenda for regular meetings may include:
Consideration of the Minutes of the Proceeding Meeting
University, College, and Departmental News and Announcements
Reports of Committees
Reports from Student Organizations
Unfinished Business, and
The Department Chair shall preside at regular meetings and special meetings called by the Chair. In the absence of the Chair, the Substitute-Chair shall preside.
For all meetings, a majority of the Voting Department shall constitute a quorum. The number of departmental faculty on the Voting Department is defined to be the total Members of the Faculty (as described in Part II) minus those who are on academic leave. Faculty representation shall be calculated at the beginning of each semester. Notwithstanding their loss of representation for purposes of a quorum, Faculty on academic leave retain the right to vote on the appointment of a new Chair; promotion and tenure decisions; and the hiring of new faculty, provided that the faculty member is sufficiently close to KU to review the pertinent documents and to interview the job applicants.
The Faculty retain the right to meet independently of the Voting Department for matters of personnel as described in Part V, Section (D) of the Bylaws. A quorum of the Faculty shall include a majority comprised of the total Members of the Faculty (as described in Part II) minus those who are on academic leave.
Except as noted below, the American Studies Voting Department shall be the governing body of the department.
Rules Governing Voting in Voting Department Meetings:
1. Each faculty member and each student representative on the Voting Department shall have one (1) vote.
2. Faculty members or student representatives who are absent from a Voting Department meeting shall forfeit their vote for the meeting.
3. A faculty member on leave may vote on the following issues: appointment of a new Chair; promotion and tenure; and hiring of new faculty (but only if the faculty member on leave is sufficiently near KU to review fully pertinent documents and to interview the job applicants). Temporary or visiting faculty may not vote on the following issues: appointment of a new Chair; promotion and tenure; and hiring of new faculty.
4. A simple majority of those present shall operate as the decision rule on policy questions.
Voting shall be without secret ballot, but a secret ballot shall be taken whenever requested by one-third of the voting members present.
A mandate by the University Provost has directed that graduate students and undergraduate students may not participate in personnel decisions that are a routine responsibility of the department and departmental units of the University. Accordingly, the governing body on all personnel matters shall be the Faculty, not the American Studies Department Voting Department. The Faculty shall retain the right to adjourn into executive session to consider any and all personnel matters.
Responsibilities of the Voting Department. The Voting Department shall maintain the following standing committees to provide governance oversight of the Department and to advise the Chair on other activities that form part of the department mission. These standing committees report to the Voting Department.
1. Graduate Committee: is responsible for graduate fellowships, including nominations for university-wide fellowships; GTA appointments; annual recruitment efforts; and the development and evaluation of the graduate curriculum leading to the MA and PhD degrees. The Chair of the committee shall be the Graduate Director, as defined in Part VII.
2. Undergraduate Committee: is responsible for undergraduate awards and fellowships; and the development and evaluation of the undergraduate curriculum leading to the BA degree. The Chair of the committee shall be the Undergraduate Director, as defined in Part VII.
3. By laws Committee: is responsible for maintaining updates to the department bylaws, records of amendments, and copies of department policies for use by the Faculty and students.
4. Ad hoc Committees may be appointed as department needs arise.
The Department Chair shall consult with an Executive Committee composed of the Graduate Director, Undergraduate Director, Scheduling Officer, and one Graduate Student Representative.
Responsibilities of the Faculty. The Faculty shall maintain the following standing and ad hoc committees to provide governance oversight of the Department and to advise the Chair on other activities that form part of the department mission. These standing and ad hoc committees report to the Faculty.
1. Personnel Committee: is composed of all tenured faculty in the Department and is responsible for Progress Toward Tenure Reviews and the initial review for Promotion and Tenure. This committee shall receive the form and accompanying materials from the candidate and finish compiling the record of the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service in accordance with the Provost’s guidelines. The committee shall follow the approved written procedures for initial review for Promotion and Tenure and provide for the solicitation of outside reviewers in the spring before the dossier will be submitted to the College to assist in the evaluation of a faculty member’s scholarship and in accordance with Department and College procedures.
2. Ad hoc Evaluations Committee: is responsible for reviewing and maintaining the Faculty Evaluation Plan to provide governance oversight over annual faculty evaluations and the Promotion and Tenure Criteria and Procedures to ensure that faculty members are provided with departmental guidance for achieving promotion to the ranks of associate professor and professor.
3. Ad hoc Graduate Admissions Committee: is responsible for graduate admissions during the spring of each academic year.
4. Ad hoc Committees may be appointed as department needs arise.
Chair and Substitute-Chair Administration of the American Studies Department is carried out by the Chair, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with the advice of the Department Faculty, ordinarily for a term of 3 or 5 years. Faculty may serve more than one term as chair. Only faculty who hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor are eligible for consideration as Chair or Substitute-Chair. The Chair shall designate a Substitute-Chair who shall preside over Voting Department and Faculty meetings in the absence of the Chair.
The Chair represents the Department to the College, the University, and the public, articulating its aims and needs within the context of the educational mission of the University. The Chair is responsible for the operation of the Department, including oversight and leadership of all Department units and activities. Among other responsibilities and activities, the Chair executes decisions of the Voting Department and Faculty and presides at meetings of these bodies; serves as the liaison between the Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as other administrative offices of the University; administers the budget of the Department; evaluates annually the full-time faculty in the Department, including tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenured professors and instructors; supervises the evaluation of support staff, GTAs, and part-time lecturers; calculates and recommends to the College merit salaries for full-time faculty and supervises merit salary calculation and recommendations for support staff, GTAs, and part-time lecturers; initiates the process for preparing materials for faculty being considered for promotion and tenure and makes recommendations to the Dean based on the vote of eligible faculty members; also makes recommendations for promotion of support staff; initiates the process and makes recommendations for the appointment of new full-time faculty; supervises the hiring of support staff and other instructional staff; adjudicates personnel matters and serves as the administrative representative for grievance procedures for the Department; oversees long-range plans for the Department in the areas of teaching, hiring, mentoring, research, and service in consultation with relevant Department bodies.
The Chair shall designate a Scheduling Officer who shall manage the schedule of course offerings in consultation with the Chair and Graduate and Undergraduate Directors. The Scheduling Officer assigns times and requests rooms for all courses, manages cross-listings, monitors department curriculum needs, and consults with the Chair, Graduate and Undergraduate Directors, and the Voting Department on all matters pertaining to the schedule of courses.
The Chair shall designate a Director of Graduate Studies to direct the Graduate Committee and be the primary liaison to the graduate students in the Department. The Graduate Director is responsible for all aspects of the Graduate Program, in consultation with the Graduate Committee and Chair and subject to the approval of the Voting Department, including recruitment, admissions, advising prospective and incoming students, coordinating nominations for graduate fellowships and awards, ranking applications for GTA appointments; developing graduate curriculum, leading to the MA and PhD degrees; maintaining and updating graduate informational and promotional materials on paper and on the AMS website; and attending meetings pertaining to graduate studies at KU. Faculty on the Graduate Committee (but no student members holding or seeking a GTA appointment) act as the AD hoc Graduate Admissions Committee, which is responsible for graduate admissions during the spring of each academic year.
The Chair shall designate a Director of Undergraduate Studies who shall direct the Undergraduate Committee and be the primary liaison to the undergraduate students in the Department. The Undergraduate Director is responsible for all aspects of the Undergraduate Program, in consultation with the Undergraduate Committee and Chair and subject to the approval of the Voting Department, including undergraduate recruitment, advising prospective, undergraduate majors, honors students, and majors interested in Study Abroad, assigning majors to faculty advisors, informing faculty about advising, coordinating and submitting nominations for awards, maintaining and updating undergraduate informational and promotional materials on paper and on the AMS website, and attending relevant meetings concerning Undergraduate Studies at KU.
The Department Chair is an ex officio member of all committees without vote except as may be herein designated.
Pursuant to Article XIV of the University Senate Code and Articles V and VI of the University Senate Rules and Regulations of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, the American Studies Department has established procedures to hear grievances arising within the American Studies Department. These procedures are formally located in the policy library at: policy.ku.edu/CLAS/Grievance-Procedures-AMS.
The Faculty Evaluation Procedures are described in the Faculty Evaluation Plan document, formally located in the Policy Library at: http://www.policy.ku.edu/CLAS/faculty-evaluation-plan-american-studies.
The Department articulates its standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure in its Promotion and Tenure Procedures located in the policy library at policy.ku.edu/CLAS/promotion-tenure-AMS.
The Department articulates its procedures for post-tenure review in its Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures document formally located in the policy library at: http://www.policy.ku.edu/CLAS/post-tenure-review-american-studies
These Bylaws may be changed by a majority vote of the Voting Department.
These Bylaws shall become effective immediately after approval by a majority of the Voting Department.
American Studies Department
213 Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
Approved by the American Studies Department Faculty on March 31, 2014.
Updated September 3, 2014 to include Post-tenure Review