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Bylaws, Environmental Studies Program


To establish the governance structure of the Environmental Studies Program.

Applies to: 

Faculty and staff of the Environmental Studies Program.

Policy Statement: 
The KU Environmental Studies Program promotes awareness of environmental issues and understanding of environmental problem-solving approaches through its instructional, research, service and outreach efforts. Environmental studies programs are interdisciplinary endeavors. As such, they must draw on the strength of traditional academic disciplines through the involvement of a diverse array of faculty and expertise. The Environmental Studies Program seeks to be the hub of environmental scholarship on campus by soliciting and supporting ongoing affiliations with appropriate faculty. Much participation in the Program is voluntary, so defining appropriate roles for affiliated faculty is critical. The bylaws that follow present a governance structure to encourage active involvement, while allowing faculty members to pursue a role that best suits their interests and availability.
1. Faculty Appointments in Environmental Studies
There are two main types of faculty affiliations with the Environmental Studies Program: A) Courtesy Faculty; and B) Governance Faculty. A subset of the Governance Faculty will serve as the Executive Committee.
A. Courtesy Faculty:
Courtesy Faculty are those who wish to have an official affiliation with EVRN by virtue of their teaching and research interests. Such an affiliation does not include governance rights, nor does it assume an ongoing Program commitment. Courtesy Faculty may (and are welcomed and encouraged to) attend EVRN meetings and serve on Program committees, but are not expected to do so. Courtesy Faculty who serve on Program committees would have voting rights only within those committees.
EVRN lecturers with non-base budgeted, year-to-year appointments are considered Courtesy Faculty for any academic year in which they are teaching a course or courses for the Program. Other potential Courtesy Faculty should send a short letter of interest and a copy of their CV to the Environmental Studies Program Director. These materials should be received by the start of the second week of Fall or Spring semester classes. Following an affirmative simple majority vote by the Executive Committee, Courtesy Faculty would serve renewable three-year terms.
B. Governance Faculty:
Governance Faculty are those who take a more active role in the Environmental Studies Program, by virtue of their official appointments within the Program. Governance Faculty are able to vote on all issues of program governance except hiring and promotion and tenure issues.
Governance Faculty automatically include any person (including the Director, Associate Director, and faculty with joint appointments in EVRN) who has an ongoing and/or base-budget appointment within the Environmental Studies Program.
B.1. Executive Committee:
The Executive Committee is a subset of the Governance Faculty and includes all faculty who hold base-budgeted appointments within EVRN: tenured and tenure-stream faculty members and those with faculty equivalent positions eligible for formal review and promotion at the University.
As part of the Governance Faculty, Executive Committee members take an active role in the Program, attending faculty meetings as well as serving typically as chairpersons for the Program’s standing and ad-hoc committees. The Executive Committee approves Courtesy. This Committee also votes on hiring decisions and any other decisions the Governance Faculty votes to pass on for an Executive-level vote. Further, rank- appropriate members of the Executive Committee vote on promotion and tenure decisions, in accordance with rules established by the Office of the Provost.
2. Environmental Studies Administration
The two primary administrative roles within the Environmental Studies Program are those of the Director and Associate Director. The Director carries out the day-to-day operations of the Program, with the assistance of the Associate Director. The Director is the primary point of contact for the Program.
Director Search or Reappointment
The Director serves a three- or five-year term. He or she 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/procedures-for-selection-of-chairs. An incumbent director may be re-elected for an additional 3- or 5-year term through the same procedures as the original appointment.
Process: The Executive Committee nominates and elects the search committee. If at all possible, the search committee will include at least one member from each of the following: sciences, social sciences, humanities. Neither students nor staff serve on the search committee. However, the search committee meets with and gathers feedback from student leaders (e.g. ambassadors) and staff on director applicants. Interviews of applicants are conducted both by the search committee and by the Executive Committee. Final deliberations by the Executive Committee will include a vote in a secret ballot and identification of strengths and weaknesses. All results will be forwarded to the Dean of the College.
The Associate Director is appointed by the Director, following agreement by the Office of the Dean, and serves at the pleasure of the Director.
3. Environmental Studies Program Standing Committees
Unless stated otherwise, all members of a committee have voting rights within that committee. Typical committee votes concern items that will advance to the full Governance Faculty for a final vote (e.g. a proposal to add a new elective course to the curriculum, or a slate of candidates to be offered GTA positions). Standing committees are those that address the ongoing activities of the Environmental Studies Program. The Environmental Studies Director will form ad hoc committees to address needs of a more immediate and temporary nature, such as new faculty hires.
The Environmental Studies Director will, in consultation with Program faculty, designate chairpersons for each standing committee. Committee compositions will be determined based on faculty interests to the maximum extent possible. Committee membership will be ongoing, unless a faculty member requests to shift his or her participation to a different committee.
The following is a list of EVRN Standing Committees:
(1) Academic Affairs Committee: This committee will oversee and assess the program’s curriculum. This includes reviewing KU Core proposals, new course proposals, and programmatic assessments. This committee is responsible for updating pathways (when needed) and maintaining the graduate certificate, approving general course substitutions including study abroad programs that might count towards degree requirements. This committee will also liaison with the Professional Science Masters at the Edward’s campus, continue to plan and develop future graduate education opportunities.
(2) Advisory Committee: The advisory committee provides general advice and guidance to the director related to EVRN administration and general decision-making. Membership on this committee will include the Director, Associate Director and the chair of each standing committee.
(3) Personnel Committee: The personnel committee will review faculty annual evaluation material. The make-up of the personnel committee will follow the procedures outlined in the FEP. The personnel committee will also be responsible for the preparation of third-year reviews of tenure track faculty (including those faculty who are appointed as teaching professors), and post-tenure review, preparation of tenure and promotion cases, and review of sabbatical applications. This committee will evaluate Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) applications for the courses in the program that require GTAs. Committee members will consult with the instructor of record to help ensure that GTA assignments support the successful delivery of course content.
(4) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee: This committee will be responsible to advancing diversity equity and inclusion across the Environmental Studies Program. This includes identifying and developing diversity, equity, inclusion and outreach opportunities for the Environmental Studies Program. The committee will work to expand internship opportunities for currently enrolled students, and support any efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion both in terms of recruitment of new students and also in terms of existing students. The DEI committee will review any events, lectures, colloquia that the program sponsors to help promote DEI across the Environmental Studies Program.
4. Conflict of Interest
The Program follows university and college policy regulating nepotism and other conflicts of interest. A supervisor or faculty member shall be recused from all discussion, voting, and decision making that have a direct bearing on the appointment, annual evaluation, tenure, promotion, salary, and other conditions of employment of a family member or household member. In addition, appeals regarding decisions on these matters shall not be addressed to a supervisor or faculty member with whom there is such a relationship.
Approved:_____________________________________________ Date: May 14, 2009 Director
These procedures have been reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel and are effective ____________________________  , 2009.
6. Amendments to the Environmental Studies Program Bylaws
These bylaws are subject to change as needed to support the best interests of the Environmental Studies Program. Any Governance Faculty member may propose an amendment to the bylaws. The Program Director will circulate proposed amendments to all Governance Faculty at least one week in advance of any meeting or vote on said amendments. The Governance Faculty shall approve, modify, or reject any proposed bylaws amendment by a 50% quorum. A simple majority of votes is needed to approve amendments.
Environmental Studies Program
Approved by: 
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Approved on: 
Friday, May 3, 2013
Effective on: 
Friday, May 3, 2013
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
environmental studies, bylaws
Change History: 

12/16/2021: Converted from PDF to live text page.
11/16/2020: Policy uploaded to the Policy Library.
11/10/2020: Approved by the Environmental Studies Program faculty.
06/12/2017: Dean of CLAS approved adding language to Unit PT statments. Updated FSRR 6.5.1.
03/01/2017: SPPT Review and approval of CLAS P&T policy changes.
02/14/2017: CAC review and approval on revision to Section B. on the Process for Obtaining Evaluation Letters from External Reviewer to ensure procedural clarity.
04/13/2017: Amendments to the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR 6.5.1) were approved by the Faculty Senate.
05/03/2013: Approved by the Environmental Studies Program.
 04/26/2013: Approved by the Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure.

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