Department of African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Revised April 14, 2005

Article I: Governance and Relation to the College and University

Section 1: Department

This department shall be governed by the articles of these bylaws, subject to subsequent and proper amendment, and to the qualifications of Section 2 of this article.

Section 2: University and college

  1. These bylaws are intended to be in conformity with the terms of the AAUP-WSU Agreement, the statutes and policies of the university, and the policies of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  2. Where there may be an inconsistency between these bylaws and present or future Board of Governor's statutes, other university policies or regulations or policies that have been duly issued or any applicable collective bargaining agreement, the latter shall prevail.

Article II: The department

Section 1: Membership

Members of the Department of African American Studies during any one year include both core and adjunct faculty, as well as those persons who hold visiting and other full or part-time contractual appointments with the department. Core faculty is defined as those persons who hold full-time academic appointment within the university during a given year, who teach courses in African American Studies and who are neither visiting nor adjunct.

Section 2: Voting

  1. Only members of the core faculty may have regular voting rights in all matters of departmental business, which means that each shall have a vote unless otherwise stipulated within the bylaws, or by university policy or other contractual restrictions.
  2. Members of the department who are not core faculty may be granted temporary voting privileges for selected purposes, subject to a majority vote of the core faculty.

Section 3: Leave

  1. Members of the core faculty who are on leave are counted as members the department but, prior to the leave, shall consult with the chair on the extent of their participation in the business of the department while on leave.
  2. Such members, prior to going on leave, shall send to the other members of the core faculty a memorandum, approved by the chair, announcing the term of leave and the extent of participation in the department's business during the period (s) of leave.

Article III: Departmental Assembly

Section 1: Definition

  1. The departmental assembly is a meeting of the core faculty of African American Studies and any other persons invited to attend by a majority vote of that faculty. It is the principal means by which the department seeks to conduct its general business with civility, courtesy and in accord with Robert's Rules of Order Revised.
  2. In order to facilitate the department's business, the assembly shall have the power to create and dissolve committees, except those required by university policy or other contractual agreement.
  3. The chairperson shall entertain any requests from members of the department to bring items before the assembly but shall have the final responsibility for setting the agenda.
  4. Within the constraints imposed by university and college policy, or by contractual agreement with the AAUP, any dispute or grievance that affects the department, and that cannot be resolved privately or in consultation with the Chair, shall be presented to the departmental assembly for discussion and resolution before any other step is taken.

Section 2: Voting

  1. Each member of the core faculty shall have a vote in the department assembly. Matters of business arising shall be decided by a simple majority unless otherwise stipulated by a majority vote of the core faculty.
  2. As stated in article II, section 2 (b), those persons who are not members of the core faculty but who participate in the departmental assembly may have voting privileges at the discretion of the core faculty.

Section 3: Meetings

  1. The departmental assembly shall meet at least once during each of the fall and winter semesters.
  2. One half of the core faculty shall constitute a quorum.
  3. Other departmental meetings shall be called at the discretion of the department chairperson, or upon the request of one half of the core faculty
  4. The chairperson shall normally preside over departmental assembly meetings.
  5. If the chairperson is unable to attend a meeting he/she may appoint a department member to be the presiding officer for that meeting.
  6. The proceedings shall be recorded by a member of the departmental assembly and read as minutes at the beginning of the next meeting.
  7. Members of the core faculty on leave may vote if present at assembly meeting, but no notification of assembly meetings need be extended to members on leave.

Article IV: The chairperson

Section l: Qualifications

The chairperson shall be a tenured member of the department.

Section 2: Appointment

  1. The chairperson shall be appointed in accordance with the AAUP-WSU Agreement for a term mutually agreeable to the Dean and the prospective chairperson.
  2. Both the appointment and the length of term shall be decided in accordance with article XVIII of the WSU/AAUP Agreement, and after consultation between the Dean of CLAS and core faculty of the department.

Section 3: Duties

  1. The chairperson is the chief administrative officer of the department and, as such, shall see that department policies are carried out.
  2. The chairperson shall maintain communication between the department and the college administration, and between the department and other units of the university. The chairperson shall also work to facilitate communication between the various members of the department, and between the chair and those members.
  3. The chairperson, shall, in person or by designee, preside over departmental Assemblies and meetings of the department's standing committees.
  4. The chairperson shall have the authority to appoint ad hoc committees at his/her discretion, though in consultation with the core faculty, who shall receive notice of the formation of such committees.
  5. The chairperson shall have a vote in all departmental and committee meetings in which he/she participates, except in meetings of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, where the chairperson shall have no vote.

Article V: Committees

Section 1: Standing committees

  1. The department shall maintain a Tenure and Promotion Committee, which shall consist only of the tenured members of the core faculty. The committee shall scrupulously follow the guidelines of university policy and the AAUP-WSU Agreement in its deliberation of tenure and promotion. The chairperson shall serve ex-officio as Committee Chair, without vote. The total number of the Tenure and the Promotion Committee shall constitute a quorum.
  2. The members of the Tenure and Promotion Committee shall also constitute a standing Salary Committee in which all members of this committee shall have a vote. The total number of the Tenure and Promotion Committee shall constitute a quorum.
  3. The department shall maintain a standing Personnel Committee which, because of the present small size of the department, shall consist of both the tenured and non-tenured members of the core faculty. This committee shall consider general matters of personnel as well as those searches for new faculty that are not chair searches. At the discretion of the chair and the members of the Personnel Committee, other persons may be added to the committee for faculty searches. One half of the core faculty shall constitute a quorum.
  4. The department shall maintain a Curriculum Committee which shall consider matters of curriculum as well as the degree programs offered by the department. This committee, whose composition shall be determined by the Chair, shall report to the departmental assembly at least once during both the fall and winter semesters.
  5. In order to provide for external advice on a wide range of issues, as well as to facilitate the department's community outreach, and relation to the Detroit community, the department shall maintain an external Advisory Board. The nature, duties, and composition of this Board shall be determined by the Departmental Assembly.

Section 2: Ad hoc committees

  1. The chair shall have the authority to create ad hoc committees whenever, in his/her judgment, the need arises, and in so doing, shall inform the members of the core faculty.
  2. A Chair Search Committee shall be understood as an ad hoc committee, consisting of the core faculty and others mandated by the AAUP-WSU Agreement.

Article VI: Amendments

Section l

The bylaws of the department may be amended by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the core faculty. Proposed amendments must be submitted at a meeting of the departmental assembly, and copies of the proposal furnished to all members of the core faculty. A vote on the amendment(s) shall be taken at a subsequent meeting of the assembly.

Section 2

Subsequent to department approval, a copy of amended bylaws shall be forwarded to the Dean's office.