Bylaws of the Department of Anthropology

  • University of Nevada Reno
  • Approved by the Department Faculty on April 4, 2008
  • Approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts on November 3, 2008

Table of Contents

  1. Bylaws
  2. Mission and Priorities of the Department
  3. Organization of the Department
  4. Department Policies and Procedures

Appendix 1


I. Bylaws

  1. Authority for departmental bylaws is provided by the university bylaws as well as the bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts as adopted on June 22, 2006.
  2. No article of these bylaws shall controvert any provision of the university or college bylaws.
  3. These bylaws shall be adopted and may be changed by a two-thirds vote of the regular faculty in a secret written ballot.

II. Mission & Priorities of the Department

The University of Nevada, Reno is a state university and aspires to a level of excellence in its activities and programs that is comparable to the best of state universities. The mission and priorities of the Department of Anthropology are in accord with this aspiration. The activities of the university and its constituent units comprise teaching, research, and service. However, since teaching at the university level cannot be separated from scholarship as a broader activity involving research and the synthesis of knowledge, these activities are viewed as being of equal importance and of greater importance than service activities.The anthropology department’s mission is to give Nevada’s students the intellectual means and maturity to analyze, interpret, and respect the variety in human lifeways throughout all parts of the world. The practical goal of the department is to provide undergraduate students with topically diverse coursework and research experience in cultural anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology, and linguistics. In the department’s graduate programs, the mission is further to create independent, original thinkers who can design and carry out complex research, communicate the results of research, and make significant advances in the scientific study of humanity. Specific objectives to achieve these goals are

  1. to transmit to students in lectures, seminars, discussion sections, labs, and through personal advice and counseling, the knowledge, perspectives, and methods of the various branches and sub-fields of anthropology and, more generally, of a liberal arts curriculum;
  2. to actively participate in the acquisition, synthesis, dissemination, and advancement of knowledge through research and scholarly activities; and
  3. to serve the university, the citizens of the state, the profession of anthropology, and the wider community by providing, where appropriate, expert knowledge, experience, and advice.

III. Organization of the Department

  • A. Faculty
    1. Department faculty “shall consist of all persons holding authorized professional positions as provided by Subsection 1.4.5 of the NSHE Code” (University of Nevada, Reno, Bylaws, Section 15) within the Department of Anthropology. Members of the anthropology faculty may hold joint appointments in other divisions or departments of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) with the knowledge and approval of the department faculty. Continuing faculty hold state-funded, continuing positions (see section 16 of the university bylaws). Temporary faculty hold Letters of Appointments or one-year, non-renewable contracts. Only faculty with continuing appointments (as defined in Section 16 of the College of Liberal Arts Bylaws) and a primary assignment (0.5 FTE or higher) in the department shall have voting privileges in department matters.
    2. Adjunct faculty are scholars who are not members of the university system who hold teaching, research or honorary appointments in the department. Such appointments shall be made by the department chair with the consent of the department faculty and the approval of the dean of the college and the university administration, as required by the university code.
  • B. Department Chair
    1. The department chair is appointed by the President of the university upon the recommendation of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts on behalf of the department faculty. Department faculty members shall elect the chair by a simple majority vote, by secret ballot if requested by any member of the departmental faculty. Voting for the chair is limited to continuing faculty with an assignment of 0.5 FTE or higher in the department. The chair shall be accorded the same voting privileges as other departmental faculty. The position of chair must be filled by an individual holding a tenured appointment within the department.
    2. The term of office of the chair shall normally be three years.
    3. Upon the expiration of a term the department faculty shall recommend to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts either the reappointment of the incumbent for another term or the nomination of a new chair.
    4. In the event that circumstances require the replacement of the incumbent chair, a special meeting of all department faculty shall be convened for the purpose of nominating a new chair.
    5. The duties of the department chair shall be to administer the department in accord with these bylaws and other relevant university and college regulations, to provide leadership in the development of the department and the advancement of its mission and goals, its faculty and its teaching and research functions, to oversee the department office and its operation, and to allocate office and laboratory space, equipment and student aides in consultation with the department faculty.
    6. Annual evaluation of the chair shall be done by the Department Personnel Committee, which shall report its findings to the dean of the college. The chair can appeal the evaluation as provided in the university bylaws.
  • C. Department Committees
    1. There shall be two standing department committees, personnel and graduate programs. The department chair shall serve as ex-officio member of all standing committees.
      1. Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee is an advisory body that makes recommendations to the chair.
        1. The Personnel Committee shall be elected by a simple majority of the department faculty at the beginning of each Fall semester and shall comprise three tenured continuing faculty with a primary assignment in the Department of Anthropology. The primary responsibilities of the committee are to review Part I of the annual evaluations of department faculty members and prepare Part II of the evaluations, including ranking of faculty in each category of teaching, research and service; to consult with and advise the department chair on recommendations for the distribution of merit; if necessary, to review and make recommendations on requests by faculty members for reconsideration of an evaluation; and to review untenured faculty and associate professors.
        2. As needed, a Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be formed as specified in Section IV.C.5. a. of these bylaws.
      2. Graduate Programs Committee. A Director of Graduate Programs, who shall be a continuing faculty member with a 0.5 FTE or higher assignment in the anthropology department, shall chair this committee. The Graduate Programs Director shall serve a two-year term, and may be reappointed. The department chair shall appoint the Graduate Programs Director in consultation with the department. The committee shall consist of the director and three department faculty appointed by the department chair. The director and the three department faculty members shall oversee both theMaster’sdegree program and the doctoral program. The department chair shall have the authority, on the request of the Director of Graduate Programs, to appoint sub-committees to conduct specified activities under the supervision of the director.

        The tasks of the committee shall be to review applications for admission to the graduate program, make recommendations to the faculty for admittance or non-admittance of applicants, recommend appointment of graduate advisors and graduate committee members to the chair, review and approve programs of study, make up and schedule written and oral examinations, and arrange appropriate foreign language examinations. The Graduate Coordinator shall serve as coordinator of all aspects of graduate advisement, and the monitoring of students through their graduate programs.

        The Graduate Programs Committee shall recommend admission of applicants to either graduate program. Recommendations for admission to the Master’s program shall be made to the department chair, who shall approve or disapprove, and forward the recommendation to the Graduate School. The department faculty, meeting as a committee of the whole, shall approve or disapprove all recommendations from the Graduate Programs Committee for admission to the doctoral program.

        The Graduate Programs Committee shall develop guidelines and rules of operation for the graduate programs, which shall be approved by the department faculty.

    2. Other Committees and Committee Functions. The department chair shall appoint other committees as required to conduct the business of the department.
  • D. Student Participation

    The department encourages student participation in the planning of department programs and policies. At the discretion of the department faculty, students may be invited to participate in appropriate portions of departmental meetings. The department chair may appoint faculty-student committees to review relevant issues and policies and make recommendations to the department.


IV. Department Policies & Procedures

  • A. Department Meetings
    1. All department meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
    2. Faculty members are expected to participate in all department faculty meetings. Faculty members shall be notified in writing of meetings at least 5 days in advance.
    3. Continuing faculty with a 0.5 FTE or higher assignment in the anthropology department shall have full voting rights. The chair has the voting rights of a regular faculty member.
    4. All policy matters proposed in department meetings shall require a simple majority vote for passage and a quorum consisting of a simple majority of the voting members. Department faculty may meet as a committee of the whole to make policy recommendations to the department concerning the conduct of the graduate programs, or other matters of interest to the department.
  • B. Faculty Search and Recruitment
    1. Hiring new department faculty shall be in accord with approved department bylaws college bylaws, university bylaws, UNR search procedures, and the NSHE Code. The department chair shall make recommendations to the dean about the hiring of new continuing faculty members following an appropriate search. The department chair shall appoint a search chair and committee with the approval of the departmental faculty. The Search Committee shall formulate a position description subject to final modification and approval by the department faculty. Any member of the departmental faculty may participate in Search Committee deliberations and all members shall be kept informed of its decisions through the department chair. Voting on tenure-track positions is limited to continuing faculty with a primary assignment in the department.
    2. The Search Committee shall identify minimum and preferred qualifications for the position, define criteria for rating applicants, implement recruitment procedures, evaluate applications, and conduct interviews. The Search Committee shall select finalists for the position and make hiring recommendations to the department chair and faculty.
    3. Provision shall be made to involve graduate and undergraduate students, as appropriate, in all phases of the hiring process.
  • C. Performance Evaluations, Tenure, and Promotion
    1. General Considerations
      1. No provisions in this section shall contravene faculty personnel policies delineated in the applicable sections of the NSHE Code, the university bylaws, and the college bylaws.
      2. It is the expectation of the department that faculty members will, during their careers, achieve national and/or international recognition as professionals in the discipline who actively contribute to the advancement of understanding of its central problems. This status may be achieved in a variety of ways, including contributions as an expert and authority on the peoples of a particular geographic region or as an expert and authority on a theoretical issue.
      3. The department evaluates its members on a number of grounds. First, it is expected that faculty members will demonstrate a record of on-going participation in fieldwork and comparative research. Second, faculty members are expected to demonstrate a record of effective communication of the results of their research through such means as publication, presentation of papers at professional meetings, and lectures. Third, faculty members must demonstrate an ability to integrate their research within the wider fields of anthropology and to communicate their special areas of knowledge to students through teaching. Fourth, faculty members are expected to contribute their knowledge and special abilities as appropriate through service to the department, college, university, the discipline of anthropology, and the wider public.
    2. Procedures for the Evaluation of Performance
      1. All personnel evaluations shall be made on the basis of specified professional responsibilities and performance expectations mutually agreed upon by the individual faculty member and the department chair at the beginning of each calendar year. A written Statement of Professional Responsibilities shall document the mutually agreed upon expectations, including the faculty member’s responsibilities in teaching, research, and service.
      2. All department faculty shall be evaluated annually on their professional accomplishments and performance. At the end of each calendar year each faculty member shall submit a standard annual evaluation form with supporting materials for the preceding year to the department. The Personnel Committee shall review the performance of each faculty member, taking into account the statement of service, research, and teaching on the annual evaluation form. The Personnel Committee’sevaluation shall be communicated to the faculty member in writing. The department chair is subject to the same evaluation procedure, although other members of the Personnel Committee shall write her/his evaluation. The period of evaluation shall be from January 1 to December 31 of the preceding calendar year.
    3. Criteria for the Evaluation of Performance
      1. Research & Professional Communication

        Research and professional communication are closely related and shall be considered as principal indicators of an individual’s growth and progress toward national and international standing in the discipline. The personnel committee shall use various kinds of evidence in assessing achievement in these areas:

        1. An ongoing program of research that contributes to an understanding of the problems that are central to the discipline.
        2. The acquisition of grants and contracts.
        3. The publication of books, articles, reviews, etc., in which the faculty member’s research is communicated to others in the discipline.
        4. Participation in national or international meetings in the discipline, including attendance, presentation of a paper or poster, organization of a symposium, and participation by invitation in a symposium.
        5. Presentation of professional lectures or seminars at other institutions.
      2. Teaching Effectiveness

        The Personnel Committee will evaluate teaching effectiveness using as a baseline a departmental teaching evaluation form completed by students in classes taught during the review period. Other instruments to be used in evaluating teaching are: graduate committee membership/chairing; revisions of course content and development of innovative teaching methods; introduction of new courses to the curriculum; advisement beyond the normal day-to-day contact with students; awards for teaching; and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students in independent study, research, and internships.

      3. Service

        The Personnel Committee will evaluate service to the department, college, university, and the wider public including: committee membership or chairing department, college, and university committees; participation in department, college and university meetings; appraisal and revision of department, college, and university processes, statutes, bylaws, and other existing procedures; nomination for or holding of office in a professional society; consulting or providing expertise in some aspect of anthropology, including review or direction of programs, referee for manuscripts, journal editor, referee for grant proposals, etc.; community service; and outreach service. All members of the department are expected to carry out their responsibilities as members of the university community. Service to the public may include participation on boards and committees, lectures to public groups, answering questions from the public, etc.

    4. Recommendations for Merit
      1. The Personnel Committee shall review annual evaluations of performance by department faculty and make recommendations to the department chair for merit increases.
      2. After consideration, the department chair shall forward the recommendations, with possible revisions, to the dean of the college.
    5. Recommendations for Tenure and Promotion
      1. Promotion and Tenure Committee. As needed, a Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be formed to review applications by department faculty for promotion and tenure and to review probationary faculty members for tenure. The committee shall consist of all tenured department faculty holding the rank equivalent to, or above, that of the applicant. The department chair shall serve as a regular faculty member of the committee, according to the criteria for rank listed above. If at least three department faculty members at the appropriate rank are not available, the department chair may recommend a slate of names of faculty in other college departments from which the dean of the college may select appointees to the committee. A recommendation to support a promotion or tenure application shall be made bya simple majority of the committee. The committee shall forward its recommendation to the department chair, who shall forward it to the dean in accordance with college and university bylaws. The faculty member shall have the right to request reconsideration of a negative recommendation for tenure or promotion in accord with the procedures in the university bylaws section 36.a and the NSHE Code (5.2.3 & 5.2.4).
      2. Eligibility for Tenure. A probationary full-time department faculty member shall be eligible for appointment with tenure at any time during the probationary period of employment. An initial appointment with tenure may be made upon recommendation of the department chair and college dean, following NSHE Code [3.3.1 (6)]. To be eligible for tenure, the probationary faculty member must hold the Ph.D. degree.
      3. Process. The Promotion and Tenure Committee shall annually review the progress of each probationary member of the department for tenure, beginning in the faculty member’s first year of service. The department chair shall inform each probationary faculty member in writing of the committee’s decision. Although the department normally initiates the process, the applicant for tenure or promotion may do so in accordance with departmental procedures.
      4. Criteria. The criteria for a positive decision in recommending a probationary faculty member for tenure are a demonstrated record of achievement in teaching, research, and service. In accordance with college bylaws (Section 22, Part D), to be recommended for tenure, the faculty member must be evaluated as “excellent” in either teaching or research and at least “satisfactory” in the other two areas. Service to the department, college, university, and the wider public, while considered to be important, will meritless attention than teaching and research in tenure considerations. Appendix 1 lists more detailed guidelines.
      5. Timeline. If the Promotion and Tenure Committee finds that the faculty member has a positive record in each of these areas, and that the faculty member’s professional progress since the Ph.D. indicates capability for national/international standing, a recommendation for tenure shall be made. The recommendation for tenure will normally be made no earlier than the third year of service at the University of Nevada, Reno, except in the case of those with service at another institution, in which case the recommendation may be made as early as the second year. A positive recommendation for tenure must be made by the end of the faculty member’s sixth year of service at the University of Nevada Reno. A recommendation against tenure shall be made if the committee determines that the faculty member’s record in research and professional communication and teaching effectiveness does not meet the standards for tenure and promotion and that the faculty member does not have the capability to grow toward national/international stature. A recommendation against tenure shall be accompanied by the recommendation of a terminal contract for the following year.
    6. Promotion to Associate Professor
      1. A recommendation for promotion to associate professor is made on the basis of a substantial record of achievement in teaching, research, and service and progress toward national/international standing (see college bylaws, Section22. E. 2). Beginning in the third year of service as an assistant professor, a faculty member holding that rank shall be annually reviewed by the department Promotion and Tenure Committee for possible promotion to associate professor. The Promotion and Tenure Committee shall review the faculty member’s performance in research, teaching, and service. The committee shall obtain external evaluations of the applicant for this purpose.
      2. If the department finds that the faculty member has a substantial record of progress toward national/international standing, the committee shall recommend promotion to associate professor. In accordance with college bylaws (Section 22, Part D),the applicant must receive an “excellent” evaluation in either research or teaching and at least “satisfactory” in the other two areas.
    7. Promotion to Professor
      1. A recommendation for promotion to professor is made on the basis of a sustained record of excellence, attainment of national/international standing, and indication of an ongoing commitment to continued professional growth. The recommendation may be in any year of service, but beginning in the third year of service as an associate professor, a faculty member shall be considered annually for promotion to professor.
      2. The Promotion and Tenure Committee shall consider evidence of significant research, distinction in teaching, and distinguished service. The committee shall obtain external evaluations of the applicant for this purpose.
    8. Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

      The department will follow college bylaws (Section 23) with respect to non-tenure-track faculty.

    9. Leaves of Absence

      Field research is an essential part of the discipline of anthropology and the department shall encourage faculty members to continue this important aspect of their work. Faculty members shall be responsible for requesting a leave of absence well in advance so that an appropriate replacement may be arranged. The chair shall review requests for leaves of absence and make recommendations to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.


Appendix 1: Criteria for Faculty Annual Evaluation, Tenure, and Promotion

  • Teaching. The department shall consider the following sources of evidence to evaluate faculty performance in teaching:
    • Classroom teaching
      • Student evaluations
      • Peer evaluations
      • Teaching grants and awards
      • New course preparation and revision
      • Teaching materials
    • Service on Graduate Advisory Committees
    • Supervision of independent study courses
    • Advising students
    • Advising student clubs or organizations
    • Textbook writing
  • Research. The department shall consider the following sources of evidence to evaluate faculty performance in research and scholarship:
    • Publications
      • Publication categories by order of importance
        • Tier 1: single authored books, articles in refereed national or international journals
        • Tier 2: Conference proceedings, articles in regional journals, edited and co-edited books
        • Tier 3: research reports, book reviews
      • For annual evaluations, each publication is counted once, either when in press or when they appear.
    • Presentations of posters or papers at scholarly meetings
    • Organization of conference symposia
    • Externally funded research grants or contracts
    • Research awards
    • Editing scholarly journals
  • Service:The department shall consider the following sources of evidence to evaluate faculty performance in service:
    • Institutional service
      • Membership on department, college, and university committees
      • Administrative activities
      • Governance activities (e.g., Faculty Senate)
    • Professional service
      • Refereeing research proposals and manuscripts for professional journals, organizations, and publishing companies
      • Holding offices in professional organizations
      • Organizing scholarly meetings
      • Serving on panels for funding agencies
    • Community and Public service
      • Public talks
      • Consulting
      • Community outreach