Bylaws of the Core Humanities program

  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Approved by the Dean May 7, 2015

Table of Contents

 

Chapter I: Bylaws

  • 1. Authorization

    Program bylaws are authorized by section 8 of the bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts, and by Section 2.1.2 of the bylaws of the University of Nevada, Reno.

  • 2. Scope

    These bylaws provide for the administrative structure and personnel policies and procedures for the Core Humanities Program, and shall be consistent with the college and the university bylaws, the NSHE Code, the laws of the state of Nevada and the United States, and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies.

  • 3. Adoption

    These bylaws shall be adopted and in full force upon: (1) approval by a majority vote of regular CH faculty, all of whom serve on the CH Bylaws Committee, (2) approval of the director, and (3) approval of the dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

  • 4. Amendment

    Any member of the program’s regular faculty (as defined in section 8A below) may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the CH Bylaws Committee. An amendment shall be in full force upon: (1) approval by a simple majority vote of the members of the CH Bylaws Committee, (2) approval of the program director, and (3) approval of the dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

  • 5. Interpretation

    Questions of interpretation of these bylaws shall be directed to the CH Bylaws Committee, which shall review the question and provide recommendations to the director for a decision. The director shall make a decision upon appropriate consultation and in a manner consistent with the NSHE Code and established university and college policies and procedures.

 

Chapter II: Mission and Organization

  • 6. Mission

    The Core Humanities Program brings together faculty from multiple departments to offer the interdisciplinary humanities course sequence required of all students at UNR. It strives for excellence in the delivery of these courses to ensure that students gain an appreciation for the value of the humanities as well as the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for further study and for their careers beyond the university. The program aims to create an inclusive environment in which students learn to think critically about the role of the humanities in society and across disciplines.

  • 6. Composition and Organization of the Program

    Faculty members from a variety of disciplines carry out the scholarly, educational, service, and related missions of the college and the Core Humanities Program. The program is headed by a director and includes three types of faculty/instructors:

    1. Regular Faculty (faculty with a primary assignment of .50 FTE or more in the program as described in section 2.3 of the UNR Bylaws);
    2. Faculty Associates (aka Departmental Faculty): Regular faculty from CLA departments who teach recurrently in CH;
    3. Letters of Appointment.
 

Chapter III: Faculty Definitions and Voting Rights

  • 8. Faculty Definitions

    In accordance with UNR Bylaws (section 2.3.2), faculty “shall consist of all persons holding authorized professional positions as authorized by Chapter 1 of the Code” and as defined in the university bylaws. Furthermore, faculty in the Core Humanities Program shall be defined in accordance with CLA Bylaws and shall consist of all such persons holding authorized professional positions in the program (except postdoctoral fellows, who are not considered faculty).

    1. Regular Faculty. These faculty members hold state-funded, continuing positions as defined in Section 2.3.3 of the university bylaws.
      1. Academic Faculty
        1. Tenure-track Faculty: The tenure-track faculty is composed of three (3) ranks: Professor (IV), Associate Professor (III), and Assistant Professor (II), in accordance with the university bylaws section 2.3.3 (1)(a).
        2. Rank I Faculty: Rank I for Instructor, is reserved for academic faculty who have been hired for a tenure-track position but have yet to complete the appropriate degree required by the position.
        3. Non-tenure-track Faculty (zero rank): The non-tenure-track faculty are hired at rank 0(IV), 0(III), 0(II), and 0(I).
      2. Administrative Faculty. Administrative faculty are executive faculty, supervisory faculty, or support faculty as defined by the Board of Regents, Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 2. whose primary duties involve services to students, faculty, or administrators. Administrative faculty grades are defined in section 2.3.2 (b) and 2.3.3 (b) of the university bylaws.
    2. Contingent Faculty (zero rank). Members of the contingent faculty hold contracts of up to one year that may be funded from state, research, or other sources. These contracts may be “renewable contingent upon funding” (RCUF).
    3. “Letter of Appointment” contracts may be used for special appointments to meet academic or administrative needs. Letters of appointment are used for teaching, research, and other professional employment activity to augment regular faculty positions. They are issued only for clearly defined duties that are part-time and/or temporary. Unless otherwise stated, the provisions of these bylaws shall exclude letters of appointment. (University bylaws 2.3.2).
  • 9. Voting in the College and the Program
    1. College
      1. College Elections: All faculty in regular positions within the college (as defined in section 8 of these bylaws and section 3.1.7 of the university bylaws) may vote in college elections; faculty with joint appointments can only vote as a member of the designated promotion and tenure home department.
      2. Faculty Senate and Graduate Council: All faculty eligible to serve as college representatives on such bodies as Faculty Senate and Graduate Council (as defined by the appropriate bylaws) are also eligible to vote in those respective elections; faculty with joint appointments can only vote as a member of the designated promotion and tenure home department.
      3. College-wide Matters: All regular faculty (as defined in section 8 of these bylaws) with a primary assignment (0.5 FTE or greater) in the college shall have a vote on matters brought before the college faculty (such as bylaws or college-wide curricular issues). Rank 0 faculty whose contracts are contingent upon funding (RCUFs), once employed by the university for three consecutive years, shall have the same voting rights as other Rank 0 faculty in the program (UNR Bylaws 3.1.7).
    2. Program
      To provide consistency and equity in the program, the following voting practices shall be in effect:
      1. Elections: Voting in elections for program director and for any other program officers will be limited to regular faculty (as defined in section 8 of these bylaws) with a primary assignment (0.5 FTE or greater) in the program. Rank 0 faculty in contingent positions (RCUFs) are also eligible to vote after three consecutive years of employment.
      2. Hiring: Voting on a recommendation to the tenure department on tenure-track joint positions is limited to tenure-track faculty. Voting on non-tenure-track positions is limited to regular faculty (as defined in section 8 of these bylaws) with a primary assignment (0.5 FTE or greater) in the program as well as Rank 0 faculty who have held contingent positions for more than three consecutive years (RCUFs).
      3. Search Committees: The composition of and voting rights within search committees shall be consistent with university search and hiring policies. When the program includes lecturers on a search committee for a tenure-track position, they may vote as part of the committee to give a recommendation to the program, but they may not vote at the program level on approval of the recommendation to hire. All search committee members must complete required training (CLA search committee training, implicit bias training, etc.) to serve on the committee.
      4. Tenure Recommendations: Program voting rights on tenure recommendations shall be restricted to those members who are already tenured at the University of Nevada, Reno. In tenure considerations for joint appointments where the appointment is equally split between the two units, the director of CH will provide a letter of evaluation and participate in the process in accordance with the CLA Guidelines for Joint Appointments.
      5. Promotion Recommendations: Voting rights on promotion recommendations shall be restricted to those faculty members who are at the rank in consideration or higher. In promotion considerations for joint appointments where the appointment is equally split between the two units, the director of CH will provide a letter of evaluation and participate in the process in accordance with the CLA Guidelines for Joint Appointments
      6. Voting in General: General voting situations (e.g., officer elections, hiring decisions, and tenure and promotion decisions) require a quorum of at least 50% of the regular faculty (those not on approved leave) allowed to vote as defined in the college bylaws 11.B.1.a-e. Voting on officers, hiring, and tenure and promotion decisions requires a majority vote of those present. Abstentions are not counted in the number of votes needed.
      7. Proxy Votes: A faculty member unable to attend a meeting may ask another member of the regular faculty to vote on his or her behalf by proxy. Written proxy authorization must be submitted to the chair of the committee or to the director of the program electronically or at the faculty meeting to which it applies.
 

Chapter IV: Administrative Structure and Committees

  • 10. Program Director
    1. Appointment and Vacancies: The dean will initiate the process of appointing a director. The Executive Committee oversees the search for and selection of the director for the Core Humanities Program. As part of the process, all faculty and staff will have the opportunity to provide feedback. The Executive Committee will have the opportunity to review application material, interview candidates, and vote. The Executive Committee will then make a recommendation to the dean of the College of Liberal Arts for a candidate to serve as director. Directors are appointed by the dean and generally serve a three-year term, with the possibility of reappointment for typically up to two additional terms. Should the director of CH be absent or unable to complete their term, the dean may appoint an acting or interim director as appropriate and in consultation with the regular faculty in the program. In addition, the director’s removal from office for cause may be recommended to the dean of the college by simple majority vote of the regular faculty who hold a .5% or higher appointment in the program. A meeting shall be called for a vote if one-third or more of faculty not including the director agree to convene it. The vote will occur at that meeting of the regular faculty in the absence of the director. Should a majority of the total regular faculty in secret ballot vote affirmatively, the recommendation shall be made to the dean to remove the director. The recommendation for removal of the director of CH is subject to the approval of the dean of the college.
    2. Responsibilities: In accordance with Chapter IV, section 15.A of the bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts, “Chairs and directors shall be responsible to the dean for implementing college policies and procedures, and responsible to faculty for implementing policies and procedures mandated by department or unit bylaws.” The program director shall have the right to serve as an ex-officio member of all Core Humanities committees and shall discuss curricular, scheduling, budgeting, programming, and planning issues with respective committees. The director shall be responsible for administering all program budgets and for advancing the mission of the program. The director also reserves the right to chair or appoint chairs to a committee.
  • 11. Committees

    The program will maintain the following committees:

    1. The Executive Committee is comprised of the director, all regular faculty in the program with at least a 0.5 FTE appointment, and current Distinguished Professors of the Humanities; members serve on the hiring committee for searches and review applications for Distinguished Professorships and Distinguished Graduate Teaching Assistantships. The committee also serves as an overall steering committee for the program and oversees the annual review of the program director and the recommendation to the dean of a new director for the program.
    2. The Bylaws Committee is comprised of all regular faculty in the program with at least a 0.5 FTE appointment in the program. The committee reviews program bylaws and responds to inquiries regarding their interpretation. It also considers amendments and revisions to the bylaws.
    3. The Personnel Committee is comprised of the director and all regular faculty in the program with at least a 0.5 FTE appointment in the program. The committee shall evaluate the performance of each faculty member annually in conformity with section 20 of the CLA Bylaws and section 3.3.2 of the UNR Bylaws. Members shall be asked to submit materials in accordance with their role statements. On the basis of the evidence presented, the committee shall evaluate each faculty member’s performance and make a corresponding recommendation to the director. In the case of evaluations of faculty with joint appointments, the director shall follow CLA Guidelines for Joint Appointments and individual faculty Memoranda of Understanding (henceforth: MOU’s).
    4. The Curriculum Committee is appointed by the director and may be comprised of all three types of faculty/instructors in CH as described in section 8 of these bylaws; it acts as an advisory board to the director and liaison to CLA departments. The committee addresses issues like assessment, course and curricular revisions, and course policy implementation.
    5. The Programming Committee is appointed by the director and may be comprised of all three types of faculty/instructors in CH as described in section 8 of these bylaws; it organizes events and programs and serves as a faculty advisory board for student engagement. This committee reviews essays for essay prizes and assists with carrying out duties related to public programing and engagement.
    6. Ad hoc committees may be appointed to address specific issues that do not fall under the purview of standing committees. Members of such committees shall be appointed by the director from among the three types of faculty/instructors in the program as described in section 8 of these bylaws in order to ensure as much as possible (1) continuity of experience; (2) a representative mix of faculty ranks and, when appropriate, areas of expertise; and (3) opportunities for breadth of service across the program.
 

Chapter V: Personnel policies and procedures

All personnel actions and decisions shall conform to the requirements of the department, college, and university bylaws, the NSHE Code, and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies.

  • 12. Responsibilities of Faculty and Role Statements

    The responsibilities of each faculty member “shall consist of an assigned combination of teaching; research, scholarly, creative and/or entrepreneurial activity; and service or professional development as specified in the faculty role statement” (CLA Bylaws, section 18). Each faculty member will have a statement of professional responsibilities or role statement that documents these responsibilities and serves as the basis for annual evaluation (as specified in CLA Bylaws, section 20). Faculty assignments typically reflect the priorities in the program’s mission statement. To carry out the necessary work of the program, regular faculty are expected to serve actively on standing program committees that require their participation annually unless they are on leave. Under certain circumstances, such as research grants, fellowships, and administrative assignments, faculty may negotiate variations on these norms as part of their annual role statements, but such variations should be tied to the life of the project or assignment and will not affect the program’s standards for promotion. The revised role statement must include responsibilities in all areas of evaluation.

  • 13. Faculty and Committee Meetings

    Besides regular meetings of the standing committees identified in section 11, a business meeting of all faculty who participate in the program shall be held once per academic year in the spring semester. This annual meeting will provide opportunities for faculty to review and analyze assessment results, share teaching practices and experiences, discuss and vote on policies, and suggest improvements to the program. Any faculty member may, upon submission of a written request to the program director or chair of a committee, ask that discussion of an issue be placed on the agenda for a meeting. Agendas for committee meetings shall be distributed at least 24 hours in advance.

  • 14. Hiring
    1. Core Humanities Faculty: Once the dean has approved a request to fill a replacement or new regular or contingent faculty position, the program director shall appoint a search committee to conduct a search for the best applicants to fill the position. The committee shall include at least one member of the Executive Committee and may include other regular faculty as defined in section 8 of these bylaws to ensure representation of diverse disciplinary perspectives. The committee shall advertise the position, screen and select applicants for initial and final interviews (including campus interviews when appropriate), and then recommend ranked candidates to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will vote and make a recommendation to the director. The director will then make a recommendation to the dean of the College of Liberal Arts for a candidate to fill a position. For joint appointments, the CH Program will follow the process in the CLA Guidelines for Joint Appointments.
    2. Faculty Associates (Departmental Faculty): Decisions to assign departmental faculty to teach in the Core Humanities Program are made by the participating departments in accordance with agreements between the departments, the program, and the dean of the College of Liberal Arts (see CLA Guidelines for Joint Appointments and respective MOU’s for details of these agreements).
    3. Temporary Instructors: Temporary instructors on LOA contracts may be hired on a semester-by-semester basis depending on the program’s staffing needs. The program maintains a database of qualified instructors and draws from the LOA pool as needed. Temporary faculty must have completed an MA or PhD degree in a humanities or related discipline or demonstrate commensurate qualifications. Graduate students currently enrolled in one of the participating departments who have previously taught in the program as discussion leaders may also be hired as LOA faculty, upon successful completion of the degree. These hires are made by the program director and do not require approval from the dean.
  • 15. Annual Evaluation

    The performance of regular Core Humanities faculty shall be evaluated annually by the Personnel Committee in conformity with section 20 of the CLA Bylaws and section 3.3.2 of the UNR Bylaws. Each regular faculty member shall be asked to submit materials relevant to teaching, research/professional development, and service during the year under review. A faculty member shall have the right to read the evaluation before signing it and the right to meet with the program director regarding any relevant issues.

    1. Teaching: Faculty must submit syllabi and student course evaluations from all courses taught. Student evaluations should be administered following university guidelines. Faculty may also submit evidence of teaching awards, pedagogical grants, and other teaching-related activity.
    2. Research/Professional Development: Faculty must submit evidence of research/professional development activities to be credited that year (for example, publications, conference presentations, attendance at workshops, or other activities aimed at enhancing performance of their duties) as appropriate and in keeping with the role statement. Faculty may also submit materials such as research awards, evidence of conference participation, and grant activity.
    3. Service: Faculty must submit a list of service roles and assignments, with brief descriptions of work done and, as appropriate, copies of non-confidential documents completed in the role.
  • 16. Reappointment and Promotion
    1. Acting under the provisions of the Code and program, college, and university bylaws, the Personnel Committee shall evaluate the performance of regular faculty in the primary area of teaching, and professional development and service. The committee shall make qualitative judgments in reviewing each of these areas. Faculty holding joint appointments will be evaluated according to the guidelines stipulated in the MOUs signed between them, the chair of the tenure and promotion department, the director of CH, and the dean of the college.
      1. Teaching: A record of effective teaching as suggested by course syllabi, written evaluations submitted by students, and visit reports by peers, all evidence assembled according to uniform methods administered by the program. In addition, candidates may present other relevant evidence.
      2. Professional Development: A record of achievement in the following areas: presentation of lectures or readings outside the classroom; reading of papers or membership on panels at professional meetings; publication of scholarly or creative work; development of new areas of teaching and scholarly expertise that results in publications, presentations, or new courses.
      3. Service: Active participation in program, college, university, and/or national service. Involvement in professionally related community service and other professional activities shall be considered.
    2. Criteria for Promotion to Rank 0(III): To be eligible for promotion, a faculty member in Rank 0(II) shall have established “a substantial record of achievement in his or her major area of responsibility” (CLA bylaws 23.D.2). The Personnel Committee shall review the faculty member’s achievement in teaching, which is the major area of responsibility, professional development, and service.
    3. Criteria for Promotion to Rank 0(IV): To be eligible for promotion, a faculty member in Rank 0(III) shall have established a “sustained record of excellence in his or her major area of responsibility” since promotion to Rank 0(III) (CLA bylaws 23.D.3). The Personnel Committee shall review the faculty member’s achievement in teaching, which is the major area of responsibility, professional development, and service.
    4. Criteria for Tenure and/or Promotion of Academic Faculty (Rank II, III or IV): Tenure-track academic faculty in ranks II or seeking promotion to rank III or IV with an appointment of .50 FTE or greater in CH will be evaluated according to the guidelines stipulated in the MOUs signed between them, the chair of the tenure and promotion department, the director of CH, and the dean of the college. The Personnel Committee may make recommendations to the director concerning the faculty member’s achievement in teaching and service in accordance with the faculty member’s role statement.