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Anthropology By-Laws

Department of Anthropology
University of Missouri By-Laws Adopted: February 1, 2017


Section 1 

Date of effectiveness: These By-Laws shall govern from the close of the regular faculty meeting at which they are adopted by the faculty.

Amendments: Amendments to the By-Laws may be made only after one week’s notice. The notice shall include the text of the proposed amendment together with a statement of the By- Laws section it is intended to amend. Consideration of the amendment after proper notice may be at either a regular or a special faculty meeting. Passage of the amendment requires a two- thirds majority of those voting members present. An amendment, once approved, shall become effective at the close of the faculty meeting at which it is approved.

Section 2

The Faculty: The departmental faculty shall consist of all persons holding a regular (tenure track, tenured, non-tenure track) academic appointment in the Department. Additionally, the  faculty shall include all persons holding an appointment as Research Professor.

Voting members: Full voting rights shall be held by all faculty members holding the rank of Assistant Professor or higher. Research Professors and any Anthropology Professor holding an administrative rank above Department Chair (e.g., Dean) are not voting members of this Department. The faculty may approve, by a two-thirds majority vote of those voting members present, the right of visiting or adjunct appointees, retired and emeritus faculty or Research Professors, or any Anthropology Professor holding an administrative rank above Department Chair (e.g., Dean) to vote on particular issues or for stated periods of time in accordance with A & S regulations.

Voting: Voting shall be conducted by oral vote (“aye” or “nay”), except that, on the request of any voting member, a secret (paper ballot) vote shall be taken. Such ballots, if used, shall be tallied by the Recording Secretary and at least one other faculty members appointed by the chair of the faculty meeting at which the vote is taken (the chair may self-appoint). No absentee votes and no proxy votes shall be valid at voting conducted at faculty meetings. Voting may be conducted other than at faculty meetings by use of a mail or email ballot. Ballots sent to voting members outside the continental United States (the contiguous forty-eight states) shall be  dispatched by registered airmail or via email. Due date for mail ballots shall be within one week of receipt or date of email. Returned mail ballots shall be so identified on the outer envelope, shall be directed to the Recording Secretary’s attention, and shall be tallied by the Recording Secretary and at least one other faculty members appointed by the Department Chair (the chair may self-appoint). The result of the vote shall be promptly reported to all voting members of the faculty. The use of the mail or email ballot shall be confined to those times, normally outside of the Fall and Spring semesters, when substantial numbers of the voting faculty are absent from Columbia. A simple majority of the votes cast shall be sufficient for passage of any matter under consideration unless a contrary provision is stated in these By-Laws; an email ballot may be used at any time when faculty must be polled quickly to meet a deadline.

Responsibility: The faculty shall have sole responsibility for changes in the curriculum, plans for faculty development, and faculty appointments. It may receive and consider committee reports and recommendations to aid its deliberations in these matters. Final authority: The faculty shall have final authority in all matters regarding policy, procedures, curriculum, faculty development, and faculty appointments.

Section 3

Faculty meetings: Regular faculty meetings shall be held twice each calendar month for the period from the start of the Fall semester to the end of Spring classes. Faculty meetings will be held at regular times and dates as be agreed upon by the faculty at the beginning of the academic year or semester as necessary. Special faculty meetings may be held at other times on call by the Chair provided that at least one week’s notice is given of such a meeting. This advanced notice may be reduced to no less than twenty-four hours under special circumstances. Special meetings of the faculty may also be called on request of any three voting faculty members. Provisions for notice shall be the same as above. All notices of faculty meetings shall include the date, the time, and the place of said meeting. The meeting place must be sufficiently large that all persons attending may be accommodated in the meeting room or area.

Quorum: A quorum of the faculty shall consist of two-thirds of the voting members in residence (not on leave or sabbatical) in the term during which the meeting is held. Faculty members on leave may be present, may vote if otherwise qualified, but may not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum.

Other persons present: Presence at faculty meetings shall be limited to members of the faculty, representatives of the Anthropology Student Association elected or appointed by them and recognized by the voting members of the faculty as student representatives, and such other persons as the faculty has, by vote, invited to be present.

Conduct of meetings: All notices of faculty meetings, regular or special, shall include a statement of the business of that meeting. The order of the meeting shall be: consideration of the previous minutes; communications from the Chair; reports of Department committees; old business; new business; adjournment. Matters for consideration by the faculty may be introduced and discussed by any person legitimately present at a faculty meeting. However, no matter on which a vote is to be taken shall be moved, seconded, or voted by a person who is not a regular voting member of the faculty or who has not been granted special voting rights as specified above. The Department Chair shall chair all faculty meetings at which he/she is present except as provided below. In the absence of the Department Chair, faculty meetings will be chaired by the Vice-Chair. In the absence of both Chair and Vice-Chair, a Chair pro tem for the meeting shall be elected by the voting members present. The person in the chair at a faculty meeting may temporarily relinquish the chair to another, designated person subject to the approval of the voting members present. The person in the chair must relinquish the chair to another, designated person on the request of two-thirds of the voting members present. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings unless otherwise specified in the By-Laws.

Section 4

The Chair: The faculty is fully aware that the Chair is an appointee of the Dean of the College of Arts and Science and consequently not subject to the authority of the faculty. The following comments are offered for the guidance of the Chair and operations surrounding that office with the understanding that, however affirmatively phrased, they cannot be binding on the Chair. The Chair shall serve a three-year term of office with an annual affirmation, in the Spring semester, of his/her continuation. Recommendation to the Dean for the appointment of a Chair shall be by election. If one person is to be recommended, then he/she shall have polled a majority of the votes cast. If two persons are to be recommended, then those who poll the highest and the second highest numbers of votes cast shall be recommended. The Chair shall appoint the membership of all standing committees of the Department and shall designate one member as chair of each committee unless a contrary provision is specifically set forth in the By-Laws. The Chair shall also establish ad hoc committees as needed and shall name their membership and designate a committee chair unless otherwise provided by an act of faculty. The Chair shall keep the faculty informed of the fiscal standing of the Department. The faculty of the Department shall inform the Dean of its willingness to continue the Chair of the Department in that post through a vote taken annually in the Spring and reported by the Vice-Chair to both the Dean and the Chair.

The Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair shall serve a two-year term of office. The Vice-Chair just retired shall continue to be a member of the Graduate Studies Committee for an additional year. The Vice-Chair shall be elected and a simple majority of votes cast shall be sufficient for election. The Vice-Chair shall serve in the absence or incapacity of the Chair. He/she shall, while so serving, have the same powers and responsibilities as does the Chair, subject to the approval of the Dean of the College. The Vice-Chair shall also be Director of Graduate Studies and shall serve as Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. The Vice-Chair shall be given consideration for a reduced teaching load (usually one course per academic year), for clerical assistance, and free time and funds sufficient to maintain contact with other graduate programs and with job placement for graduate students. The Vice-Chair in consultation with the faculty will review and assess the teaching, research, and service of the Department Chair annually and recommend to the Dean of the College of Arts and Science the level of the Chair’s accomplishment in these three areas. The Vice-Chair shall have access to all peer evaluations of the Chair prepared by the Anthropology faculty in order to assess the performance of the Chair. The Vice-Chair will prepare the report on the Chair’s performance and may provide the faculty or select members thereof with the draft report for comment. Once finalized, the Vice-Chair will send the report to the Dean.

The Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall be elected by the voting members of the faculty. A plurality of votes cast shall suffice for election. The term of office shall be one year. The Recording Secretary will keep the Minutes of all faculty meetings and maintain a file of these Minutes. The Recording Secretary will assist, as specified in the By-Laws, with all voting which uses written ballots.

Standing Committees: The standing committees of the Department shall be the Committee on Graduate Studies, the Committee on Undergraduate Studies, the Committee on Lectures, and the Curriculum Committee. The Chair shall appoint the members of each standing committee and shall designate a member of each committee as its chair except as specifically provided to the contrary in the By-Laws. The chair of each standing committee shall be responsible for calling and conducting the meetings of that committee and for reporting to the faculty any actions taken by that committee.

Committee on Graduate Studies: The Committee on Graduate Studies shall review and make recommendations on all applications for admission to the graduate program. The committee shall also review applications and make recommendations on all appointments of graduate students to fellowships, assistantships, and other departmentally controlled sources of support. Selection of teaching assistants who receive financial support from the Writing Intensive (WI) program will be made by the faculty member teaching the WI course in consultation with the Committee on Graduate Studies. The Committee on Graduate Studies shall be responsible for the development and revision of graduate programs in this Department, for supervision of the advisement of graduate students, and for coordinating the activities of special support and training programs with the overall graduate program. Final approval of action taken by this committee shall rest with the faculty. The Vice-Chair shall be chair of this committee and shall continue to serve on the committee for one year following his/her term of office as Vice-Chair.

Committee on Undergraduate Studies: The Committee on Undergraduate Studies shall be responsible for establishing and supervising procedures for undergraduate recruitment and undergraduate advising. It shall have overall responsibility for the development, revision, and operation of the undergraduate program in this Department. The chair of this committee shall be titled the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Final approval of action taken by this committee shall rest with the faculty. The Chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Studies shall be given consideration for a reduced teaching load (usually one course per academic year), for clerical assistance, and free time and funds sufficient to maintain contact with undergraduate Anthropology majors.

Committee on Lectures: The Committee on Lectures shall make recommendations for departmental colloquia, public lectures, and intramural lectures. It shall be responsible for correspondence with potential lecturers, for making arrangements for scheduling and announcing the lectures, and for other arrangements related to lecturers’ visit (luncheons, hotel reservations, payment of fees, etc.). Final approval of action taken by this committee shall rest with the faculty.

Curriculum Committee: Membership of this committee shall at a minimum include the Vice- Chair and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The charge to the committee is: (a) organize scheduling of semester classes for appropriate coverage; (b) to act as screening/coordinating committee for new courses, course changes, and program changes; (c) consider course capacity, room size, and related issues as they occur; (d) act as a referral committee dealing with course load, course size issues, etc., if not resolved between the Chair and faculty members concerned, but final decision rests with the Chair; and (e) other ad hoc duties as determined by the Chair from time to time.

Casts and Human Skeleton Committee: The charge of this committee is to develop standards for who should have access to these collections, especially considering the sensitivity of the American Indian remains. Proposals to study human skeletal remains or casts of same under the control of the Department must be made to the Department Chair, who will consult with the committee before reaching a decision to accept or deny a proposal. The Committee will, (a) in the case of a student request to study these human remains, review proposals to ensure that an MU faculty sponsor is included in the proposal, (b) ensure a brief report is submitted within one year of completion of the study, and (c) maintain a uselog.

Chair’s Advisory Committee: The purpose of this committee is (1) to serve as an advisory committee, not an executive committee (it has no political power), to the Chair, specifically concerning issues of (a) departmental space and money resources (exclusive of salaries), (b) faculty and staff, and (c) other issues on an as-needed bases, and (2) to serve an ombudsman function between the faculty and staff, and the Chair. The Committee shall consist of three or four faculty members. Committee personnel shall reflect the diversity within the Department in such factors as subdisciplines of anthropology, professorial rank, research interests, and other interests of the faculty. Individuals with interests not well represented within the Committee shall be called to meetings of the Committee on an as-needed basis. Committee members shall be appointed by the Chair, and subject to approval by a two-thirds majority of the voting faculty. Appointment is for one year, but members may serve more than one year.

Ombudsman: The Department of Anthropology’s Ombudsman will be elected for a two-year term at the last faculty meeting in the Spring in alternate years. The Ombudsman will receive all grievances and complaints from students, faculty, or staff, about students, faculty, or staff. The Ombudsman is charged with appointing an appropriate committee to consider each grievance; such committees may have representation from any sector of the Department (students, faculty, staff). Their composition will be the responsibility of the Ombudsman, who may serve on a committee or not as seems appropriate to him or her once it has been convened. Each grievance committee will advise the Chair of the Department on resolution of a grievance. In the event the elected Ombudsman is involved in the grievance, the Chair’s Advisory Committee of the Department will appoint a substitute. In the event the Chair is involved in the grievance, the Ombudsman will report to the Vice-Chair.

Special (ad hoc) Committees: The following special (ad hoc) committees have recurrently been appointed and thus have acquired recognized roles in the Department. Some of these committees have but one member. As follows: The Liaison for Archaeometry Laboratory of MURR, The Committee on Faculty Leaves and Recruitment, The Museum Committee (see next section), The Liaison with the University Library, The Department Honors Director, The Space Committee. The Department Chair is empowered to revise this list by addition and deletion as necessary.

Section 5

Museum of Anthropology/American Archaeology Division: The Museum of Anthropology/American Archaeology Division is an administratively separate unit allied with but distinct from the Department of Anthropology. It reports directly to the Dean of the College of Arts and Science. The Department of Anthropology is committed to assisting the Museum of Anthropology achieve its mission of broadening understanding of human behavior, past and present, through research, interpretation, and preservation of ethnographic and archaeological material. The Department of Anthropology will work closely with the Museum of Anthropology and other campus programs, leveraging resources for beneficial effect for all units. This may be in the form of (but not limited to) service, teaching activities, research, academic presentations, or public events. The Department of Anthropology will provide the Museum Director with an academic home and courtesy appointment commensurate with rank and experience. The Museum Director may participate in department governance in a non-voting role. To aid the Museum Director and the Dean of Arts and Science, the Department Chair will appoint three faculty members to serve on the Museum Advisory Committee. It is expected that these individuals will help prepare the written annual report that will be submitted to the Dean of Arts and Science regarding the Museum’s governance, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and effectiveness.

Coordination with Department: Recognizing the close relationship between the Department of Anthropology and the Museum, the Department will maintain an Anthropology Department Museum Committee acting as a liaison between the Department and the Museum. The Committee shall consist of two or more regular faculty members appointed by the Chair that can include those already serving on the Museum Advisory Committee. The term of office shall be from the date of the faculty meeting when committee assignments are certified to the date of the equivalent meeting the next academic year. The Anthropology Department Museum Committee is tasked with ensuring ongoing coordination and collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology, and developing appropriate research opportunities and instructional synergies. The committee shall meet at least twice each academic year and report the proceedings of each meeting to the Department at the next regular faculty meeting. If the Committee feels the need to bring a specific issue related to compliance and proper governance of the collections and the Museum as a whole to the attention of the Museum Director and/or the Dean, it may prepare a written report outlining its opinion to be presented to the appropriate authority. It is expected that the Museum Annual Report and any other Museum publications or reports will be provided annually to the Department Chair and all members of the Anthropology Department Museum Committee.