The steering committee is the principal body which coordinates the operation of the Center for the Humanities. Its responsibilities extend to all matters affecting the mission of the Center. It is through the committee that proposals to the Center are made, evaluated, and funded.
Those resolutions that affect policy must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). These resolutions are formally reported to the VPAA by the chairman of the committee and shall be deemed to have been accepted favorably unless the VPAA expresses disapproval with reasons for disapproval and proposed modifications forwarded to the committee in writing within fifteen days of the formal notification. Approved resolutions become the mandates by which the Center operates and are to be implemented by the Center's director.
As well as matters of program and policy, the committee is also required to manage the budget. The Center is funded by income from the endowment raised and maintained for that purpose. The committee must approve the annual operating budget and review expenditures monthly. From time to time the committee will be expected to act on resolutions involving the transfer of funds or requests for supplemental monies.
Membership of the Steering Committee
- The dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, chair, ex officio;
- The director of the Center for the Humanities, secretary, ex officio;
- Chairs of the departments of the humanities which shall include classics, English, fine arts, history, modern languages, philosophy, theology, communication, and writing;
- The associate vice president for academic affairs;
- The director(s) of the Honors Program; and
- The director(s) of major project(s) funded by the Center may be elected to serve. A maximum of three such directors, including the director(s) of the Honors Program, may be members at any one time.
Terms and Procedures
For department chairs:
- Appointment to the committee becomes automatic with appointment as chair of the appropriate department. If for some reason a chair is unable to serve, a departmental representative may be selected by the department chair in consultation with the dean of CAS and members of the steering committee.
- The term will normally be considered to be from July I to June 30, the dates associated with concurrent appointment as a department chair.
- In the event that position of chair of an applicable department is vacant, the chair of the committee may appoint a member of that department to serve on the committee. In that case, the term will last until such time as a department chair is appointed.
For project directors:
- Election will be upon nomination by the director of the Center and a 2/3 vote of the membership of the committee.
- Once elected, such a director will serve until the completion of the term specified at the time of their election.
- All members of the steering committee, except for the chair, ordinarily vote on proposals brought before the committee.
- The Chair casts the deciding vote in case of a tie.
- Directors of major projects funded by the Center who have been elected to serve on the steering committee may not vote on proposals that involve funding the projects they direct.
- Ordinarily, issues will be decided by a voice vote. However, any member of the Center may request a roll-call vote on any matter; the motion is not debatable.
- At the meeting to consider junior faculty sabbatical proposals, only department chairs (or a designated representative approved by the dean) vote. At this meeting, no chair may vote on proposals from his or her own department.
Preparation and Distribution of Agenda
Any department, tenured, tenured-track, affiliate or adjunct faculty members, or administrators may submit a proposal to the committee. All proposals must be concerned with projects in keeping with the mission and purpose of the Center for the Humanities. Membership on the committee excludes the person from submitting any proposal in which funds are involved that will be to the member's personal, financial benefit. Because of the important role of mentoring students—and, in some cases, the unique qualifications a member may have for advising a particular project—members of the steering committee are permitted to serve as advisors for Summer Student Fellowships and to receive the nominal stipend for advisors. If a member of the steering committee is the advisor for a student applicant, the member must recuse himself or herself from the consideration of that year's applications, and a proxy will be asked to serve in the member's place.
The proposal and supporting documentation, including budget, are to be submitted to the director of the Center for the Humanities.
The proposal must follow the guidelines established by the Center.
The director of the Center is authorized to approve requests of a maximum of $200 without bringing them before the steering committee. Such approval must be reported at the next meeting of the steering committee.
Ordinarily, proposals that follow the guidelines are to be placed on the committee's agenda in the order in which they are received in the office of the Center. Proposals which are being returned from a subcommittee with a final report have precedence over other matters.
An agenda and all relevant attachments are to be distributed by the secretary at least seven calendar days in advance of each meeting to the members, the president and vice-presidents, and to persons other than the above who are presenting agenda materials to the steering committee. The minutes of the previous meeting shall not be distributed to the president and vice-presidents until after they have been approved by the committee.
Conduct of Meetings
- The committee meets monthly during the academic year according to a schedule drawn up by the chair and approved by the committee.
- Special meetings are held at the call of the chair. Upon receipt of a written request for a special meeting signed by three members and stating the business to be discussed, the chair must call a special meeting within seven days.
- Meetings shall end no later than 90 minutes after the call to order, unless a motion to extend the meeting for a specified period of time is passed before the deadline by a simple majority of those members present and voting. Only one such motion to extend the meeting may be entertained.
- The meetings of the steering committee are to be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, as modified by these bylaws.
- The presiding officer and a majority of the members constitute a quorum of the committee.
- Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting is the first item of business at each regular meeting.
- No action may be taken on any substantive resolution which has not been included on the agenda and circulated, along with the appropriate supporting documentation, at least seven calendar days in advance of the meeting at which it is to be discussed.
- Any proposal to amend the bylaws of the steering committee or to change the policies of the Center may not be voted on until the regularly scheduled monthly meeting that follows the meeting at which the proposal is made.
- A motion to consider any proposal out of the order established on the agenda requires adoption by a majority of the members present.
- Any member of the Center may request that the committee go into executive session on any matter; the motion is not debatable. If a majority of the members present approve the motion, nonmembers will be excluded from that discussion.
- Any member may designate a proxy for one meeting, who must be a member of the constituency to be represented. The dean of CAS must approve the proxy before the actual meeting.
- All members of the University community have the right to attend meetings of the committee. They may not address the committee without recognition by the presiding officer. Recognition at any point does not grant nor imply a general right to participate.
- Should the chair of the Center be unable to attend a meeting of the council, he or she must appoint a presiding officer, normally the secretary, for that meeting.
- The bylaws of the committee as described in the present section, numbered six and entitled "Conduct of Meeting," may be suspended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.
- The steering committee may create subcommittees as it deems necessary and appropriate.Subcommittees thus created will report to the steering committee through their chair. Any chair desiring to make a report should request a place on the agenda according to the procedure outlined in section four above.
Amendment of the Bylaws
The precise wording of all amendments to these bylaws must be included as attachments to agenda. Passage is by two-thirds majority of the total voting membership. The amendment does not come into force until after the adjournment of the meeting at which it was adopted and subsequent approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.