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I. Preamble

The purpose of this document is to establish the bylaws for the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (hereafter CHPS) at the University of Florida (hereafter UF). Founded in 2005 and launched in 2009, CHPS, which is housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (hereafter CLAS), recognizes that it is bound in its actions by UF regulations, particularly the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CHPS bylaws are supplementary to these regulations. Should any part of the CHPS’s published bylaws or operating procedures conflict with, or not take into consideration any of those passed by CLAS or UF, CHPS’s practices will be revised accordingly.

II. Mission Statement

CHPS has three interrelated purposes:

  1. to facilitate and promote the research programs of humanities scholars* at UF;
  2. to provide an intellectual space and a physical location within UF and CLAS for critical and collaborative discussions of the humanities that reach across and beyond individual disciplines;
  3. and to provide a place for outreach to the community in which we live and teach. Building on the work of individual departments, CHPS emphasizes collaboration and critical discussion as its basic program models.

The humanities allow us to explore the question: what does it mean to be human? They include efforts to understand, evaluate, and communicate human experiences, values, and aspirations to improve the human condition. Through comparative and global study,humanities scholars foster in students and communities a critical concern for civic and moral responsibility. While the humanities have traditionally flourished in the disciplines of history, philosophy, literatures, and languages, they inform everyinquisitive endeavor.

*The Center uses a definition adapted from the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 as the basis for determining the eligibility of proposed projects for its funding programs:

“The humanities include, but are not limited to, the following fields: history, philosophy, languages, literature, linguistics, archeology, jurisprudence, history and criticism of the arts, ethics, comparative religion, and those aspects of the social sciences employing historical or philosophical approaches. This last category includes social and cultural anthropology, sociology, political theory, international relations, and other subjects concerned with questions of value.”

CHPS does not restrict eligibility for its funding programs to CLAS faculty, staff, and students (as their counterparts in other colleges, such as but not limited to the College of the Arts (COTA) and the College of Design, Construction, and Planning (DCP), likewise work in the humanities).

III. Structure of CHPS

  1. Core Faculty. Core faculty shall be all faculty who are budgeted at 25% or more in CHPS and hold the rank of assistant-in or assistant professor or above in the course of the academic year. Facultywho are recruited by a search and serve in the capacity of postdoctoral fellow shall have the right to vote and the right to committee membership.
  2. Visiting Faculty. Visiting faculty and scholars who have not been recruited by a search, or who are not in a renewable annual contract, are welcome to attend general CHPS meetings, but they cannot vote on CHPS business.
  3. Advisory Board. The Advisory Board, which shall consist of no more than nine members, includes faculty from the various humanities departments in CLAS with at least one representative faculty member in the humanities from either the COTA or the DCP. None shall be currently serving chairs, and optimally they shall reflect a mix of junior, mid-career, and senior faculty. At least one member of the Advisory Board shall have expertise in linguistics. Other members should demonstrate experience in some area of the humanities, whether involving work in a core discipline of the humanities, public humanities, or digital humanities. Members shall serve no more than three consecutive years. Members of the Advisory Board will be nominated by the CHPS Director, in consultation with the CHPS Associate Director, and appointed with the approval of the Dean of CLAS. The CHPS Director will chair meetings ofthe Advisory Board, and the CHPS Associate Director shall serve as an ex-voto member. The mandate of the Advisory Board will include the vetting of all published calls for proposals issued by CLAS (whether on an annual or rolling cycle). An additional guest member of the UF community (ideally a co-awardee of a past Programs in the Public Humanities grant) may be added temporarily by the CHPS Director to the Advisory Board to review Programs in the Public Humanities grant proposals only.
  4. Advisory Board Meetings and Voting. There shall be at least one CHPS Advisory Board meeting per semester to address CHPS’s call for proposals and selection of grant awardees. Meetings may also be called if two or more Advisory Board members request one. Unless there is emergency business to discuss, all meetings shall be announced in writing at least two weeks in advance. Voting members shall consist of the Advisory Board of CHPS. Voting rights will be exercised on the principle of one vote per person. Voting shall proceed as follows:
    • A quorum, defined as two-thirds majority of Advisory Board members, must be present or have submitted proxy votes to conduct a vote at a CHPS Advisory Board meeting. Any Advisory Board member who has submitted an application to a funding initiative (or who is related by marriage, partnership, or family to an applicant) shall absent himself or herself from the meeting in question and shall not be included in the calculation of the quorum.
    • Any Advisory Board member may additionally decide to abstain from voting on a particular grant proposal at their discretion, but their votes will still be counted towards the quorum on other grant proposals.
    • For routine CHPS business, decisions will be made by a simple majority vote of all Advisory Board members present at the meeting.
    • Voting is conducted by unanimous verbal assent or a show of hands unless a faculty member requests a secret ballot.
  5. Faculty Meetings. When voting on candidates for faculty appointments at CHPS, the vote shall be conducted by secret ballot among core faculty members following the discussion of the search committee’s
    recommendations at the faculty meeting.

    • All core faculty shall have the opportunity to provide feedback to the search committee prior to the meeting.
    • Any vote on a personnel decision shall be announced no later than one calendar week before balloting is conducted.
    • Full materials on all candidates shall be available at least one week before balloting is conducted.
    • Voting is conducted by show of hands unless a faculty member requests a secret ballot.
    • In the event that the Director deems a personnel matter to be urgent and therefore requiring the arrangement of a meeting and a vote in the space of less than one week, the Director shall solicit from faculty a waiver of the here stipulated period of one week. The waiver shall be granted if approved by a simple majority.
  6. Proxy votes. Proxy votes may be cast at a CHPS faculty meeting or a CHPS Advisory Board meeting. A proxy must be submitted in writing, it must be signed either electronically or manually, and it must be limited to one person’s use at one specified meeting for a single issue. It must be submitted to the Director or staff member tasked with tallying votes prior to the vote.
  7. Committees. Any additional CHPS committee that is created may establish its own membership composition and voting procedures with the approval of the Director.

IV. Duties and Functions of the Director

  1. Term of Office. The Director’s term of office is determined by the Dean of CLAS. The Director (as Rothman Chair) shall normally serve a 5-year term. This Center Director shall be appointed by the CLAS Dean following a duly constituted search according to University policy, procedures, and regulations, and serve at the pleasure of the Dean. If the Director desires to be considered for reappointment, procedures for review are set out by CLAS.
  2. Representation of CHPS. The Director shall represent CHPS in relation to other departments/programs and the administrative office of the University. The Director shall attend monthly chairs/directors meetings, humanities chairs and directors meetings, center/program chairs/directors meetings, and any other meetings established for chairs and directors or requested by the higher administration. The Director shall represent CHPS to other universities and/or organizations that have dealings with CHPS, or can designate someone to act in his/her place.
  3. Meetings. The Director shall set, in a timely fashion, Advisory Board and core faculty meetings, at which s/he shall act as presiding officer.
  4. Operations. The Director shall take central responsibility for the running of CHPS and perform the functions necessary to implement all phases of its operations, including grant awards, space allocation, equipment procurement, and staff hiring and supervision. The Director, as a named Chair, shall assume responsibility as the signatory for all funds coming from Foundation accounts belonging to CHPS. The Director shall be responsible for composing the Center’s Annual Activity Report, the Annual Center Report for the Board of Governors, and all Foundation annual letters to donors of endowed accounts. The Director shall also compose all award letters for grants given by CHPS.
  5. Speaker Series. The Director shall assume responsibility for organizing the annual speaker series in conjunction with the Associate Director.
  6. Budget and Endowment Funds. The Director shall be responsible for overseeing and administering the CHPS budget. The Director (who is also the Rothman Chair, except possibly in the case of an Acting Director), is also the fund administrator of all Foundation accounts that pertain to CHPS, and shall ascertain that CHPS endowed and cash funds be used for their identified purposes. Of the funds existing at the present time, only the Rothman Endowment may be used to support the personal research activities and expenses of the Director, and this amount should be limited to no more than 15% of the amount generated by this fund annually. The rest of these funds
    shall be reserved for the regular expenses, granting activities, and special events organized or co-sponsored by CHPS.
  7. External Grants. The Director shall work with the Associate Director in applying for internal and external grants.
  8. Committees. The Director is responsible for appointing committee chairs and for working with these committees to affect their charges. S/he is an ex-officio member of all standing and ad hoc committees (aside from the Advisory Board, described in III.3).
  9. Director Review. The Director will not participate in review activities involving evaluation of the Director.
  10. Faculty with Joint Appointments. The Director shall be responsible for coordinating with chairs of departments that have joint appointments in CHPS to ensure that the allocation of faculty service, teaching, and research time is congruent with the faculty member’s percentage FTE appointment. The Director shall consult with relevant chairs or the CLAS Dean’s Office in the cases of promotion and tenure and is responsible for ensuring
    that the faculty member’s contributions to CHPS are recognized.
  11. Staffing. The Director shall be involved in consultations regarding the Dean’s appointment of the Associate Director and other non-OPS staff at CHPS. The Director and Associate Director shall work together to select and appoint OPS Program Coordinators (typically graduate students in CLAS humanities departments).

V. Duties and Functions of the Associate Director

  1. Term of Office. The Associate Director’s term of office is determined by the Dean of CLAS. The Associate Director shall normally be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the Director.
  2. Representation of CHPS. The Associate Director shall represent CHPS in instances such as meetings and committees when the Director is unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. The Associate Director shall also represent CHPS on committees and at other internal and external organizations that complement the activities of the Director and benefit the operations of CHPS.
  3. Operations. The Associate Director shall take central responsibility for working with CLAS Shared Services to ascertain the accuracy of the financial spreadsheets of CHPS. The Associate Director shall perform complementary functions to those of the Director to maintain smooth functioning of all phases of its operations, including grant awards, space allocation, equipment procurement, and staff hiring and supervision. The Associate Director shall take charge of organizing brown bag meetings, grant-writing workshops, speaker presentations, and digital humanities events, or shall allocate these responsibilities to CHPS’s postdoctoral fellows or OPS Program Coordinator(s); s/he shall also be responsible for maintaining records of all events coordinated by the Center and for collecting final reports for all awards given by CHPS. The Associate Director shall assist the Director by providing data necessary for composing the Center’s Annual Activity Report, the Annual Center Report for the Board of Governors, and annual Foundation letters to donors of CHPS Endowments.
  4. External Grants. The Associate Director shall work with the Director or with the approval of the Director in applying for internal and external grant opportunities for CHPS.
  5. Committees. The Associate Director is an ex-officio member of all standing and ad hoc committees.

VI. Mentoring

  1. Tenure-accruing faculty. Mentorship is arranged in the academic unit in which a faculty member’s tenure is to be awarded, and the choice of a mentor will follow that unit’s standard procedures. That said, the CHPS Director will support the appointment of a CHPS mentor if desirable and possible and desired by the mentee, in consultation with the tenure-granting unit’s Chair and the untenured member.
  2. Assistants-in, Associates-in, and other non-tenure-accruing faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows. The CHPS Director has the responsibility of informing non-tenure-accruing faculty and postdoctoral fellows about job duties and performance expectations. S/he will also provide information regarding professional development leave and promotion opportunities. The CHPS Director will support the appointment of a mentor if possible and desired
    by the mentee; if that mentor is outside of CHPS, s/he will be incentivized with a modest research allocation of $500 to meet monthly with that faculty member.

VII. Evaluation

  1. Annual evaluation. The CHPS-related duties and activities of each faculty member (e.g., administrative duties, service, outreach, research, and teaching, if relevant) will be evaluated on an annual basis by the CHPS Director. This evaluation will be provided in the annual letter of evaluation written by the CHPS Director for each core faculty member, whether separately or in conjunction with the letter of evaluation written by the Chair of the Department in which the faculty member has a joint appointment. An opportunity will be provided for each faculty member to discuss the annual letter with the CHPS Director.
  2. Peer Teaching Evaluation. If relevant, the Director of CHPS will ensure that each faculty member who is teaching a course for CHPS will have his/her teaching observed and evaluated at least once a year. The teaching evaluation of those faculty members who hold tenure-accruing appointments will follow the mechanisms in place in their tenure-granting department.

VIII. Tenure and Promotion

CHPS policies and procedures are designed to complement those established by UF and the CBA which take precedence in the event of a conflict. Pursuant to these guidelines, the role of CHPS in the tenure and promotion process is fact-finding and advisory.

CHPS acknowledges the importance of administrative contributions, service, research and scholarship, and teaching. CHPS expects its members to contribute to these areas consistent with their assigned duties. Semester assignments should be created so that candidates for tenure and promotion can meet their expectations, and individual assignments must be taken into consideration during the tenure and promotion process.

  1. Tenure-accruing and tenured faculty. Since all tenured and tenure-accruing faculty currently hold joint appointments or appointments outside of CHPS, the tenure and promotion process shall follow the procedures and guidelines outlined in the academic unit where the tenure line lies. The CHPS Director shall consult with relevant chairs in the cases of promotion and tenure and ensure that faculty contributions to CHPS are recognized. View CLAS and UF procedures and guidelines for tenure and promotion for tenured and tenure-accruing faculty.
  2. Non-tenure-accruing faculty. The promotion of Assistants-In and other non-tenure-accruing faculty in CHPS shall be overseen primarily by CHPS and shall follow the proceedings established by CLAS. View more information about these procedures.
    1. Criteria
      for promotion from Assistant to Associate-In.

      • Strong contribution to CHPS program building, including but not limited to strong program development, expansion, and maintenance, and maintenance of strong network with faculty, graduate students, and staff working in the humanities and related fields.
      • Strong service record, including, but not limited to CHPS governance, participation in CLAS, COTA, DCP, Harn Museum of Art, Smathers Libraries or UF committees, contributions to the humanities centers and institutes field, or advances of one’s discipline.
      • Evidence of research productivity such as but not limited to the publication of monographs, articles, edited volumes, translations, chapters in edited volumes, etc. Research productivity might also take the form of public-facing work, whether in the form of editorials, white papers, published guidelines or curriculum, policy work, curation of exhibitions, and so on.
      • Evidence of applications for external and internal grants to contribute to CHPS programming needs, as well as grants and fellowships to support faculty member’s own research needs. Utilization of proposal-writing knowledge and connections to support grants and fellowship-writing efforts by humanities faculty and graduate students.
      • Fostering of and participation in CHPS public humanities events, whether on or off campus. Maintenance of relationships with off-campus partners.
    2. Because the expectations and assigned duties of CHPS faculty differ substantially from those in other units, the CHPS Director shall ensure that these duties are clear and contributions are recognized.
  3. Deadlines. Those candidates who are to be considered in the following fall for promotion and/or tenure shall notify the CHPS Director by July 1 with preference for March 15 of the calendar year in which they wish their case to be taken up, at which time they shall complete the form regarding their decision about waiving access to materials.
  4. Packets. The candidates will prepare their materials for submission according to CLAS and UF guidelines. The packet shall be presented to the CHPS office in August so that it can be reviewed carefully prior to submission to CLAS to ensure that it is complete and correctly formatted. It may also be submitted for a preliminary review to the CLAS office.

IX. Market Equity Salary Increase

An individual faculty member may make a request to the CHPS Director to have his/her salary reviewed for consideration of a market equity increase. If the faculty member is tenured or has a tenure-accruing faculty line, the Director will assign the review to the Chair of the tenure-granting department that shall forward the request to the appropriate departmental committee. If the faculty member requesting review is a non-tenure-accruing core faculty of CHPS, the Director shall review the relevant materials (such as those submitted for review of merit or promotion), and evaluate the faculty members’ value to and productivity in CHPS; he/she shall also compare the faculty’s salary to market norms. The CHPS Director’s recommendation will be the basis for a decision subject to approval by CLAS. In the event of an increase, faculty members shall be notified of the increase amount prior to the submission of this information to the payroll.

X. Merit Raises

This section defines the rules and procedures that govern the identification of meritorious faculty members for purposes of receiving merit salary increases. Awards of merit increases are designed to recognize outstanding overall performance in administrative activities, service, research, teaching, and other relevant activities outlined in that faculty member’s job description. This document will guide the considerations of the CHPS Director, who will make merit-pay recommendations to the Dean
of CLAS.

  1. Merit increases shall be completed annually for all faculty members based on:
    • Annual Activity Reports (AARs) for the reporting period (March 16-March 15)
    • A brief addendum outlining additional activities that deserve recognition (that are not included in the AARs).
    • Student-teacher evaluation scores for the reporting period (if relevant to CHPS activities)
  2. To be eligible for merit pay, faculty members shall submit their AAR by April 1 (or a later deadline if announced by the Director).
  3. The Director shall inform each CHPS faculty member of his/her merit assessment and merit-pay raise. The Director shall not discuss the assessment or merit pay raises of third parties.
  4. Unless otherwise specified in the CBA or UF regulations, in the event that merit funds are not available in a given year, faculty merit assessments for that year will be taken into consideration in the subsequent review period(s).
    Annual assessments will be averaged for all merit periods in which no merit funds are available, or for three years, whichever is less. (The three-year limit may be waived to ensure consideration of a major accomplishment never
    considered for a merit increase.)
  5. For new faculty members, the reporting period will begin with their arrival at UF (usually August of that academic year).
  6. Merit pay considerations are distinct from promotion raises, salary compression adjustments, etc., and, within each category, are based on achievement and accomplishment regardless of research time, course reductions, and the like.
  7. In making his/her merit pay recommendations, the CHPS Director should refer to the CHPS Merit Criteria which rank meritorious activity in the areas of administrative activity, service, research, teaching, and other relevant activities. S/he shall furthermore:
    • Ensure that expectations of a faculty member’s performance are proportionate to that faculty’s work assignment (FTE) in CHPS. (For example, faculty whose FTE is 100% in CHPS would be expected to engage in proportionately more CHPS-related activities than faculty whose FTE is only 50% in CHPS.
    • Ensure that expectations of a faculty member’s performance reflect that faculty member’s duties in CHPS. “Outstanding” signifies superior performance in relation to CHPS norms. Activities that benefit the programmatic needs of CHPS shall also be rewarded.

XI. Amending the Bylaws

  1. These bylaws have been adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the core faculty members of CHPS.
  2. The core faculty of CHPS in conjunction with the CHPS Director, shall develop and maintain bylaws to ensure they reflect current UF policy and the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Amendments to the bylaws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the voting members of CHPS.
  3. Future amendments to the bylaws may also be proposed by any member of the core faculty. All core faculty members shall have the right to participate in the development of the bylaws.
  4. If the bylaws are amended by means of a committee, such committee shall be comprised of faculty members elected by the core faculty members of CHPS.
  5. Provisions in the bylaws relating to tenure, promotion, merit salary increases, market equity salary increases, and performance evaluations must be approved in a secret-ballot vote by a majority of all affected core faculty who are eligible to vote on the matter under consideration.
  6. Amended bylaws shall be forwarded for approval to the dean. If the CHPS Director and core faculty are unable to reach agreement on an issue, both the CHPS Director’s proposal on that issue and the proposal approved by a majority of the faculty shall be submitted to the dean of CLAS.