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Bylaws

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, including 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 every inquisitive 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 but rather extends eligibility for funding to other colleges, such as but not limited to the College of the Arts (COTA) and the College of Design, Construction, and Planning (DCP).

III. Structure of CHPS

  1.  Faculty and voting rightsa.      Core Faculty. Core faculty shall be all faculty who are budgeted at 50% or more in CHPS and hold the rank of lecturer, assistant-in, or assistant professor or above in the course of the academic year. Faculty who are appointed by a search and serve in the capacity of postdoctoral fellow shall have the right to vote and the right to committee membership. All core faculty, including the Director and Associate Director, vote in CHPS staff meetings. Should the Director serve on a CHPS committee, the Director will be eligible to vote except when serving in an ex-officio capacity or is otherwise ineligible for voting (e.g., the Advisory Board).b.      Visiting Faculty. Visiting faculty and scholars who have not been hired 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.
  2. Advisory Board Composition 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, and may be invited to a second term following a two-year period. Members of the Advisory Board will be nominated by the CHPS Director, in consultation with CHPS Core Faculty, and appointed with the approval of the Dean of CLAS. The CHPS Director will chair meetings of the Advisory Board, and CHPS Core Faculty may serve as ex-officio members. The CHPS Director and Core Faculty do not have voting rights on the Advisory Board. 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.
  3. 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.      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.b.      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.c.       For routine CHPS business, decisions will be made by a simple majority vote of all Advisory Board members present at the meeting.

    d.      Voting is conducted by unanimous verbal assent or a show of hands unless a faculty member requests a secret ballot.

    e.       Voting via an anonymous online poll may proceed in the case of rolling funding programs, such as Publication Subventions. In this instance, a decision will be made by a majority vote; in the case of a lack of a majority, voting will be moved to an in-person meeting to allow for discussion.

  4. Voting in 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.a.      All core faculty shall have the opportunity to provide feedback to the search committee prior to the meeting.b.      Any vote on a personnel decision shall be announced no later than one calendar week before balloting is conducted.c.       Full materials on all candidates shall be available at least one week before balloting is conducted.

    d.      Voting is conducted by show of hands unless a faculty member requests a secret ballot.

    e.       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.

  5. 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.
  6. 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. The Center Director shall be appointed by the CLAS Dean following a constituted search according to University policy, procedures, and regulations, and serve at the pleasure of the Dean. Reappointment will follow the procedure 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 the Director’s place.
  3. Meetings. The Director shall set, in a timely fashion, Advisory Board and core faculty meetings, at which they 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 Core Faculty.
  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 Core Faculty 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. They are 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 Core Faculty 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 be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the Director. In case of a search, a search committee shall be appointed following the process outlined by CLAS, with majority of members from CHPS. The search process will follow the guidelines outlined in the CHPS bylaws and CLAS and university guidelines.
  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 overseeing the administration of the Center’s suite of programs and supervising OPS Program Coordinator(s) and TEAMS staff; they 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.

VI. Duties and Functions of the Assistant Directors

  1. Duties of the Assistant Director for Graduate Engagement (ADGE)a.       Regular Duties. Regular duties include developing, organizing, and supporting program(s) in CHPS and/or collaboration with other UF and off-campus units aimed at and about graduate students. Examples of programs include internship programs, summer graduate institutes, professional development workshops, and other workshops and programs. This includes planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of programs and events.

    b.      Engagement. Regular duties also include communication with graduate coordinators in the humanities and mentoring of graduate students in the humanities. This may take a range of forms from building and upkeeping a website to individual consultation and mentorship of graduate students about internal and external grants.

    c.       Teaching. A regular teaching assignment is not required for this position. However, the ADGE might be called upon to teach or co-teach a graduate seminar in the designated area of the position, e.g. a survey course in public humanities for graduate students.

    d.      Internal and External Grants and Funding Proposals. The ADGA will collaborate with other CHPS staff in applying for internal cost-share and programmatic grants in graduate engagement (e.g., NEH Transforming Doctoral Education grant).

  2. Duties of the Assistant Director for Programming and Public Engagement (ADPPE)a.      Regular Duties. Regular duties include developing, organizing, and supporting program(s) in CHPS and/or collaboration with other UF and off-campus units aimed. Examples of programs include Humanities Engagement Scholars, Synergies, Conversations in the Neighborhood, Book Talks at Oak Hammock, and other workshops and programs. This includes planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of programs and events.

    b.      Engagement. Regular duties also include networking with members of the public, attending public events, and advising and mentoring of undergraduate students in the humanities. This may take a range of forms from maintaining social media to individual consultation of members of the public regarding CHPS’s public humanities grants.

    c.       Teaching. A regular teaching assignment is not required for this position. However, the ADPPE might be called upon to teach or co-teach an undergraduate class in the designated area of the position, e.g. an introductory humanities course for undergraduate students accompanying the speaker series.

    Internal and External Grants and Funding Proposals. The ADPPE will collaborate with other CHPS staff in applying for internal cost-share and programmatic grants in public engagement or undergraduate education.

VII. Mentoring

  1. Tenure-accruing faculty. Mentorship is arranged in the academic unit of a faculty member’s tenure home, 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. The Director will also provide information regarding professional development leave and promotion opportunities. Lecturers and Assistant-Ins are assigned a minimum of one or a maximum of two mentors who are selected in conversation between the Director and the faculty member. Faculty members can request a formal mentor after their promotion.

VIII. Evaluation

  1. Annual evaluation. The CHPS-related duties and activities of each faculty member (e.g., administrative duties, service, 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 and respond in writing to the letter within ten days (in accordance with the CBA).
  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 their teaching observed and evaluated at least once a semester. The teaching evaluation of those faculty members who hold tenure-accruing appointments will follow the mechanisms in place in their tenure-granting department.

IX. Merit Assessment and 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 overall performance in administrative activities, service, research, teaching, and all assigned activities outlined in that faculty member’s job description and Faculty Assignment Report. Merit-pay considerations are distinct from promotion raises or market-equity salary adjustments. The bylaws and the merit-pay guidelines determine the process by which CHPS will determine merit-pay recommendations. The merit-pay committee will conduct the merit assessment and communicate to the Director according to the merit-pay guidelines. Merit assessment shall be completed by the merit pay committee annually before April 15. The merit pay committee shall be formed independent of whether merit pay is available. Assessment is based on:

a.      Annual Activity Reports (AARs) for the reporting period (March 16-March 15)

b.      A brief addendum outlining additional activities that deserve recognition (that are not included in the AARs) may be included.

  1. To be eligible for merit pay, a faculty member shall have submitted the AAR by March 30.
  2. Merit-pay assessment will be conducted by a merit committee, which will include two members of CHPS and one external member of the rank of lecturer or higher selected from CHPS current or former Advisory Board or a friend of the Center. The Director will select two faculty members from CHPS for a two-year term (achieving staggered terms after year 1). CHPS faculty members create a ranked list of external member from UF administrators and faculty, including current or former Advisory Board members or friends of the Center to serve on the committee for a two-year term and the Director will request service. Should the make-up of CHPS change, the composition of the merit-pay committee may change, remaining at an uneven number and including one external member. Faculty members will not participate in the evaluation of their own performance.
  3. The committee’s merit pay assessment will be transmitted to the Director by the committee chair by April 15. If and when merit pay is available, the Director will do the allotment and distribution.
  4. The Director will make merit-pay recommendations to the Dean of CLAS. Final determinations about merit pay will be communicated to faculty members according to CLAS and/or UF instructions.
  5. For new faculty members, the reporting period will begin with their arrival at UF (usually August of that academic year).
  6. The merit-pay committee’s assessment of performance is advisory to the CHPS Director.

X. Market Equity Salary Increase

When market-equity salary increases are available, the merit pay review committee will review the salaries of the CHPS faculty in accordance with instructions from the CLAS Dean’s office for consideration of market equity increases. The committee will make recommendations to the Director. 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 who will follow the relevant guidelines. The CHPS Director’s recommendation will be submitted to the Office of the Dean for consideration.

XI. Promotion

CHPS policies and procedures 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 promotion process is fact-finding and advisory to the Dean’s Office, CLAS tenure & promotion committee, and UF Academic Personnel Board.

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

Because of its size and the limited number of faculty members eligible to vote on promotion cases, CHPS will not establish a standing promotion committee. In the case that more than one faculty member is eligible to vote on promotion, those eligible faculty members will serve as the committee and will discuss the case in person in a meeting after which a vote by secret ballot will be conducted (following the required timeline outlined in the CBA), which will be counted and documented by the Director on the cover page of the promotion package.

  1. Non-tenure-accruing faculty. The promotion of faculty in the assistant in and lecturer series in CHPS shall be overseen primarily by CHPS and shall follow the proceedings established by CLAS and UF in accordance with the CBA. The cover sheet for promotion of the Assistant In series is here.

a. Promotion in the Assistant In Series, including Assistant In, Associate In, Senior Associate In

i.  CHPS promotion in the Assistant In series follows CLAS and UF guidelines in accordance with the CBA.

ii.  Promotion criteria follow those of the annual merit-pay assessment reflecting individual faculty assignments.

b. Promotion in the Lecturer Series: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Master Lecture

i. CHPS promotion in the Lecturer series follows CLAS and UF guidelines in accordance with the CBA.

ii. Promotion criteria follow those of the annual merit-pay assessment reflecting individual faculty assignments.

2. Criteria. CHPS faculty differ substantially from those in other units in regard to distribution of duties across research, teaching and service.

3. Deadlines. Those candidates who are to be considered in the following fall for promotion (and/or tenure) shall notify the CHPS Director by March 15 of the calendar year in which they wish their case to be considered, 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 (in accordance with the CBA).

XII. Amending the Bylaws

  1. These bylaws have been adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the core faculty members of CHPS.
  2. The CHPS Core Faculty, 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.

    Approved by a two-thirds majority in an anonymous vote on February 28, 2020.