Operating Agreement of Latin American Studies and Women's Studies (LA/W/S)

Department of Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies (LA/W/S)

OPERATING AGREEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT

PREAMBLE

The purpose and intent of this agreement is to put existing practices of interdisciplinary programs and/or departments that house multiple programs into writing so that the department of Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies [LA/W/S] can operate with greater clarity and transparency.  This agreement does not trump the faculty handbook, but rather incorporates existing handbook language whenever possible and clarifies existing practices and working conditions already at work in interdisciplinary programs.  In some cases, this agreement anticipates future handbook changes (as in the creation of joint appointments), but this agreement does not claim to make those handbook changes.  Until such time as this agreement is formally recognized by the faculty handbook, it stands as an agreement between faculty who teach in the women’s studies and/or Latin American studies programs as to their professional rights and responsibilities.  Ratification of this agreement implies consent to those professional rights and responsibilities and a commitment to submit necessary handbook and/or curriculum changes to the relevant University committees and governance bodies.

 

DEPARTMENT’S MISSION AND GOALS STATEMENT

The Department of Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies offers students new knowledge about society, culture, identity, politics, power and social justice while equipping them with a wide range of analytical and methodological skills. The department houses two academic programs, Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies, that share a commitment to the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of political, social and cultural issues and a commitment to the integration of curricular and extra-curricular activities as necessary to the formation of its students.  Students may study in one or both programs.  Faculty of each program will have the responsibility for that program’s curriculum.  Some faculty members and courses will serve both programs.

The governance structure is intended to foster these goals and to insure our commitment to multiple forms of faculty involvement in the teaching, research, and service related activities of the department; observation of University policy in general; and The University of Scranton’s high standards for faculty excellence in particular. Distinctions made among faculty are intended to clarify the relationship between vote and voice in the various program’s day to day operation and to foster collaborations across disciplinary and administrative units.

I. FACULTY GOVERNANCE

The faculty composition of the Department of Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies is reflective of its unique interdisciplinary mission.  Formally, the faculty is divided into five general categories: A-Core Faculty; B-Associate Faculty; C-Affiliated Faculty; D-Adjuncts; and E-Visiting Professors, and Scholars/Artists in Residence.

A. Core Faculty* [this section will require handbook changes]: all FT faculty holding any of the six academic ranks (handbook 5.0) who hold either primary or joint appointments in the Department (LA/W/S) are core faculty.

1. Responsibilities: Core Faculty are dedicated to the institutional, scholarly, and pedagogical mission of LA/W/S and conduct their teaching, research, and service in accordance with University expectations for faculty with primary and joint appointments.  They are expected to serve on the Department’s Executive Board when called to do so and are standing members of the steering committee in their respective programs.  As department members, core faculty hold all of the rights and responsibilities that department members hold, as stipulated by the faculty handbook.

2. Rights: Core Faculty have voting rights in LA/W/S on all issues related to the general administration of the department, including electing a department chair, making changes or amendments to this agreement, and other faculty departmental responsibilities as outlined in The University of Scranton faculty handbook.  Core faculty have curricular responsibilities only for those programs in which they regularly teach and do related research and service.  Core Faculty are eligible to hold chair and program director positions for the program(s) in which they teach.  More specifically, Core faculty have the right:

  1. To hold appropriate rank in that department, and to be evaluated by colleagues in their respective program(s) as outlined in this agreement and the University’s Faculty Handbook.
  2. To serve as chair of the department and/or program director for the program(s) in which they have professional responsibilities, provided they meet eligibility as determined by the Faculty Handbook.
  3. To elect the Steering Committee of the Program(s) to which they have an appointment, to represent their program(s) on the Departmental Executive Board and to serve on that Board if elected.
  4. To elect members of search committees members to represent their program(s) and to serve on those committees if elected. 
  5. To recommend to the Provost (by means of an advisory vote) tenured associates from their program(s) to serve on committees for the purposes of core faculty reappointments and tenure and/or promotion review.
  6. To participate in strategic planning for the department and for the program(s) in which they hold professional responsibilities, including setting goals and objectives and voting on program policies and procedures.
  7. To serve as an academic advisor to students enrolled in the program(s) in which they teach.
  8. To supervise internships, readers, or honors tutorials for credit in the programs in which they have professional responsibilities (LAS and/or WS).
  9. To priority access to any faculty development initiatives fostered by programs within the department

3. Review: Core Faculty are reviewed for purposes of tenure and promotion by other core faculty members and by associate faculty selected from the program(s) in which the core faculty member engages in teaching, research, and service, who are named by the Provost to serve as “tenured associates” (as defined in Faculty Handbook 3.0 and Appendix VII). 

B. Associate Faculty:  Those faculty holding any of the six academic ranks (handbook 5.0)  and who have full-time responsibilities in another department, may apply for associate faculty status (as outlined in appendix B below) in one or more of the programs (Latin American Studies or Women’s Studies) housed in the department.   

1. Responsibilities: Associate faculty normally teach at least one course (core or cross-listed) every two years in one or more of the programs (LAS or WS) housed in the department and participate in research and extra-curricular activities that forward the intellectual and pedagogical mission of the program(s) to which they are appointed. They also have responsibility in making decisions regarding faculty personnel and curriculum relevant to their programs, and may be elected to serve as recommended by their program and selected by the Provost to serve as Tenured Associates for the purposes of evaluating core faculty who teach in their program(s).  Further, Associate Faculty have the following responsibilities:

  1. Attendance at program meetings and full department meetings. 
  2. Attendance at two or more department-sponsored or co-sponsored events during the academic year (e.g., faculty development meetings, extra- or co-curricular events).
  3. Willingness to serve when elected on Department Executive Board, Program Steering Committee, hiring, or other ad hoc committees. 
  4. Keeping updated course syllabi and reporting to the program director [or director’s delegate(s)] any substantive changes made in courses cross-listed with the relevant program.  This includes keeping syllabi on file with the relevant program director and sharing both pedagogical innovations and updates of course content with program faculty at faculty development sessions or the annual retreat.
  5. Communicating with the relevant program director(s) regarding the scheduling of cross-listed courses for purposes of program planning.
  6. Notifying the relevant program director of potential LAS- and/or WS-related events and activities so that students and faculty can be invited.

2. Rights: Associate faculty are eligible to serve with full voting rights on all governance committees for the programs (LAS and/or WS) to which they have been appointed associate faculty member, as long as their academic rank meets Faculty Handbook guidelines.  More specifically, Associate faculty have the right:

  1. To identify themselves to the University community, and for purposes of publication and other scholarly activity, as members of the University of Scranton program faculty to which they have been appointed (LAS and/or WS) (e.g., Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies faculty member or Assistant Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies faculty member).
  2. To elect the Steering Committee of each Program to which they have an appointment, to represent their program on the Departmental Executive Board, and to serve on that Board if elected.
  3. To elect members of search committees to represent their program(s) and to serve on those committees if elected. 
  4. To recommend to the Provost (by advisory vote) associate faculty from their program(s) to serve on committees for the purposes of reappointments of core faculty, tenure and/or promotion review, and to serve as a tenured associate if appointed by the Provost.  
  5. To participate in strategic planning for the program in which they hold faculty associate status, including setting goals and objectives and voting on program policies and procedures, and to have a voice in larger departmental concerns through program representation on the Department Executive Board and at the any full department meetings.
  6. To serve as an academic advisor to students enrolled in the program(s) in which they teach.
  7. To supervise internships, readers, or honors tutorials for credit in the program(s) to which they hold Associate Faculty status.
  8. To be eligible for any faculty development initiatives fostered by the program(s) with which they are associated. 

3. Review: Associate faculty are appointed for a period of five years, at the end of which time the steering committee of the relevant program will review any core or cross-listed courses taught by associate faculty members, as well as their service to the program and related research to determine whether the faculty member still qualifies as a faculty associate in that program.  Associate faculty will be reviewed by their home departments for purposes of review, tenure, and promotion.  In addition, they may choose to be reviewed by the department chair and/or the relevant program chair as well as core and associate faculty in their program (LAS and/or WS) for purposes of reappointment, tenure, promotion, or faculty development awards.  Associate faculty may voluntarily resign their appointment or request a change in status from associate faulty member to affiliated faculty member at any time.  

Minimal requirements for faculty review and reappointment:

The Chair will distribute a brief reporting form to all LA/W/S faculty every five years.  It is the responsibility of the faculty member to complete and return the form to her or his respective program director for review. Faculty whose reports indicate that they are not in compliance with their program responsibilities will either change their program status from associate to affiliate or suspend their affiliation until such time as they are able to comply. Failure to participate in the reporting process will result in an automatic change in faculty status.

C. Affiliated Faculty:  Full-time faculty holding any of the six academic ranks (see handbook 5.0) with appointments in other departments or programs who teach courses that have been approved for one or more department programs less frequently than a two-year rotation, and/or have training, research expertise, or other relevant life experience or interest in Latin American Studies and/or Women’s Studies are invited to apply for status as “affiliated faculty” in one or both programs, as applicable.  [see appendix C for further details].

1. Responsibilities: Affiliated faculty contribute to the visibility and intellectual vitality of LAS and/or WS at The University of Scranton and occasionally teach a core or cross-listed course or provide some other service or support to the relevant program(s) to which they have been appointed.  Affiliated faculty members are expected to attend full faculty and full program meetings only during the academic years in which they are teaching in the program and/or serving on program or departmental committees.  Unless appointed to a specific department or program committee by the Executive Board, affiliated faculty do not have formal voting rights.

2. Rights:  Affiliated faculty have the right:

  1. To identify themselves to the University community, and for purposes of publication and other scholarly activity, as members of the University of Scranton program faculty to which they have been appointed (LAS and/or WS) (e.g., Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies faculty member or Assistant Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies faculty member).
  2. To serve on department and/or program committees, if appointed by the Department Executive Board. 
  3. To supervise internships, readers, or honors tutorials for credit in the program(s) in which they hold Affiliate faculty status

3.  Review: Courses offered by affiliated faculty are periodically reviewed by the relevant program director and/or program steering committee to insure that any courses they teach for that program continue to warrant cross-listing.  Affiliated faculty status is ongoing as long as the faculty member meets the teaching requirement and attends meetings as outlined above.

Minimal requirements for faculty review and reappointment:

The Chair will distribute a brief reporting form to all LA/W/S faculty every five years.  It is the responsibility of the faculty member to complete and return the form to her or his respective program director for review. Faculty whose reports indicate that they are not in compliance with their program responsibilities will either change their program status from associate to affiliate or suspend their affiliation until such time as they are able to comply. Failure to participate in the reporting process will result in an automatic change in faculty status.

D. Adjunct Faculty:  University administrative staff who teach in one or more programs (LA/W/S); part-time faculty who teach at least one WS and/or LAS core or cross-listed course.  Adjunct faculty members are those part-time teachers whose credentials match the qualification for one of the academic ranks (as stipulated in Handbook 7.0 B). They may be designated as adjunct at the appropriate rank and appointed and reappointed on a semester or annual basis.

1. Responsibilities: Adjunct faculty teach core or cross-listed courses in LAS and/or WS  on an irregular basis, depending on their schedules and on the curricular needs of the program(s).

2. Rights: Adjunct faculty are eligible to serve with full voting rights on all curricular committees if they are nominated by the relevant program’s steering committee and are approved by the Department’s Executive Board.

3. Review: Adjunct faculty members are hired to fill particular course needs and are hired in accordance with all guidelines set out by the Faculty Handbook.  If the adjunct faculty member is to be hired for a position in the program not directed by the Department Chair, the program director or his/her delegate(s) will lead the search for the adjunct.  Courses taught by adjunct faculty members will be reviewed by the relevant program’s steering Committee to assess their coherence with the academic mission of the program.

E. Visiting Faculty and Scholars/Artists in Residence: A visiting appointment is made ordinarily for no more than one year.  The visitor's rank will be either that held at the home institution or, if the person comes from a non-academic position, rank will be assigned by the Provost/VPAA after consultation with the appropriate Dean(s) and with the chairperson and a committee of the department (the relevant program’s steering committee or, if the appointment is in both programs, the Department’s Executive Board). 

1. Responsibilities: Visiting faculty and Scholars/Artists in Residence teach core and/or cross-listed courses and/or perform specific administrative or programmatic duties as defined by the relevant program directors in accordance with the academic needs of the program(s).  They are expected to contribute to the visibility and quality of the programs in which they are teaching and/or engaged in administrative or programmatic functions.

2. Rights: Visiting faculty and Scholars/Artists in Residence are invited to attend all program functions. If teaching, they are members of the Instructional Faculty.  Visiting faculty members and scholars in residence are eligible to serve, with full voting rights, on any curricular and events planning committees, if nominated by the relevant program’s steering committee and approved by the Department’s Executive Board. Visiting faculty members and Scholars/Artists in Residence may attend the relevant full faculty program and/or department meetings

3.  Review: Courses taught by visiting faculty members or scholars in residence will be reviewed by the relevant program steering Committee to assess their coherence with the academic mission of the program.  If necessary, the steering committee will work collegially with visiting faculty to insure that their courses meet program criteria and needs. 

II. DEPARTMENTAL ORGANIZATION

Because of its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary mission, the department is organized to draw on the research and teaching strengths of faculty across the disciplines and to promote greater interdisciplinary scholarship in all fields, especially Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies. 

A.  Department Chair:  The department chair will be elected by the core and associate faculty members of both programs.  Because the department chair will also serve as the program director for a program in which s/he teaches, only those faculty members who have been nominated as their program’s director by that program’s core and associate faculty will stand for election to department chair.   The position of department chair will rotate between the two program director chairs, unless the core and associated faculty of the program eligible for chair candidacy cannot find a program director who is able or willing to serve as chair.  Since Faculty Handbook section 4.1.A states that only those full-time faculty who are tenured are eligible to serve as department chair, normally only tenured associate faculty members are eligible to run for program director positions.  In the unusual circumstance whereby no tenured faculty are able or willing to run, an untenured associate faculty member may run for program director so long as the other program director is tenured and willing to serve as department chair.  The Department Chair has all of the rights and responsibilities as specified by sections 4.0 and 4.4 of the faculty handbook.  Under normal circumstances, the chair will communicate with the Executive Board and the Program Steering Committees in lieu of holding full department meetings, but at least one full department meeting per year will be held.  The chair will be reviewed annually by both Program Steering Committees in addition to the usual annual evaluation survey sent to all department faculty by the Provost’s office. 

B.  Program Directors:  Core and Associate faculty members of each program within the department will elect a program director to a 3 year term.  Directors will be compensated with a stipend and released time, as determined per agreement with the faculty contract and the administration.  The directors are responsible for working closely with one another and with their program faculty to insure the excellence of their programs, to plan and coordinate relevant program events, and to chair their respective program’s steering committee.  Directors may call meetings of their steering committees and/or full faculty members in their program as deemed necessary by programmatic needs; additionally, the director must hold a meeting at the written request of any core or associate faculty member.

C.  Program Steering Committees:   Each program will have a Steering Committee, the number of members to be determined by the core and associate faculty members of that program.  Membership in each program’s steering committee is determined by the individual program and supervised by its program director.   At-large members each serve one year terms; the director serves a three year term.   Terms are renewable. 

This steering committee serves as the day-to-day decision making body in the Program, covering instruction, research, special events, outreach, development, and appointment processes for Associate, Affiliated, Adjunct, and Visiting Faculty.

Steering Committee Responsibilities: 

1. Curriculum: supervises all curricular program offerings, including the undergraduate concentration, minor, or major, as well as any graduate degrees or certificates (as applicable); approves new courses; reviews and approves course substitution and course transfer requests; sets policy for student complaints regarding courses; sponsors pedagogical and workshops for curricular improvement for Program members.

2. Extra and co-curricular activities:  works in collaboration with other relevant University groups, departments, and offices to organize student focused public events and workshops to enhance the intellectual quality of undergraduate and graduate education.

3. Research: works in collaboration with the Director and staff to plan study groups, lecture series, and cross-discipline and cross-campus colloquia. 

4. Review: implements the five-year mandatory review of faculty status described in section I.B.3. Reviews provide the programs and their faculty with important opportunities to reassess a member’s level of active participation as her or his research and teaching interests change over time. Keeping faculty status current also provides our students with the most accurate and up-to-date representation of resources available to them.

In cases where the faculty handbook mandates that the recommended action be carried out by the department chair rather than the program director, the Department Chair is obliged to carry out the will of the program steering committee unless s/he can show that such recommendations conflict with University policy, in which case the Chair will bring the issue in dispute to the Department Executive Board.

D.  Department Executive Board:    The Executive Board of the Department consists of the two program directors and an equal number of faculty representatives elected from each of the respective programs.  Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs may choose to stand for election to the Executive Board as a representative of either program, but may not represent both programs simultaneously. The Department Executive Board is primarily responsible for the adjudication of issues when the department chair fails to carry out the recommendations of the relevant program’s steering committee; the review and approval of any recommendations by the Program Steering Committee that require departmental approval or action; and the coordination of cooperative initiatives between the two programs.   Normally, the Executive Board will meet two times per semester. 

E.  Department Meetings:  In the interest of inter-program communication and cooperation, there will be at least one annual meeting to which all core and associate faculty members will be invited and expected to attend.  Most departmental business will be decided by the Executive Board with input from the Program Steering Committees to insure equal voice and representation from each program.  In the rare event that it is deemed either necessary or desirable by the Executive Board to hold a full department vote on some matter, faculty members may only vote once, even if they are associate and/or core faculty members of more than one program.

III. RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENTS

A. This Operating Agreement will be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote of each of the relevant program faculty present at the meeting in which the vote is to occur.  At least two weeks advance notice of the meeting will be provided.  They will become effective immediately upon ratification by both program faculties and the administration’s creation of the new department.

B. This agreement may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Core Faculty in residence and the Executive Board.  The Executive Board members must represent the will of the program faculty they were elected to represent, and therefore must hold a  referendum by anonymous ballot in which all associated program faculty vote. 

Amendments will become effective immediately upon ratification. Any member of the Steering Committee, the Core Faculty, Associate Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, or Visiting Faculty may propose amendments to these bylaws.

C. Unless countermanded herein, Roberts Rules of Order will constitute the parliamentary procedures.

D. This Agreement will be reviewed at least every five years by each Program Steering Committee, which will in turn make recommendations to the Department Executive Board.

APPENDIX A:  APPLYING FOR JOINT APPOINTMENT

If and when the University of Scranton makes the relevant administrative and handbook changes that would allow for the possibility of full-time faculty members holding joint appointments in more than one department, the handbook procedures will guide such appointments.  For consideration of a joint appointment, faculty members must meet the criteria for associate faculty (see Appendix B) and must be recommended to the Executive Board by the relevant Program Steering Committee(s).  In the case of a tie vote within the Executive Board, the vote of the Program Director of the Program in which the faculty member will have primary responsibility will break the tie. 

APPENDIX B:  APPLYING FOR ASSOCIATE  FACULTY STATUS

Faculty members who have taught a course in either the LAS or WS programs in the last three years (2005-2008) will be automatically granted associate faculty status unless they inform the relevant program director(s) that they choose to be appointed as affiliate faculty member instead. With the exception of those faculty members who have been active in LAS and/or WS in the last three years, faculty with full-time appointments in other departments who wish to become associate faculty members with LAS, WS, or both programs, must send the relevant program director(s) letter(s) of application requesting such status and must submit a course for cross-listing in the program in which they intend to associate as well as a declaration of intent to teach the course at least once every two years (excepting cycles when the faculty member is on sabbatical or other leave of absence).  In the letter, applicants should explain how they possess at least two of the following qualifications (as evidenced on the CV): 

  1. Activity in scholarship (in LAS and/or WS or related areas) through peer-reviewed publishing (including dissertations) and/or presentation of papers at peer-reviewed conferences. 
  2. Activity in critiqued feminist or Latin American performance arts or juried exhibitions.
  3. Membership and participation in discipline-specific and/or interdisciplinary professional organizations or caucuses that focus on feminist, gender, or Latin American issues.
  4. A graduate degree in Women's Studies or Latin American Studies or related areas of study.
  5. Significant graduate coursework in topics pertinent to Women's Studies or Latin American Studies.
  6. Participation in seminars and institutes designed to promote feminist or Latin American scholarship and/or pedagogy (such as the National Endowment for the Humanities or University of Scranton faculty development workshops). 
  7. Contribution to community service, including publication in local and regional periodicals, volunteer work with local or international organizations, and workshop planning and implementation that is relevant to LAS and/or WS.

Applications will be reviewed by the relevant program steering committee and, if approved, faculty members will be named associate faculty of the relevant program

APPENDIX C:  APPLYING FOR AFFILIATED FACULTY STATUS

Faculty members who teach a course that has been approved for cross-listing in one or more of the department’s programs and who do not qualify for, or wish to have, appointments as program associate faculty will be automatically appointed as affiliate faculty.  Other University full-time faculty who wish to affiliate with LAS, WS, or both programs must send the relevant program director(s) a letter of application requesting such status.  In the letter, faculty must explain how their education, training, research, life experience, volunteer work or other background and interest in either LAS, WS, or both merits their appointment as affiliated faculty.  Such applications will be reviewed by the relevant program committee(s), and, upon approval, faculty will be named “affiliated faculty member” of the relevant program(s).