I. Mission and Objectives
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS), established in 1959, coordinates an array
of programs and serves as an intellectual hub of Latin Americanist scholarship and related
activities that focus on Latin American cultures, societies, states, natural resources, and
environments for students and professors at the University of Kansas (KU), as well as for the
broader local, regional, and national community. The Center brings together the University’s
topical, regional and methodological breadth on Latin America, and it coordinates
interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs. The academic programs are established
within the Latin American Studies Program under the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The Center Director is also the Program Director. . The Center supports and advises the
academic programs, but Center programs also target K-14 schools in the Midwest, as well as
community, media, and business audiences beyond the University. Building upon longstanding
institutional strength in Latin American studies at KU, global issues and multiculturalism are
central to our curriculum and mission.
The LACS : a) provides a single point of contact and organization for faculty and students
with scholarly interests in Latin America; b) connects a strong group of affiliated faculty and
students; c) offers both a major and a minor at the undergraduate level, and an M.A., as well as a
joint M.A./M.B.A. degree, with graduate certificates in Mexican & Central American Studies
and Brazilian Studies; d) offers and supports classes in the Less Commonly Taught Languages
like Kaqchikel Maya, Quichua, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese; e) supports and advises the
academic programs in Latin American Studies; f) promotes interdisciplinary studies, seminars,
research and other activities related to Latin America; g) acts as a liaison with Study Abroad and
other International Programs at KU; h) serves in an advisory capacity for the University at large
related to issues and relationships involving Latin America; i) offers public service in the form of
outreach events within KU, to K-12 schools, regional colleges, business, and the community; and
j) contributes to KU through institutional grants that provide resources to faculty, graduate
students, the library system, and the KU community.
II. Center Structure and Governance
A. LAS Faculty Membership, Decision-making and Voting Rights.
For membership in the Center of Latin American Studies, tenured and tenure-track faculty
members must hold an appointment at the University of Kansas. Core and Affiliate Faculty
Members (who do not hold budgeted Full-time Equivalency (FTE) in LAS) can be appointed by
the Director of LAS at any time, or a faculty member may submit their own solicitation to be
included in either of these categories. The list of Core and Affiliated faculty shall be revised at
least once a year by the Executive Committee (EC).
1. Core Faculty: 1) have area training; 2) know one or more area languages; 3) teach one or
more courses with area content; and 4) do research on Latin America.
A core member has the right to serve on one or more of the LAS Standing Committees as
outlined in these bylaws. Core Faculty can vote in standing committee meetings or on LAS
initiatives. Decisions related to the Center’s mission, strategy, by-laws, as well as changes in
degree and certificate program requirements need to be ratified by the Core Faculty.
2. Affiliated Faculty: 1) have area training or experience; 2) teach courses with substantial Latin
American content; and/or 3) do research in, on, or related to Latin America. Affiliated faculty
members have the right to serve on one of more of the LAS Standing Committees and have
voting rights when they serve on these Committees.
1. Director: Oversight of the Center of Latin American Studies is the responsibility of the
Director, who also serves as the Chairperson of the EC. Appointed by the Dean of the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Director reports to the Associate Dean of
International Studies in the College and is the official representative of LAS to all other
units and administrators of the University. In all matters on which the Director needs to
act on behalf of LAS, it is desirable that he/she should ascertain by consultation the will
of LAS faculty, and act accordingly. Consultation may take many forms. This statement
is in no way to be construed as inhibiting the right of the Director to speak as an
individual faculty member when appropriate.
The term of office of the Director is determined by the Dean of the College, but is usually
for a period of from 3-5 years, renewable once. The Director is appointed by the Dean,
after an appropriate search by a search committee, and based on the recommendations of
a vote of the core faculty of LAS. Searches are governed by the University and College
Major Duties include:
1. Provides oversight and leadership for all unit activities, including
2. Reviews and modifies, in consultation with the unit’s Advisory Committee
and affiliated faculty, the long-range planning for the unit as it concerns the
unit’s curriculum, faculty support, outreach, and fund raising.
3. Oversees all internal budgetary, administrative, and personnel matters and reports
to necessary administrative units (CLAS, International Programs, KUCR, etc.).
4. Seeks enhancement of all unit resources by actively seeking external funding.
Prepares US/ED Title VI National Resource Center proposals every four years
(current cycle), and seeks to identify and secure additional unit and student
5. Administers the undergraduate and graduate academic programs of the unit.
6. Supervises and reviews the unit’s faculty and professional, academic, and
University support staff.
7. Administers and serves as PI for the US/ED Title VI National Resource
Center Grant when KU is so designated and oversees the administration of
other grants, fellowships, and prizes.
8. Develops and enhances research and educational relationships between the unit
and other units within the University, as well as with agencies outside the
University, international, governmental, public, or private.
9. Executes University policy in the unit effectively, holding regular
meetings of the core faculty and communicating useful
information to faculty, staff, and students.
10. Represents the unit to CLAS and other University entities.
2. Associate Director and Graduate Director of the Center of Latin American Studies: The
combined Associate Director and Graduate Director is selected by the Director, in
consultation with the EC and appointed by the Dean of the College in accordance with
University procedures. The Associate Director serves in place of the Director in Center
committees in the absence of the Chair or as a representative of the Chair when so asked.
Major duties include: 1) overseeing, reviewing, and revising the LAS Graduate Program,
including serving as Chair of the Graduate Committee; 2) recruiting, advising, and
mentoring of graduate students; 3) assisting the Director with conferences, grant
development, seminars, outreach, report writing and other Center activities; 4) evaluating
students for relevant scholarships; and, 5) processing of graduation checks for graduate
3. Undergraduate Director: The Undergraduate Director is selected by the Center Director,
in consultation with the EC, in accordance with University procedures.
Major duties include 1) overseeing, reviewing, and revising the LAS Undergraduate
Program, including serving as Chair of the Undergraduate Committee; 2) recruiting,
advising, and mentoring of undergraduate students; 3) coordination of the Honors
Program and undergraduate student internships; 4) evaluation of undergraduate students
for relevant scholarships; and, 5) processing graduation checks for undergraduate students.
4. Visiting Scholars: The LAS regularly serves as host to visiting Latin American and
Iberian scholars from the U.S. and abroad. These scholars provide an opportunity for
professors, practitioners, graduate and undergraduate students to exchange in meaningful
and beneficial ways, creating long relationships.
A prospective Visiting Scholar, normally sponsored by a LAS core or affiliate faculty
member, can apply to the LAS by sending a cover letter indicating his or her interests and
a curriculum vita. The decision to appoint a person as a visiting scholar is made by the
LAS Director in consultation with the EC.
C. Committee Duties and Assignments.
The Center’s policy and curricular decisions are made by LAS committees. There are
three standing committees: an Executive Committee (EC), a Graduate Committee, and an
Undergraduate Committee, plus additional Ad Hoc Committees, as detailed below. These
committees meet depending on the workload and the directives of the Committee Chair and
Members of these committees may be core or affiliate faculty and they should be broadly
representative of Latin Americanist scholars and scholarship at the University of Kansas, as well
as representative of the Center’s curricula. Committees should include a faculty member from a
professional school, when appropriate. Members of the Executive Committee are elected from
the core or affiliated faculty; faculty receiving the most votes for each position are elected for a
three-year term; these terms should ideally have rotating expiration dates. No faculty member
shall be eligible for more than two consecutive three- year terms on a standing committee, and
must be absent from such assignments for at least two years before becoming eligible again.
Votes in committees are carried by simple majorities. The Director, Associate Director, and
Undergraduate Director may be ex-officio members of some standing committees. When
appropriate, students will be appointed to committees, but will not participate in personnel or
hiring matters or on committees that evaluate other students. Article XIX of the University
Senate Code indicates that each department and program shall make provisions for the inclusion
of a number of students as voting members on all policy-making committees and at all full
program meetings. The number of students on each such committee shall be no less than 20
percent of the number of faculty members who hold the rank of instructor or above and who
serve on the committee. A quorum for all committee meetings shall be considered no fewer than
20% plus one of the members appointed or elected to the committee. Faculty who depart
committee assignments prior to the expiration of their term may be replaced in the next annual
election; for the remainder of an existing term, the members of the EC may select a temporary
1. Executive Committee (EC): The Executive Committee plays the largest role in LAS oversight.
Major duties include: a) advising and assisting the Director and Associate Director with
the development, interpretation and implementation of policies; b) grant development; c)
recommending curricular changes to the core faculty; d) faculty appointments and nominations
for on-campus scholarly awards; e) hearing faculty and student petitions and grievances; f)
annual review of the Center and degree requirements; g) evaluating the process for
recommendation of faculty tenure and promotion if appropriate, and h) appoint standing and ad
hoc committees. The EC may also urge that important policy issues be referred to the full LAS
core faculty. Members of the EC includes 8 core faculty from across the University, including
scholars from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, professional
schools, the Libraries, and the LAS Director, Associate Director, and Undergraduate Director
(ex-officio). Ideally, there will be two members each from the humanities and the social
sciences, one each from the natural sciences and mathematics and the professional schools, and
the Latin American bibliographer from the KU Library. Depending upon the disciplinary homes
of the Director and Associate Director, they may be seen as also representing one of these areas.
The Director serves as Chair of the EC and does not vote, except to break a tie. Faculty members
on the EC are elected by a mail or electronic ballot sent to all core faculty. Nominations for
membership to the EC may be submitted by any core faculty member to the Director, who shall
submit a list of all eligible nominees to the core faculty for election. While the EC is the main
policy making body of the program, student participation on the EC is restricted to policymaking
decisions and should never involve participation on hiring or promotion and tenure
related committees or personnel committees. Graduate student members of the EC will be
appointed by the Executive Committee and should be recommended by the graduate students.
Elections will be held every year generally at the end of spring semester. Minutes will be taken
and, after approval by the EC, distributed to all core faculty members. If a member of the EC is
unable to attend a significant number of meetings during their term, the EC may vote that the
member step down so that their position may be reassigned.
2. Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee provides oversight for matters concerning
the M.A. Program in Latin American Studies.
Major duties include: a) evaluating graduate student applications; b) nominating
applicants for on-campus scholarships, fellowships, and GTA positions; c) preparing recruitment
materials; revising program information; and updating graduate booklets, website, and related
materials; d) advising the Director and Graduate Director on curriculum planning, review, and
revision of the graduate program, e) coordinating course offerings with other units on campus f)
appointing a subcommittee for hearing and evaluating graduate student petitions and grievances;
and, g) coordinating graduate assessment.
Members of the Graduate Committee include the Associate Director/Graduate Adviser,
plus four Core or Affiliated Latin Americanist faculty from across the University, plus graduate
student representation. Members are appointed by the Director, in consultation with the EC.
Membership terms and eligibility are governed by the rules outlined above. The chair of the
Graduate Committee is the Associate Director/Graduate Adviser.
3. Undergraduate Committee. The Undergraduate Committee provides oversight for matters
concerning the B.A. and B.G.S. Programs in Latin American Studies.
Major duties include: a) revising program information and updating undergraduate
booklets, website, and related materials; b) nominating undergraduate students for on-campus
scholarships and fellowships; c) advising the Director and Undergraduate Director on curriculum
planning, review, and revision of the undergraduate program, helping coordinate with other
departments and disciplines across campus; d) appointing a subcommittee for hearing and
evaluating undergraduate student petitions and grievances; e) coordinating graduate assessment
and senior exit surveys.
Members of the Undergraduate Committee include the Undergraduate Director, plus four
Core or Affiliated Latin Americanist faculty from across the University, plus undergraduate
student representation, in accordance with the University Senate Code. Members are appointed
by the Director, in consultation with the EC. Membership terms and eligibility are governed by
the rules outlined above. The chair of the Undergraduate Committee is the Undergraduate
4. Ad Hoc Committees: Ad Hoc Committees will be formed when deemed necessary by the
Director and the EC. The duties of ad hoc committees shall not overlap with the duties of the
standing committees. Ad hoc committees address special initiatives, such as the Language
Committee, NRC Grant-Writing Committee, Multi-Media Committee, the Publications
Committee, Tinker Field Research Grant Committee, and grievance committees.
Members of ad hoc committees shall be determined by the Director, in consultation with
the EC, or by the EC and are appointed for a determined period of time, normally less than one
III. Advisory Board
The Center of Latin American Studies will have an Advisory Board, convened by the
Director in accordance with KU guidelines concerning the constitution and maintenance of such
Boards, and in accordance with the by-laws developed specifically for the LAS Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board comprises alumni who have achieved distinction in international affairs,
either in government service, the private sector, or non-profit endeavors, along with other
prominent members of the academic, business, and civic community whose accomplishments are
similarly distinguished and who have demonstrated an interest in the mission of the Center. The
members meet twice a year (including possible conference call meetings) and work closely with
the EC on communications and fundraising for LAS programs. The Board will also serve as a
strategic “think tank” to advise the Center’s goals of becoming more regionally, nationally, and
IV. General Meeting
A general business meeting of the LAS Core and Affiliated faculty will be held at least
once each academic year. The meeting will include: a report from the Center Director, Graduate
and Undergraduate Directors concerning Center/program activities; a time for questions from the
faculty; and a time for discussion and recommendations from the faculty in attendance
concerning future directions or current operations of the Center.
The Bylaws may be changed by a simple majority vote of approval by a quorum of the
faculty making up the Core membership. Members may be present to vote or use a mail or
electronic ballot (for, against, or abstention) as determined by the Director. A quorum for
purposes of such a vote shall be defined as active participation in voting by no fewer than 20%
plus one of the eligible voting members of the Core faculty.
VI. Budgetary Matters
Budgetary matters are primarily the responsibility of the Director, who is accountable to
the EC and the Associate Dean for Global and International Studies in the College of Liberal
Arts & Sciences.
The hiring of Unclassified Professional Staff and University Support Staff is the
responsibility of the Director in consultation with the appropriate search committee. Faculty
hiring follows University and Human Resources and Equal Opportunity guidelines. When
permission to hire a new faculty member is received from the College Office, a search committee
is appointed by the Departmental Chair in consultation with the EC and faculty.
VIII. Faculty Evaluation Procedures
All tenured and tenure-track faculty are evaluated once a year. The Faculty Evaluation
Plan for the Center for Latin American Studies is attached as Appendix B.
IX. Grievance Procedures
Pursuant to Article XIV of the University Senate Code and Articles V and VI of the
University Senate Rules and Regulations of the University of Kansas, the Department has
established procedures to deal with grievances arising within the Department. These procedures
are attached as Appendix A.
Approved: _________________________ Date: ____________________
These Bylaws have been approved by a majority vote of the Core Faculty of the Center of Latin
Appendix A Grievances Procedures
Center of Latin American Studies
Pursuant to Article XIV of the University Senate Code and Articles V and VI of the University
Senate Rules and Regulations of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, the Center of Latin
American Studies establishes the following procedure to hear grievances arising within the
Center. Since the Center has a grievance procedure, grievances arising within the center must be
heard under these grievance procedures unless exceptional circumstances, as determined by the
College, make it more appropriate for those grievances to be heard at the College level. Appeal
of a grievance heard at a center level is to the Judicial Board, not to the College. This procedure
shall not be used to hear disputes assigned to other hearing bodies under USRR Article VI,
For disputes involving alleged academic misconduct, see the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences policy on academic misconduct. For alleged violations of student rights, the initial
hearing normally will be at the unit level. There is an option to hold an initial hearing at the
Judicial Board level if both parties agree, or either party petitions the Judicial Board chair to
have the hearing at the Judicial Board level and the petition is granted. The petition must state
why a fair hearing cannot be obtained at the unit level; the opposing party has an opportunity to
respond to the petition (USRR 22.214.171.124).
Except as provided in USRR 6.5.4, no person shall be disciplined for using the grievance
procedure or assisting another in using the grievance procedure.
The Center of Latin American Studies shall provide a copy of this procedure to anyone who
1. To start the grievance process, the complainant must submit a written grievance to the
Center. The complaint shall contain a statement of the facts underlying the complaint and
specify the provision(s) of the Faculty Code of Conduct, University Senate Code, the
University Senate Rules and Regulations, the Code of Student Rights and
Responsibilities, or other applicable rule, policy, regulation, or law allegedly violated.
The complaint shall also indicate the witnesses or other evidence relied on by the
complaining party, and copies of any documents relevant to the complaint shall be
attached to the complaint.
2. At the time the complaint is submitted to the Center, the complaining party shall provide
a copy of the complaint, with accompanying documents, to the respondent(s).
3. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Center of Latin American studies shall contact the
respondent to verify that the respondent has received a copy of the complaint and to
provide the respondent with a copy of these procedures.
4. Pursuant to University Senate Code 14.2.d, a respondent has the privilege of remaining
silent and refusing to give evidence in response to a complaint. The respondent also has
the right to respond and give evidence in response to the complaint.
5. The respondent shall submit a written response to the Center within 14 calendar days of
receiving the complaint. The response shall contain the respondent's statement of the
facts underlying the dispute as well as any other defenses to the allegations in the
complaint. The response shall also identify the witnesses or other evidence relied on by
the respondent and shall include copies of any documents relevant to the response. The
respondent shall provide a complete copy of the response to the complaining party.
6. Upon receipt of the response, the Center shall contact the complaining party to verify that
a copy of the response has been provided.
7. Upon receiving the complaint and response, or if the respondent fails to respond within
the 14-day time period, the Director shall appoint a faculty committee selected from the
current members of the Center to consider the complaint. The committee members shall
be disinterested parties who have not had previous involvement in the specific situation
forming the basis of the complaint.
8. Pursuant to USRR 126.96.36.199, the chair of the committee may contact other hearing bodies
within the University to determine whether a grievance or complaint involving the
underlying occurrence or events is currently pending before or has been decided by any
other hearing body.
9. Time limits. To use this procedure, the complainant must file the written complaint with
the Center within six months from the action or event that forms the basis of the
complaint. The six-month time period shall be calculated using calendar days (including
weekends and days during which classes are not in session).
10. Upon receiving the complaint, if the chair of the committee determines that any of the
following grounds exist, he or she may recommend to the Director that the complaint be
dismissed without further proceedings. The grounds for such dismissal are: (a) the
grievance or another grievance involving substantially the same underlying occurrence or
events has already been, or is being, adjudicated by proper University procedures; (b) the
grievance has not been filed in a timely fashion; (c) the Director lacks jurisdiction over
the subject matter or any of the parties; (d) the grievance fails to allege a violation of a
University rule; (e) the party filing the grievance lacks standing because he or she has not
suffered a distinct injury as a result of the challenged conduct and has not been
empowered to bring the complaint on behalf of the University; or (f) the party filing the
grievance has been denied the right to file grievances pursuant to USRR 6.5.4.
11. If the chair of the committee determines that a grievance on its face properly should be
heard by another body, the chair will recommend that the Director send the grievance to
the appropriate hearing body without further proceedings in the Center. The Director will
send a copy of the referral to the complainant(s) and any responding parties.
12. Prior to scheduling a hearing, the parties shall participate in mediation of the dispute
unless either party waives mediation. Mediation shall be governed by USRR 6.2.3.
13. If mediation is successful, the mediator will forward to the Director, the committee chair,
and all parties a letter describing the outcome of the mediation and the terms upon which
the parties have agreed to resolve the dispute. This letter shall be a recommendation to
the Director. The Director will notify the mediator, the committee chair, and the parties
that the recommendation has been accepted, modified, or rejected.
14. If mediation is not successful, the mediator will notify the Director, the committee chair,
and the parties that mediation has terminated. If mediation is not successful, or if it is
waived by either party, the grievance committee will schedule a hearing no later than 30
calendar days from the written submission of the complaint. The 30-day period may be
extended for good cause as determined by the chair of the committee. The 30-day period
shall be suspended during the mediation process. The hearing will be closed unless all
parties agree that it shall be public.
15. Each party may represent himself or herself or be represented by an advisor or counsel of
his or her choice.
16. Each party has the right to introduce all relevant testimony and documents if the
documents have been provided with the complaint or response.
17. Each party shall be entitled to question the other party's witnesses. The committee may
question all witnesses.
18. Witnesses other than parties shall leave the hearing room when they are not testifying.
19. The chair of the committee shall have the right to place reasonable time limits on each
20. The chair of the committee shall have the authority and responsibility to keep order, rule
on questions of evidence and relevance, and shall possess other reasonable powers
necessary for a fair and orderly hearing.
21. The hearing shall not be governed by the rules of evidence, but the chair of the committee
may exclude information he or she deems irrelevant, unnecessary, or duplicative.
Statements or admissions made as part of the mediation process are not admissible.
22. The committee will make an audiotape of the hearing but not of the deliberations of the
committee. The audiotape will be available to the parties, their authorized representatives,
the committee and the Director. If a party desires a copy of the audiotape or a transcript
of the tape, that party will pay for the cost of such copy or transcript. In the event of an
appeal, the audiotape will be provided to the appellate body as part of the record of the
23. After the presentation of evidence and arguments, the committee will excuse the parties
and deliberate. The committee's decision will be a written recommendation to the
Director. The committee shall base its recommendations solely upon the information
presented at the hearing.
24. The committee will send its written recommendation to the Director and the parties as
soon as possible and no later than 14 calendar days after the end of the hearing.
25. Within 14 calendar days of receiving the committee recommendation, the Director will
notify the parties of the acceptance, modification, or rejection of the recommendation.
The Director will advise the parties of the procedure available to appeal the decision.
These procedures have been reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel and are effective
June 8, 2000.