By Laws

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.

B. Administration.

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

regulations and procedures and the Procedures for the Selection and Appointment of Chairpersons/Directors in

the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Major Duties include:

1. Provides oversight and leadership for all unit activities, including

outreach.

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

funding.

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

students.

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

Center Director.

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

replacement.

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

Director.

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

academic year.

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

internationally prominent.

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.

V. Changes

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.

VII. Hiring

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

American Studies.

_________________________________________________________________

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,

Section 4.

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 6.4.3.1).

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

requests it.

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 6.8.4.2, 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

party's presentation.

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

case.

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.


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