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The Women and Gender Studies Program is committed to continuing its history of serving the University of North Dakota, its faculty and students, and the community through teaching, research, and service across disciplines by
1. Developing and providing opportunities for learning at all levels including coherent undergraduate and graduate curricula;
2. Fostering multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration and research utilizing the skills and work of a wide web of associates; and
3. Sharing and integrating academic work by offering, coordinating, and supporting public programming.
This mission relies on models and advocates a pluralism of interests, perspectives, theories, and approaches that cross traditional academic structures to enable creative synergy on and off campus. The Program emphasizes feminist analysis of all aspects of gender, foregrounding intersections with sex, sexuality, race, class, religion, ethnicity, age, ability, and nationality. The Program provides a collaborative hub that furthers the mission of the University of North Dakota. Women and Gender Studies at the University of North Dakota takes a leadership role within the NDUS system and the state by advancing challenging academic inquiry, critical insight, social justice, global awareness, civic engagement, and self-empowerment.
While the Women and Gender Studies major may be administratively housed within a different program, the determination of its requirements and paths to fulfillment is made by the Women and Gender Studies Director in consultation with WGS Members and/or instructors. The Women and Gender Studies Program is autonomous with regards to its curriculum and governance.
In order to carry out its mission, the Members of the Women and Gender Studies Program hereby enact and agree to abide by these bylaws.
Program Members, hereafter "Members"
1.1. MEMBERS shall be responsible for the welfare of the Program, in cooperation with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and in accordance with the Program's and the College's bylaws as well as the Constitution of the University of North Dakota.
1.2. Member status in the Women and Gender Studies Program is open to faculty and staff of the University community who demonstrate appropriate activity in any or all of these areas:
1.2.1. Teaching courses with significant content relating to women's lives, issues, and perspectives and/or gender systems or structures.
1.2.2. Undertaking research relating to women and/or gender in the above ways (1.2.1).
1.2.3. Engaging in service activities relating to women and/or gender in the above ways.
1.3. The responsibilities of Members include:
1.3.1. Serving on and Chairing Program committees,
1.3.2. Participating in Program activities, including attending official meetings,
1.3.3. Responding to direct communications from the Director,
1.3.4. Drawing upon her/his expertise to develop and conduct Program courses, research, or service.
1.4. Program Members shall have the right to vote in general assembly on such Program matters as accepting reports, altering WGS major/minor curriculum, voting on the choice of a Director, and approving changes proposed to the Program's bylaws. In addition, the Members shall vote on accepting proposed new Members,
1.5. Interested individuals should initiate the following process to obtain Member status:
Submit to the Program Director an appropriate résumé or curriculum vitae and a statement indicating how their relevant teaching, research, and/or service interests or activities are directly related to the mission of the Women and Gender Studies Program (see 1.2.1-3).
The Director, after review for appropriateness, shall pass these materials on to the Member Relations Committee, who will formulate a recommendation to be submitted to the Members.
At the next membership meeting, the chair of the Member Relations Committee will present the applicant's materials and Committee's recommendation to the Members, who will vote, by simple majority, whether or not to grant the requested status.
2.1. The PROGRAM DIRECTOR provides leadership on and off campus on matters pertaining to the Program and to issues involving women and gender studies. She/he has responsibility for the routine conduct of the Program and acts as the Program's representative and advocate to the administration and to the University community.
The Director is tasked with the following responsibilities:
1. Serving as the spokesperson of the Program, representing the Program on University and college committees as appropriate.
2. Hiring, supervising, and evaluating the Program's secretarial/clerical staff, [and] student assistants, and lecturers, as well as selecting and evaluating faculty teaching Women and Gender Studies (WGS) courses in consultation with the Executive Council.
3. Overseeing the Program's budget and ensuring that it operates in a fiscally responsible manner.
4. Scheduling the Program's classes, and ensuring that administrative processes for teaching appointments are followed and that the curriculum is offered in an effective manner.
5. Advising students seeking information about the Program, providing academic advising to students enrolled in the Program, and directing students to appropriate faculty members to supervise their senior study.
6. Seriously considering, and when appropriate, acting on committee recommendations.
7. Preparing an annual report of Program activities, which is shared with members.
2.2. The PROGRAM DIRECTOR shall be a member of the Women and Gender Studies Program Faculty who holds a tenured appointment in a college or division of the University. She/he is expected to be familiar with the Program and to have exemplary credentials in the Program's mission of teaching, research, and service.
2.3. The appointment of the Director begins with the Member Relations Committee. When the position is open and has been announced, interested Members should initiate the following process: submit to the chair of the Member Relations Committee an appropriate Curriculum Vitae and supporting materials, including a statement indicating how their relevant teaching, research, and service interests or activities are directly related to the mission of the Women and Gender Studies Program (see 1.2.1-3).
The Member Relations Committee shall meet to review applications in a timely manner and determine which qualified individuals to invite for an interview with the WGS membership. Upon completion of the interview process, the Executive Council shall nominate one candidate to the Members for discussion and a vote. Should that nominee not receive a simple majority of votes cast by the Members, the Executive Council will reconsider the other qualified candidates.
The recommendation from the Members shall be conveyed by the Executive Council to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who may consult with deans of allied colleges and any other individuals or officials she/he deems appropriate.
2.4. The Director's term of service shall be three years, with reappointment possible following the evaluation procedure described in the Executive Council’s charge (4.1.4). The terms and conditions of the Director's contract are subject to negotiation with the appointing dean(s).
2.5. The Director's performance shall be reviewed annually by the appointing dean(s). At the end of each three-year term, the Director’s performance shall be reviewed by the Executive Council in consultation with the Membership. Their evaluation and recommendation on whether or not to reappoint the Director shall be forwarded to the dean(s) prior to the dean(s) review of the Director.
2.6. The Director shall be an ex-officio voting member of the Executive Council, which works with the Director to plan the year's activities. The Director shall seek the advice and support of the Executive Council on matters requiring its judgment.
3.1. The business of the Women and Gender Studies Program shall be conducted through STANDING COMMITTEES, whose actions shall be reviewed by the Executive Council, with ultimate approval by the Program's Members. Any Member of the Program may attend any committee meeting in a non-voting capacity.
Minutes or similar report on matters discussed as well as proposals and decisions made at each committee meeting shall be compiled by each committee's chair and sent to the Director, after committee approval.
3.2. The Program shall have three standing committees: Curriculum, Member Relations, and Awards Committee. Ad Hoc committees shall be appointed as needed by the Director (for instance, in helping plan the Red River Women’s Studies Conference every three years or other special events on campus) with the approval of the Membership.
3.3. Program Members generally are expected to participate in the governance of the Program as a member of at least one standing or ad hoc committee.
3.3.1. Prior to the last general meeting of the Program Members, a list of committees will be distributed and Members will be asked to rank their preferences. After this information is compiled, it shall be used by the Executive Council to make a slate of committee assignments. The slate of assignments for the following academic year will be discussed and finalized by the Members in attendance at the year's final meeting.
126.96.36.199. Committee members shall attend meetings regularly (see 1.3.2) and offer their service and support to the committee chair. Members who miss two or more meetings without first communicating the necessity to do so may be considered inactive; an inactive Member cannot vote until the other members of the committee vote on her or his reactivation.
3.4. Chairs of the committees shall be elected by the constituents of their committees at the last general meeting of the academic year. They may remain in the position as long as they are supported in this role by the simple majority of their committee members.
3.4.1. Committee chairs are responsible for setting their committee's meeting time, when such meeting is necessary, in conjunction with the schedules of the committee's members.
3.5. Standing Committees, their assignments and responsibilities
3.5.1. The Curriculum committee shall be responsible for matters relating to requirements for majors and minors, the regularity and range of course offerings, new course proposals, Program assessments, Essential Studies assessment and revalidation, and changes to the Program's course offerings and /or requirements.
3.5.2. The Member Relations committee shall be responsible for the manner of choosing new Members, and soliciting and reviewing candidates for the Program's director.
188.8.131.52. The committee shall issue a call for new Members at least once each academic year. It shall be responsible for recommending new participants to the Director and to the full membership.
184.108.40.206. As stated in 2.3, the Member Relations committee is also responsible for soliciting applications for the Director position in relevant years, reviewing those applications in a thorough but timely manner, and recommending finalists to be interviewed with the WGS Membership.
3.5.3. The Awards committee shall be responsible for advertising, soliciting submissions, and reviewing and judging submissions for such contests as the annual Sandra Donaldson Award. The committee should also assist in planning the ceremony at which the awards will be presented, and should attend and when possible aid in the presentation of these awards.
4.1. The Executive Council shall undertake the conduct of the Program through its Standing Committees and will be composed of the chairs of those committees and the Program's Director.
4.1.1. The Executive Council shall meet on an as-needed basis during the academic year.
4.1.2. The Executive Council is responsible for general governance issues or questions that may arise within the WGS Program; for coordinating the work of its respective committees, and for any other matters deemed necessary.
4.1.3. A different member of the Executive Council at each meeting shall be responsible for taking minutes.
4.1.4. In the semester preceding the expiration of the Director's term, the Executive Council shall compile an evaluation report to submit to the Program's Members as well as to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In the event that the Director chooses to apply for renewal of her or his position as Director for a second term, the evaluation shall include a recommendation by the Council regarding continuation. That evaluation shall be compiled by requesting from the Director a self-narrative about her or his tenure as chair and any supporting materials. These materials shall be made available to the full membership of the Program, who will have opportunity to comment and vote. The final decision on reappointment lies with the membership and a vote of simple majority of the Members. If the membership votes for reappointment, the Council shall forward that recommendation of the membership, with its own written recommendation, to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences ahead of the Director’s annual evaluation by that dean, for the dean's approval. The written recommendation from the Executive Council shall accompany the dean's letter of approval to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the membership votes for non-reappointment, the current Director shall be notified of that decision, a call for a new Director shall be sent out, and that new Director will be selected according to the procedures listed in Section 2.2-2.3.
All meetings of the Program shall be open to Members.
5.1. General Business Meetings
A meeting of the General Membership of the Program shall be held during the month prior to final exam week each semester of the regular academic year. An additional general business meeting may be called if 5 (five) Members present a petition calling for such a meeting to the Chair of the Executive Council.
5.1.1. If any issues are up for a vote at the general business meeting, a quorum of 50% of the voting Members will be necessary for a vote to be valid. In the event that a quorum cannot be achieved, electronic voting on the issue may be employed.
5.2. The agenda for the general business meeting shall be distributed to the full membership at least one week prior to that meeting. Any Member may submit to the chair of the Executive Council an item to be included on the agenda.
5.2.1. At general business meetings, the Director and Executive Council shall report to the Program membership on the state of the Program. This report shall include:
A report from each of the standing and ad hoc committees to the membership;
A report on the financial and administrative status of the Program;
Any applications for Member status;
Any proposed changes to the bylaws.
5.2.2. Minutes for the business meeting shall be circulated to Members no later than two weeks after the meeting.
Bylaws Amendment Procedures
Any section of these bylaws may be amended via the following procedures:
6.1. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Executive Council at least one week prior to the meeting at which changes are to be discussed.
6.1.1. The Executive Council shall discuss the proposed bylaw changes and produce a recommendation for the membership of the Program. That recommendation, and a statement explaining the proposed changes and rationale behind the recommendation, shall be distributed to the membership no later than two weeks after the meeting at which they were discussed.
6.2. At the next general meeting, members shall have the opportunity to respond to the Executive Council recommendation.
6.2.1. A summary of the membership comments and discussion shall be included in the minutes of that meeting.
6.3. An electronic vote of the membership shall be taken after distribution of those minutes. The electronic voting shall be open for one week.
6.3.1. Amendments to the bylaws shall be approved if they receive an affirmative vote from two-thirds of the members casting electronic votes.
6.4. The results of the vote shall be reported at the next general meeting.
6.5. If the proposed bylaw amendments are approved, they shall take effect on the first day of the semester following their approval.
Women and Gender Studies “Allies” are individuals—whether students, faculty, or staff—at the University of North Dakota who support and foster the mission and vision of the Women and Gender Studies Program.
7.1 Any individual interested in becoming a WGS Ally must indicate such interest to the Chair of the Member Relations Committee or the Director of Women and Gender Studies. All interested individuals who seek to become a Women and Gender Studies Ally will be conferred this association.
7.2 Allies can expect to be added to a WGS email list or list serve, wherein they will receive updates about the Program, CFPs, newsletters, and other announcements.
7.3 Allies are considered an informal support extension of the WGS Program, and as such, they do not have voting rights concerning the Program or any of its activities, nor are they expected to contribute to WGS committee work.
7.4 Allies are invited to support the WGS Program in a number of other ways, including involvement and participation in the Red River Women’s Studies Conference, and helpfully relaying information about the Program and WGS curriculum to students and colleagues. Allies are also encouraged to continue making their own research, pedagogy, and service more inclusive and considerate of diverse and marginal perspectives, whether locally, nationally, or globally.