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Bylaws

(Ratified by HI Executive Committee on February 29, 2012)

I. Mission

1. The Humanities Institute (HI) supports the research and teaching of University at Buffalo (UB) faculty members and graduate students across the humanities, broadly defined. HI facilitates conversations and intellectual exchange across disciplinary boundaries; promotes the humanities in Buffalo and Western New York through original programming and co-sponsorship of community events; and offers Faculty Research Fellowships to promote cutting-edge humanities scholarship.

II. Leadership

1. Director

A. The Director is appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) for a renewable term, ordinarily three years per term. The Director will ordinarily hold the rank of full professor.

B. The Director reports to and is accountable to the Dean of CAS and a designated Associate Dean.

C. The Director executes HI’s policies and administers its affairs, in regular consultation with the Executive Committee and Advisory Board. The Director is ordinarily responsible for: preparing the annual report required by the Dean’s Office; supervising the staff; completing staff assessments required by the University; and representing HI at national meetings of groups that promote the humanities, such as the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). The Director is also responsible for making budgetary decisions, in consultation with the Executive Director.

D. The Director is responsible for calling and chairing all meetings of the Executive Committee and Advisory Board.

E. The Director works closely with the Executive Director to administer HI’s activities. In the event of a significant disagreement between the two, a designated representative from the CAS Dean’s Office will mediate.

2. Executive Director

A. The Executive Director is appointed by the Dean of CAS for a renewable term, ordinarily three years per term. The Executive Director must hold the rank of at least tenured associate professor.

B. The Executive Director reports to and is accountable to the Director and a designated Associate Dean of CAS.

C. The Executive Director is ordinarily responsible for: promoting HI’s activities throughout the University and community; preparing grant applications; preparing the annual newsletter; and representing HI at national meetings of groups that promote the humanities, such as CHCI.

III. Staffing

1. The HI office is staffed by a Program Administrator. The Program Administrator is, at minimum, responsible for: general administrative assistance to the Director and Executive Director; scheduling, publicizing, and coordinating HI events; maintaining the website; sending weekly emails to listservs; preparing budget spreadsheets; and responding to email and phone calls.

IV. Executive Committee

1. The Executive Committee consists of the Director, Executive Director, and six to ten UB faculty members from across the humanities, who are appointed by the Director. Executive Committee members serve staggered, renewable three-year terms.

2. The Executive Committee meets at least once per semester. A simple majority of Executive Committee members must be present to constitute a quorum.

3. The Executive Committee advises the Director and Executive Director. It is responsible for vetting applications for funding opportunities, such as Research Workshops, but not including Faculty Fellowships.

4. Members of the Executive Committee may not apply for Faculty Fellowships.

V. Advisory Board

1. The Advisory Board consists of individuals not affiliated with UB, both Western New Yorkers and scholars from around the country, who are strong advocates of the humanities. Members of the Advisory Board are appointed by the Director, in consultation with the Dean of CAS, for staggered, renewable five-year terms. The Advisory Board meets at least once per year.

2. The Advisory Board is responsible for: advising the Director and Executive Director on fundraising and programming; and helping to build partnerships with community cultural organizations.

3. The Director, in consultation with the Dean, appoints one member to serve as Chair of the Advisory Board. The Chair is responsible for spearheading efforts to raise funds and offer ideas for programming.

VI. Faculty Fellowships

1. One of HI’s top priorities is to fund Faculty Research Fellowships, which consist of release from two courses.

2. Applications for Faculty Fellowships are vetted by an ad hoc committee consisting of the Director, Executive Director, and two or three tenured faculty members from across the humanities at UB, who are selected by the Director. The ad hoc Faculty Fellowships Committee strives to make awards across the broad spectrum of humanities disciplines. The criteria for selecting Fellows must be posted on the HI website.

3. Each Faculty Fellow is, during the academic year of his or her Fellowship, responsible for: a public presentation on his or her research; and participation in HI events.

VII. Amendments

1. Amendments to these bylaws may be suggested by any member of the Executive Committee.

2. The Director must circulate proposed amendments to the Executive Committee via email at least one week before a meeting.

3. Amendments must be approved by a two-thirds majority of Executive Committee members present at a meeting. Votes are cast in person; proxy votes on amendments are not allowed. Amendments go into effect immediately upon their approval.

VIII. Compatibility

1. These bylaws are compatible with and subordinate to the College of Arts and Sciences bylaws, the University at Buffalo’s Bylaws of the Voting Faculty, and the authority and policies of the Trustees of the State University of New York.

IX. Public Notice

1. These bylaws and all amendments must be posted on the HI website.

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