Originally Adopted 3/12/07, Revised 3/11/09, 5/28/10, 5/26/11, 5/22/15, 4/13/16

ARTICLE I - GOVERNANCE

TITLE 1 - PROGRAM ORGANIZATION

SECTION 1 - PROGRAM STRUCTURE

Subsection (1) - The Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE)

  1. The Center for Culture, History, and Environment consists of the Director, Steering Committee, Faculty Member Associates, Graduate Student Associates, and Community Associates.

Subsection (2) - The Center Director

  1. The Director must be a faculty member associate of CHE and have tenure in a department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Director serves for a term of one year running from July 1 - June 30, with the expectation that s/he will normally serve for three consecutive one-year terms. A director may serve for up to six consecutive one-year terms contingent upon a favorable evaluation after the first three-year term conducted by the CHE Steering Committee and the Director of the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. To serve for any additional consecutive terms requires election by a two-thirds majority vote of the Center membership. Candidates for Director will be chosen by the CHE Steering Committee in consultation with the Director of the Nelson Institute. The Director is elected by a majority vote of the Center faculty associates and appointed by Director of the Nelson Institute. The Director is the highest ranking representative of the Center, and exercises all powers traditionally vested in such positions by the Nelson Institute and the Campus.
  2. The Director may not act on any matter that would ordinarily require the consent of the Steering Committee without making every reasonable effort to contact all voting members to obtain the approval of a majority of those members.
  3. Typically, once every year, in the spring semester, the incumbent Director shall report to the Steering Committee and the Nelson Institute Director about the Center's finances. This report shall include information about every Center account, but no accounts held by individuals.

Subsection (3) - The Steering Committee

  1. The Steering Committee consists of five faculty member associates, a majority of whom must be tenured. It should ideally include one or two non-tenured faculty member associates. All Steering Committee members must be drawn from the Center faculty associates membership. Four graduate students elected annually from the graduate student associate membership will serve as non-voting members of the Steering Committee. Although Steering Committee members are elected annually, the ordinary expectation is that they will serve for three consecutive one-year terms, which run from July 1 - June 30. To fill vacancies at the end of members' terms, the Director shall conduct an election according to procedures outlined under the sub-section on Election Procedures. Should vacancies occur during a member's term, the Director shall appoint a Center faculty member associate to serve for the remainder of that academic year.
  1. The Director is a voting member of the Steering Committee. The Director chairs Steering Committee meetings, and shall convene the Committee at least once a month in September, October, November, February, March, and April, business warranting.
  2. The Associate Director serves as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Steering Committee.
  3. The Steering Committee is the executive body of the Center. It evaluates matters pertaining to the graduate certificate, including new course proposals and course changes. It reviews appeals from associates for variances from Center rules and makes appropriate recommendations to the Center in executive session. The Steering Committee may nominate Center associates for competitive awards both inside and outside the University, and it shall determine which associates of the Center shall receive awards dispensed within the Center by whatever means a majority of the Committee consider appropriate. In consultation with the Director, it reviews Center finances. The Steering Committee also seeks counsel from Center associates, as needed, on decisions that affect major issues of Center policy and governance.
  4. As necessary, the Director may, with the approval of the Steering Committee, create both ad hoc and standing committees to carry out Center business.
  5. The Steering Committee shall establish a set of rules and expectations for associates serving on the Steering Committee.
  6. In the event that the Director becomes incapacitated or is for any reason unable to exercise his/her administrative responsibilities, the Steering Committee shall choose another faculty member associate to act as Interim Director for the remainder of the current academic year.

Subsection (4) - Center Faculty Member Associates

  1. Faculty member associate membership is open to all faculty members who either teach a course with content that significantly addresses themes of culture, history and environment; conduct research in the thematic areas of the Center; or otherwise demonstrate an intellectual/pedagogical commitment to the aims and concerns of the Center.
  2. Applicants seeking faculty associate membership in the Center shall be nominated to the Steering Committee either by themselves or someone else; applications must include the individual's curriculum vitae and a statement describing the nature of their interest in CHE. Faculty member associates may be elected either by a unanimous vote of the Steering Committee or by a simple majority vote of those attending a Members Meeting or participating in electronic balloting.
  3. Center faculty member associates shall be active in Center affairs and, as needed, agree to be willing to serve on standing committees of the Center. Associates are expected to attend members meetings, and to participate in electronic balloting when it occurs, as appropriate for their category of Center associates. Once elected, faculty member associates will receive a written request from the Director annually, each fall, asking if they wish to renew their membership. If they fail to participate regularly in Center activities, the Director can recommend to the Steering Committee that their faculty member associate status be rescinded.
  4. Center faculty member associates shall be affiliates or members of the Nelson Institute.
  5. When Center faculty member associates retire from the university, the Steering Committee may confer the status of emeritus / emerita on them by a majority vote. Emeriti associates do not participate in Center elections, but are welcome to participate in all appropriate Center activities and programs.

Subsection (5) - Graduate Student Associates

  1. Graduate student associate status is open to graduate students currently enrolled and in good standing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who have research, teaching, or outreach interests that significantly address the themes of culture, history and environment.
  2. Applications for graduate associate membership shall be nominated to the Steering Committee by themselves or someone else. Applications must include a description of the research interests of the student and key departments and programs the student regards as core to their intellectual community on campus; applications should also include a digital photograph of the student. This information will be posted on the CHE website unless the student requests that it be omitted for some reason. The Steering Committee approves associate status by a majority vote. Once elected, graduate and community associates will receive a written request from the Director annually, each fall, asking if they wish to renew their membership. They are expected to participate regularly in CHE activities, and if they fail to do so, the Director can recommend to the Steering Committee that their graduate student associate status be rescinded.
  3. When graduate student associates complete their degree programs and depart from the university, they are typically designated as "CHE Alumni" by an affirmative vote of the Steering Committee. Once assigned, this is a permanent designation unless the Steering Committee votes to remove it; it does not require ongoing involvement with CHE activities.

Subsection (6) - Community Associates

  1. Community associate status is open to anyone living close enough to Madison to participate in CHE events with reasonable frequency whose work and interests address questions relating to culture, history and environment that define the Center's activities. Students enrolled at UW-Madsion are not eligible for Community Associate status, but graduate students at institutions nearby to the University of Wisconsin-Madison who are interested in formally affiliating with may apply for Community Associate status if they so desire.
  2. Applications for community associate membership shall be nominated to the Steering Committee by themselves or someone else. Applications must include a description of the applicant's interests and their reasons for wishing to be regularly engaged with the CHE community. Applications should also include a digital photograph of the applicant. This information will be posted on the CHE website unless the community associate requests that it be omitted for some reason. The Steering Committee approves community associate status by a majority vote. Once elected, community associates will receive a written request from the Director annually, each fall, asking if they wish to renew their membership. They are expected to participate regularly in CHE activities, and if they fail to do so, the Director can recommend to the Steering Committee that their community associate status be rescinded.

Subsection (7) - Associates at Large and Fellows in Residence

  1. Scholars visiting the university for an extended period who wish to have a formal association with the Center can be designated as "CHE Fellows in Residence" after being nominated by a CHE faculty member associate and approved by a majority vote of the Steering Committee. This designation implies no expectation of financial or other support.
  2. When faculty member associates depart from the university but wish to maintain an active connection with CHE, they can request the status of "associate at large," which assumes at least limited ongoing involvement with CHE programs and activities as specified by the Steering Committee. Former CHE faculty member associates who choose this status cannot also hold the status of emeritus / emerita.
  3. The Steering Committee can by a majority vote also assign "associate at large" status to individuals in the wider world whose work is strongly connected to CHE's mission and whose association with CHE would bring significant benefit to the CHE community. Unlike community associates, associates at large are not expected to reside in the vicinity of Madison, and expectations are lower for the level of their participation in CHE activities.
  4. As with other categories of CHE associates, associates at large will receive a written request from the Director annually, each fall, asking if they wish to renew their membership.
  5. TITLE 2 - VOTING AND ELECTIONS

    SECTION 1 - VOTING RIGHTS OF FACULTY MEMBERS AND OTHER ASSOCIATES

    1. All duly appointed faculty member associates of the Center have voting rights in the Center. Teaching assistants and individuals holding fixed-term appointments do not have such rights. Graduate student and community associates do not have voting rights, though graduate student associates elect their non-voting representatives on the Center Steering Committee.

    SECTION 2 - ELECTION PROCEDURES

    1. The Director - Every year, ideally no later than March 1, the highest ranking civil servant in the Center or the Nelson Institute staff shall conduct the advisory balloting for the Center Director at the request of the Director of the Nelson Institute. The voting shall be by secret ballot, and may be conducted electronically. Faculty member associates will be notified of the election and ballots distributed at least one week before the deadline for voting. The Steering Committee, in consultation with the Director of the Nelson Institute, will prepare and approve a slate of name(s) to be placed on the ballot. Ballots will contain the names of approved candidate(s) and a blank slate for a write-in candidate.
    2. Steering Committee - In the spring of each year, the Director and the current Steering Committee shall recruit candidates from among the CHE faculty member associates to fill any seats that will become open on the committee at the end of the current academic year, and prepare a slate of names to place on the ballot. Faculty member associates are welcome to volunteer themselves if they so desire. Efforts will be made to stagger terms of Steering Committee members in preparing the slate of candidates. The slate shall be announced one week before ballots are distributed. Anyone not listed on the slate may be placed on the ballot by filing a petition within five days with the highest ranking civil servant in the Center or Nelson Institute staff, who shall prepare the ballot. The Steering Committee will determine the balloting procedures. The voting shall be by secret ballot, and may be conducted electronically. Faculty member associates will be notified of the election and ballots made available at least one week before the deadline for voting.
    3. Graduate Student Associates - In the spring of each year, the Director and members of the current CHE Graduate Associate Organizing Committee shall recruit candidates from among the CHE graduate associates to serve on the next year's Organizing Committee, and shall prepare a slate of names to place on the ballot. Graduate associates are welcome to volunteer themselves if they so desire.
    4. The slate shall be announced one week before the ballots are distributed. Any graduate associate not listed on the slate may be placed on the ballot by filing a petition within five days with the highest ranking civil servant in the Center or Nelson Institute staff, who shall prepare the ballot. The Steering Committee will determine the balloting procedures. The voting shall be by secret ballot. Graduate student associates will be notified of the election and ballots made available to the associate membership at least one week before the deadline for voting.

    TITLE 3 - MEETINGS AND COMMUNICATION

    SECTION 1 - MEMBER MEETINGS

    1. The Director shall typically convene a meeting of the faculty, graduate, and community associates of CHE at least once during each of the fall and spring semesters to report on and seek counsel on major initiatives and programs of the Center. If, in the opinion of the Steering Committee, there is insufficient business to warrant holding a meeting, the Director shall so notify the membership. The meeting time and location shall be announced at least one week in advance, and the agenda posted no less than 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Any Center faculty, graduate, or community associates may request to place an item on the agenda. If necessary, associates can also be polled using electronic balloting.

    SECTION 2 - STEERING COMMITTEE

    1. The time and location of Steering Committee meetings shall typically be announced at least one week in advance, and the agenda posted no less than 24 hours in advance of the meeting. A quorum of 50% of the Steering Committee's voting members is necessary for the Committee to meet and take any action. Any Member of the Center who so wishes may attend on a non-voting basis, except under circumstances when the Steering Committee goes into closed session according to circumstances permitted by Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law.
    2. Any Member of the Center, whether a member of the Steering Committee or not, may request to place an item on the agenda.

    TITLE 4 - BYLAWS

    1. Any revision of these bylaws requires a majority vote by a quorum of Center Members. Balloting may be done electronically if appropriate.