These bylaws govern the Interdisciplinary Program in Middle East Studies, which is an interdisciplinary program of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tennessee. The Program’s activities are also governed by policies of the College and of the University and applicable state and Federal regulations. Any provision within these bylaws that conflicts with College or University policies or with state or Federal regulations shall have no effect.
I. Mission statement
The Middle East Studies Program offers courses that teach students about the region of the Middle East, past, present, and future. Our courses provide students with interdisciplinary training in the history, culture, literature, politics, languages, and religions of the Middle East in order to prepare them for a variety of careers related to this significant region of the world.
II. Program membership
The Middle East Studies Program includes both Core and Affiliated Faculty. Core Faculty normally are drawn from faculty who teach courses on a regular basis that are a part of the Middle East Studies curriculum. Other faculty members may, upon request to the Chair of Middle East Studies, be considered for inclusion to the Core Faculty. The main right of Core faculty is to vote on matters of Middle East Studies curriculum, program policy, and other issues that come before it. The main responsibilities of Core faculty are to attend Middle East Studies Committee meetings and to work with the Program Chair to support the mission of the program.
Any faculty member with an interest in the Middle East may make a request to the Chair of Middle East Studies to become an affiliated member. Such requests will be decided by a vote of the Program’s Core Faculty. The Chair of the Program will include Affiliated Faculty in communications about Middle East Studies activities, but Affiliated Faculty will not be expected to attend Middle East Studies meetings and may not vote on Middle East Studies Program matters.
At the end of each academic year, the Program Chair will contact Core Faculty to determine whether they wish to continue as Core members in the next academic year.
The Program’s Chair shall inform the Dean of the College (or an Associate Dean designated by the Dean) of any changes in the Program’s membership.
III. Program governance
A. Program Chair
The Chair oversees the day-to-day functioning of the Program, manages the Program’s budget, insures that program activities are conducted in accord with these bylaws, and prepares an annual report for the Dean of the College summarizing the Program’s activities and objectives. The Chair is appointed by the Dean of the College from a slate of one or more candidates approved by the Core Faculty. The Chair ordinarily serves as Chair for a term of three years. With the approval of the Core Faculty, the Chair can be reappointed for subsequent terms by mutual agreement of the Chair and the Dean of the College.
The Chair is a member of the College’s Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. Specific additional administrative duties of the Chair may be enumerated in the Chair’s letter of appointment.
B. Core Faculty
Members of the Core Faculty provide advice to the Chair regarding the administration of the Program and the allocation of the Program’s budget. They constitute the voting members of the Middle East Studies Program. The Core Faculty also oversee the Program’s curriculum and propose changes to it; these proposals are transmitted by the Program Chair to the appropriate divisional Curriculum Committee(s) of the College for further review and approval. The Core Faculty review these bylaws on a regular basis and may approve amendments to them. The Core Faculty also help the Chair assess the Program’s major learning outcomes and recommend changes aimed to strengthen the program.
The Core Faculty shall meet at least once during each semester, and more often as needed. Regular attendance of Middle East Studies Committee meetings is expected of Core Faculty members. A Core Faculty member not on leave who misses all the Committee meetings in a year will be dropped from the Core Committee but may request reinstatement after a year.
The Chair shall prepare an agenda for each Middle East Studies Committee meeting and shall distribute it by electronic mail to members of the Core Faculty at least three days before the date of the Middle East Studies Committee meeting. These meetings are open to all Program faculty.
The Chair shall insure that minutes of all Middle East Studies Committee meetings are sent to the Program’s faculty and to the Dean of the College (or to an Associate Dean designated by the Dean) in a timely fashion.
Consideration of changes to the curriculum (new courses, revised course titles and descriptions, dropped courses, revised major requirements, and so on) may be initiated by any faculty member by contacting the Program Chair. To be enacted, any changes to the curriculum must be brought before the Middle East Studies Committee at a regularly announced meeting for discussion and a positive vote.
C. Ad hoc committees
The Program Chair, in consultation with members of the Core Faculty, can set up ad hoc committees as needed. The Program Chair should give the ad hoc committee a clearly defined charge. Such committees will dissolve after they have fulfilled their charge.
D. Voting procedures; definition of quorum and majority; written and emailed proxy votes
Unless otherwise specified in these bylaws, decisions of the Middle East Studies Committee, or of standing and ad hoc committees, require a simple majority of the votes cast at a committee meeting. A majority consists of more than half of the votes cast. Votes will generally be by voice vote, although a secret ballot may be taken if requested by any member of the Core Faculty.
For purposes of taking final action, a quorum consists of a majority of the Core Faculty who are not on leave.
Written and emailed proxies received before the meeting ends may be accepted by the faculty at a given meeting, if a majority of faculty at the meeting vote to accept proxies.
IV. Program dissolution
The Core Faculty may choose to dissolve the Program. Program dissolution by the Core Faculty can only be considered at a meeting of the Middle East Studies Committee during the nine-month academic year, and requires the approval of a two-thirds majority of the Core Faculty. Dissolution of the Program will be effective on July 31 following the vote.
These bylaws shall be reviewed by the Core Faculty at least once every five years.
Amendments to these bylaws can only be considered at a meeting of the Core Faculty and require the approval of a two-thirds majority of the Core Faculty. The text of the proposed amendments must be distributed by electronic mail to members of the Program and members of the Core Faculty at least 10 days before the date of the Core Faculty meeting at which the amendments are considered.
The Chair shall inform the Dean of the College (or an Associate Dean designated by the Dean) of any changes in these bylaws.