Tuesday, August 30th



Download the Bylaws


(Revised May 2009, Approved by CLLA, July 2009,
Approved by DOF August 2009)

Article I. Purpose and Intent

Anthropology is the holistic study of human biology and culture. By its very nature, anthropological research (archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology) is interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and is concerned with human diversity, both physical and cultural, throughout the world.

Standard of Excellence

The Department expects its faculty to achieve excellence in research, teaching, and service. All faculty members are expected to serve on Departmental, College, or University committees as a part of their service requirement. The Department supports candidates for merit salary raises and promotion and tenure whose records combine achievement in all three areas, with the largest weight on scholarship. High quality teaching is necessary as well. For promotion and tenure, evidence must be presented that the candidate has attained national reputation as a scholar. Faculty who achieve excellence in multidisciplinary areas that are deemed strategic by the College or University will be rewarded at the same level that disciplinary achievements are rewarded. Thus, a faculty member who makes major contributions to a multidisciplinary journal publication or research grant, or team teaches a multidisciplinary course, will not be rewarded less nor more than faculty who make equivalent contributions to disciplinary research or teaching.

The Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University includes Faculty studying humans from a wide variety of perspectives. As an academic unit within the College of Liberal Arts, Anthropology is responsible for educating undergraduate students and graduate students. This includes undergraduates who are meeting their core curriculum requirements in science, humanities, and social science; undergraduate students with anthropology majors or minors; and graduate students at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels. Anthropology Faculty conduct research around the world, often with student participation. Finally, Anthropology Faculty participates actively in the governance of the College and the University.

Within the Department, some Faculty have close affiliations with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (CMAC), and the Center for the Study of the First Americans (CSFA). As research organizations, INA, CMAC and CSFA provide research opportunities for Faculty and students of anthropology.

The Faculty of the Department of Anthropology established these Bylaws to provide guidance for the governance of the Department. The Bylaws are consistent with the principle of representative government by the Faculty, including student representation where appropriate, and are consistent with the rules and regulations of the Board of Regents of the University and the laws of the State of Texas.

Article II. Membership
  1. All persons holding full-time, part-time, visiting, and adjunct academic appointments in the Department with the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, or Lecturer of any grade are members of the Faculty of the Department.
  2. Voting Faculty. Voting Faculty include all Faculty of the Department who hold tenure or tenure-track appointments, and full-time Lecturers. This includes Faculty who hold joint appointments with other Departments or administrative units of the University. Emeritus Faculty, Visiting Faculty, Graduate Assistants, and Adjunct Faculty of any rank have the privilege of the floor in Department Meetings, but do not vote. Responsibilities of Voting Faculty in the governance of the Department include participation in Faculty Meetings, service on committees, review of graduate applications, preparation of annual review of professional accomplishments, preparation of supporting documentation for tenure and promotion consideration, and preparation of supporting documentation for post-tenure review.
  3. Adjunct Faculty. Any Voting Faculty member may recommend an Adjunct Faculty member to the Department. Nominations and/or personal requests must be submitted to the Executive Committee in writing and must include a current curriculum vitae. With a favorable vote of the Faculty, adjunct appointments are for one academic year. Adjunct appointments can be renewed annually with the receipt of a written request by the holder, the recommendation of the Executive Committee, and a favorable vote of the Faculty.

    An Adjunct Faculty member must have a doctorate, be collaborating with at least one current faculty member, or otherwise be providing a service to the Department. In most instances, Adjunct Faculty will hold a faculty position at another university. All adjunct positions expire annually on August 31 and appointment are normally made in the fall Semester.

Article III. Departmental Programs

Programs within the Department recognize that, as a diverse discipline, some Departmental decisions should be made or reviewed by those Faculty whose teaching and research falls primarily within a particular subdiscipline of anthropology. For the purposes of these Bylaws, Departmental Programs include Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, and Nautical Archaeology.

  1. Membership. Faculty members have primary affiliation and voting privileges in the Program to which they were hired. Program membership may be reconstituted to include members from other Programs for special considerations.
  2. Program Coordinator. Faculty in each Program will elect a Coordinator by a secret ballot; in general the member will be a tenured Faculty in the Program. The tenure requirement may be waived by vote of the Program members. Program Coordinators comprise the Department Executive Committee.
  3. Duties and Functions. Each Program has the following responsibilities:
    1. Electing a Program Coordinator and a representative to the Curriculum Committee, every two years or as required. To provide for continuity in both committees, the Archaeology and Biological Anthropology Programs will hold elections in May of odd years, and the Cultural Anthropology and Nautical Archaeology Programs will hold elections in May of even years.
    2. Reviewing graduate applications. Graduate Student Applications will be divided according to the area of research indicated in the application and each Program will review the applications and accept the students applying to their Program.
    3. Reviewing applications for graduate assistantships from students in their Program and reporting their selections to the Academic Advisor and/or the Curriculum Committee. Graduate Assistants Research and Non-Teaching (GAR and GANT) are selected by the Programs, Centers, Project Directors, or endowment holders. Graduate Assistants Teaching (GAT) recommendations are referred to the Curriculum Committee. See V: B: 2: f.
    4. Reviewing and voting on the recommendations of a Search Committee created to recruit a new Faculty member in their Program and communicating that vote to the whole Faculty.
    5. Reviewing and approving new course proposals and curriculum plans, and coordinating class schedules with the Academic Advisor each semester for the Program.
    6. Conducting annual reviews of graduate students each February, and forwarding those reviews to the Curriculum Committee.
Article IV. Officers
  1. Department Head.
    The Department Head is appointed by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts in accordance with College and University Policy. The Department Head is the chief executive officer of the Department. In addition to those duties assigned by the Dean, the Department Head has the following duties:
    1. Administrative. The Department Head represents the Department at official functions; promotes the Department Academic Programs and research activities; presides at Department Meetings; calls for nominations for election to Departmental, College, and University committees; hires new and replacement staff; supervises the clerical staff; conducts annual reviews of all Faculty; oversees tenure and promotion considerations; and encourages Faculty Development.

      At the discretion of the Department Head one or more Associate Heads can be appointed. Duties and service conditions as well as monetary compensation, or course reduction, if any, will be stipulated at the time of the appointment. Each Associate Head serves at the pleasure of the Head and, when designated, serves as the acting Department Head whenever the Department Head is unavailable and exercises authority for matters delegated by the Department Head.

    2. Communication. The Department Head consults with the Executive Committee regarding programmatic and Departmental issues, including annual reviews of all Faculty, and strategic plans.
    3. Curricular. The Department Head consults with the Curriculum Committee regarding developmental and long-range plans concerning the undergraduate and graduate curricula, graduate admissions, oversees course scheduling, and graduate Programs.
    4. Budgetary. The Department Head prepares the annual preliminary budget in consultation with the Executive Committee; presents an annual budget report to the Faculty; supervises Department expenditures; allocates appropriate salary increases to individual Faculty and staff in consultation with the Executive Committee; seeks gifts and grants for the Department; and recommends appropriate budgetary resources, including Faculty salary increases and competitive pay scales, Departmental operating expenses, and graduate assistantship concerns to the Dean.
    5. Reporting. The Department Head reports to the Department and the Curriculum Committee the funding available for graduate assistantships and the number of graduate assistants to be selected each semester.
    6. Acting Head. When the Department Head is unavailable an acting head will be designated by the Head, the chair of the Executive Committee or the Dean. Normally an acting head will be selected from the Executive Committee.
  2. Program Coordinators.

    Coordinators are elected by the Faculty of each Program as described in Article III. Section B.

    Duties. The Coordinator Chairs Meetings of Program Faculty, including meetings to review graduate admissions and graduate assistantship applications; recommends Chairs for Promotion and Tenure Committees and Search Committees; represents the interests of the Program; and serves on the Executive Committee.

  3. Graduate Advisor.

    The Graduate Advisor serves on the Graduate Instruction Committee of the College of Liberal Arts.

Article V. Departmental Committees
  1. Executive Committee.

    The Executive Committee shall advise the Department Head. The Committee also serves as a liaison between the Faculty and the Department Head.

    1. Selection of Members and Chair. The Executive Committee shall consist of the four Program Coordinators and the Director of CFSA and CMAC as non-voting members. If a Program Coordinator will be off campus or on Faculty Development Leave, either the Coordinator or the Program shall appoint a substitute. The Committee shall select a Chair in September from the four Program Coordinators.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities. The Executive Committee advises the Department Head on Departmental administration, budget, and planning. The Department Head may also charge the committee with specific tasks. Results of the Committee’s deliberations are normally presented to the Faculty at Departmental Faculty Meetings for further discussion, debate, and decision. Additional duties of the Committee include, but are not limited to:
      1. Any member of the Executive Committee may serve as acting Department Head whenever the Department Head is unavailable, and exercises authority for matters delegated by the Department Head.
      2. Coordinating Department Head review process;
      3. eviewing budget projections with the Department Head and making recommendations for allocation of Departmental Operating Expenses;
      4. Nominating Faculty and Staff for University and College awards;
      5. Reviewing strategic plans for the Department;
      6. Reviewing requests for Adjunct Faculty appointments;
      7. Considering Faculty, Staff, and student issues brought to the committee and attempting to mediate disputes.
      8. Coordinating the Tenure Review Committee.
  2. Curriculum Committee.

    The Curriculum Committee reviews new Anthropology courses, changes in degree requirements, monitors student progress, makes recommendations for student teaching assignments and awards, and course scheduling.

    1. Selection of Members and Chair. The Committee shall include one Faculty member from each Program. Faculty in each Program will elect a Representative annually by a secret ballot listing all Faculty in the Program, excluding the Coordinator. If a Program Representative will be off campus or on Faculty Development Leave, either the Representative or the Program shall provide a substitute. The Committee shall elect a Chair in September.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities. The Curriculum Committee addresses issues relating to curriculum planning, Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, the review of graduate student applications, recommendations for graduate student awards, and the annual review of graduate students. Whenever possible the Curriculum Committee will include the Department’s Representatives on the College Graduate Instruction and Undergraduate Instruction Committees. The Department Head may also charge the committee with specific tasks. Results of the Committee’s deliberations are normally presented to the Faculty at Departmental Faculty Meetings for further discussion, debate, and decision. Additional duties of the Committee include, but are not limited to:
      1. Reviewing and approving new course proposals and 489/689 courses that have been approved by the Programs;
      2. Reviewing and recommending changes to graduate and undergraduate degree requirements and certificate programs proposed by the Programs;
      3. Working with Academic Adviser to schedule courses;
      4. Recruiting prospective students, receiving Program recommendations for fellowships, and selecting applicants for Merit, Regents Fellowships and other awards;
      5. Awarding graduate student funding for pilot dissertation research and conference travel recommended by the Programs;
      6. Reviews Graduate Assistant Teaching (GAT) applications and the recommendations from each Program. The committee reports the committee’s final recommendations, based on available funding, to the Department Head for budgetary review and consultation with the Executive Committee to resolve any conflicts and make final approval;
      7. Coordinating annual reviews of graduate students by each Program each February.
  3. Tenure and Promotion Committees.

    Tenure and Promotion Committees review tenure-track Faculty annually, candidates for the award of tenure and promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor, candidates for promotion from Associate to Professor, and promotion for non-tenure track positions including Lecturer.

    1. Selection of Members and Chair. Committees reviewing non-tenure track positions for promotion shall consist of all Faculty at the rank of Associate Professor, or Professor. Committees reviewing tenure-track Faculty and candidates for the award of tenure and promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor shall consist of all tenured Faculty at the rank of Associate Professor, or Professor. Committees reviewing candidates for promotion from Associate to Professor shall consist of all tenured Faculty at the rank of Professor. The Department Head does not serve on Tenure and Promotion Committees, but may be invited by the committee to provide needed information. For each candidate being evaluated, the Program Coordinator shall recommend a Chair to the Department Head. The Chair shall arrange for meetings and then notify the appropriate faculty members in writing, as well as by e-mail about such meetings. The Chair will coordinate the various reports and call meetings of the Committee to evaluate that candidate.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities. All reviews shall be conducted in accordance with the Texas A&M University, University Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, Tenure, and Promotion 12.01.99.M2, the Dean of Faculties’, Tenure and Promotion Packages Submission Guidelines (http://dof.tamu.edu/admin/tp/), the College of Liberal Arts, Procedures for Review, Tenure and Promotion (http://dof.tamu.edu/admin/tp/ ) , and the Department’s Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion (https://anthropology.tamu.edu/intranet/index.php?page=procedures ). Votes shall be carried out by secret ballot. The Anthropology Department allows absentee voting on tenure/promotion and new hires only when the absent faculty has reviewed the relevant files. If this is not the case, as determined by the Chair of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, then that person is not eligible to vote. Within 24 hours of the meeting where a vote on tenure/promotion is taken, absentee votes will be counted.

      Absentee votes are to be in writing, including e-mails sent from by the absentee voter to either the Head of the Department, or the coordinator of the absent faculty member's program. Votes are to be cast for specific individuals clearly identified in the written vote. Proxy votes, to be cast as determined by a second party, are not eligible.

      Emeritus, visiting faculty and adjunct faculty do not have voting privileges on matters concerning tenure, promotion, or hiring. The responsibilities of the Committee include:

      1. Working with the Department Head to arrange for external review letters for each candidate for tenure or promotion;
      2. Assigning Chairs for Teaching, Research, and Service reports;
      3. Reviewing all documentation provided by the candidate;
      4. Meeting to review, discuss, revise, and vote on each report and the summary report and;
      5. Communicating the results of the evaluation to the Department Head.
  4. Post Tenure Review Committee.

    Each tenured faculty member shall be reviewed every five years. The tenured faculty of equivalent or higher rank in the Anthropology Department will sit as a Post Tenure Review Committee and elect a chair at the beginning of each academic year to coordinate the review process. This committee will evaluate the performance of the professor/associate professor scheduled for review. The committee will submit an evaluation report to the Head of the Department. If the report is favorable, the process will end at this stage. However, if the performance is questionable, the committee and the Head of the Department will meet with the professor and make remedial recommendation. A copy of the evaluation will be placed in the faculty member's personnel file. Those being reviewed will submit:

    1. A personal statement, maximum of two pages, single spaced, 10 or 12-pt font, 1 inch margins.
    2. Previous five departmental annual reports.
    3. Updated vita
    4. Most recent report required by the College for professors holding endowed positions.
  5. Search Committees.

    Search Committees conduct searches for new Faculty members whether or not it is a temporary replacement positions or tenure-track positions.

    1. Selection of Members and Chair. The Program Coordinator from the Program recruiting a new Faculty member will recommend a Search Committee Chair to the Department Head. Four additional members shall be appointed to the Search Committee (one from each Program) by the Department Head after consulting with each Program. Members serve until the search is completed.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities. The Search Committee is responsible for all stages of the search from advertisement through presenting final recommendations to the Program and the Faculty. Specific tasks include:
      1. Preparing an announcement of the position and ensuring that it is widely disseminated and contacting colleagues and potential applicants about the vacancy;
      2. Reviewing applications and notifying applicants of their status during the search;
      3. Providing updates of the progress of the search at each Departmental Faculty Meeting held during the search;
      4. Providing the Faculty with summary information about each candidate;
      5. Soliciting letters of recommendation for candidates as needed;
      6. Handling all arrangements and scheduling for on campus visits by candidates; and
      7. Finalizing hiring recommendations in consultation with the Program hiring the member, and communicating the recommendation to the whole Faculty for discussion and action.
  6. Collections Committee. The Collections Committee oversees curation of Departmental collections, reviews and proposes changes to collections policy, and evaluates research requests.
    1. Selection of Members and Chair. The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the Department Head from among the committee members. Members of the committee shall be appointed by the Department Head, with one member representing each program. The committee will work closely with the Curator or equivalent position.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities. The Collections Committee will work with the Curator to develop and review collections policy, and will present final recommendations to the faculty and to the Department Head for approval. The Collections Committee will meet as needed to evaluate research requests, but will meet at least once per long Fall and Spring semester. Specific tasks include:
      1. Developing and revising departmental Collections policy documents, research access guidelines and protocols.
      2. Reviewing proposals for research access to our collection, and making recommendations to the Department Head
      3. Notifying researchers of approval or denial of research requests and coordinating research visits with the assistance of the Curator
      4. Providing updates on the status of the collections to the faculty at faculty meetings
Article VI. Departmental Meetings
  1. The Department will hold at least two Faculty Meetings each semester. The Department Head will provide an Agenda for each meeting.
  2. Special Faculty Meetings may be called by the Department Head as needed. Normally these meetings will be dedicated to a single topic that is too complex or time-consuming to be handled during the regular Faculty Meetings.
  3. Faculty Meetings are open to all Faculty without regard to rank.
  4. The Graduate Student Council (GSC) representative shall serve as a liaison with the Faculty and attend Faculty Meetings. The representative may not be present when graduate students, faculty evaluations, or personnel matters are discussed.
  5. On formal matters concerning curriculum, Faculty searches, and when other formal votes are taken, only Voting Faculty shall have voting rights. In straw polls, advisory votes, and informal faculty resolutions, all Faculty and the graduate student representative may vote. All Faculty and the graduate student have the right to participate in discussions and debates prior to formal votes. All decisions regarding personnel (hiring, promotion and tenure) will be by secret ballot. Provisions will be made for absentee balloting as needed.
  6. Recommendations of the Department’s Executive, Curriculum, and Search Committees will be brought before the whole Faculty for discussion and debate prior to their implementation by the Department Head.
Article VII. Amendments

Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by any Voting Faculty member and must be provided in writing to the Executive Committee. After reviewing the Amendment(s), the Executive Committee will present the Amendment(s) to the Department at a regular Faculty Meeting along with their recommendations.