Latin American Studies
Latin American Studies Bylaws
By Luis Samuel Gonzalez-Acevedo
3) Advisory Committee Membership Requirements
4) Advisory Committee: Duties and Powers
5) Executive Committee
6) Task Forces
7) Election and Review of Coordinator
8) Advisory Committee Meetings
9) Recall of Member, Termination of Membership and Member Discipline
10) Amendments and Procedure
CHAPTER 1- NAME
PART I - Full Name
Sec. 1- The unit's full name is Latin American Studies Program.
PART II - Short Name
Sec. 1- The unit's short name is LAS.
CHAPTER 2- PURPOSE
PART I - Mission
The LAS Program seeks to achieve several goals through varied means. These goals are enumerated in the following declarations.
PART II - Declarations
Sec. 1- To teach about Latin America and its people, including those in the United States, through courses, conferences, scholarly lectures, forums, films, cultural and other events
Sec. 2 - To create awareness of the fact that the Latino population of West Michigan is growing rapidly, and that Latinos will soon constitute the most populous ethnic group in the United States,
Sec. 3- To educate about the U.S.'s economic, political, and cultural relations with its Latin American neighbors, from Mexico and the Caribbean, to Central and South America,
Sec. 4- To enhance the education of and benefit students in a wide variety of majors and professional programs,
Sec. 5- To encourage student participation with Latin American and international student organizations on campus, the West Michigan Latino community and its institutions, and groups dealing with international relations such as the Institute for Global Education and the World Affairs Council,
Sec. 6- To encourage student participation on the Latin American Studies Program's Advisory and Executive committees and on faculty- and student-directed research projects,
Sec. 7- To encourage study abroad, either in Grand Valley State University's summer programs in Mexico or Central America or in other appropriate programs in Latin America, and
Sec. 8- To pursue new agreements with institutions in Latin America.
PART III - Organization
Pursuant to these goals the LAS Program will be administered by a Coordinator. An Advisory Committee, as described in the next Chapter, will counsel the Coordinator, elect an Executive Committee, and assist the LAS Program in fulfilling its declared activities.
CHAPTER 3 - ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
PART I - General Requirements of Membership
Sec. 1- Membership is open to full-time and retired faculty, and full-time staff, with an academic or professional interest in promoting the declared goals of the LAS Program.
Sec. 2- Requirements and provisions for full-time Visiting Faculty and Visiting Staff. All full-time Visiting Faculty and Visiting Staff are eligible for membership, offices, and committees provided:
(A) Grand Valley State University has entered into a written contract or agreement with the Visiting Faculty or Staff for full-time employment,
(B) The contract specified in subsection (A) has a duration of an academic year (August to May) or an equivalent period of time,
(C) Membership for each academic year is renewed by contract renewal and formal application to the program.
Sec. 3- Membership shall be granted to the Latino Student Union or any other student organization as approved by the Advisory Committee.
(A) Each approved organization shall elect one representative to the Advisory Committee.
(B) Membership under this section is subject to all provisions found in these Bylaws.
PART II- Membership on the Advisory Committee
Sec. 1 - The Latin American Studies Program shall encourage each unit in which there are faculty or staff with an academic or professional interest in the declared goals of the LAS Program to select candidates for participation in the program.
(A) All prospective members must submit a letter of selection issued by their respective unit to the program Coordinator.
(B) The letter of selection must inform the Latin American Studies Program that the prospective member has been selected to serve on the Advisory Committee by their unit due to their academic or professional interest in the declared goals of the LAS Program.
(C) The program Coordinator shall present the letter of selection at the next Executive Committee meeting.
Sec. 2- Individuals may also be considered for membership on the Advisory Committee.
(A) Individuals should submit a letter of interest to the program Coordinator outlining their academic or professional interest in the declared goals of the LAS Program.
(B) The program Coordinator shall present the letter of interest at the next Executive Committee meeting.
Sec. 3- Once the letter of selection or interest of a prospective member has been presented to the Executive Committee, the Coordinator shall issue a letter of appointment thanking the new member, advising him or her of the duties and powers of membership, and providing a copy of the current program By Laws.
PART III- Former Coordinators
Sec.1- For continuity, the previous Coordinator shall be asked to continue as regular members of the Advisory Committee for at least one two-year term.
CHAPTER 4- ADVISORY COMMITTEE: DUTIES AND POWERS
PART I- Duties and Powers of Advisory Committee Members
Sec. 1- Serve for at least one renewable two-year term,
Sec. 2- Assist the Coordinator and Executive Committee in carryingout the duties necessary to maintain and strengthen the program in accordance with the Statement of Purpose in these Bylaws,
Sec. 3- Communicate with the Coordinator and other committee members on a regular basis,
Sec. 4- Attend meetings,
Sec. 5- Make substantive contributions to at least one (1) Latin American Studies Program event annually,
Sec. 6- Vote and determine matters before the committee, and
Sec. 7- Promote the declared goals of the LAS Program on and off campus.
CHAPTER 5- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
PART I- Membership Provisions and Requirements
Sec. 1- All members of the Executive Committee must be members of the Advisory Committee.
Sec. 2- The Coordinator is a member of the Executive Committee.
Sec. 3- The Coordinator is chair of the Executive Committee.
Sec. 4- The Executive Committee is composed of five (5) voting members.
Sec. 5- The dean of the division or a representative is an ex-officio member.
PART II- Election of Executive Committee
Sec. 1- At the first Regular Meeting of the Advisory Committee of the academic year, the Committee will a) elect a chair to run the meeting and b) nominate specific members for election to the Executive Committee.
Sec. 2- Upon completion of the nomination process, the Advisory Committee will cast votes.
Sec. 3- Each Advisory Committee member shall have a number of votes that is equivalent to the number of Executive Committee members to be elected (4).
(A) Every member shall distribute the totality of their votes among the nominees.
Sec. 4- The Coordinator will recommend the four (4) nominees with the most votes to the Dean of Social Sciences requesting their appointment to the Executive Committee.
Sec. 5- The Dean of Social Sciences must approve the nominations to the Executive Committee before membership is effective.
Sec. 6- The Dean of Social Sciences shall issue a letter of appointment upon approving membership.
Sec. 7- The Executive Committee serves for one (1) year or until the next first Fall Semester regular meeting of the Advisory Committee.
PART III- Powers and Duties
Sec. 1- The Executive Committee will exercise all the powers specified in these Bylaws unless otherwise specified by these Bylaws.
Sec. 2- The Executive Committee will work with the Coordinator to negotiate on behalf of the Advisory Committee and the Latin American Studies Program.
Sec. 3- All material and substantive decisions of the Executive Committee shall be ratified by a simple majority vote by the Advisory Committee, either in a meeting or by e-mail, before entering into effect or becoming binding on the Latin American Studies Program.
(A) Substantive and material decisions shall also require the approval of the Dean of Social Sciences.
Sec. 4- The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a month during the Fall and Winter semesters and its meeting schedule will be announced in advance to all Advisory Committee members.
Sec. 5- The Executive Committee shall meet at least once during the Spring or Summer session.
Sec. 6- Other meetings may be called by the Coordinator or by three (3) members of the Executive Committee.
Sec. 7- The Executive Committee meetings are open to all Advisory Committee members.
Sec. 8- Three (3) members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
Sec. 9- The Executive Committee is responsible for running the projects of the program and its finances.
Sec. 10- The Executive Committee will report to the Advisory Committee at every Advisory Committee meeting the state of finances (report to include expenses and balances).
CHAPTER 6- TASK FORCES
PART I- Establishing Task Forces
Sec. 1- The Executive Committee shall establish Task Forces to study and make reports on matters of concern to the Latin American Studies Program.
Sec. 2- The Task Forces shall report their findings and make their recommendations to the Advisory Committee.
PART II- Quorum
Sect. 1- Three fourths (¿) of the Task Force members shall constitute quorum.
CHAPTER 7- ELECTION AND REVIEW OF COORDINATOR
PART I- Election
Sec. 1- The Coordinator shall be elected for three-year renewable term by the Advisory Committee.
Sec. 2- The vote shall take place at the first meeting of the Winter Semester prior to the beginning of the coordinator's term of office.
Sec. 3- The nominee with the majority of the votes shall be the Coordinator Elect and his or her nomination shall be submitted to the dean for approval.
PART II- Renewal
Sec. 1- The review starts in the Fall Semester of the third year.
Sec. 2- The procedure for review must be consistent with the University's Administrative Manual.
Sec. 3- The criteria for review shall be consistent with the declared goals of the LAS Program.
Sec. 4- The results of the review shall be reported to the Executive Committee for further action.
CHAPTER 8- ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETINGS
PART I- Regular Meetings
Sec. 1- At least two (2) meetings of the Advisory Committee shall be held every year at Grand Valley State University, one (1) in the Fall and one (1) in the Winter Semester. The specific day to be determined by the Executive Committee.
PART II- Extraordinary Meetings
Sec. 1- Special meetings may be held at the call of the Coordinator which he or she may call at his or her discretion or upon the written request of a majority of the Executive Committee.
PART III- Notice of Meetings
Sec. 1- The Coordinator shall give notice of all meetings by mailing or e-mailing members of the Advisory Committee (at their last known address) a written notification at least two (2) weeks in advance of stated meetings, and at least five (5) days written notice or three (3) days telegraph or telephone notice shall be given of Special Meetings of the Advisory Committee. The time and place of all meetings and the purpose of special meetings shall be stated in the notice thereof; the proceedings of the Special Meetings shall be confined to the purposes therein stated and matters germane thereto.
PART IV- Quorum
Sec. 1- Two fifths (2/5) of the members of the Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum to do business; a lesser number shall adjourn.
PART V- Order of Business
Sec. 1- The order of business at each meeting of the Advisory Committee shall be:
(A) Roll Call
(B) Approval of the Agenda
(C) Approval of minutes of the last meeting
(D) Report of Coordinator
(E) Reports and Recommendations of Executive Committee
(F) Reports and Recommendations of Specialized Committees
(G) Old business
(H) Appointment of Task Forces
(I) New Business
PART VI- New Business
Sec. 1- No business properly referable to a Task Force or the Executive Committee shall, prior to such reference, be considered in a meeting of the Advisory Committee without the consent of a majority of the Advisory Committee members present.
PART VII- Origin of Matters
Sec. 1- Matters for Advisory or Executive Committee attention may originate from the Coordinator or any member of the Advisory or Executive Committees .
PART VIII- Rules of Order
Sec. 1- All business of the Latin American Studies Program should be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, unless modified by majority vote.
Sec. 2- A parliamentarian may be appointed by the Executive Committee and confirmed by the Advisory Committee at the second Advisory Committee meeting of the academic year.
Sec. 3- The previous year's parliamentarian would exercise such role in an official capacity during the first Advisory Committee meeting of the academic year.
CHAPTER 9- RECALL OF MEMBER, TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP, AND MEMBER DISCIPLINE
PART I- Recall of Member and Termination of Membership
Sec. 1- Members of the Executive or Advisory Committees may be deprived of membership or office for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance (failing to fulfill the duties and powers of membership as specified in these Bylaws).
Sec. 2- A member of the Executive Committee shall be recalled from the Executive Committee by two-thirds majority of all Advisory Committee members present at a duly convoked Advisory Committee meeting.
Sec. 3- A member of the Advisory Committee or Executive Committee may be recalled by their respective Division, School, or Unit.
Sec. 4- Recalling a member from the Executive Committee has the effect of depriving the member from Executive Committee office.
Sec. 5- Recalling a member from the Advisory Committee has the effect of depriving the member from membership in the Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee.
Sec. 6- The act of recalling a member of the Executive or Advisory Committees by their respective Division, School, or Unit has the effect of depriving the member of membership in the Advisory Committee and Executive Committee.
Sec. 7- Recalled members of the Executive Committee will be replaced until the next regular meeting of the Advisory Committee by another member of the Advisory Committee selected by a majority of the Executive Committee.
CHAPTER 10- AMENDMENTS AND PROCEDURE
PART I - Procedure
Sec. 1- Any proposed amendment to the Bylaws must be presented, for discussion or amendment, only at a regular Advisory Committee meeting.
Sec. 2- After discussion, the Advisory Committee will proceed to vote on the matter.
Sec. 3- Passage of the amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote of all members present at a duly convened Advisory Committee meeting.
Sec. 4- Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed only by members of the Advisory Committee.
Sec. 5- Any proposed amendment to the Bylaws must be announced to the members of the Advisory Committee via e-mail or mail, and at a regular meeting of the Advisory Committee one month in advance of the Advisory Committee meeting at which it is discussed.
Page last modified July 16, 2010