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UF African American Studies Program By-laws


JANUARY 18, 2011



The purpose of these by-laws is to establish recognized methods of procedure for the conduct and operation of the African American Studies Program (hereafter “AASP” or “the Program”) at the University of Florida (hereafter UF). AASP recognizes that it is bound in its actions by University regulations and that these by-laws are supplementary to the University and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) regulations.

The core faculty of African American Studies has developed the following program principles:

  • Interdisciplinarity: This principle encourages a broad base of disciplinary theories, methodologies, and methods. This approach allows faculty members to begin from their own position of expertise and systematically tie their work to other necessary areas of social science and humanities.
  • Community-based learning: This focus honors the applied, experiential, and activist model from which Black Studies programs originally developed. Pedagogies of community service-learning and advocacy scholarship are central to the engaged nature of the program.
  • African American experience in a transnational context: With this program foundation, the faculty grounds our main study in the United States, but also understands the imperative to connect the U.S. experience to those of Africa and the wider African Diaspora.
  • Critical thinking, writing, and research presentation skills development: The AASP faculty introduce students from all disciplinary areas to African American intellectual history, critical theory, and professional development. Students who enroll in our courses or graduate with an AASP minor will be well versed in the scholarly skills needed to succeed at the next levels of research, teaching, and service in the field.

Program Structure

Voting Members
  1. Core faculty of AASP shall be those holding an appointment of .25 FTE or more in AASP (lecturer series, assistant, associate, or full professor designation) and faculty who contractually teach at least one AASP course per year.
  2. Only AASP core faculty are voting members in AASP decisions that require a vote. Adjunct and affiliate faculty can be invited to participate in discussion of AASP issues, but are non-voting members.
  3. In issues concerning AASP business items that require a vote, decisions shall be considered valid with participation of 50 percent of the voting members of the Program who vote in person or via email by the given deadline. All votes shall be recorded by the AASP Program Assistant.
  4. In hiring, a positive recommendation to the Dean’s Office for hiring of new faculty shall require a majority vote of the core faculty. Regardless of the outcome, the core faculty vote shall be reported to the Dean. AASP shall request that the Dean appoint at least two core faculty and two affiliate faculty to any hiring committee for faculty, joint appointed faculty, or Program Director.
  5. If one member requests, votes must structured as secret ballot. Vote outcomes are subject to CLAS, University, UFF, and HR parameters.

Directorship, Meetings, Procedures  and Committees.

  1. Duties and Functions of the Director.
    1. The Director shall take primary responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Program and shall perform the functions necessary to implement all phases of its operation, including space allocation, equipment procurement, secretarial staff, personnel decisions, and the overall functioning of the office. The Director shall assume responsibility for administering the Program budget, for scheduling courses and the preparation of the course timetable, and coordinating with chairs of departments that have joint appointments in the Program to ensure that percentage allocation of faculty service, teaching and research time is congruent with the faculty member’s percentage FTE appointment. The Director shall coordinate official Program events, such as receptions, guest lectures, and symposia.
    2. The Program Director shall convene at least two meetings of the Program core faculty per semester, one annual meeting of the Affiliate Faculty, and one Advisory Board meeting per academic year.
    3. The Director shall consult with core faculty and relevant chairs in the cases of 3rd year review, promotion and tenure. The Director is responsible for forwarding faculty input to relevant bodies to ensure that contributions to the Program by the faculty member under review are recognized. For tenure and 3rd year review cases, only tenured core faculty members shall be consulted. For promotion, only those at the rank of the applicant or above shall be consulted.
    4.  The Director is an ex-officio member of all standing and ad hoc committees; however, the Director will not participate in review activities involving his or her own evaluation.
    5. Standing and Ad Hoc Committees. The standing committee of the Program is the Curriculum Committee. Other committees may be formed, as needed, to deal with specific Program needs. All core members are members of the Curriculum Committee and the Director may choose to serve in that capacity or may appoint a chair from the core faculty.
      1. Membership of Ad Hoc Committees. Ad Hoc committees shall be formed by the Director, who shall appoint a chair. Ad Hoc committee chairs shall be core faculty, affiliate faculty members, or Advisory Committee members. Members may be selected from the core faculty, the affiliate faculty, or the Advisory Committee.
      2. Committee chairs shall report to members of the core faculty at core faculty meetings and attend affiliate faculty or Advisory Committee meetings when necessary.
    6. c.     Committee Functions and Duties.
      1. The Curriculum Committee.
        1. The Curriculum Committee shall oversee curricular matters pertaining to the Program. It is charged with review and recommendation of changes in the minor requirements and other modifications of the Program’s curriculum.
        2. This committee shall oversee the adequacy of the Program’s participation in the general education program of the College.
        3. This committee shall aid the Director in shaping the formation of the major requirements and working with the College, Academic Advising and the UF  General Education Committee to ensure congruent curricular practices.
        4. Merit Pay Committee (Ad Hoc Committee).
          1. An elected committee of African American Studies core faculty and the Director will review merit materials submitted by faculty for merit pay increases. The committee and Director will follow guidelines that are consistent with College and University standards for review.
          2. Advisory Committee
            1. The University of Florida African American Studies Program’s Advisory Committee (hereafter the “Advisory Committee” or “AC”) shall serve as a consulting body on matters submitted to it by the Director. The Director shall select members and submit to the AC matters regarding how best to further the four AASP Program Principles: interdisciplinarity; community-based, applied, and experiential learning; African American experience in the transnational context; professional and intellectual student development.
            2. The Advisory Committee shall consist of at least seven members, with the Director acting as AC Chair. At a minimum, AC members will include the AASP Director and representatives from the following organizations:  UF Black Student Union, Black Graduate Student Union, Association of Black Alumni, Institute for Black Culture, African Studies, and two AASP minor students (one of whom may be an alumnus of the program).  The UF AASP Advisory Committee is a non-voting body designed to guide the Director’s decision-making process.
            3. Advisory Committee meetings will be held once per semester (preferably by October 30th and March 30th). AC meetings will be open to core and affiliate AASP faculty, staff and student assistants, all undergraduate student minors and majors, and graduate students or adjuncts holding teaching or research appointments during the terms of their appointments.
            4. Each Advisory Committee member appointed by the Director shall be considered an active member and shall receive all relevant information about the Program’s activities. Terms shall be for one year and are renewed by mutual consent of the Director and the member. Formation of the Advisory Committee is subject to approval by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
    1. The Director’s term of office is determined by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (hereafter CLAS). The Director shall represent the Program in relation to other departments/programs, the administrative offices of the University, and other universities or organizations. The Director shall attend monthly CLAS chairs/directors meetings and any other meetings designated for chairs and directors.


Adoption of the By-Laws.

The adoption of these by-laws shall be by a majority vote of members of the core faculty.

Amending the By-Laws.

AASP by-laws can be amended by a two-thirds vote of eligible faculty.


First Faculty Meeting

Friday, August 27, 2020

Begin discussion of by-laws. Request to view example by-law structures from Women’s Studies, Jewish Studies, and European Studies.

Second Faculty Meeting

Friday, September 24, 2010

Discuss draft of by-laws. Review draft. Core faculty send all suggested changes in writing via email to Stephanie Evans by October 8, 2010. A revised copy will be distributed via email in the week of October 11. Discussion will take place at October monthly meeting. Voting will take place at a future meeting.

October Correspondence

Friday, October 22, 2010

Having received no written suggestions for changes, Stephanie Evans forwarded this draft to Associate Dean David Pharies for approval before re-submitting final version to AASP faculty for discussion and written vote.

November Meeting with Associate Dean

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meeting with David Pharies regarding suggested changes

December Faculty Meeting

Friday, December 3, 2010

Distribution of Bylaw draft to faculty. Written feedback requested by Friday, December 10, 12noon.

December Meeting with Associate Dean

  • Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – Meeting with David Pharies regarding suggested changes
  • September 23, 2010 – Original Draft
  • December 13, 2010 – Final Draft submitted to CLAS Associate Dean for approval
  • January 11, 2011 – Final Draft re-submitted to CLAS Associate Dean for approval


DECEMBER 13, 2010


JANUARY 18, 2011