MSU Center for Interdisciplinarity Bylaws
This document outlines the rights, responsibilities, and procedures by which faculty and students participate in the academic governance of the Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Interdisciplinarity (C4I). If specifications or omissions place these Bylaws in conflict, in any manner, with College or University policies, as enacted in their Bylaws, the latter will take precedence. Questions about conduct of business shall be referred to these Bylaws or to the revised Robert’s Rules of Order as necessary.
1. Function & Objectives
1.1. Participating units
C4I is a research and outreach center underwritten and overseen by CAL. The MSU Department of Philosophy (PHL) is the intellectual sponsor of C4I. C4I operationalizes this intellectual sponsorship in two ways: (a) at least 1/3 of the membership of the C4I internal advisory board of C4I will come from PHL, and (b) PHL will participate in the process of selecting the Director of C4I.
C4I consists of a Director, a Managing Director, at least one post-doctoral research associate, and an Internal Advisory Board populated by MSU faculty and staff. C4I will also involve MSU faculty in other roles as resources allow, e.g., Scholars-in-Residence and affiliate faculty.
C4I has scholarly and community outreach goals that are mutually supportive. Members of C4I conduct research on cross-disciplinary process and engage in cross-disciplinary scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and teaching. The results of these scholarly and creative activities inform its community outreach, which focuses on facilitating cross-disciplinary activity and supporting scholars (especially early career scholars) who are pursuing cross-disciplinary intellectual and creative paths.
2. Membership and Participation
Members of C4I include the Director, the Managing Director, all post-doctoral research associates, and all MSU faculty involved with C4I (e.g., Internal Advisory Board, Scholars in Residence, affiliate faculty). The “core faculty” comprises the Director, the Managing Director, all post-doctoral research associates, all current Scholars-in-Residence, and any other person with an appointment in C4I greater than 0%. The “full faculty” includes the Core Faculty along with the affiliate faculty. The Internal Advisory Board will be independent of the core faculty and full faculty.
2.2. Rights and Responsibilities
Core faculty members of C4I have the right to vote on those C4I-related issues brought to a vote by the Director. Committees created to perform tasks relevant to the function of C4I will be constituted by full faculty members. Committee recommendations will require approval of the core faculty before they are implemented.
3. Organization and Governance
Academic governance of C4I is the responsibility of the core faculty with guidance from the C4I Internal Advisory Board and any committees populated by members of the full faculty.
3.2. Internal Advisory Board
The Internal Advisory Board (henceforth IAB) is constituted by members drawn from the faculty and staff at Michigan State University. The advisory board will meet at least once each academic year and will review C4I activities and deliverables and will advise the C4I Director, Managing Director, and the core faculty on decisions and plans.
The humanities and arts will be represented on the board, along with interdisciplinary experts from across MSU. The board will be constituted by five members drawn from the Department of Philosophy, five members drawn from other units in the College of Arts & Letters (CAL), and four members from outside of CAL.
The IAB members will be invited by the Director and Managing Director, with selection guidance provided by the full faculty, IAB members, and Associate Dean.
IAB members will serve a term of three years, with the option to renew or withdraw at that time. IAB members may withdraw at any time due to personal or professional needs.
C4I is led by a director who has a 49% appointment in C4I and a majority appointment in the department where they have their tenure home. The Director is formally affiliated with PHL, although the balance of their appointment need not be in PHL. The Director is responsible for all aspects of C4I.
The Director of C4I (hereafter, “the Director”) provides leadership for C4I and mentoring for the other members of the C4I community. They represent C4I in CAL, across MSU, and outside of MSU.
The Director will be selected by a search committee appointed by the Dean of CAL in consultation with the C4I Managing Director, the chair of PHL, and the C4I IAB. The chair of the search committee will be a professor in PHL and the committee will include at least one additional faculty member from PHL and at least two faculty members from CAL, one from a humanities unit and one from an arts unit.
The Director is ultimately responsible for the decisions made in C4I. These decisions concern the vision and mission of C4I, the research direction pursued by the staff of C4I, the activities and events organized and facilitated by C4I, hiring and evaluation of personnel, budget management, and coordination with PHL, CAL, MSU, and any external partners. The Director can delegate authority for certain decisions to the Managing Director.
3.3.4. Level and Reporting
The Director will be an Associate or Full Professor with an affiliation in PHL. C4I staff, including the Managing Director, and any other faculty or academic staff appointed in C4I will report to them. The Director will report to the Dean of CAL.
The Dean will write an annual review letter for the Director and will submit that to the chair of the Director’s home department for inclusion in the annual review process.
3.3.6. ReappointmentUnder most circumstances, the Director will receive a three-year appointment. In the case of an interim director, appointments of less than three years may be granted.
If the director wishes to be reappointed, they will notify the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and the Dean conducts the review in the 3rd year as part of the reappointment process.
3.4. Managing Director
The Managing Director of C4I (hereafter, “the Managing Director”) supports the Director in providing leadership for C4I and mentoring for the other members of the C4I community. They represent C4I in CAL, across MSU, and outside of MSU.
The Managing Director will be selected by a search committee appointed by the Director of C4I in consultation with an associate dean in CAL, the chair of PHL, and the C4I IAB. The search committee will include at least one faculty member from PHL and at least two faculty members from CAL, one from a humanities unit and one from an arts unit.
The Managing Director is responsible for the operational aspects of C4I. These include event organization, C4I communications, meetings, and committee function. The Director and the Managing Director should balance responsibility for research and outreach aspects of C4I; further, they should together ensure that interdisciplinarity related to the humanities and the arts are adequately represented in C4I’s commitment portfolio.
3.4.4. Level and Reporting
The Managing Director will report to the Director of C4I.
Annual performance reviews of the Managing Director will be conducted by the Director of C4I.
The Managing Director will receive multi-year appointment. At the beginning of the final year, if they seek reappointment, they will notify the Director of C4I. Reappointment procedures will follow the College of Arts and Letters procedures for the Managing Director’s position type.
3.5. Other Core Faculty
3.5.1. General Provisions
Specification of additional core faculty categories can be found in supplemental information.
3.6.1. General Provisions
Committees will be constituted as needed on an ad hoc basis to address issues arising in C4I that require sustained attention. Ad hoc committees that address persistent issues may become standing committees by a two-thirds vote of the core faculty. The charge of a standing committee and selection of its members will also be determined by a two-thirds vote of the core faculty.
Meetings of the core faculty of C4I will happen regularly on a schedule determined by the Managing Director in consultation with the Director.
Regular meetings of the C4I core faculty will address matters determined by the Managing Director in consultation with the Director. These will include issues related to the operation of C4I, such as ongoing research, events, staffing, strategic direction, and budget. Issues requiring a vote will be included in regular meeting of the core faculty. Any core faculty member may schedule a matter for discussion at a regular meeting.
Core faculty members of C4I have the right to vote on Issues brought to a vote by the Director.
3.7.4. Full faculty Meeting
One regular meeting of the membership will be designated the “Full Faculty Meeting”. This formal meeting of the full faculty shall be held annually. The agenda shall be circulated one week before the date of the meeting. The Director shall chair the full faculty meeting. Any full faculty member may schedule a matter for discussion at the full faculty meeting. Typically, no votes will be taken at full faculty meetings. Matters requiring a vote will be referred to the next regular meeting of the C4I core faculty. Minutes of the Full Faculty Meeting shall be archived and made available on the C4I website.
3.8. Grievance and Hearing Procedures
C4I follows the Faculty Grievance Policy published in the Faculty Handbook and approved by the Board of Trustees for resolving employment related disputes that arise between faculty or academic staff and administrators. The formal procedures described there are intended to be used only when matters cannot be resolved informally.
The student grievance procedure shall be in accord with the procedures detailed in the document titled “Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University,” and, in the case of graduate students, in the publication titled “Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities.”
4.1. Initial Approval
Voting shall be by a secret ballot in a core faculty meeting at which submission of the bylaws for ratification was approved by a 2/3 majority of those present and voting.
The Director and Managing Director, in consultation with the other members of C4I, will have final authority concerning interpretation of these bylaws. Should there be a disagreement, this will be resolved by a vote of the C4I core faculty.
Amendment of these bylaws shall be upon approval of two-thirds of the core faculty of C4I. Voting shall be by a secret ballot in a core faculty meeting.