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Departmental Bylaws

Department of History & Philosophy

Austin Peay State University



       I.            DEFINITIONS

A)    Faculty are all tenured and tenure-track members of the department.

B)    Adjunct is a member of the department appointed on a part-time basis.

C)    Instructor is a member of the department who is appointed on a full-time, temporary basis.

D)    Recording secretary is a member of the faculty, whose duties include, but are not limited to, recording minutes and adding items to the agenda for department meetings.


A)    Notwithstanding III.B below, the Department of History & Philosophy understands that if the bylaws ever disagree with the policies of the College of Arts and Letters and the University, the Department of History & Philosophy shall defer to University policies.

 III.            VOTING

A)    All faculty have voting rights.

B)    The sovereignty of the department shall reside in its voting membership.

C)    Any faculty member may ask for a secret ballot vote on any voting issue.

D)    A quorum consisting of a simple majority of all faculty who are not on sabbatical and/or out of residence for the term must be present for any vote to be legitimate.

E)     The Chair shall vote only to break a tie.

F)     Proxy votes will be allowed with formal advanced notice to the recording secretary.

G)    Voting will be conducted in multiple rounds so that each vote will decide only one issue. For example, in the case of hiring new faculty, one vote will determine the first choice of the department, and a second vote will determine the second choice of the department from among the remaining candidates.

H)    When voting for new members of the department, faculty may only vote if they have attended either the demonstration lecture or the interview of two of the three candidates.

1)      The Fort Campbell Coordinator shall be a specific exception to this rule.


A)    The chair customarily convenes department meetings. Any faculty member may convene a meeting upon obtaining the signatures of a majority of the faculty and submitting these signatures to the department chair two weeks before the date of the proposed meeting.

B)    Regular department meetings are to be held at least every 6 weeks.

C)    Full department meetings shall be attended by only tenured and tenure-track faculty. The chair may ask others to attend on occasion if the purposes of the specific meeting in question require their attendance.

D)     The chair shall publish the agenda for the meeting at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

1)      Faculty members may add items to the agenda by giving them to the Chair directly, or by submitting them to the recording secretary if they desire anonymity.

E)     Meetings need not follow strictly to Robert’s Rules of Order, but they should be conducted in a manner allowing all viewpoints and opinions to be aired. The concepts of efficiency, courtesy, collegiality and free speech will be paramount in the conduct of meetings.

F)     In order to make meetings as efficient as possible, each item in the agenda will have a time limit set by the chair when she/he issues the agenda. A timekeeper will be chosen at the beginning of the meeting. The timekeeper will set an audible alarm for the end of discussion. The time limit can only be altered after a majority vote of the department.

1)      If faculty do not agree with the time limits set by the chair, then they can propose changing them at the beginning of the meeting. Changes to the time require only a majority vote.

G)    The recording secretary shall record the minutes of each meeting. In the absence of the recording secretary, the chair shall designate a temporary recording secretary. The minutes shall be distributed to the faculty within one week following the meeting, and shall be approved or amended at the next regular department meeting.

    V.            COMMITTEES

A)    There shall be the following standing committees:

1)      Curriculum

  1. The Curriculum Committee’s duties include, but are not limited to, reviewing course modifications and reviewing all new course proposals as well as all changes to the program within the department.
  2. There shall be separate and independent Curriculum Committees for History and for Philosophy

2)      Adjunct

  1. The Adjunct Committee’s duties include, but are not limited to, the evaluation of candidates seeking employment as Instructors or Adjuncts, the creation and implementation of annual and semi-annual evaluations of Instructors and Adjuncts, and, in consultation with the Chair, other matters dealing with non-faculty instruction.
  2. The Adjunct Committee will evaluate application materials, including Curriculum Vitae and Letters of Application, from all applicants to Adjunct positions. Applicants will be prioritized and a working list of acceptable applicants will be made available to the Chair from which she/he will base hiring decisions. The list must be updated and provided to the Chair at least once per semester.
  3. The Adjunct Committee will also evaluate application materials, including Curriculum Vitae and Letters of Application, for Instructor positions. After reviewing the application materials, the committee will submit a list of three candidates for each position for a departmental vote.

3)      Scholarships and Awards

  1. The Scholarships and Awards Committee’s duties include, but are not limited to, deciding the recipients of undergraduate awards issued on behalf of the Department of History & Philosophy.
  2. There shall be a separate and independent Scholarship and Awards Committee for History and for Philosophy.

4)      Graduate Committee

  1. See VI. C) The Graduate Program

B)    Each standing committee can determine at the beginning of the academic year how often they will meet, but they shall meet at least once a quarter.  If there is little work to do in a given quarter, the committee meeting can be cursory or via email.

C)    Committee membership shall be determined at the first department meeting in the fall semester through voluntary participation. If voluntary participation fails to fill committee membership, the department chair shall appoint faculty to the committees.

D)    The chair of each standing committee shall be chosen at the first meeting of the committee in the fall semester.

E)     In addition to standing committees, ad hoc committees may be created as the need arises.

1)      Primary responsibility for appointment to ad hoc committees rests with the Chair.

 VI.            The Graduate Program

A)    Objective of the Graduate Program

1)      The Graduate Program designed to prepare students for the teaching of history on the junior college level and to provide the initial graduate work for those who intend to pursue a doctoral degree.  The Graduate Program intends to prepare students for careers in government, public and private agencies concerned with history, and any career requiring research, analytical and writing skills. It also provides secondary social studies teachers the opportunity to further their education.

2)      Graduate Program admits students for and awards the degree of Masters of Arts.

B)    Organization & Admission of the Graduate Program

1)      The Graduate Committee will be determined at the beginning of each academic year. The head of the Graduate Committee is the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, who will be chosen by Department Chair in consultation with the department. The Department Chair administers the Graduate Program. The Committee should make a good faith effort to meet at least every six weeks.

C)    The Graduate Committee

1)      The Graduate Committee will be composed of three tenure or tenure-track members, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair. The Department Chair votes only to break a tie.

2)      The duties of the Graduate Committee include

  1. Determining admission standards and admitting graduate students
  2. awarding Best Graduate Student annually
  3. selecting the Graduate Teaching Assistants
  4. helping with recruitment of graduate students
  5. advising Coordinator of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair on issues relating to the Graduate Program
  6. approving of the M.A. in History’s Graduate Student Handbook

D)    The Coordinator of Graduate Studies

1)      The Coordinator of Graduate Studies is chosen by the Department Chair. The responsibilities of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies are determined by the College of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair.

2)      The duties of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies include

  1. administering the day-to-day operations of the Graduate Program
  2. attending the Graduate Committee and the Research Council monthly meeting
  3. supervision of the selection of all Graduate Teaching Assistants
  4. supervising the Graduate Teaching Assistants
  5. working with the Curriculum Committee on course development and scheduling of graduate courses (be on the Curriculum Committee?)
  6. convening the Graduate Committee when necessary
  7. helping with recruitment of graduate students
  8. leading the admission process for graduate students
  9. advising all incoming graduate students
  10. keeping files on all graduate students 
  11. proposing policies changes to administer the Graduate Program
  12. editing the M.A. in History’s Graduate Student Handbook
  13. assists the Department Chair in scheduling graduate courses

A)    Adjuncts shall have at least a Master’s Degree or and at least 18 graduate hours in the discipline they will teach. New applicants must provide the following:

1)      A cover letter

2)      A curriculum vitae

3)      Transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

4)      1-3 recommendation letters

B)    Adjuncts shall be observed by tenured or tenure-track faculty twice in their first year and once annually thereafter. These observations must be announced to the adjunct well prior to their occasion.

1)      The chair, or a designated representative of the chair, reserves the right to observe adjuncts unannounced.

2)      The Fort Campbell Coordinator reserves the right to observe adjuncts at the Fort Campbell Center unannounced.

C)    Upper-division courses shall be taught only by tenured or tenure-track faculty or by adjuncts or Instructors who possess a terminal degree.

D)    Adjuncts shall not propose upper-level courses, they shall only be proposed by tenured or tenure-track professors.


A)    The regular term of Department Chair shall be for four years.

B)    A vote shall be held every four years concerning the faculty’s recommendation to the Dean to renew, or not to renew, the appointment of the Chair.

C)    A person who has served as Chair may serve continuous terms without limit if elected.

D)    A Chair may resign from the office at any time.

E)     Faculty members may nominate themselves or others to run for the position of Chair. All nominees may vote.

F)     If no one is nominated from within the department, the faculty shall request permission of the Dean to conduct a national search to fill the vacancy.

G)    A department meeting may be convened according to III. A) in order to petition a vote of confidence in the Chair. A majority vote of the faculty shall be required to vote no confidence in the Chair prior to the expiration of the four-year term. Whenever a vote of no confidence is achieved, a faculty member chosen by the department shall write a formal letter informing the Dean of the will of the department.


A)    The Chair shall oversee the budget, but the Chair must publish the departmental budget once every semester at a regular departmental meeting.

B)    The departmental budget shall first be used to meet operational expenses

1)      Expenditures specifically excluded from operational expenses include the following

  1. Salaries and stipends for students or faculty

C)    As a general guideline, faculty can expect $1000 annually for travel, and they must submit their request for the coming fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) by April 15. Faculty members who do not provide a request may not receive the $1000.


A)    A department meeting may be convened according to III. A) in order to petition a vote of displeasure or approval for actions taken by any other body within the university. A two-thirds vote of the faculty shall be required to vote displeasure or approval. Whenever such a vote is achieved, a faculty member chosen by the department shall write a formal letter informing the Dean of the will of the department.


A)    The Chair shall be responsible for presenting the teaching schedule to the faculty following these general guidelines:

1)      Priority of rooms and time-slots shall be given to faculty based upon seniority.

2)      In order to ensure that off-term classes (i.e. those offered Maymester, Summer, and Wintermester) are taught by the most qualified, Faculty have the right of first refusal for teaching off-term.

  1. AMENDMENTS                   

A)    Proposed amendments to these bylaws shall be submitted in writing and signed by at least 10% of the faculty.

B)    Copies of the proposed amendment(s) shall then be published at least two weeks before they are to be voted on.

C)    Amendments to this document require a two-thirds vote of faculty at a department meeting.