As adopted on April 28, 2023.
As a unit of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS), the Department of Anthropology is governed by the policies set out in the KSAS Faculty Handbook, and other rules and regulations of Johns Hopkins University. These bylaws (Bylaws) are supplementary to those documents.
Article I: Membership
All faculty with active tenure-track appointments and joint tenure-track appointments in the Department, and all full-time teaching and research faculty in the Department, are regular voting members with equal rights of participation, except as such rights are explicitly abridged or restricted by the Bylaws. “Member” means regular voting member unless otherwise explicitly indicated. Only tenured faculty may vote on tenure cases and only full professors may vote on cases for promotion to that rank. Teaching and research faculty shall not participate in discussions or votes on tenure or promotion cases. The specific rights and responsibilities of staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows as members of the Department shall be stipulated in the articles that follow.
Article II: Administrative Roles
The Chair (Chair), the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), and the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) oversee the administration of the department. These officers perform the duties prescribed by the Bylaws, the parliamentary authority adopted by the Department, and the university. The Chair, DGS, and DUS will strive for transparency with Members of the department in administrative meetings and correspondence related to their respective positions, and will work toward a sense of community and inclusivity among faculty, students, and staff.
Chairs are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Dean of KSAS, but in practice this means that the Dean usually confirms a department’s recommendation. When a Chair’s term is due to end, faculty Members of the department choose the faculty member to be recommended to the Dean as the next Chair by secret ballot. On a date at least one week prior to the secret ballot, at a meeting of Members of the department, the candidate(s) for chair who have agreed to be considered discuss the future of the department and answer questions by the faculty. This meeting is organized by the outgoing Chair and is chaired by him or her.
The Chair represents the collective decision making of the department and coordinates with the Vice Dean for the Humanities and Social Sciences on the administration of the department. The Chair is expected to consult the faculty on matters and decisions that pertain to the administration of the department, and any Member can also motion for a meeting and/or discussion on matters of disagreement to facilitate collective decision-making on any such matter. The Chair will report in writing on administrative meetings in which they represent the department in a timely manner, and create occasions for discussion on significant and relevant matters with Members of the department. The Chair will also strive for transparency with Members of the department in administrative correspondence, within the boundaries of what can rightfully be shared.
The Chair is responsible for maintaining sound working relationships between staff and faculty, and between staff and students in the department. The Chair works closely with the department administrator to ensure that department facilities and necessary resources are in order. While the Chair is ultimately responsible for sound management of department finances, the Chair has the responsibility to ensure transparency in resource allocation by making the department’s extant operating budget available to faculty Members of the department on a semesterly basis. The Chair will discuss any significant expenditure of department resources with faculty Members. The Chair ensures that leave planning for faculty protects faculty Members’ progression toward promotion, and ensures the fulfillment of departmental administrative responsibilities and core teaching needs.
The Chair will canvass eligible faculty for their interest and availability to serve the department as the DGS and DUS. Such appointments will be made with attention to regular and equitable rotation among eligible faculty. If multiple faculty express interest in assuming one of these responsibilities at any given time, or if no faculty come forward to assume one of these responsibilities at any given time, the appointment will be discussed and agreed upon collectively in a faculty meeting.
The DGS coordinates directly with the Chair on graduate affairs and reports from the Vice Dean for Graduate Education regarding university policies. The DGS oversees the department’s graduate program and is responsible for assigning advisors to incoming students, overseeing the usage of funding allocated to graduate activities, managing the rotation of core course instruction among department faculty, ensuring the provision of regular opportunities for graduate professionalization, and allocating graduate teaching responsibilities, in coordination with the Chair, and DUS as necessary.
The DUS coordinates directly with the Chair on undergraduate affairs and reports from the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Education regarding university policies. The DUS oversees the department’s undergraduate program and is responsible for overseeing the adequacy of course offerings, ensuring the rotation of core course instruction among department faculty, managing the faculty advising system, enabling student access to research opportunities, reviewing requirements for the major, and facilitating interaction with departmental faculty, in coordination with the Chair, and DGS as necessary.
Article III: Meetings and Deliberations
Regular meetings are held once a month during spring and fall semesters. Department meetings will be held in person whenever possible, but virtual attendance will always be an option available to those who need to attend remotely.
Meeting dates are set and announced by the Chair, and agendas circulated, at least one week in advance. Members may add items to the agenda by notice to the Chair or by raising them as new business. A Member is deemed to have attended a meeting if attending virtually.
The department administrator will be expected to attend certain portions of department meetings and will otherwise be permitted to attend meetings at the discretion of the Chair.
A graduate student representative will be permitted to attend portions of department meetings devoted to public reporting and discussion as established by the department Chair and DGS. Agenda items of relevance to the graduate program will be shared in advance with this representative, and meetings will accommodate expression of graduate concerns.
Special meetings are called by the Chair, or at the request of Members, as needed to discuss special or urgent business. Except in emergencies, special meetings are announced at least one week in advance.
The minutes of each regular or special meeting, recorded by a secretary appointed by the Chair, are distributed to voting Members promptly after the conclusion of that meeting. The minutes will record all substantive discussion and votes taken at a meeting. Members are responsible for promptly registering any necessary revisions to the minutes. The role of meetings secretary will be regularly rotated among faculty. At the outset of each meeting, Members will vote to approve the previous meeting’s minutes.
Methods of voting include deliberations that arrive at a consensus among Members, straw poll voting, and anonymous voting. Any Member can call for a vote or, specifically, an anonymous vote, on any matter. The Chair will pay heed to evidence of difference and disagreement and strive to enable Members to express contrary points of view.
On matters announced as agenda items for departmental meetings, any Member eligible to vote yet unable to attend a meeting will still be given the opportunity to vote on decisions they wish to participate in, in advance of that meeting or promptly thereafter. The Chair will strive to enable all Members to deliberate and vote on departmental matters.
ARTICLE IV: Faculty Searches
When prompted by the Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Members of the department meet and collectively develop a hiring plan for new appointments to lines authorized by the Dean. Whenever changes in personnel suggest that an approved hiring plan should be reconsidered, the Chair or any Member may propose changes to the Department for a formal vote. The Chair reports on any ongoing searches in other departments or programs that would involve joint, associated or affiliated positions in the Department.
If authorization to search is obtained from the Dean, the Chair will canvass faculty Members for their interest in participating in the search and chairing the search, include all interested faculty on the committee, and appoint a search committee chair. Members of this search committee are expected to participate actively throughout the search process, including all committee deliberations and candidate interviews.
The committee will include at least one faculty member from outside the department whose appointment to the committee is approved by department faculty Members, as an active member in committee deliberations. The committee will also include, as a voting member, a graduate student representative from the department elected by the graduate student cohort.
The Chair of the Department is an ex officio member of all search committees. Only if necessary will the Chair of the Department chair a search committee.
The committee creates a search plan, including the text of the job advertisement, and submits it for approval by vote to all Members, before it is submitted for approval to the relevant Vice Dean.
At every stage of the search process, faculty Members should be transparent about any personal or professional conflict of interest regarding potential candidates. When there is a potential or perceived conflict of interest arising from a close professional relationship with a candidate of interest in any stage of the search process, faculty Members may participate in deliberations but should recuse themselves from voting on the candidate pool at that stage.
After the applications are reviewed, preliminary interviews are usually arranged for as many promising candidates as is feasible.
The committee creates a ranked short list of finalists to invite for campus interviews and presents this list to all faculty Members. If the committee identifies no candidates of exceptional distinction or promise, further candidates may be sought.
The Chair proposes the finalists to the Dean for consideration and, if they are approved, invites them to campus, where they make presentations to the department. They are interviewed by the Chair, search committee members, interested faculty Members, and the appropriate Deans, and have an opportunity for conversation with interested graduate students.
The application files of all candidates and more complete files of the finalists, including their publications, are made available to all Members, who are expected to familiarize themselves with the credentials and publications of the finalists.
The committee prepares and distributes to the members of the department, a report that evaluates the finalists (especially their written work), compares them with other faculty in the same field at the same rank, and recommends which, if any, should be pursued further. At a meeting scheduled at least one week later, except in emergency situations, the finalists and the report are discussed. Any Member may propose a vote on the unappointability of any candidate, to be decided by simple majority.
Once the list of appointable candidates is determined, eligible Members vote, by secret ballot, on which finalists should be ranked for proposal to the Dean. Then each Member ranks all those finalists deemed appointable, by secret ballot, in the order in which they should be proposed to the Dean. (No ballot is valid unless all candidates are ranked and each rank can be used only once.) The rankings for each candidate are totaled, and the candidate receiving the lowest total is proposed as the department’s first choice, the candidate with the next lowest total is proposed as the department’s second choice, and so on. The ranking of the finalist or finalists to be proposed to the Dean is then affirmed or not affirmed by secret ballot.
An effort is made to inform Members on leave or otherwise not in residence of any searches and to provide materials for them to consider, where feasible. Members who cannot attend the meeting may submit absentee ballots, but no such votes are accepted after the meeting.
The Chair forwards the Department’s recommendation to the Dean, including the results of the vote, the report of the search committee, and his or her comments. If the Chair’s view differs significantly from the recommendation of the Department, the Members must be informed of that difference immediately in writing.
Article V: Amendment of the Bylaws
The Bylaws may be amended at a regular or special meeting by a two-thirds vote among all voting Members. Proposed amendments must be circulated in writing at least one week in advance of such a meeting. Absentee votes on proposed bylaws changes are accepted before the meeting at which they are considered, or promptly thereafter.