About the Program

The Women's Studies Executive Committee

 

Duties:

The Women’s Studies Executive Committee is the governing body of the Women's Studies program. The Committee of the whole and its subcommittees advise the Director of Women's Studies. The committee votes on policy and procedural matters such as the curriculum and its development, the selection of Faculty Associates and Affiliates of Women’s Studies, faculty personnel needs, and the development of the program. When a quorum of 2/3 of the voting members of the WSEC is present, proposals may be passed by a simple majority vote. If a quorum is absent, the committee may be balloted on paper or electronically. The Committee may make recommendations to the Director on other major issues, such as other personnel needs, budget, and financing.

Composition:

The Women’s Studies Executive Committee shall consist of the Director of Women’s Studies and nine voting members: five faculty associates; one faculty member on joint appointment; one Women's Studies teaching assistant; one graduate student representative; and one undergraduate student representative. The Director of Women's Studies shall vote only to break a tie. The WSEC shall include, ex officio and non-voting, the director of University Resources for Women or her or his designee. Former directors of the Women's Studies Program who are still employed by NIU will be asked to serve in a nonvoting capacity during the first year after they step down from the directorship. The committee shall elect a chair from among its members each fall, who will set agendas with input from the Director of Women's Studies.

Selection and term of service:

1. Faculty Associates: of the five Faculty Associate representatives to the committee, four shall be elected by the Faculty Associates from among themselves in the spring semester preceding service on the committee. To ensure disciplinary and/or cross-college balance, the fifth Faculty Associate representative shall be appointed by the Director of Women's Studies. Because the Women's Studies program is housed in and primarily supported by CLAS, at least one Faculty Associate on the Executive Committee must be a member of that college. The term of service shall be two years, staggered.

2. Faculty on joint appointment with Women's Studies: faculty on joint appointment will rotate one year terms on the Executive Committee, and select an alternate to attend meetings in the absence of the regular member.

3. Teaching assistants: TAs will elect, at the beginning of the fall semester of the academic year in which they hold an appointment, one of their number to serve on the Executive Committee and an alternate to attend meetings in the absence of the regular member.

4. Graduate students: Each fall semester, graduate students with a declared concentration in Women's Studies shall be supplied with a list of their colleagues and be invited to nominate one of them as their representative to the committee in the academic year. After nominations are closed and ranked according to number of nominations received, the nominees with the greatest number of votes, starting with the first and continuing downward, shall be contacted in the fall and asked to serve, until the position is filled. If a representative cannot be found, the Director of Women's Studies may appoint a representative.

5. Undergraduate students: Each spring semester undergraduate members of Women’s Alliance, the Women’s Studies program’s student support organization, with a declared minor in Women’s Studies shall be supplied with a list of minors and invited to nominate one of them as their representative to the committee in the succeeding academic year. After nominations are closed and ranked according to the number of votes received, the list will be forwarded to the program director. In the fall, the director will contact the student ranked first on the list and ask her or him to serve on the WSEC for the year. If she or he is unable to serve, the director will continue down the list, inviting nominees to serve, until the position is filled.

Subcommittees and Duties:

The standing subcommittees of the WSEC shall be the curriculum and program development subcommittee, and the personnel subcommittee. Each of these subcommittees will be responsible for complying with any applicable college or university policies. Recommendations of each subcommittee must be presented for approval by the WSEC.

1. The curriculum and program development subcommittee of the WSEC shall consist of at least four members, including two Faculty Associates, at least one of whom must be a member of the WSEC, and one member of the joint appointment faculty. The curriculum and program development subcommittee shall also include a student representative selected by the Director in the fall semester for service that year. The committee shall propose and receive ideas for curricular expansion, revision, and assessment. Other interested students and faculty associates may volunteer to serve on the committee.

2. The personnel subcommittee of the WSEC shall consist of four Faculty Associates, who must be tenured. At least one of these members must also be a current member of the WSEC, and, whenever possible, one of these individuals shall come from each joint appointment faculty member’s tenuring department. The subcommittee is charged with conducting the annual merit evaluation of the director of the program (for submission to the WSEC). In addition, the committee will prepare the annual merit evaluations of the faculty on joint appointment, the progress toward tenure reviews of probationary faculty on joint appointment and recommendations on promotion and tenure (see below). Personnel subcommittee actions will be advisory to the director of Women’s Studies, who will attach them to her or his reports to the appropriate departments in order to produce a joint recommendation to the college. Service, teaching, and scholarship within Women’s Studies are to be weighed according to the proportion of assignments in Women’s Studies and the terms of the individual Memorandum of Understanding.

3. Special projects subcommittees of the WSEC will be appointed by the Director whenever necessary; for instance, to draw up guidelines for research funds or to plan Women's History Month.