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GenCen Bylaws


Center for Gender in Global Context 

Michigan State University 

I.   Function and Objectives 

The Center for Gender in Global Context (hereafter designated as GenCen) serves as the hub at Michigan State University (hereafter designated as MSU) for gender and sexuality research, teaching, and engagement with a global perspective. We connect scholars, students, and community stakeholders to feminist theory and knowledge through innovative projects with an emphasis on social justice.  

II.   Composition and Definitions 

The constituency of GenCen is composed of Core AffiliatesConsulting Affiliates, and Students. 

2.1   Core Affiliates  

The Core Affiliates shall consist of all persons holding the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, emeriti professor (former GenCen affiliates)instructor, librarian, and specialist at MSU who request affiliation with GenCen and who have a strong continuing professional focus on issues of womengender, and/or sexuality in domestic, international, or global contexts, as demonstrated through researchteaching and/or other achievementsCore Affiliates shall receive GenCen mailings and notifications. 

2.1.1   Selection 

Any qualified member may be invited to apply for affiliation with GenCen upon their request or nomination by another GenCen affiliate. Applicants who indicate interest in Core Affiliation will be approved by the GenCen Advisory Committee, or alternatively reviewed for Consulting Affiliation.  

2.1.2   Duties of the Core Affiliates  

The Core Affiliates supportassists in developing, and help implement the programs and activities of GenCenTo facilitate these services, the resources of GenCen shall be put at the disposal of the Core Affiliates  

2.1.3   Voting Status 

Each Core Faculty member shall have a vote in the deliberations of the membership meetings.  

2.1.4   GJEC Affiliation 

Core affiliates with expertise and interest in gender at the intersections of gender and justice and/or the environment may also be affiliated with the Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change (GJEC) Program. New affiliates must express interest in GJEC affiliation within their application. 

2.2   Consulting Affiliates 

The Consulting Affiliates shall consist of persons holding the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, emeriti professor (former GenCen affiliates)instructor, librarian, and specialist at MSU who, while having a professional interest in issues of women, gender, and/or sexuality in domestic, international, or global contexts and activities of the GenCen, either do not qualify under 2.1 above or do not choose to become Core AffiliatesThe Consulting Affiliates shall receive GenCen mailings and notifications. 

2.2.1   Selection 

Any qualified member may be invited to apply for affiliation with GenCen their request or nomination by another GenCen affiliate. Applicants who indicate interest in Consulting Affiliation will be approved by the GenCen Advisory Committee, or alternatively reviewed for Core Affiliation or rejected from affiliation.  

2.2.2   Duties of the Consulting Affiliates  

The Consulting Affiliates supports the activities of GenCen and may assist in developing and implementing programs and activities. 

2.2.3   Voting Status 

Consulting Affiliates may attend all GenCen membership meetings and participate fully in consultation and discussion; however, they have no voting privileges in membership meetings or GenCen Advisory Committee meetings. 

2.2.4   GJEC Affiliation 

Consulting affiliates with expertise and interest in gender at the intersections of gender and justice and/or the environment may also be affiliated with the Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change (GJEC) Program. New affiliates must express interest in GJEC affiliation within their application. 

2.3   Students 

2.3.1   Student Constituency 

The student constituency of GenCen shall be any student at MSU who is enrolled in any major, minor, or specialization affiliated with GenCen and any student with interests in the study of women, sexuality, and/or gender who requests membershipStudents shall be able to participate in all GenCen-sponsored activities, including seminars and meetings, and be eligible to serve on standing and/or ad hoc committees. 

2.3.2   Student Representatives 

One undergraduate and one graduate student shall be selected biennially by the Co-Directors from a pool of candidates who are either self-nominated or nominated by Core AffiliatesThese representatives shall have full voting privileges in the deliberations of GenCen and shall serve as voting members of the GenCen Advisory CommitteeThese representatives will have full voting rights except when student appointments and financial awards are discussed. 

III.  Organization and Governance 

GenCen is organized for academic governance through the following officers and bodies: two Co-Directors; Assistant and Associate Directors; the GenCen Advisory Committee; and the Affiliates and students duly assembled in membership meetingsOther support staff includes secretaries, specialistsinterns, and administrative assistants as funding allows. 

3.1   The Co-Directors 

The Co-Directors shall be the administrative heads for GenCen in accordance with procedures for units established by administrative actionOne Co-Director shall possess expertise in domestic content areas and the other in international and global content areas. 

3.1.1   Qualifications of the Co-Directors 

The Co-Directors of GenCen shall be committed to the objectives and guiding principles of GenCen as set forth in I aboveThe Co-Directors shall be tenured faculty members and have a record of scholarly activity in GenCen-related studies, demonstrated by having engaged in research, teaching, and/or outreach related to GenCen’s functions and objectivesFurthermore, the Co-Directors must have demonstrated administrative abilities, exhibit a record of obtaining grants, and show understanding and appreciation of the diversity and scope of GenCen-related research, teaching, and outreach undertaken at MSU. 

3.1.2   Duties of the Co-Directors   The Co-Directors shall be the administrative heads of GenCen in accordance with current University Bylaws.   The Co-Directors shall be responsible for the program and long-range planning for the instructional, research, and service goals of GenCen.   The Co-Directors shall represent GenCen, or designate a representative, at important national, regional, or local conferences on GenCen-related concerns.   The Co-Directors shall make policy decisions (e.g., those involving budget and teaching curriculum, assistantships, and personnel changes) in consultation with the GenCen Advisory Committee and the Dean of International Studies & Programs (hereafter designated as ISP). 

3.1.3   Review and Selection of the Co-Directors   The Co-Directors shall be subject to regular review at intervals not to exceed five yearsThe Dean of ISP, in consultation with the GenCen Advisory Committee, shall establish procedures for the reviewThe review committee shall include members of the GenCen Advisory Committee and the Core Affiliates.   There is no limit, other than the limits imposed by University rules, on the number of times an individual may be continued in the position of Co-Director.   When a new Co-Director must be chosen, the Search and Selection Committee appointed by the Dean of ISP shall include members from the Advisory Committee, Affiliates, and GenCen-affiliated student representatives. 

3.2   Assistant/Associate Directors 

3.2.1   Selection of Assistant/Associate Director(s) 

Assistant and/or Associate Director(s) will be appointed by the GenCen Co-Directors after the completion of search (external when funds are available). This search process will include in-person interviews with, at a minimum, two qualified candidates that include job talks open to the complete GenCen constituency.  

3.2.2   Duties of the Assistant/Associate Director(s) 

The Assistant/Associate Director(s) shall serve ex officio on GenCen committees as appropriateThe other responsibilities and duties of the Assistant/Associate Directors shall be determined by agreement between the Co-Directors and each Assistant/Associate Director. 

3.3   Advisory Committee 

The GenCen Advisory Committee is the major channel for advising the Co-Directors, Associate Directors, and Assistant Directors on all matters of GenCen policy, and programs; on any matter which the Core Affiliates, through its meetings, entrusts to it; on any matter on which the Co-Directors seek advice; and on any other matter of importance. 

3.3.1   Composition 

The voting members of the GenCen Advisory Committee shall consist of eight Core Affiliates members, one graduate student member, and one undergraduate student member (see 2.3.2 for student representative appointments)The committee shall include two voting representatives each from GenCen’s Primary Contributing Units: the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social SciencePrimary Contributing Units are those with the largest number of affiliates.  

Additional voting affiliate members will include: 1 representative from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; 1 representative from the residential colleges (James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, and Residential College in the Arts and Humanities); and 2 representatives At-Large, representing the remaining units Core Affiliates hail from. 

The Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender (LBGT) Resource Center; Women*s Student Services; Prevention, Outreach, and Education (POE) Department; and Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (OIII)shall have ex-officio, non-voting membership on the GenCen Advisory CommitteeThe GenCen Advisory Committee reserves the right to alter this composition.   

3.3.2   Term 

Each voting member of the GenCen Advisory Committee shall serve staggered two-year terms commencing January 1Members shall be eligible for election for a maximum of two consecutive terms.  

If a member substitution is needed, the Co-Directors will solicit the runner-up for the empty position of the most recent election. Serving as a substitute member for one year or less shall not constitute as an elected term, allowing substitute members to serve one year or less in the substitute role and then be elected for two full consecutive terms following. 

3.3.3   Duties of the Advisory Committee   At the first meeting following the election, the GenCen Advisory Committee shall select a chairperson from all serving committee members.   The GenCen Advisory Committee shall advise the Co-Directors on any matters on which they seek adviceMembers may be asked to serve on sub-committees for specific functions, such as colloquium or curriculum development or grant awards.   Minutes of the GenCen Advisory Committee meetings shall be kept on file and made available to Core Faculty members in the GenCen office.   The Chair of the GenCen Advisory Committee shall have the power to ask elected members who do not come to meetings to resign. 

3.3.4   Meetings of the Advisory Committee 

Meetings of the GenCen Advisory Committee shall be called regularly by the ChairpersonGenCen Co-Directors, or a majority of the Advisory CommitteeThe committee will meet at least once per semester. 

3.3.5   Election of Core Faculty Members of the Advisory Committee 

The selection procedure shall be as follows: 

a.   Elections shall take place during the Fall Semester. 

b.   Core Faculty listed according to the categories specified in 3.3.1, with the exclusion of GenCen staff, shall be sent to GenCen Core Faculty members, who will vote for the designated number of voting membersA second ballot will be issued to select one of the candidates with the most nominations for each position. 

c.   If an elected member declines to serve on the GenCen Advisory Committee, the place shall be offered to the person who has the next highest number of votes. 

3.3.6   Selection of Student Advisory Committee Members 

Upon receiving self-nominations and nominations from the Core Affiliates, the Co-Directors shall select one graduate and one undergraduate representative from the student constituency, as defined in 2.3.2. 

3.4   Membership Meetings 

3.4.2   Membership meetings may be called as needed by the Co-Directors of GenCenAgendas shall be circulated one week before the date of the meetingEmergency meetings shall be convened on petition from any twenty-five Core Affiliates. 

3.4.3   The Co-Directors shall chair the membership meetings.  

3.4.4   The student constituency shall be represented by the two student members of the GenCen Advisory Committee. 

3.4.5   Any Core Affiliate or student representative may schedule a matter for the agenda of the membership meeting with the review and approval of the GenCen Advisory Committee. 

3.5   General Procedures 

3.5.1   Appropriate minutes of membership and committee meetings shall be kept on file in the GenCen office and made available to Core Affiliates upon request. 

3.6   Rules of Order 

3.6.1   A quorum shall consist of one-fifth (20%) of the Core Affiliates of GenCenA quorum of the GenCen Advisory Committee shall be a majority of the members. 

3.6.2   Motions other than amendments to the Bylaws are considered passed by a majority of the GenCen voting members who are present or who respond to mail ballotsMembers will be informed ahead of time about major issues to be voted on and may request an absentee ballot or proxy vote if unable to attend a meetingAbsentee ballots may be in the form of a paper ballot or e-mail, and must be received in the GenCen office before the meeting. 

3.6.3   For all other business, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall be followed. 

IV. Committees and Procedures 

4.1   Committees 

The Co-Directors, in consultation with the GenCen Advisory Committee, may appoint standing and ad hoc committees necessary to the expeditious furthering of the goals of GenCen. 

4.1.1   The Co-Directors are authorized to appoint to committees any person necessary to achieve the purpose of the committee. 

4.1.2   Committees shall employ formal, fair, and expeditious procedures. 

4.1.3   Where possible, committees shall make decisions by consensusWhere this proves unsatisfactory, decisions shall be made by majority vote of committee members in attendance. 

4.1.4   Every standing or ad hoc committee member shall have one vote, whatever that person’s affiliation with the GenCen, except on matters as indicated in 2.3.2. 

V.  Interpretation and Amendment 

5.1   Interpretation 

The Co-Directors, with the GenCen Advisory Committee, shall be the final authority with regard to the interpretation of these Bylaws. 

5.2   Amendment 

5.2.1   Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed in writing to the GenCen Advisory Committee by voting members of GenCenThe GenCen Advisory Committee shall review these proposed amendments and, where deemed necessary, call a membership meeting (held in person or online) to discuss them. 

5.2.2   Proposed amendments shall be voted on at a meeting (held in person or online) subsequent to the one at which they were introducedAmendments to these Bylaws shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the GenCen voting members present, physically or electronically. 


These Bylaws were approved by the combined Women and International Development Program/Women, Gender, and Social Justice Program Advisory Committee on November 15, 2007, and, following review by the Dean of International Studies and Programs, the Vice President for Academic Human Resources, and the Secretary for Academic Governance, were approved by a majority of a quorum of GenCen Core Faculty on December 11, 2007. 

These Bylaws were last amended on December 09, 2020. 

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