Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies Governance Legislation
Amended Spring 2017
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TITLE 1 – Center Organization
Section 1 – The Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies
The Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies consists of the Director, Steering Committee, payrolled staff, faculty and academic staff members, and graduate student members.
The Center is a unit of the College of Letters and Science. Because the Center does not serve as a tenure home or grant degrees, it is not a “Department-Like Body” according to UW-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures 5.40.
Section 2 – Center Membership
Faculty and staff members. Membership is open to all faculty and academic staff who can demonstrate an intellectual or pedagogical commitment to STS through teaching, research, or service. Applicants for membership may nominate themselves or be nominated by a member of the Steering Committee. Membership applications must include a curriculum vitae. Faculty or staff membership is granted by majority vote of the Steering Committee.
Graduate student members. Graduate students may become members under rules established by the Steering Committee. Graduate students will not be eligible to vote in elections specified under Title 4 of these governance rules.
Section 3 – The Center Director
The Center Director must have tenure in a department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, unless an exemption is granted by the Dean of the College of Letters and Science. The Director serves a one-year term from July 1-June 30, with the expectation that she or he will serve three consecutive terms. The Director is appointed annually by the Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, upon recommendation by the Center membership determined by a majority vote of the Center’s faculty and academic staff members. The Director is the highest-ranking representative of the Center, and exercises all powers traditionally vested in such positions by the College and the Campus.
The Director will handle all routine administrative tasks, particularly those described in FP&P 5.31. The Director may not act on any matter that would ordinarily require the consent of the Steering Committee without attempting to contact all current members, and without receiving the support of a majority of a quorum of the members.
At least once every year, before election of next year’s Director, the incumbent Director will report to the Steering Committee on the Center’s finances. This report will include information about every Center account.
If the Director is unable to exercise her or his administrative responsibilities, the Steering Committee will choose one of its members to act as Interim Director for the rest of the academic year.
As necessary, the Director may create ad hoc and standing committees, drawn from the Center membership, to carry out Center business. The Director will apprise the Steering Committee when appointing such committees.
Section 4 – The Steering Committee
Duties. The Steering Committee is the executive body of the Center. In consultation with the Director, it reviews the Center’s budget, makes curricular decisions, selects recipients of grants and awards, approves new faculty and staff members, and sets general policy for the Center. The Steering Committee will seek counsel from Center members, as needed, on major issues of Center policy and governance.
Membership. The Steering Committee consists of 11 members. These include the two permanent members hired through the original science-studies cluster, the Center director, who serves as chair, and elected members sufficient to reach the total of 11 members, chosen from faculty or staff members of the Center. If a permanent member resigns from the Steering Committee or leaves the university, he or she will be replaced by an elected member under the procedures set out in ¶4 below.
Term length and staggered terms. Aside from the director and permanent members, Steering Committee members serve four-year terms. Steering Committee members may serve additional terms only after an absence of at least three years. Committee terms will be staggered so that approximately one-fourth of the elected members will be replaced each year.
Leaves of absence and resignations. Elected Steering Committee members may take a one-year leave of absence during their terms; longer absences require that the member be replaced. If leaves or resignations create more than two absences, the director will nominate members of the Center to serve as temporary replacements, with consent of the Steering Committee, in order to reduce the number of vacancies to two. The required three-year absence from service on the Steering Committee will be waved for temporary members; temporary membership will not count in calculating the three-year absence. Permanent members may resign from the Steering Committee at any time, effective the end of the current academic year.
TITLE 2 – Voting and Elections
Section 1 – Voting Rights of Members
All faculty and staff members of the Center have voting rights in the general meetings of the Center, elections for the Steering Committee and Director, and in ballots on revising Center governance legislation.
Section 2 – Election Procedures
The Director. No later than April 20 each year, the Center’s highest ranking staff member will conduct an advisory election by secret ballot for the Center Director. Results of the election will be communicated to the Dean of the College of Letters and Science. Members will receive ballots at least two weeks before the deadline for voting. The ballots will list one or more Center members nominated by the Steering Committee, with space for a write-in candidate.
Steering Committee. No later than April 20 each year, the Director will conduct an advisory election by secret ballot to fill vacancies on the Steering Committee. Results of the election will be communicated to the Dean of the College of Letters and Science, who will appoint the members of the Steering Committee. The voting will be by secret ballot and should be conducted, if possible, at the same time as the vote for Director. Members will receive ballots at least two weeks before the deadline for voting. Ballots will list nominees selected by the Steering Committee or its delegates, with space for write-in candidates. The Steering Committee or its delegates will seek nominees who provide balanced representation of divisions and fields relevant to science and technology studies at UW-Madison.
Governance revisions. Revisions to the governance legislation of the Center require support from a majority of members voting by secret ballot, as well as approval by the Dean of the College of Letters and Science. Proposed revisions and ballots will be distributed to Center members at least two weeks before the deadline for voting.
TITLE 3 – Meetings and Communication
Section 1 – General Membership Meetings
General meetings of the Center membership will take place at the request of the Steering Committee or any group constituting at least 10 person of the Center’s voting members. The director will announce the general meeting at least two weeks in advance, and the agenda one week in advance. Any Center member may place an item on the agenda. A quorum of at least 50 percent of voting members is necessary for the meeting to take any action.
Meetings of the Center will be chaired by the Director and conducted under the rules set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 2 – Steering Committee
The Steering Committee will meet at least once each semester. The time and location of Steering Committee meetings will be announced at least two weeks in advance, and the agenda one working day in advance.
Meeting of the committee will be chaired by the Center director and conducted under the rules set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order.
A quorum of 51% of the members not on leave is necessary for the Committee to take any action. Steering Committee members may participate through remote video or audio links at the discretion of the Steering Committee. Any member of the Center may attend and participate on a non-voting basis, except for meetings closed under the state law.
Any faculty or staff member of the Center may propose an agenda item to the Center director.