The name of the organization will be the Center for Disability Studies of the University at Buffalo (SUNY).
The mission of the Center for Disability Studies is to support and promote research and education related to physical, developmental, and psychological disabilities and people with disabilities through the creation and encouragement of research, curriculum development, degree programs, public programs, publications, and academic conferences. The Center for Disability Studies recognizes the importance of practical engagement in the Western New York community, outside the university, in behalf of spreading knowledge about disabilities and facilitating the social opportunities, integration, and empowerment of people with disabilities.
The governance of the Center for Disability Studies will consist of a Director, an Associate Director, and the Faculty Advisory Committee.
Section 1. The Director
A. Appointment and Term of Office. The head of the Center for Disability Studies has the title of “Director.” The Director of the Center for Disability Studies is appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences after consultation with the faculty of the department. The director normally serves a term of three years, and may be reappointed after consultation with the faculty of the department. Note that the procedure for selecting a Director is established by the Dean in consultation with the College of Arts and Sciences Policy Committee. There is no limit on the number of terms in office that may be served.
B. Qualifications. In consideration of the qualifications for Director, these criteria are of importance: the Director should have extensive experience in the field of Disability Studies at the university or college level, including experience with the creation and administration degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; and should show an interest in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to the study of disability and persons with disabilities. In keeping with the ideas and aspirations that inspired the origins of the Center for Disability Studies, a preference should be given in choosing the Director to a candidate for appointment who comes out of a Humanities or Social Science disciplinary background.
C. Duties. The duties of the Director of the Center for Disability Studies will be to advance the field of Disability Studies within the university and the community by providing policy direction and planning events and activities in keeping with the Center’s mission statement. To fulfill those goals:
i. The Director will act as a liaison between the Center and the University at Buffalo administration.
ii. The Director will act as a liaison between the Center and community organizations interested in disability and working in behalf of people with disabilities.
iii. The Director’s duties will also include, but are not limited to, the preparation of budgets, coordination of programs, curriculum, and activities, supervision of fundraising inbehalf of the Center, writing an annual report, and hiring Center staff. In all these activities, the Director will work with the Faculty Advisory Committee to determine the policies and procedures of the Center for Disability Studies.
iv. The Director will also, in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee, propose individuals for service on that committee, and whatever other committees may come to be created to advance the Center’s mission. The Director in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee will also propose individuals for membership on the Community Advisory Committee.
D. Resignation. The Director may resign at any time by submitting a letter of resignation to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The details of such resignation are a matter of negotiation between the Director and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Section 2. Associate Director
A. Appointment and Term of Office. The Associate Director will be nominated by the Faculty Advisory Committee, which will submit the nomination to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for approval. Candidates for Associate Director are to be chosen from among individuals who have had prior involvement with the Center or with similar organizations, and who are representative of the diversity of disciplines at the University at Buffalo. The Associate Director will serve at the discretion of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The term of the Associate Director will be three years. The term may be renewable, and there is no limit to the number of terms that may be served. The terms of the Director and Associate Director will be staggered such that there is at least a one-year overlap in their terms of office for purposes of continuity.
B. Duties. The duties of the Associate Director include, but are not necessarily limited to, support of the Director in fulfilling the mission of the Center for Disability Studies and acting as a designee of the Director in his or her absence at meetings, programs, and events sponsored by the Center. In the absence of the Director, the Associate Director may also participate in university affairs as a representative of the Center for Disability Studies, but must seek the advice and consent of the Director regarding decisions made on behalf of the Center.
C. Resignation. The Associate Director may resign at any time by submitting a letter of resignation to the Director of the Center for Disability Studies and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The details of such resignation are a matter of negotiation between the Director, the Associate Director, and the Dean.
Section 3. Faculty Advisory Committee
A. Members. The Faculty Advisory Committee will consist of the Director of the Center for Disability Studies, the Associate Director of the Center for Disability Studies, and elected members. Elected members will number no more than 11 individuals. The elected members will be composed of faculty members of the University at Buffalo who represent the diverse disciplines, schools, and departments of the university. To the extent that it is practicable, in keeping with the ideas inspiring the origins of CDS, an emphasis will be placed on finding faculty to serve on the committee who are representative of Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines. Students and non-faculty employees of the university may sit on the faculty advisory committee but they will not have voting powers. Members of the committee are ipso facto Affiliated Members of the Center.
B. Chair. The chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee will be the Director of the Center for Disability Studies. In the event that the director cannot attend a Faculty Advisory Committee meeting, the Associate Director will be the acting chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee.
C. Terms of Office. Elected members of the Faculty Advisory Committee will serve for three-years in staggered terms, and may be nominated for additional terms. If a member of the committee is on sabbatical or research leave for a semester or a full academic year, the time will be counted as part of their three-year term, and the committee will function with one fewer member. If the individual’s leave coincides with the last semester or year of service on the committee, a permanent replacement will be nominated pursuant to the procedure for nominations and selection to be found in these by-laws. A third of the Executive Committee will be elected each year.
D. Nominations and Selection. The Faculty Advisory Committee will accept nominations and self-nominations from University at Buffalo faculty for service on the committee. Nominations may be presented for vacancies on the committee at any meeting of the committee. The regular cycle of elections of a third of the board to the committee will take place at the last meeting of the academic year. A simple majority of those voting on all nominations for service on the committee will determine the results of the polling.
E. Duties. The duties of the Faculty Advisory Committee will function as the Executive Committee of the Center for Disability Studies. To that end, it duties will include, but not be limited to, reviewing and approving the Annual Report, budget, programs, and activities, establishing and chairing standing and ad hoc committees, proposing a slate of new committee members from among nominated faculty of the university, providing consultation and advice to the Director of the Center in the execution of his or her office, and consulting with the Dean of the College or Arts and Sciences regarding candidates for the position of Director of the Center
F. Resignations. Any member of the Faculty Advisory Committee may resign from office at any time by delivering a resignation letter to the Director of the Center in his or her capacity as Chair of the committee. Acceptance of resignation will not be necessary to make such resignation effective.
Section 4. Community Advisory Committee
A. Purpose. Among its goals, the Center for Disability Studies is dedicated to seeking ways to be engaged in the Western New York community. To that end, the Community Advisory Committee will be composed of individuals from the community who have an interest, whether personal, professional or intellectual, in furthering knowledge about disabilities and people with disabilities. Such individuals may include, but not be limited to, those involved in public or private disability service providing agencies, disability advocacy organizations or activities, disability law, and fundraising in regard to disability-related causes.
B. Duties. The Community Advisory Committee will consult with the Director of the Center for Disability Studies in regard to the community activities of the Center. It will inform the Director about opportunities the Center may wish to take advantage of for engagement in the community. The committee exists in a consultative capacity, and does not have decision-making responsibilities.
C. Members. Members of the Community Advisory Committee will be nominated for service by members of the Faculty Advisory Committee. Nominations may be presented and election held for membership at any meeting of the committee. A majority of the members present at the meeting will constitute the basis for election. There is no limit on the size of the committee. There is no set term for service on the committee. Members of the Community Advisory Committee are ipso facto Friends of the Center.
D. Resignation. Members of the committee may resign by informing the Director of the Center that they no longer wish to serve. Resignation will not be dependent on acceptance of such resignation.
Membership in the Center for Disability Studies will be comprised of Affiliates, Friends, and Honorary Members.
Section 1. Affiliates
A. Eligibility. Affiliate membership is open to University at Buffalo faculty, students, and non-faculty employees who conduct or support research and teaching related to disability and people with disabilities and who support the mission of the Center for Disability Studies. Individuals may become Affiliate members by notifying the Director or Associate Director of the Center for Disability Studies of their desire to be members. Those who are affiliated members may suggest individuals for membership. Membership is not dependent upon election.
B. Duties and Privileges. The duties and privileges of affiliated members will include promoting the mission of the Center, advising the Faculty Advisory Committee on an ad hoc basis, submitting suggestions for new and replacement members of the Faculty Advisory Committee, and serving on Center committees. Affiliates will be kept informed of all Center activities, and be invited to participate in them. Only Affiliates will be eligible to serve on the Faculty Advisory Committee.
C. Resignations. Any Affiliate may resign from membership as an Affiliate of the Center by informing the Director of the Center of their intention to do so. Resignation is not dependent on the acceptance of a resignation.
Section 2. Friends
A. Eligibility. Members of the community outside the university who are interested in and support the mission of the Center for Disability Studies may become Friends of the Center for Disability Studies by informing the Director or Associate Director of their desire to have this status. Names of individuals may also be suggested by Affiliate or Honorary members or Friends of the Center. Becoming a Friend of the Center does not require election.
B. Duties and Privileges. Friends of the Center will be entitled to all the privileges of membership except for service on the Faculty Advisory Committee. They are eligible to serve on the Community Advisory Committee of the Center.
Section 3. Honorary Lifetime Members
A. Eligibility. Upon the nomination of one Affiliate or of the Director, if seconded by another Affiliate, and by the three-fourths vote of the Faculty Advisory Committee, Honorary Lifetime membership may be conferred upon any person who has rendered significant service to the Center. Honorary members will have none of the obligations of membership in the Center, but will be entitled to all of the privileges except that of sitting on the Faculty Advisory Committee. If appropriate to their position, they may sit on the Community Advisory Committee.
Section 1. Meetings
A. The Faculty Advisory Committee will meet at least twice a year, once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. A quorum for meetings will consist of a majority of the full body of members of the committee.
B. The Community Advisory Committee will meet at least once a year at meetings presided over by the Director or the Associate Director of the Center for Disability Studies.
C. In addition to the meetings of the committees defined by these by-laws and of those additional committees that may be created after the adoption of these by-laws, the Director may at his or her discretion call general meetings of the Affiliates of the Center in furtherance of the Center’s goals.
Section 2. Notice of Meetings
Adequate notice of the place, date, and hour of meetings will be given to each member of the respective committee, and a written agenda will be sent to committee members at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. Notice of meetings will indicate the purpose for which they are called and identify the person who is calling them. The same rule will apply to general meetings of the Affiliates of the Center.
The fiscal year of the Center for Disability Studies is coterminous with the fiscal year of the University at Buffalo: July 1 –June 30.
The rules contained in a current edition of Roberts Rules of Order will govern the Center in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these by-laws, or any special rules of order the Center may choose to adopt, or relevant rules of the University at Buffalo.
The Form of Communications
All communications generated by the Center for Disability Studies and its committees having to do with governance and meetings may be in electronic form and/or traditional written form. This includes recording and distribution of the minutes, which will be provided within two days of the next meeting, at which a vote will be taken as to their approval.
In so far as proposals for amendment are consistent with the authority of the by-laws of the College of Arts and Sciences, the by-laws of the Voting Faculty of the University at Buffalo, and the authority and policies of the Trustees of the State University of New York, the by-laws of the Center for Disability Studies, may be amended by the Faculty Advisory Committee under the procedures defined herein.
Section 1. Procedure of Amendment
Any member of the Faculty Advisory Committee may propose amendments to these by-laws. All proposalsfor amending these by-laws must be submitted to members of the Faculty Advisory Committee at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which they are to be discussed. During the two-week period, the proposed amendment(s) may be discussed in person or electronically or through paper communications by members of the committee for the sake of obtaining clarification or arriving at a consensus on the matter to be determined. Following this notice of intention to seek amendment and the comment period thereafter, the proposed amendment(s) will be voted on by the Faculty Advisory Committee.
Section 2. Vote on Amendment
A vote of two-thirds of those in attendance at the meeting is necessary to pass an amendment to these by-laws.
These by-laws are compatible with and subordinate to the by-laws of the College of Arts and Sciences, the by-laws of the Voting Faculty of the University at Buffalo, and the authority and policies of the Trustees of the State University of New York.
These bylaws and all subsequent amendments to them will be posted on the Center for Disability Studies website.