Since the offering of Appalachian State University’s first Women’s Studies course twenty-five years ago, Women’s Studies has grown as an academic discipline. A majority of colleges and universities in the U.S. have Women’s Studies programs and offer undergraduate majors and minors, and the number of graduate programs in Women’s Studies continues to increase. Feminist scholarship has made and continues to make ground-breaking contributions to methodologies and knowledge in literary studies, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, art, history, the sciences, economics, among others, and there are numerous scholarly journals devoted to interdisciplinary and disciplinary-specific feminist research.
Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary field that develops and promotes feminist analyses of gender as it is shaped by race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, age, and ability. Given the fact that curriculum and methodologies in traditional academic disciplines continue to marginalize and/or ignore the experiences and contributions of women, Women’s Studies’ focus on women’s experiences as grounds for feminist theorizing continues to be its unique and necessary contribution to scholarship in all disciplines and to liberal education. Women’s Studies at Appalachian State University aims to reflect developments in feminist scholarship in its programming and curriculum.
Women’s Studies Program Director
- Each constituent program in the CGG Department is led by a Director who is responsible for coordinating internal matters of the program and for representing the needs of the program to the CGG Chair. A program Director may not simultaneously serve as Chair of the CGG Department.
- An externally-hired Women’s Studies program director will typically have a faculty position in the CGG department, unless other arrangements are made with the Dean. An internally-hired Women’s Studies program director, that is, a program director selected from the Women’s Studies affiliate faculty, will be assigned at least 50% of their contract to the Women’s Studies program with the remainder in their home department. When their term as program director ends, an internally-hired program director will typically return to their home department unless other arrangements are made with the Dean.
- Program Directors also fill the role of Graduate Director if their programs have graduate certificate or degree programs.
- Program Directors participate in the development of CGG Departmental policies and take responsibility for their communication and implementation at the program level.
- Program Directors communicate the needs of the program (personnel, space, fiscal, curricular) to the CGG Department.
- Program Directors serve as advocates for their respective programs and represent their programs and the affiliated faculty in their programs in the CGG Department and in the University.
- Program Directors prepare an annual report to the CGG Department Chair in consultation with the faculty of the program.
- Program Directors provide leadership in the recruitment and appointment of affiliated program faculty members.
- Program Directors arrange the class schedule for the program as the program’s contribution to the class schedule for the CGG Department, and advise the Chair concerning the comprehensive schedule for the CGG Department.
- Program Directors consult with the CGG Chair concerning program faculty and the performance of their duties.
- Program Directors encourage and support good teaching, scholarly activity, and professional development within the program.
- Program Directors provide for appropriate advising of students majoring in the program.
- Program Directors organize and coordinate the program faculty in developing, implementing, and evaluating short and long-range program goals, objectives, standards, and programs, and in carrying out regular, ongoing assessment of the program.
- Program Directors work with the program faculty to develop program standards and curricula and procedures that provide adequate preparation of graduates for professional or further academic endeavor.
- Program Directors work with program faculty in organizing co-curricular activities for students.
- Program Directors consult with the CGG Department Chair with respect to program resources.
Women’s Studies Faculty (Affiliated and/or Core)
Faculty who wish to become members of the Women’s Studies Faculty must send a copy of their curriculum vitae (updated every five years) to the Women’s Studies Director and possess the following qualifications for internal appointment (as evidenced on the CV): (1) activity in feminist scholarship through peer-reviewed publishing (including dissertations), presentation of papers at peer-reviewed conferences, and/or activity in feminist critiqued performance arts and feminist juried exhibitions; and at least one of the following: (a) significant teaching experience teaching courses with women’s studies content, (b) significant participation in disciplinary-specific and/or interdisciplinary feminist professional organizations or caucuses, (c) a graduate degree in Women’s Studies, significant graduate coursework in Women’s Studies, (or the equivalent given the absence of graduate courses in Women’s Studies until relatively recently), and (d) participation in seminars and institutes designed to promote feminist scholarship and/or pedagogy (such as the National Endowment for the Humanities). Additionally, feminist contribution to community service, including publication in local and regional periodicals, volunteer work with local feminist organizations, workshop planning and implementation, etc. will be considered as enhancing the applicant’s formal academic credentials as evidenced on the CV.
Women’s Studies Executive Committee
The WS Faculty will elect three to five WS Faculty members to serve on a Women’s Studies Executive Committee, which will advise the Director of Women’s Studies, vet applications for Women’s Studies Faculty, and help articulate the mission of the Program in various institutional contexts. Members of this committee shall serve a two-year term, with one or two members being elected each year. Members can serve a maximum of two terms.
Women’s Studies Programming Committee
WS Faculty will elect three to five WS Faculty to serve on the Women’s Studies Programming Committee. This committee will be active in decisions regarding programming (films, conferences, speakers, Women’s History month activities, etc.). Members serve a one-year term.
Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee
Women’s Studies faculty will elect three to five Women’s Studies faculty to serve on the Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee. This committee will review and make decisions about proposals for courses in Women’s Studies. Members will serve a one-year term. Faculty proposing courses in Women’s Studies should address in their course proposals at least two of the following: (1) substantial knowledge and integration of relevant feminist scholarship, (2) awareness and integration of feminist pedagogy, and (3) consideration of the interrelatedness of gender, race, class, ability, and sexuality.
In almost all cases, Women’s Studies courses are taught by members of the Women’s Studies faculty. However, in exceptional cases individuals (such as visiting instructors, adjuncts, or graduate students in the Women’s Studies Graduate Certificate Program) who meet the criteria for Women’s Studies faculty status can be approved by the Women’s Studies Director to offer a Women’s Studies course(s) for a maximum of one academic year. Subsequently, in order to continue teaching courses that count for the Women’s Studies major, minor, and/or graduate certificate, these individuals must apply formally for Women’s Studies faculty status and, if approved, their courses would be eligible for consideration for Women’s Studies credit.
Graduate courses on women’s and gender issues taught by members of the Women’s Studies faculty will be listed by the Women’s Studies Program for graduate students seeking elective credit toward the Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, so long as there is no objection from the faculty member’s home department. The Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee will vote on the inclusion of the graduate course for the Women’s Studies Graduate Certificate based on the course description, syllabus, and any other relevant information.
Role of Women’s Studies Director and Core Women’s Studies Faculty on Committees
Core Women’s Studies faculty (those whose tenure lines are in the CGG Department) and the Women’s Studies Director will be ex-officio members of all standing Women’s Studies committees.
Minutes of all Women’s Studies committee and faculty meetings shall be made available to all Women’s Studies faculty within two weeks after the meeting.
The Women’s Studies program allows electronic voting for matters of Program business, excluding Search committees and/or Executive Committee actions involving confidential personnel matters. Electronic voting is not intended to replace meetings of the faculty. Rather, it is intended to allow for wider participation of faculty members in the business of the Program. In cases in which matters of Program policy, governance, or curriculum reform (new programs or significant revisions to existing programs) are being considered, there will be a meeting of the Program faculty prior to any voting, to allow for a full discussion of the issue. Following such a meeting, minutes will be provided to members before the electronic voting begins. Voting will continue for a period of 5 days. Quorum for electronic voting will consist of those members who cast ballots. In most votes, a simple majority of votes cast is required for the motion to pass. For elections, a plurality is required for a member to be deemed elected. In the case of elections, run-off elections may be held in the case of a tie vote.
Adopted Spring 2001; Amended Spring 2005; Amended Fall 2007; Amended Fall 2009; Amended Spring 2011; Amended Fall 2013
Appalachian State University Boone, NC