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Governance

The Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center (MRSC) is the collegium of faculty members at Texas Tech University who teach and conduct research related to medieval and Renaissance Europe. In their corporate business, these faculty members operate through certain hierarchical structures.

The MRSC director (currently two co-directors) has functions analogous to those of the chair of an academic unit. Routine program and budgetary duties are handled at this level. Currently serving three-year terms ending in April of 2014 are professors John Howe (History) and Connie Scarborough (CMLL). The director(s) is elected by the Affiliated Faculty members and approved by the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

The MRSC board consists of seven persons who broadly represent the affiliated faculty members and some major areas of study. The board sets center policy, approves applications for affiliated faculty membership, and offers advice to the director(s). Minutes of board meetings are distributed to all the affiliated faculty members. Currently serving three-year terms ending in April of 2014 are Julie Nelson Couch (English), Janis Elliott (Art), John Howe (History), Brian McFadden (English), Connie Scarborough (CMLL), Angela Marianni Smith (Music), and Abigail Swingen (History).


MRSC Board (August 23, 2012): from left, Swingen, Couch, Scarborough, Marianni Smith, Elliott, Howe (McFadden temporarily absent)

The seven board members are those persons who received the highest numbers of votes cast by fellow affiliated faculty members at a triennial election in April 2011. Then next election will take place in April 2014, with an in-person nomination meeting followed by a mail or electronic ballot. Rules require that the seven-person board include the director(s) and at least one representative from each of the following academic areas: Art, CMLL, English, History, and Music. In board elections, if the top seven candidates conform to that distribution, then the election stands as voted. If one or more of the required areas is not represented in the initial election results, then the lowest vote getter(s) in the top seven from non-required group(s) is dropped and the highest unelected vote getter(s) of the missing group(s) is substituted.

The MRSC affiliated faculty members are those faculty members currently employed by Texas Tech who organized the Medieval and Renaissance Study Center and are listed in its initial application for center status from the College of Arts and Sciences, supplemented by those whose applications for membership were subsequently approved by the MRSC board. Emeriti, adjunct faculty members, and graduate-student teachers may be included in MSRC activities but are not voting members of the affiliated faculty. The center exists to help advance the work of the affiliated faculty members for their students, for the university, and for the advancement of knowledge in their fields. Although affiliated faculty members may be formally polled on occasion by the board about major decisions, they are invited at any time to present their ideas and suggestions to the director(s) and/or to the board. In triennial elections the affiliated faculty members elect the director(s), subject to the approval of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, and elect the members of the board.

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