Special Collections

Sampson Center Governance Document

A. Statement of Purpose. The University of Southern Maine, as part of its commitment to diversity within a democratic culture, has established a center for the documentation, study, and promotion of diversity, human rights, and civil rights in Maine. The Center will collect, house, and preserve primary and secondary research materials on the experiences of diverse groups in Maine. It will encourage the expansion of knowledge by supporting research, developing educational and public programs, and extending its resources to scholars, students, and the general public.

B. Membership. The Board of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine (SCD) consists of a faculty scholar from each of the following meta-collections within the Center: African American; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender; and Judaica; up to five members of the USM faculty, staff and/or students (other than the faculty scholars), one of whom must be from the Lewiston-Auburn College; up to seven members from the public who are committed to the SCD's Statement of Purpose; the Director of the SCD and the University Librarian. A chair from each of the collection advisory committees will serve on the Board.

All members have voting status.

The Board shall recommend faculty representatives to the Faculty Senate for approval; representatives do not have to be members of the Faculty Senate. The Board shall recommend professional staff representatives to the Professional Staff Senate for approval; representatives do not have to be a member of the Professional Staff Senate. The Board shall recommend classified staff representatives to the Classified Staff Senate for approval; representatives do not have to be a member of the Classified Staff Senate. The Board shall recommend undergraduate student representatives to the Student Senate in cooperation with the LAC Student Government Association for approval, but representatives do not have to be members of these bodies. The Board shall recommend graduate student representatives to Graduate Student Government for approval; representatives do not have to be members of the Graduate Student Government. The Board shall recommend members of the public to the Provost for approval. Appointments will be for staggered, two-year terms. A member's term may be renewed by the Provost at the recommendation of the Board. The Board's chair shall annually make the Board aware of membership vacancies or re-appointments.

C. Leadership. The Head of Special Collections for the USM Libraries is the Director of the SCD. The Chair of the SCD Board is chosen from the Board, appointed by the Provost, and serves without a stipend. The Director of the SCD and the faculty scholars cannot be the Chair. The Chair will convene meetings, ensure the recording and distribution of minutes, act as a liaison to Board members, compile for the Board reports of SCD activities, and oversee logistical and procedural operations of the Board.

D. Board Responsibilities. Actions of the Board which affect the administration of the collections must be carried out in cooperation with the Special Collections Department which houses the collections and is charged with their care and administration.
1. Assist in long-range planning for the SCD;
2. develop policies and procedures to connect the SCD with the diversity goals of the University of Southern Maine;
3. identify critical issues of diversity that are to be highlighted in the SCD collections;
4. promote fund-raising efforts that build the resources needed to maintain and improve the collections;
5. recommend opportunities for cooperative outreach and collaboration within the University community and beyond;
6. review proposals for initiatives that utilize the collections in the Center;
7. advocate for the SCD collections;
8. promote the SCD within the University and to community agencies and organizations;
9. conduct an annual review of the Board’s mission and responsibilities;
10. review petitions for future collections that address diversity issues in Maine to become parts of the SCD and present a recommendation to the Provost for official recognition.
11. create ad hoc committees as needed.

E. Procedural Operations.
1. Voting Procedures: A modified (friendly) Robert’s Rules of Order is used for conducting the formal business of the SCD Board. Formal actions require a simple majority vote, assuming a quorum (50%+) is present.
2. Meeting Schedule: The SCD Board meets on the first Tuesday in October, December, February, March, and April.
3. Procedure for choosing the Catalyst for Change Award winner. The Board will be presented with all nomination materials. Each member will vote for three candidates without ranking them. The top three vote-getters will move on to the next stage. After discussion of the relative strengths of the three finalists, the Steering Committee will present the three names – with a recommendation – to a three member committee set by the President and including the Chair of the Board which will then make the final decision.

F. Standing Committees.
1. Executive Committee
a. Membership. Chair, Director, University Librarian, Faculty Scholars.
b. Committee Responsibilities. To act for the board if a practical matter needs immediate attention before a meeting of the Board can be called.

G. Collection Advisory Committees.
1. Purpose
For each of the Sampson meta-collections, an advisory committee may be created to advise the Sampson Center on a collection's development, fund-raising, and programming, and their activity will complement the work of the Sampson Center Board. The ex officio presence of the Scholars, the Sampson Center Director, and the University Librarian on both collection advisory committees and the Board ensures coordination and communication between the committees and Board.
2. Membership
The Committee should consist of individuals from the University and local community; members should be committed to the Sampson Center’s Statement of Purpose.




Last updated: April 2011. Originally drafted September, 2002.

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