The Department Meeting and the Committee Structure
The Faculty Caucus of the department includes all faculty members. The Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) is organized in a manner similar to the AUC (Anthro Undergrad Caucus). These three caucuses feed into the Department Meeting. Membership in the Department Meeting is all faculty; a designated number of representatives from both the Undergraduate and the Graduate caucuses. The graduate and undergraduate representatives have full voting rights in the Department Meeting. The Department Meeting usually convenes monthly during the school year in accordance with a schedule announced at the beginning of each academic year.
Under existing departmental by-laws, and by tradition, the Department Meeting sets policy and makes decisions in the most significant areas of the life of the department. (Certain decision-making powers are vested, by departmental by-laws or by university-wide regulations, in the Department Chair or in specific committees; the Department Meeting may act in an advisory capacity in those instances, but it does not then actually make decisions.)
In addition to the caucuses and the Department Meeting, the department is structured with several "officers" and a number of both standing and ad hoc committees. The officers of the department have formal status and, among other things, serve to connect the department to other parts of the University. Foremost among these officers is the Department Chair, who handles the departmental budget and a variety of other administrative tasks, and who connects the department to the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The three other major officers are the Graduate Program Director (GPD), who works with graduate students, maintains their files, and connects with the Graduate School; and the Undergraduate Program Director (UPD), and the Director of Undergraduate Advising (DUA).
The Department of Anthropology tries to keep the number of its standing committees to a minimum, in order to simplify the administrative process. The four major committees are the Personnel Committee, the Graduate Studies Committee, The Undergraduate Studies Committee, and the Curriculum Committee.
Ad hoc committees are formed whenever a particular task needs doing. For example, ad hoc committees handle such matters as the hiring of new faculty. Student members, from the caucuses, are asked to join such committees.