SOAS University of London

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Constitution of the SOAS Food Studies Centre

PURPOSE OF THE CENTRE

1. The SOAS Food Studies Centre (hereafter 'the Centre') was founded in May 2013 and is a Faculty Centre attached to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, SOAS, University of London.  

2. The purpose of the Centre is: to promote research and teaching in the field of Food Studies at SOAS and to foster and facilitate links between SOAS members and other individuals and institutions with an academic interest in Food Studies by:

a. gathering and disseminating information about food-related teaching and research interests among SOAS staff and students;
b. fostering the teaching of food-related courses in the school;
c. facilitating the supervision of food-related dissertations and theses in the school;
d. organising public lectures and seminars on food-related topics;
e. hosting national and international workshops and conferences on food-related issues;
f. fostering and facilitating individual and collaborative research on food-related issues among SOAS staff and students;
g. developing worldwide contacts with organisations and institutions dedicated to the study of food;
h. publicising the food-related research and publications of Centre Members;
i. raising funds, and assisting Centre members in raising funds, for the above purposes.

MANAGEMENT OF THE CENTRE

3. The Centre is responsible to Academic Board, through the Dean of Arts and Humanities and the Arts and Humanities Faculty Board, for its activities and conduct.  

4. The Centre is established for a period of three years.  Towards the end of each three-year period Academic Board will determine whether the Centre is to continue for a further period of three years, and if so whether this will be as a Centre.   

5. The Centre is headed by a Chair, who must be a member of the academic staff of the School, and who will normally be a member of staff within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The Chair will serve a term of three years which may be extended for a maximum of a further three years.

6. The appointment of the Chair will be subject to the approval of the Dean of Arts and Humanities and the Arts and Humanities Faculty Board.

7. The Chair will be supported by an Advisory Group which will normally meet once a term and whose membership will consist of the Chair of the Centre, three Members of the Centre, and a Research Student Member of the Centre.  

8. Membership of the Advisory Group will be for a period of three years (or one year in the case of the Research Student Member) and may be extended for a maximum of a further three years (or one further year in the case of the Research Student Member). Membership of the Advisory Group will be subject to the approval of each nominee's Head of Department and Dean (except in the case of the Research Student Member).

9. The Chair will provide a written report to the Arts and Humanities Faculty Board on an annual basis.  This report will set out the activities and achievements of the Centre, as well as report on the Centre's finances.

10. At an appropriate time before the end of each three-year period, Academic Board will determine the future of the Centre.  In order to provide Academic Board with adequate information, the Arts and Humanities Faculty Board will undertake a full review of the Centre.  The resulting report, along with the recommendation of the Faculty Board, will be passed to Academic Board for consideration.  It is the responsibility of the Faculty Office to ensure that this process is undertaken in a timely fashion.  

11. The Director, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, has the authority to close the Centre or suspend the Centre's activities at any time should this be deemed necessary.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE CENTRE

12. Membership of the Centre is open to all academic, teaching only, research only and professional services staff at SOAS with a special interest in Food Studies.  Members are eligible to vote at the Centre meetings, should a vote be required.

13. Associate Membership is open to students at SOAS with an academic interest in Food Studies.   Individuals outside the School who share an academic interest in Food Studies and wish to participate in the Centre’s activities may also be invited to join the Centre as Associate Members.

14. Associate membership does not confer any voting rights, or the right to be consulted about the selection of the Centre Chair or members of the Advisory Group.

15. It is the responsibility of the Chair to maintain an up-to-date list of Centre Members and Associate Members.

CENTRE MEETINGS

16. An annual general meeting, open to all Members and Associate Members, and notified publicly at least three weeks in advance of the meeting, must be held once per academic year during term time.  This meeting should be used to review the work of the Centre over the previous year and consider future plans for the Centre and any other relevant issues. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that formal minutes of this meeting are kept and made available on request to Members and Associate Members of the Centre.

17. Subject to notice of no less than ten working days in advance, the Chair may convene other general meetings to consider, and report on, any issues relating to the Centre.

18. The Chair will call an extraordinary meeting on the receipt of a written request to that effect, stating clearly the purpose for which the meeting is required and signed by no fewer than one third of the Members (not Associate Members) of the Centre.

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

19. The Centre is required to have a standardised constitution, as approved by Academic Board.  Any proposals for amendments to the standard constitution will need to be recommended to Academic Board by all Faculty Boards, and if approved will apply to all Faculty Centres.