Bylaws of the GCDH

Note: This translation is for informational purposes only. Please refer to the legally-binding version in German for all official matters.

The Senate, respectively the Steering Committee of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen have in consultation on 20 November 2009, respectively on 2 December 2009, resolved upon the organization of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. These bylaws were published in the bulletin of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen #41 on 12 December 2009 (p. 5918 ff.).

Bylaws of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

§ 1 Definition; Objectives and Responsible Faculties

(1) The Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) is a cross-departmental scholarly organization of the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in terms of § 22 paragraph 1 and 2 of the bylaws.

(2) This Centre will serve to coordinate, arrange and further develop research, teaching, and infrastructure activities at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen as well as applications in the field of Digital Humanities. The term Digital Humanities here designates the methodology and the practice of analysis, semantic cross-linking and long-term preservation of accessibility of digital corpora in all humanities and social science disciplines, of texts from musical notes to archaeological artefacts, from social science data about behavioural patterns to virtual worlds.

(3) In addition to the Lower Saxony State and University Library (SUB), the following departments are involved with the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH): the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Economic Sciences. The coordinating department is the Faculty of Humanities.

(4) The Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) is cooperating in particular with the Academy of Sciences and Humanities Göttingen, the Duke August Library Wolfenbüttel and the Max Planck Society/Max Planck Digital Library.

§ 2 Tasks

The Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) fulfils in particular the following tasks:

  • Fulfilment of the duties and responsibilities of higher education through research, teaching, academic studies und continuing education in the field of Digital Humanities;
  • Encouragement and support for the next generation of researchers;
  • Promotion of teaching through support for the implementation of a doctoral program in Digital Humanities;
  • Advancement of the transfer of knowledge and scholarly communication through the planning and implementation of lecture series, symposia, colloquia, invited lectures, workshops and the selection of interdisciplinary topics;
  • Funding support and joint supervision of projects supported by third-party funds;
  • Cooperation with national and international institutions;
  • Coordination and support of university-external contacts with private-sector partners and research facilities;
  • Organization, coordination, implementation and support of interdisciplinary research projects in the field of Digital Humanities and their applications.
  • Creation, maintenance and organization of Digital Humanities infrastructures.
  • Creation, maintenance and organization of Digital Humanities services.

§ 3 Governing Body, Structure

The governing body of the Göttingen Centres for Digital Humanities (GCDH) consists of the Steering Committee, the Assembly of the Centre and the External Academic Advisory Board.

§ 4 Members and Affiliates

(1) The members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) are:

a) the personnel allocated to the Centre for the purpose of § 16 paragraph 1 sentence 1 NHG;

b) in dual membership:
scholars of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, who teach and research in the field of Digital Humanities and who will be appointed at the suggestion of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) and with the agreement of the respective faculty and, as the case may be, of the Executive Committee;

c) the director of the SUB.

(2) The affiliates of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) are:

a) affiliated scholars, as selected by the Executive Committee of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH), who participate in the implementation of the duties and responsibilities according to § 2, without being members in the sense of paragraph 1;

b) those persons who are active in the research projects of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH), whose activities will be organized and coordinated according to § 2 of these bylaws by the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH);

c) the personnel allocated to the Centre for the purpose of § 16 paragraph 4 sentence 1 NHG.

(3) the incorporation of members and affiliates will be carried out on application by the decision of the Executive Committee. The arrangements outlined in paragraphs 1 und 2 remain hereby unaffected.

(4) Membership and affiliation will expire with the termination of the collaboration on the implementation of the duties and responsibilities according to § 2. Membership and affiliation will also cease when members or affiliates notify the Executive Committee of their departure six weeks before the end of the semester or as otherwise outlined in their employment contract.

(5) The Executive Committee can resolve upon the expulsion of a member or affiliate for necessary reasons. One relevant reason is as a rule present if duties and responsibilities according to § 2 or other responsibilities are not carried out on a repeat basis or to a considerable extent. The person involved is to be given beforehand a chance to respond under settlement of an appropriate period of time. The person involved will be notified in writing of the decision and the justification for it.

§ 5 Assembly of the Centre

(1) The members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) will meet at least once each semester while the university is in session. An Assembly of the Centre can be called in addition at the request of the Executive Committee or by a third of the voting members of the Assembly of the Centre; the request must contain a proposal for an agenda.

(2) The Assembly of the Centre provides counsel concerning all essential matters related to the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) and on these matters consults with the Steering Committee. The opportunity to make representations concerns in particular the following areas:

a) key activities and projects of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH)

b) the work of the Executive Committee.

In addition, the Executive Committee will inform the Assembly of the Centre about its decisions and day-to-day business matters.

(3) The Assembly of the Centre will

a) select the voting members of the Executive Committee according to the provisions of § 6 paragraph 2;

b) vote out of office the voting members of the Executive Committee according to the provisions of § 6 Abs. 2;

c) propose changes or amendments to these bylaws to the Senate.

Resolutions according to c) require a majority of the voting members of the Assembly of the Centre and a majority of the members of the group of professors in the Assembly of the Centre.

(4) The Assembly of the Centre will be convened and governed by the managing leadership or their representatives. The Assembly of the Centre constitutes a quorum when the session has been convened according to the rules and the majority of members are present. The session has been called according to the rules when the written invitation is distributed under specification of the designated agenda from the managing leadership, or in the case they are unable to do so, by their representatives with a time period of one week. Affiliates can take part in an advisory capacity during a session of the Assembly of the Centre.

§ 6 Executive Committee

(1) The administration of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) rests with an Executive Committee. According to § 4 paragraph 1, this group consists of the following members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH):

a) four members of the group of professors;

b) one employee of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH);

c) the director of the SUB.

(2) The voting members of the Executive Committee according to paragraph 1, along with their representatives, will be elected by the respective team members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) from their own ranks. All members have active and passive voting rights. Members of the Executive Committee can be voted out of office by the respective team members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) with a 2/3 majority of the voting members of the respective group according to paragraph 1. At the request of 10% of the voting members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH), all elected members of the Executive Committee can be voted out of office by a 2/3 majority of the voting members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH), if at least 2/3 of the voting members of the group of professors have voted them out of office.

(3) The members of the Executive Committee will select the managing director and his or her representatives from those of their own members who are members of the group of professors. The Executive Committee can vote the managing director out of office if the committee selects a successor with a 2/3 majority of its members.

(4) The Executive Committee will assemble at least once during the semester. The committee must meet if requested to by at least half of the members of the Executive Committee or the Assembly of the Centre; the request must contain a proposal for the meeting agenda. The Executive Committee constitutes a quorum if the session has been called according to the bylaws and more than half the members are present, including more than half of the members of the group of professors including the managing director or his or her representatives; full particulars are to be arranged in rules of procedere.

(5) The term of office for members of the Executive Committee lasts for two years. The term of office begins in each case on April 1st. Members may be elected for multiple terms.

(6) All members of the Executive Committee have the same voting rights. In matters that directly affect the areas of research or instruction, and in matters under appeal, the members of the MTV-group have no right to vote; in this respect they serve in an advisory capacity. In the event of a tie, the managing director or his or her representatives will cast the deciding vote. Each person who takes part in an Executive Committee session as a member or representative with voting rights may cast only one vote.

(7) The Executive Committee of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) is responsible for all matters, insofar as they are not assigned to another institution by these bylaws. To its duties and responsibilities belong in particular:

a) Convening of the Assembly of the Centre and implementation of the resolutions of the Assembly of the Centre.

b) Responsibility for the fulfilment of the duties described in § 2;

c) Determinations on the assignment of positions, other appointments, expense funds for personnel as well as for material expenses and financial resources, which have been allocated to, accrued by, or assigned to the Centre, with the exception of personnel funded by means of third-party funds as well as endowments accompanying a professorship; for this purpose the Executive Committee decides on an yearly budget;

d) Responsibility for the appropriate management of resources (material and financial resources) in compliance with the relevant regulations and statutory as well as the creation of a work schedule, a cost schedule, and a financial budget, as far as this is made necessary by the efficient commitment of the available human resources, material resources and financial resources;

e) Development and finalization of the strategic orientation of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) as well as long-term management of funding;

f) Preparation of the yearly reports of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) and also of the status report for the Advisory Committee;

g) Resolution on the acceptance of projects in consideration of their viability and financial feasibility;

h) Decision about the management of equipment, particularly the workspaces, equipment and collections; for this purpose the Executive Committee will decree in suitable cases a use directive;

i) Resolution of measures for quality assurance within the Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH);

j) Responsibility for compliance with regulations concerning occupational health and safety and environmental protection, insofar as this is not founded in the jurisdiction of another position;

k) Right to make representations of interdisciplinary research project of the members, concerning statistical research outlines;

l) Determinations on the admittance or exclusion of members or affiliates.

§ 7 Managerial Leadership

The managerial leadership represents the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) in the context of the powers laid out by these bylaws and carries out day-to-day business outside of the sphere of activities of the Executive Committee under own competency. The managerial leadership chairs the Executive Committee, prepares its resolutions, and carries them out. In urgent matters, in which a decision of the Executive Committee can not be effected in sufficient time, the managerial leadership itself takes the necessary measures; the Executive Committee is to be informed without delay of the measures that were carried out. The Executive Committee can nullify those measures; the resulting rights of third parties remain unaffected.

§ 8 External Scholarly Advisory Committee

(1) For the purposes of advising the university administration in matters of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) and for scholarly monitoring of the work of the Centre, the president of the university will appoint an External Scholarly Advisory Committee on the basis of the recommendations of the Executive Committee of the Centre, formulated in agreement with the responsible faculties.

(2) The term of office lasts for six years; Members may be elected for one additional term. In the event of the premature resignation of a member, an alternative appointment for the remaining term of office will take place. For the appointment of the members of the Advisory Committee, half of the members to be appointed for the next period of office should already have completed one term in office as members of the Advisory Committee.

(3) The Advisory Committee consists of ten members who can be drawn from research facilities, corporations, trade associations or from the public sector; these members represent external scholarly expertise and on the basis of their subject expertise and work focus are in the position to evaluate the development of the Centre and contribute to quality assurance.

(4)The Advisory Committee will select a chairperson and his or her representatives from its ranks. The term of office lasts for six years.

(5) The Advisory Committee has the following duties:

a) Consultation and support during the developmental phase of the Centre,

b) Scholarly monitoring of the work of the Centre,

c) Supervision of disciplinary diversity and interdisciplinary cooperation,

d) Support of the Executive Committee in external representation of the Centre,

e) Commenting on the progress report from the Executive Committee,

f) Preparation of a regular report for the Steering Committee and the Senate,

(6) The Advisory Committee prepares its own report which will contain in particular an evaluation of the scholarly results and achievements of the Centre and a statement on future projects and planned work foci, and if applicable including the recommendation to change or cancel individual subsections of the Centre. Every third report must contain a comprehensive evaluation of the entire Centre.

(7) The report is according to paragraph 6 to be delivered in written form (and elaborated upon in verbal form) to the president, the member of the steering committee of the university responsible for the managing faculty as well as the managing leadership of the Centre. The president will inform the Steering Committee, the Executive Committee of the Centre, the responsible faculties and the Senate about the results of the report.

(8) The Advisory Committee will be convened by the chairperson every two years as a rule. The chairperson is responsible for preparing and conducting the session with the assistance of the managing leadership. The chairperson heads the session and is responsible for the delivery and explanation of the report.

(9) The foundation for the deliberations of the scholarly Advisory Committee is the assessment of the Centre, a verbal report as well as the status report of the Executive Committee, which will be transmitted by the managing leadership. The status report contains a description of the current and planned scholarly proposals and projects that have been completed since the previous Advisory Committee report, as well as the extent, origins and uses of the resources including third-party funds. It includes information about the personnel structure, about the encouragement of the next generation of researchers, about cooperation with other scholarly institutions as well as a list of the work that has been completed or released since the previous Advisory Committee report.

(10) The responsible member of the steering committee of the University and the scholarly members of the Centre can take part in sessions; owing to the special nature of individual subjects under discussion, individuals who are not members of the Advisory Committee can be excluded from the deliberations. The final deliberations of the report of the Advisory Committee are private. The Advisory Committee can in consultation with the Executive Committee and responsible member of the steering committee of the University consult authorized experts in an advisory capacity.

§ 9 Participation of the Centre in Appointments

(1) In procedures for appointing professors (W2, W3), for which a membership or participation of the incumbent in the activities of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) is listed in the denomination or in the job announcement, the Centre will be involved in that it proposes at least a third of the voting members for the search committee that is composed of the faculties.

(2) The Executive Committee of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) can provide input into all job searches/search processes that affect the interests of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH), in consultation with the Steering committee of the university and the Executive Committee of the medical department of the Göttingen University as well as with the Senate of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

§ 10 General Procedural Principles

(1) Resolutions will be made by a majority of yes or no votes (simple majority), in as far as is not otherwise stated in these bylaws, the bylaws of the university, or the statutory provisions. Abstention from voting counts as an uncast vote. A resolution fails to take place when more than half of the voting members present cast an invalid vote or abstain from voting. The results of the vote, including the abstentions, are to be recorded in the minutes.

(2) Resolutions are to be made during the session or by accepted methods of communication in lieu of a meeting (in writing, by fax, by telephone, or electronically). The time period for the period of circulation of resolutions must consist of at least one week; for votes and in matters concerning personnel, there must be a ballot vote. In circulation procedures, a resolution can only be accomplished when a majority of votes from all voting members is received and the managing leadership receives no objections to this process from any member during the period of time in which the resolution circulates; otherwise a resolution can only take place during a session. The decision-making in a period of circulation is to be recorded in a memorandum by the managing leadership.

(3) The sessions of the Assembly of the Centre are open to all students and staff of the university, while sessions of the Executive Committee and the Advisory Committee are private, in as far as is not otherwise stated in the law, these bylaws, or the bylaws of the university. An institution can consult members or affiliates of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) concerning individual matters in an advisory capacity. If an invitation is extended to an additional session in the context of § 28 paragraph 2 of the bylaws, the period as indicated in the summons can be shortened as appropriate.

(4) Minutes will be prepared for the sessions of an institution, which will be signed by the managing leadership.

(5) In all other matters, the regulations of the bylaws of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen take priority over resolutions.

(6) The institutions of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) do hereby establish these bylaws.

§ 11 Ratification

The preceding bylaws will take effect after their publication in the official announcements of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen on 1 January 2010.