Bylaws of the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS)
Effective July 1, 2016
The Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences based on article 46 paragraph 2 letter e of the ordinance of 16 December 2003 on the organization of the ETH Zurich (OV) has established the following bylaws:
1. Term and Composition
Article 1 Term (OV article 29)
1 The Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS) is a teaching and research unit of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ).
2 It represents the organizational union of academics working in the academic fields of humanities, social and political sciences.
Article 2 Composition (OV article 43 paragraph 1 and 2, article 44 paragraph 1 to 3, article 46 paragraph 2 letter k; annex 2 OV)
1 The composition of the department is determined by the Executive Board of ETH Zurich. At the moment, the department is composed of centres, institutes, quasi-institutional units, independent professorships and members of the department. The department administration has a to-date list of the organisational units, professorships and permanent visiting professorships.
2 For internal organisation and coordination purposes, the department can group its professorships in several core areas.
3 Regular members of the department are:
- a professorships assigned to the department;
- b further members of the teaching staff of the department;
- c members of the mid-level academic staff as well as of the administrative and technical staff of the departmental institutes, quasi-institutional units and professorships as well as of the department’s own facilities;
- d students or auditors enrolled for the degree courses at the department.
4 Associate members of the department:
The general situation of the associate members of the department is regulated by article 44 of the ordinance of organization. They are mentioned by name in the annex to theses bylaws. The rights and duties as well as the admission procedure are stated in article 8 paragraph 1 letter f, article 9 paragraph 3 and article 24.
Article 3 General Responsibilities of the Department
2 The responsibilites of the different bodies are mentioned in the respective articles.
Article 4 Allocation of Resources (OV article 31)
1 After hearing the respective members of the department, the department settles the internal distribution of financial resources and responsibilities with these bylaws. The internal allocation of resources shall be effectuated according to workload and performance.
2 In the process of allocating funds, commitments made by the Executive Board of ETH Zurich on the use of funds and other resources are to be respected for a period of five years after the appointment.
Article 5 Allocation of Space
1 The department disposes of its allocated space.
2 For the allocation and administration a room committee can be put into place.
Article 6 Facilities pertaining to the department (OV article 36 paragraph 2)
2 The department operates the following facilities:
- Departmental administration
- Student administration
- GESS library
- Behavioral Studies Laboratories
3.1 Department Conference
Article 7 Responsibilities of the Department Conference (OV article 46)
1 The department conference is the department’s highest body.
2 In addition to the responsibilities mentioned in article 46 paragraph 2 of the ordinance of organisation, it has the following responsibilities:
- a It issues guidelines for the allocation of resources earmarked for the department and approves the committee’s proposals concerning the allocation of resources.
- b It decides on the creation or repeal of department owned facilities (article 6) and core areas (article 3 paragraph 2) and regulates their organisation;
- c It approves of the transfer of supervision of the department owned institutions;
- d It applies for the awarding of master and doctoral theses.
Article 8 Composition of the Department Conference (OV article 47)
1 The department conference comprises the following members:
- a all professors belonging to the department, the honorary professors and four representatives of the other members of the teaching staff;
- b the director of the Military Academy at ETH Zurich (MILAK), the head of the Archives of Contemporary History (AfZ) and the head of the Thomas Mann Archives;
- c four representatives of the mid-level academic staff;
- d five student representatives enrolled in the study programmes of the Department and in the Science in Perspective courses;
- e two representatives of the administrative and technical staff;
- f the associate members of the department.
2 The group representatives mentioned in paragraph 1 letters a and c to e are appointed according to group specific electoral procedures. The groups inform the department conference about the procedure and will notify the head of department at the end of each semester about withdrawals and newly appointed representatives.
3 Chosen deputies for the representatives of the department associates are allowed according to paragraph 1 lit. c, d and e.
4 Is there a study program whose study director or his deputy is not a professor of the department, is she or he to be included in the department conference for the study-relevant part and she or he owns voting rights for this part.
Article 9 Additional order of the meeting (OV article 48)
2 The department conference constitutes a quorum if half of all members eligible to vote are present.
3 When discussing affairs which include services of other departments, the appropriate members of the teaching staff are to be included as consultants.
4 All members with voting rights are allowed to suggest items for the agenda of the department conference. They have to be submitted to the head of the department at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting. In urgent cases, items can be submitted at the beginning of the meeting if the majority of the members present agree.
5 Motions for reconsideration are to be accepted by a two-thirds majority of the members present. The renewed discussion of prior decisions must be submitted to the head of department in accordance with the normal procedure.
3.2 Professors’ Conference (OV article 49)
Article 10 Responsibilities and Composition
2 It is composed of all professors of the department and the honorary professors of the department who are employed at ETH Zurich. Associate professors as well as honorary professors who are not employed at ETH Zurich may be consulted.
3 Decisions about application for appointment of assistant professors to associate or ordinary professor (OV article 49, paragraph 1 lit. a) need a two third majority from the associate and ordinary professors of the department with a two third presence and decision quorum.
4 The professors’ conference usually convenes twice per semester and, additionally, if summoned by:
- the head of department;
- his or her deputy;
- one third of its members.
5 The professors’ conference does have a quorum if at least half of its members are present. It takes its decisions with a two-third majority of the members present who have a voting right for the particular item.
3.3 Teaching Committees, or Teaching Conferences (OV article 50-52)
Article 11 Responsibilities
Article 12 Existing Teaching Committees
There is one teaching committee for each of the following study programs:
- a Science in Perspective
- b B.A. in Public Policy
- c M.A. in Comparative and International Studies
- d M.A. in History and Philosophy of Knowledge
- e M.A. in Science, Technology and Policy
- f MAS and das CAS in Development Cooperation
- g Teacher’s Diploma for secondary schools and Teaching Certificate
Article 13 Composition
2 The teaching committee for the B.A. in Public Policy is composed of three representatives of each of the three academic groups. One seat of the representatives of the teaching staff is reserved for a representative from the Military Academy at ETH Zurich (MILAK / ETH Zurich).
3 If the composition of the teaching committee is not regulated in the study regulations, the teaching committee is composed of two representatives of each group of university.
4 The representatives of the teaching staff mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 3 are nominated by the director of studies and are elected by the department conference. The representatives of the mid-level academic staff and the students mentioned above are being elected according to group-specific electoral procedures
5 The academic groups according to paragraphs 2 and 3 can only be represented by persons who are part of the respective course of studies as members of the teaching staff, the mid-level academic staff or the student body.
6 The teaching committees constitute themselves.
7 The teaching committees may invite guests to their meetings. The guests have no voting rights.
3.4 Grading Conferences (OV article 53 and 54)
Article 14 Existing Grading Conferences
The courses of studies have their own grading conferences.
Article 15 Responsibilities and Composition
For consecutive degree courses the grading conference’s responsibilities and composition conform to the provisions of the General Exam Regulations of the ETH Zurich (AVL ETHZ). In addition to the provisions mentioned there, the following applies:
- a the grading conference takes place immediately after the exam session and is headed by the director of studies;
- b it decides on the grading of all exam achievements;
- c the grading conference is composed of the examiners involved in the respective exam session as well as two students per degree course as observers. They are invited by the director of studies;
- d the grading conference has the duty to apply to the rector to award the grade «with distinction» as well as to bestow prizes or awards.
3.5 Director of Studies (OV article 57)
1 For the subject Science in Perspective, for the BA-, MA- and MSC- course of studies, as well as the Teacher’s Diploma for secondary schools and Teaching Certificate, the department conference chooses a study director and a deputy from the circle of teaching full and associated professors of the department. The tenure of office is two years. Reelection is allowed.
2 For the MAS-, CAS- and DAS- course of studies the department conference chooses a study director and a deputy from the circle of teaching full and associated professors of the department. The tenure of office is two years. Reelection is allowed.
3.6 Doctoral Committee
Article 17 Responsibilities
1 At the request of the core areas, the Doctoral Committee brings forward to the vice-rector for doctoral studies suggestions for additional requirements, if needed, for admission to the doctorate at D-GESS.
2 The Doctoral Committee approves of the research plans and co-supervisors at the request of the core areas.
3 It proposes the candidates who successfully passed the doctoral defense for promotion by the department conference.
Article 18 Composition
The Doctoral Committee is composed of the professorial members of the executive committee. It is directed by the head of department.
3.7 Head of Department and Deputy (OV article 55 and 56)
Article 19 Responsibilities of the Head of Department and his or her deputy
2 In addition, the head of department takes on the following task: at the request of the department committee and upon approval by the department conference he or she allocates the personal and material resources that are alloted to the department to the centers, institutes, quasi-institutional units and independent professorships.
Article 20 Appointment of the Head of Department and his or her Deputy
3.8 Executive Board of the Department
Article 21 Responsibilities and Composition
1 The department committee, together with the department coordinator, act as the executive board of the department.
2 The executive board of the department supports the head of department in the preparation and execution of important business.
3.9 Executive Committee (OV article 45 paragraph 2)
Article 22 Responsibilities
1 The executive committee supports the head of department in the preparation and execution of important business.
2 It prepares the budget in line with the strategic guidelines defined by the president (article 32 paragraph 2 OV).
3 It supports the head of department in the preparation of the allocation of resources according to articles 4 and 5 for the attention of the department conference.
4 It formulates the requirements of the department regarding human and financial resources as well as strategic concerns for the attention of the appropriate authorities within the executive board of ETH Zurich.
Article 23 Organisation
1 The executive committee consists of the chairperson, his or her deputy, a former chairperson, one representative each from the core areas as far as the aforementioned persons do not already represent these areas, the director of science in perspective studies as well as the department coordinator. The executive committee may invite guests for specific agenda items if it agrees on doing so or at the request of the department conference. The committee members who are not ex officio members of the body are nominated by the head of department and elected by the department conference. Their term of office is determined by the head of department’s term of office.
2 The department committee is headed by the head of department and convenes at his or her request. Should another member wish the department committee to convene, he or she has to apply first to the head of department.
3.10 Department Coordinator
Article 24 Authority, Responsibilities
1 The department coordinator is under the authority of the head of department.
2 The department coordinator takes on the following responsibilities:
- a supporting the head of department in the operative and strategic management of the department’s activities;
- b controlling and reporting;
- c coordination of teaching;
- d heading the departmental administrative staff;
- e managing the head of the IT support group;
- f presence at the executive committee;
- g presence at the library committee;
- h presence at the room committee;
- i presence at the IT comittee.
3 The department coordinator reports regularly to the department’s other conferences and committees.
3.11 Library Committee
Article 25 Composition
1 The library commission is composed of two professors or honorary professors of the department and the department coordinator. One of the professors acts as chairperson and chairs the sessions.
2 The two professorial members and the chairperson are elected by the department conference for a term of two years.
3 The members of the library commission are part of the commission set up in cooperation with the ETH library to manage the GESS departmental library.
3.12 IT Committee
Article 26 IT Committee
The executive board of the department may appoint an IT committee when needed.
3.13 Room Committee
Article 27 Composition
The room committee is composed of the members of the executive committee.
Article 28 Responsibilities
The room committee carries out the room planning for all organisational units of the department, based on effective needs. In case of conflict, it decides on the allocation of rooms after hearing all of the parties involved.
3.14 Behavioral Studies Laboratories Commission
Article 29 Composition
The Behavioral Studies Laboratories Commission is composed of professors of ETH Zurich and the head of the laboratories. The members of the commission are elected by the department conference for a period of office of two years. Reelection is possible.
Article 30 Responsibilities
1 The laboratory commission chooses a laboratory delegate and a deputy from the ranks of professorial members of the laboratory commission. The delegate and his or her deputy must be a member of D-GESS. The laboratory commission passes the organisational and usage regulations and takes on the overall responsibility for the usage of the infrastructure.
2 The laboratory delegate heads the laboratory commission and is the technical superior of the laboratory head.
3 The head of the laboratory heads the laboratory staff.
4. Associate Members of the Department (OV article 44)
1 Each member of the department conference may propose to name professors of other departments as associate professors. The department conference votes on the acceptance by simple majority.
2 Associate members of the department are members of the department conference and are eligible to vote. Associate professors may also be consulted, as required, for dealings of the professors’ conference.
3 Associate members of the department have to offer courses at the D-GESS regularly.
5. Final Provisions
Article 32 Taking Effect
These bylaws take effect on July 1, 2016. They replace the bylaws of April 13, 2010.
The Head of the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences:
Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe
Approved on July 20, 2016
The President of ETH Zurich:
Prof. Dr. Lino Guzzella
Associate members of the department include:
Prof. Thomas Hengartner, Director of Collegium Helveticum