CLAS: Center for Latin American Studies

News and Highlights

CLAS launches new governance structure

February 20, 2012

I am pleased to announce significant changes to the faculty governance of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS). The new governance structure is the result of extensive conversations with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, where CLAS is housed. The goal of these changes is to make the faculty advisory role more dynamic while guaranteeing broad representation both across the university and within the College of Arts and Sciences. The final objective is to forge strong links with the entire UM community and to engage in a two-way communication with faculty committed to the study of Latin America and the Caribbean.

A Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) has replaced the Executive Board that was in place at the time of my arrival. The FAB consists of 12 members, one from each of the following units: Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication, Education, Engineering, Law, Libraries, Medicine, Music, Nursing, and RSMAS. The main role of this board is the promotion of university-wide interdisciplinary initiatives. Board members were selected in consultation with the Dean of Arts and Sciences. They were selected based on their interest in CLAS, their high academic standards, and their dedication to productive and innovative collaboration. Members have been named to a 3-year term (FY 2012 to FY 2014). I am happy to announce the composition of the Faculty Advisory Board:

  • Yolanda Cooper, Otto G. Richter Library    
  • Eduardo Elena, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Leonardo Ferreira, School of Communication    
  • Joseph Ganitsky, School of Business Administration   
  • Jean-François LeJeune, School of Architecture    
  • Victoria Behar Mitrani, School of Nursing and Health Studies    
  • Antonio Nanni, College of Engineering   
  • MarieGuerda Nicolas, School of Education   
  • Ileana M. Porras, School of Law    
  • Leopoldo Raij, Miller School of Medicine    
  • Deborah Schwartz-Kates, Frost School of Music    
  • Daniel O. Suman, RSMAS    

In addition to the FAB, we have created a Council of faculty representing departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) with an interest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chairs and Program Directors have designated departmental representatives to this body, in addition to the prior Director of CLAS. The Council helps connect CAS departments and Interdisciplinary Programs with CLAS in a more systematic and effective manner and provides advice on areas that specifically link CLAS with the College. I am delighted to announce the membership of the CAS Council:

  • Edmund Abaka, Program in Africana Studies
  • Otavio Bueno, Department of Philosophy
  • Steven F. Butterman, Program in Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Tracy L. Devine-Guzman, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
  • Henry Fonte, Department of Theater Arts
  • Douglas O. Fuller, Department of Geography and Regional Studies
  • Laura Gomez-Mera, Department of International Studies
  • Gina Maranto, Program in Ecosystem Science and Policy
  • John Murphy, Department of Sociology
  • Martin Nesvig, Department of History
  • Captain Jeffrey Nunez, Department of Aerospace Studies
  • John Bryan Page, Department of Anthropology
  • Stephen Stein, Department of History (Former CLAS Director)
  • Timothy P. Watson, Program in American Studies
  • Amy G. Weisman de Mamani, Department of Psychology

CLAS staff (Director, Associate Director, Academic Director, and Consortium Coordinator) participates in Board and Council meetings. Both boards have already held their inaugural meetings this semester.

It is a true honor to be able to count on this group of colleagues as members of our governance. This is another step toward our goal of creating a sound institutional structure at CLAS, which is a vital component in the process of building a Center that will climb to national and international prominence.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Hasta pronto,

Ariel Armony
Director, Center for Latin American Studies