Center for Digital Humanities Charter

In keeping with the guidelines and procedures outlined in Organization and Administration of Centers (AA 150-60 of February 11, 2013) and the directives of the College of Humanities, the Center for Digital Humanities shall be named, organized, and administered as follows:

I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Center for Digital Humanities.

II. Purpose and Functions

Digital resources and digital methods of study promise to enrich and reinforce traditional forms of knowledge in the Humanities. Digital Humanities uses computational methods to study literature, history, culture, and other humanities subjects. At the same time, it encompasses the many different ways in which the digital influences and informs our understanding of the human experience, examining digital technologies themselves from a humanistic perspective. Digital humanists are typically concerned with the preservation and dissemination of cultural artifacts in digital form; the creation of large-scale digital resources; the use of computational techniques for analyzing the objects of humanities study; and the critical analysis of digital tools and their impact on society. Digital Humanities thus intersects across disciplines with the work of social scientists, communication researchers, library scientists, information studies scholars, and computer scientists who share interests in digital methods.

The purpose of the Center for Digital Humanities is to provide a home to a group of faculty and students interested in exploring the many facets of Digital Humanities. Housed in the College of Humanities of the California State University, Northridge, the Center consists of a Director and an Advisory Board drawn from the university. The Center seeks to serve the university, the immediate community, and society at large through: (1) research using digital methods and digital technologies; (2) dissemination of research, especially through digital media; and (3) inquiry into the impact of the digital in today’s society.

Drawing primarily upon the intellectual resources of the University, the Center’s approach is multicultural and multidisciplinary. The topics dealt with depend on the interests of the members and availability of resources. Examples of past topics of interest are: digital editing of medieval manuscripts; text mining newspapers; contributing to crowd-sourced transcriptions of eighteenth-century literature; development of computational text analysis software; creation of digital templates for primary source research assignments; development of a provenance system for tracking humanities research. The Center sponsors the 4Humanities student group, the local chapter of the 4Humanities collective, which uses Digital Humanities methods to advocate for the Humanities as a whole.

III. Membership (if applicable)

IV. Organization of the Center

A. Supervising University Unit

The Center for Digital Humanities shall operate under the College of Humanities.

B. Organizational Structure

The Center for Digital Humanities shall be managed by a Director.


The Director shall be appointed by the Dean of the College for a term of one year, renewable for up to three consecutive terms, upon consultation with the Center’s Advisory Board. The Director shall be directly responsible to the Dean. Additional administrative and management positions may be established as needed by the Director in consultation with the Advisory Board (if applicable) and with the approval of the Dean. If deemed appropriate, the Dean may function as Director.

Advisory Board

The campus Advisory Board members will be selected by the Dean of the College of Humanities, in consultation with the Director of the Center. Terms for members of the campus Advisory Board will normally be one academic year, but the same person may serve unlimited consecutive terms. The campus Advisory Board will elect a chair annually.

C. Administration

1. Administration: Director

Under the oversight of the Dean of the college, the Director shall be responsible for the general operation and administration of the Center. Responsibility for the direct operation of a specific program may be delegated, as may other responsibilities of the Director as necessary. The Director shall be responsible for allocating funds, staffing programs, administrative operations, and for arranging for space, equipment, and other resources and facilities required to support and promote the work of the Center. All decisions concerning staffing and expenditures made by the Director must have approval of the College Dean. The Director is also responsible for the preparation of the Center’s annual report, as required by University policy. The Director is responsible to the Dean of Humanities, and keeps the Advisory Committee informed of Center activities. The Director also serves as the primary faculty sponsor for the 4Humanities student group.

2. Administration: Advisory Board

The Advisory Board shall serve as a scholarly and administrative resource. The campus Advisory Board chair and the Center’s Director will set the agenda for campus Advisory Board meetings. The campus Advisory Board will elect a secretary who will be responsible for ensuring that minutes are prepared for each meeting and distributed in a timely fashion to all members of the campus Advisory Board, the Director and the Dean of the College of Humanities.

Administration: Dean

The Dean of the college will be responsible for reviewing and approving all Center activities and published material. This review and approval process shall ensure that activities and published material of the Center contributes to the fulfillment of the CSU and CSUN missions, are consistent with acceptable standards of scholarship, the charter of the Center and goals of the College, and otherwise conform to applicable laws, regulations, and policies of the University.

V. Finances

Source of Funds

The Center for Digital Humanities will be a self-supporting operation funded by donations, grants, trust funds, and contracts from public and private sources. Any surplus funds will be expended on Center projects or on scholarships or prizes for student research in Digital Humanities. The Director will work with the College of Humanities development office to obtain funding from private and public sources.

Funding required for the Center will come from donations, grants, trust funds, and contracts from public and private sources, as well as from proceeds generated by any of the Center’s projects and programs. The Director will work with the Director of Development of the College of Humanities, the Dean of the College of Humanities, and members of other participating campus units to obtain funding from private and public sources. The Center will pursue external grant funding on an ongoing basis. The Director will work with the Dean of the College of Humanities and the Advisory Committee to staff projects and programs, and to arrange for space, equipment, supplies, and other resources and facilities necessary to support and promote the Center’s projects and programs. This will include, with the aid of College technology administrators, oversight and maintenance of Digital Humanities research resources in the Humanities Research Lab (Sierra Hall 194).


In consultation with the College Dean, the Director will be responsible for all financial operations of the Center and for maintaining its financial soundness.

Management of Resources

The management of resources will be carried out by the Director. The use of resources shall be subject to review and must be approved by the Dean. The Center’s annual report will be generated by the Director in consultation with the Advisory Committee and will follow established university guidelines.

VI. Annual Report

A. Proposed Activities

Each year by a date established by the Dean of the college, the Director shall submit to the Dean of the College (a) an annual report that conforms to the established format and (b) a business plan for the coming academic year. The Director will then meet with the Dean to review all proposed activities, publicity, plans, advisory board changes, and budget projections for proposed Center projects. The Dean will review additional activities proposed during the academic year, as necessary. The Advisory Board will review the annual report prior to submission, as appropriate.

B. Submission of Annual Report

By September 15 of each year, the Director shall forward to the Provost or their designee a copy of the completed annual report.

C. Contents of Annual Report

The annual report shall include a financial statement, an activities statement for the previous year and a summary business plan for the upcoming academic year.

VII. Period of Operation

The Center will be dissolved no later than June 30, 2022 (not to exceed five years from approval date), unless this Charter is renewed prior to that date upon application to the Provost. Similarly, all projects and component organizations of the Center shall operate for fixed periods and shall be automatically dissolved at the end of the period unless renewed by the Director, in consultation with the Advisory Board and the Dean.

Submitted By: Scott Kleinman, Director
Date: 9/28/2017