Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas








In keeping with the guidelines and procedures outlined in Organization and Administration of Centers (AA 150-60 of April 28, 2000) and the directives of the College of Humanities, the Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas (CESPA) shall be named, organized, and administered as follows:

I.  Name

The name of this organization shall be Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas (CESPA). 

II.  Purpose and Functions

            The peoples of the Americas have their roots in African, European, Asian, and indigenous cultures. The Center is committed to a deeper understanding of the movements of these peoples across American borders, and their creation of border cultures and economies in the Americas.

            A primary concern of the Center is the issues stemming from the lived experiences of our students. The California State University system has among the largest concentration of students of Mexican and Central American extraction of any four-year university system in the country, as well as substantial populations of Asian American and African American students. Our focus is the people of the Americas in the context of the rapid globalization of all aspects of Latin American Life.

            The Center is devoted to the principle that education is the basis for solutions to societal tensions. To this end the Center will bring together a group of creative artists, researchers, and scholars from a wide range of disciplines to more effectively educate students and communities of all races about the experiences and the cultures of the more than 30 million Americans of Latin-American extraction and the more than 600 million people living to the south of the United States.

            The purpose of the Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas, hereafter referred to as the Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas (CESPA), is to: 

  1. Promote interest in and knowledge of peoples within the US and south of the border;
  2. Promote service learning and student research regarding the peoples of the Americas by involving students in the study of immigrants and their organizational, regional, and family networks;
  3. Promote interest in and knowledge of peoples descendent of Latin American communities, whether of Latino/a, Asian, European, African or indigenous origins, both at the University and in CSUN’s service area;
  4. Promote faculty workshops, conferences, lectures, curriculum, and library resources;
  5. Create and promote multimedia forums to distribute Center programs and research;
  6. Assist in grant writing and projects for faculty instruction related to research;
  7. Compare the cultural experiences of different Latin American immigrant communities in the university, correlating them to other parts of the Americas;
  8. Augment the University’s research materials, archives, and other knowledge of the immigrant populations from the Americas;
  9. Create a world-class community of scholars specializing in the Americas at the CSUN campus, opening discussion on development of degree programs;
  10. Expose the university to the creative works of Latin American immigrants and the documentation of the Latin American immigrant cultures that flourish at the doorstep of the university;
  11. Promote the study of multicultural perspectives concerning the peoples of the Americas.
  12. Regularly Assess and establish program and research needs

III.  Membership (if applicable)


IV.  Organization of the Center

A.  Supervising University Unit

The Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas (CESPA) shall operate under the College of Humanities, within the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies.

B.  Organizational Structure

The Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas (CESPA) shall be managed by

1.  Director

The Director is appointed by the Dean of the college of Humanities in consultation with the Advisory Board and shall normally serve for a term of five academic years. The Director reports directly to the Dean of the College of Humanities. Additional administrative and management positions may be established as needed by the Director in consultation with the Advisory Board and with the approval of the Dean.  If deemed appropriate, the Dean may function as Director. The Director is responsible for the general operation and administration of the Center, but may delegate responsibilities for direct operation of any specific program. Under the Dean's oversight the Director develops and allocates support for staff projects, space, equipment, supplies, and other necessary resources and facilities.

2. Advisory Board

The Director will recommend to the Dean for annual appointment Advisory Board members.  The Center’s Director will be the Chair of the Advisory Board and will set the agenda for Advisory Board Meetings.  The Advisory Board will elect a secretary who will be responsible for ensuring minutes are prepared for each meeting and distribute in a timely fashion to all members of the advisory committee.

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.

2.  Administration:  Advisory Board

The Advisory Board shall serve as a scholarly and administrative resource.  The Advisory Board will provide advice on the formation, development and implementation of research in forming, developing, and implementing research agendas. The Advisory Board will assist in identifying funding sources as deemed appropriate to the Center’s research and programmatic agenda.      

3.  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

A.  Source of Funds

The Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas will be a self-supporting operation funded by donations, grants, contracts from public and private sources, and any proceeds generated by Center Activities. Any surplus funds will be expanded on Center’s projects, programs, courses, and scholarships, fellowships, or prizes for student research on the people of the Americas. The Director will work with the Center’s Associates, the Advisory Board, and the College of Humanities Director of Development to obtain funding from public and private sources.

B.  Operations

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

C.  Management of Resources

The use of resources shall be subject to review and must be approved by the Dean. 

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, 2017, 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.