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Direction 5: IBS Governance and Membership

Strategic Plan for the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS)

Over the next five years, IBS will create a governance structure and approach to membership that enables it to realize the Institute’s commitment to innovative interdisciplinary research, teaching, and engagement.

Rationale: As IBS changes, both by natural evolution and by design, its governance system must also change. The Institute’s original interdisciplinary program structure has grown substantially, and Institute activities have continued to expand. IBS members and their departmental colleagues have called for greater levels of engagement and a more porous IBS overall. Recommendations include a new faculty organization, an expanded board of directors with broad representation from across IBS, and a well-documented governing system outlining clear roles and procedures. IBS will keep, and continue to build upon, its current structure of programs, while also seeking opportunities for innovative research, including new interdisciplinary Working Groups that could themselves become programs.

Such governing mechanisms will support the aspirations of the new strategic plan, and provide a strong foundation for the next phase of the Institute’s development. They will ensure a more inclusive, transparent, and communicative IBS, able to facilitate a greater variety of high-quality research topics and related advocacy, engagement, outreach, and teaching.


  1. IBS will maintain its current structure of Programs and Centers while creating new opportunities that reflect scientific innovations for Working Groups and affiliates at large.
  2. IBS will create a faculty organization with rights and responsibilities that include carrying out selected elements of the strategic plan, and voting on affiliate membership and on specific hiring, promotion, and tenure matters.
  3. IBS will expand the Board of Directors to include the Director of Training Activities plus representatives of the center directors, untenured faculty, and professional researchers, with increased ex officio representation of staff and students.
  4. The faculty and Board of Directors will share decisions about future scientific directions at IBS.
  5. During the 2016-2017 academic year IBS will update its Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures, which will specify roles and procedures for governing bodies.