Until the early 1990s, the administration of the Department of History, like its curriculum, was structured around geographically-defined “caucuses”—European, U.S., and “Third World”—that dated back to the 1960s. Each caucus enjoyed relative autonomy in its graduate program.
In times of declining resources, the old decentralized structure engendered often pitched battles over faculty appointments and graduate enrollments well beyond the department’s ability to provide support.
In 1991, the Department moved—amidst its own version of the “culture wars”—to its present structure of department-wide “councils”: the Faculty Council, the Graduate Council, and the Undergraduate Council.
For details on the councils’ composition and responsibilities, see the Department of History’s Legislative Code (pdf).