Bylaws of the Graduate School

Bylaws of the
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Graduate School


 Prior to approval of this document, graduate education on the UAMS campus was conducted under the auspices of theUniversityofArkansas,Fayetteville.  Within this framework, it is understood that any previous administrative or academic policy or procedure not directly addressed by these bylaws will be continued at UAMS until such time as it is formally modified by the Graduate Council or Graduate Faculty.

 Graduate Faculty Membership and Advisory Committee Assignments


Initial membership of the Graduate Faculty is described in the Statement of Organization and additional members will be selected by the Graduate Council upon recommendation by the Committee on Faculty (see Graduate Council Committees).  Individuals with Masters or Doctoral degrees may apply for membership.  Although members of the Graduate Faculty are assigned academic rank by the College of their primary appointment, there are no numerical levels, status, or classifications assigned to members of the Graduate Faculty in relation to theirGraduateSchoolactivities.  Only members of the Graduate Faculty are permitted to serve as course directors of graduate level courses.  Only members of the Graduate Faculty with previous research experience are permitted to advise research for graduate credit.  The Dean of theGraduateSchoolshall approve thesis and dissertation committee assignments presented by the appropriate program in concurrence with the following guidelines:

a)  All Graduate Faculty assigned to thesis and dissertation committees must have previous research experience.

b)  Those Graduate Faculty members with an appropriate Master’s degree may serve on Master’s thesis committees.

c)  Those Graduate Faculty members with an appropriate Master’s degree and previous graduate teaching experience, or with an appropriate Doctoral degree may chair or serve on Master’s thesis committees and serve on Doctoral dissertation committees.

d)  Those Graduate Faculty members with an appropriate Doctoral degree and previous graduate teaching experience as a faculty member may chair or serve on Master’s thesis committees and Doctoral dissertation committees.

 In each of these situations teaching experience is defined as classroom teaching, membership on thesis or dissertation committees, or directing students in research projects.

Programs will periodically review their faculty for active participation in graduate programs.  Those individuals who have not been actively involved in graduate education may, at the request of the program, be removed from the Graduate Faculty roster by the Graduate Council.  These individuals may appeal this decision to the Dean of the GraduateSchool.


Graduate Faculty Meetings

Graduate Faculty meetings, called by the Dean of theGraduateSchool, shall be held at least once a year.  The Dean shall also call special meetings when he/she sees the need or upon written petition of at least twenty members of the Graduate Faculty.  Announcements of each meeting, together with a written agenda, shall be sent to the Graduate Faculty at least two weeks before the meeting.  TheDean, assisted by the  Graduate Council, shall determine the agenda for each meeting; however, any other item may be presented from the floor and added to the agenda with approval of a majority of the members present.  Ten percent of the total Graduate Faculty shall constitute a quorum for a Graduate Faculty meeting.  With the exception of amendments to the bylaws, motions on the floor of a meeting will be passed by a simple majority vote of the Graduate Faculty members present.  The Dean shall send the minutes of each meeting to the Graduate Faculty.  Actions taken at the meeting shall be considered the policy of the Graduate Faculty two weeks after the minutes have been distributed.  Approved academic policies shall be kept in the Graduate School Office and shall be reflected in the Graduate School Catalog and Student Handbook.

Composition of the Graduate Council


TheUniversityofArkansasfor Medical Sciences Graduate Council shall consist of a voting representative from each of the following graduate programs:

             Biochemistry and Molecular Biology            
             Microbiology and Immunology
            Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences
            Communicative Disorders                             
            Nursing Ph.D. Program
            Clinical Nutrition                                          
            Occupational and Environmental Health
            Genetic Counseling                                         
            Health Promotion & Prevention Research     
            Pharmaceutical Sciences
            Health Systems Research                               
            Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences            
            Physiology and Biophysics
            Interdisciplinary Toxicology                                               

And any subsequent additional graduate programs approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and are currently active.  Should the name of an existing graduate program change, no additional administrative action is required and the program’s voting representation remains the same.

 The Graduate Council will determine by a two thirds vote of the total voting membership   if newly approved programs will have a representative.  The elected president of the Graduate Student Association will be a member of the Council who is eligible to vote on all matters except those pertaining to Graduate Faculty status.  The Deanof the GraduateSchool, Assistant and/or Associate Deans of the GraduateSchool, and the Registrar of the GraduateSchoolwill serve as ex officio, non-voting members.  The Registrar of theGraduateSchool will serve as secretary and recorder at meetings of the Graduate Council. 

 Election of Voting Faculty Graduate Council Members


Voting faculty representatives to the Graduate Council shall be elected from each program by those individuals holding Graduate Faculty status within that program.  Representatives will be elected for non-consecutive, four-year terms with the initial membership consisting of the members of the previously electedUniversityofArkansasfor Medical Sciences Graduate Committee.  These four-year terms will be staggered such that approximately one-fourth of the Council will be newly elected each year.  The elections, which will be conducted by the Dean of theGraduateSchool, shall be held in May.  A program ballot listing all eligible Graduate Faculty members will be distributed via electronic mail by the registrar in the Graduate School Office.  The Registrar will tabulate the results and the faculty member receiving the most votes will be elected.  Should the results end in a tie, the representative will be elected by a runoff between the two members receiving the most votes.

Graduate Council Chair


Members of the Graduate Council will in alternate years elect a chair from their membership for a two year term.  This individual will be elected at the first meeting following the May elections.  The duties of the Chair will include preparing the agenda for Council meetings, presiding at meetings, and other duties as directed by the Graduate Council.  The chairman will be a voting member of the Council if his/her program does not have another voting representative.  In addition, this individual will, with the assistance of the Director of the Graduate School Office, be responsible for assigning Graduate Faculty members to serve as faculty marshals for theGraduateSchoolportion of the annual commencement ceremony.  

 Graduate Council Meetings

A simple majority of the membership is required as a quorum before Graduate Council business can be transacted.  The Graduate Council will be scheduled to meet at least once a month with the time and place to be determined by the membership.  A proposed agenda will be sent to members of the Council by the Chair at least one week before each meeting.  In the event no business is placed before the Council, the Chair shall send a written notice of cancellation one week prior to the meeting.  The minutes of each Graduate Council meeting shall be sent to all members of the Graduate Faculty.  When appropriate, the Graduate Council may refer questions to the Graduate Faculty in either an open meeting or by mail ballot.


Attendance at Graduate Council Meetings


If a Council member is unable to attend a meeting, he/she may designate a Graduate Faculty alternate from the program.  In the event that a representative is unable to fulfill his/her four year term on the Council, the Program Director will request a special election to replace that representative.  This newly elected member will complete the term of the original representative and will be eligible for re-election to another four-year term.  If a representative fails to attend three consecutive council meetings, he/she and the program director will be contacted to determine if another representative needs to be elected.

 Standing Committees of the Graduate Council

Committee Members.  Each of the standing committees shall consist of at least five members with each College (Health Related Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy and Medicine, and Public Health) having representation on the committee.  Members will serve a two year term.  Should additional colleges be established, committee membership will be expanded to accommodate a representative from each UAMS college being present on each committee.  These individuals will be nominated by a committee composed of the Dean of theGraduateSchool, the Chairperson of the Graduate Council and two Council members selected by the Council.  Committee members will be elected by a majority vote at the first meeting after the May elections. Committee membership is not restricted to members of the Graduate Council; however, at least one Council member must serve on each committee at all times.  Each Committee will elect its own chairperson.

Committee on Curriculum.  This committee will review and make recommendations to the Graduate Council on proposals for:

a) new courses for graduate credit
b) changes to existing graduate courses such as alterations in title, description, number, prerequisites                
c) deletion of courses for graduate credit
d) new or revised graduate tracks leading to a degree
e) merging or eliminating existing degree tracks
f)  new or revised graduate degree programs
g) merging or eliminating graduate degree programs.

 Upon recommendation of the Committee on Curriculum, the Graduate Council shall have the authority to change as appropriate the forms and materials needed to document these actions.  In the case of new degree program proposals, this committee is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the proposal are submitted in accordance with the format and  policies of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and the Arkansas Department of  Higher Education.

Committee on Faculty.   This committee will review applications for membership in the Graduate Faculty and make recommendations to the Graduate Council.  Upon recommendation of the Committee on Faculty, the Graduate Council shall have the authority to change the format of faculty application forms and materials needed for support or documentation.  This committee shall also be responsible for making recommendations regarding all other matters pertaining to Graduate Faculty status.

Committee on Assessment.  This committee will review and recommend to the Graduate Council, for approval by the Graduate Faculty, policies and procedures for on-going, systematic program evaluation.  In addition, this committee will oversee the implementation of the periodic program review established as part of an approved assessment plan.

 Committee on Graduate Student Research Funds.   This Committee will review applications and recommend to theDean allocation of research funds under the prevailing guidelines for such funding.

 Graduate School Office

 Under the direction of the Dean of theGraduateSchool, the Graduate School Office shall have full responsibility for maintaining graduate student records, processing applications for admission, monitoring student progress, producing a catalog and student handbook, and any other administrative actions deemed appropriate by the Dean of theGraduateSchool.  The purpose of the Graduate School Office is to provide administrative support to the graduate programs.  To that end, the Graduate Council may at any time make recommendations or voice concerns to the Dean of theGraduateSchoolregarding operations of the Graduate School Office.

 The Graduate School Office will maintain all Graduate Faculty records and will provide administrative support to the Graduate Council.

Catalog and Student Handbook

 At the time of approval of these bylaws the existing catalog and student handbook will remain in effect.  The administrative sections of these documents may be changed at the direction of the Dean of theGraduateSchool.  The academic sections of these documents may be changed by action of the Graduate Council.  Changes of this nature require a two- thirds vote of those Council members voting.  If deemed necessary by the Council, any item pertaining to changes in the catalog and/or student handbook may be referred to a vote of the Graduate Faculty in either an open meeting or by mail ballot.

 Amendments to the Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Graduate Faculty responding to an electronic ballot following Graduate Faculty Meetings.  At least ten percent of the Graduate Faculty must respond to make the vote valid.  The proposed amendment will be discussed at a Graduate Faculty meeting after appearing on the agenda that will be distributed to the Faculty at least one week before the meeting.  Results of the vote will be reported by email to all faculty members along with a revised copy of the bylaws if the amendment is passed.  Amendments will take effect after results of the vote have been reported to the Graduate Faculty.



Where not otherwise specified, meetings and procedures of the Graduate Faculty and Graduate Council will be conducted in accordance with the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.