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Graduate Council: Bylaws

1. Authorization

These Bylaws are authorized by Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 5 of the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws (adopted by the Board of Regents November 30, 1984).

2. The Bylaws provide for the organizational and administrative structure and personnel policies for the Graduate Faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno.

The Bylaws shall be consistent with the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws, the UCCSN Code and the Laws of the State of Nevada and the United States.

3. Adoption of the Graduate Faculty Bylaws

These Bylaws shall be considered as adopted and in full force and effect upon; 1) the approval of the Graduate Faculty, which shall be by at least a two-thirds majority of those voting in a written, secret mail ballot, and 2) approval by the President after consultation with the Graduate Dean.

4. Amendment of the Bylaws

Any member of the Graduate Faculty may propose amendments to these Bylaws. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Graduate Council for its review and recommendation. If approved by a majority of the Graduate Council, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Graduate Faculty for a vote by a written secret mail ballot. A proposed amendment which, after consideration by the Graduate Council, has not been approved by a majority of that body, shall be submitted to the Graduate Faculty for a vote by a written secret mail ballot if at least ten percent of the faculty sign a petition requesting this action. The amendment shall be in full force and effect upon; 1) approval by the Graduate Faculty, which shall be at least a two-thirds majority of those voting in a written secret mail ballot and 2) approval by the President after consultation with the Graduate Dean.

5. Interpretation of the Bylaws

Questions of interpretation of these Bylaws shall be directed to the Graduate Council, which shall review the question and forward its recommendations to the President, whose ruling shall be final.

6. Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty shall consist of those members of the faculty (as faculty are defined in Section 15 of the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws) or adjunct faculty and clinical faculty (as defined in Section 22 of the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws) appointed to it by an instructional department or program. Each instructional department or program shall develop criteria for appointment to the Graduate Faculty and shall place the criteria on file with the program and with the Graduate School. Any subsequent changes in those criteria also should be placed on file with the program and with the Graduate School before they are put into use. Notices of appointment shall be forwarded to the Graduate School. Appointments to the Graduate Faculty shall be based on a capability to contribute to graduate education demonstrated through:

  • receipt of a terminal degree considered appropriate by the department or program,
  • research competence, and
  • ability to teach graduate students.

Research competence may be demonstrated by scientific, creative, or other scholarly activities consistent with the department or program. These should include, but are not limited to, refereed national or regional publications, presentations, or other refereed creative accomplishments. Ability to teach graduate students individually or in groups may be demonstrated by peer and/or student evaluation of classroom, laboratory, or clinical instruction, or supervision of research or creative activity.

Members of the faculty who have not been appointed to the Graduate Faculty may, upon approval by the Graduate Dean, be permitted to teach specified graduate courses and serve on graduate advisory-examining committees. However, such persons shall not be permitted to chair graduate advisory-examining committees.

Regular faculty members at UNLV and DRI can be appointed to Graduate Faculty status in the same manner as University of Nevada, Reno faculty. UNLV faculty who are accorded Graduate Faculty status are subject to the same rules and have the same rights and privileges as University of Nevada, Reno Graduate faculty except that they have no voting privileges on university-wide matters, though they may have such privileges on specific graduate program matters as outlined in program bylaws, shall not chair student advisory committees, and are not eligible to serve as university-at-large members of advisory committees.

7. Denial of Graduate Faculty Membership

The Chair of the department or program shall provide, in writing, specified reasons as to why a person applying for membership in the Graduate Faculty was denied. This shall include a statement as to what action may be taken for reconsideration and inclusion in the Graduate Faculty.

8. Appeal of Graduate Faculty Membership

A person who wishes to appeal denial of Graduate Faculty membership may do so in writing to the Chair of the department or program. The application will be reviewed by the department or program in a meeting with the applicant. Should the department or program receive sufficient new information supporting the appointment of the applicant to the Graduate Faculty, it shall reconsider the application for membership in the Graduate Faculty. Further appeal, using the same procedure, may take place at the Graduate Council.

9. Meetings of the Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty may hold meetings for the discussion of, or action on, any matter concerning graduate education. Meetings of the Graduate Faculty may be called by: 1) the President or a designee; 2) the Graduate Dean; 3) the Chair of the Graduate Council if directed by a majority vote of that body; or 4) a petition signed by ten percent of the Graduate Faculty which has been submitted to the President, or a designee. The meeting must be held within ten working days of receipt of the petition. Members of the Graduate Faculty shall receive written notification of faculty meetings which shall include the date, time, place and agenda of the meeting.

A. Presiding Officer

The President, or a designee, shall preside over meetings of the Graduate Faculty.

B. Secretary

The Graduate Faculty shall elect a secretary for each meeting from among its members in attendance, who shall be responsible for the maintenance of accurate records of its deliberations, the transmission of recommendations and the distribution of minutes to members of the Graduate Faculty.

C. Order of Business

The presiding officer shall determine the order of business and shall provide opportunity for introduction of new business from the floor.

10. Membership of the Graduate Council

The Graduate Council shall be elected by and from the Graduate Faculty. Each school or college shall have at least one representative on the Graduate Council; schools or colleges with large Graduate Faculties may have two or more representatives as deemed appropriate by the Graduate Council and the Dean of the Graduate School. No member of the Faculty Senate will be eligible to serve on the Graduate Council except the representative appointed to the Council by the Faculty Senate. Terms of office shall be for three years, and so arranged that approximately one-third of the membership is elected annually. The President or a designee shall be a non-voting member. The Graduate Dean is a voting member with full rights and privileges except he/she shall not be eligible for the chairmanship. The Associate Graduate Dean shall be a non-voting member. A voting student representative shall be appointed by the Graduate Student Association. A quorum of the Graduate Council shall exist when two-thirds (2/3) of the council membership, other than the Graduate Dean, the graduate student representative and the President or his designee, are present.

11. Rules of Order by the Graduate Council

The Graduate Council shall conduct its meetings according to the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall appoint a member of the Graduate Council to act as parliamentarian.

12. Election to the Graduate Council

Approximately one-third of the representatives on the Graduate Council shall be elected annually in the spring semester with terms of office to begin immediately following the meeting at which the officers are elected. In years in which there is a reapportionment of representatives, elections shall take place following the reapportionment and representatives shall be elected in accordance with the new apportionment.

Representatives who have resigned or have been removed from office shall be replaced for the remainder of their terms of office by another representative from their college or school elected in a special election held not later than two months following the resignation or removal. Each college or school shall elect its representatives to the Graduate Council in accordance with its own Bylaws, provided the nominations and elections are by written secret ballot.

Each college or school shall forward the names of newly elected Graduate Council representatives to the Graduate School before the end of the spring semester or in a timely manner after any special election is held.

Representatives may be recalled by a two-thirds vote of the Graduate Faculty in the unit they represent. A recall reelection shall be called by the administrative head of the unit when a petition signed by ten percent of the Graduate Faculty in that unit is presented. The Chair shall be exempt from recall by its unit.

Members of the Graduate Council who are unable to attend a regular or special meeting of the Council may be represented by a proxy of their choice who is a member of the Graduate Faculty. The proxy must be chosen from the absentee's college or school, and in no case shall be another member of the Graduate Council. Agendas and minutes of the Graduate Council meeting shall be distributed to the Graduate Faculty.

13. Organization of the Graduate Council

A chair and vice-chair shall be elected annually from the membership of the Graduate Council in the spring semester. The chair shall preside at the Graduate Council meetings and shall work with the Graduate Dean to promote graduate education and research. The chair shall appoint members to the standing and ad hoc committees authorized by the Graduate Council. Standing committees are the Bylaws Committee and the Program Review Committee. Ad-hoc committees shall be established by a majority vote of the membership of the Graduate Council, and the chair of the Graduate Council will appoint members to such committees. The vice-chair shall assume responsibilities in the absence of the chair. Upon a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the Graduate Council, a chair or vice-chair may be removed from office.

14. Duties and Responsibilities of the Graduate Council

The Graduate Council shall review and recommend to the President, through the Academic Vice-President, subject to the approval of the Graduate Dean, policy matters pertaining to graduate education. Recommendations not approved by the Graduate Dean shall be forwarded to the President if, after reconsideration, they are approved by at least a two-thirds majority of the full Council.

Matters which the Graduate Council shall review and make recommendations on shall include, but not be limited to, graduate teaching, graduate program needs, and graduate student and faculty research. The Graduate Council shall: 1) review and evaluate proposed and existing programs; 2) recommend priorities to be adopted in graduate education, scholarship, and research; and 3) establish standing and ad hoc committees to ensure the orderly discharge of the duties and responsibilities of the Graduate Council. Review and evaluation of existing graduate programs shall be conducted as deemed necessary by a majority vote of the Graduate Council and the Dean of the Graduate School.

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