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Graduate Faculty Council Bylaws

Article I – Mission

The Graduate School is responsible for facilitating graduate education and research. It establishes, administers, promotes, and reviews all post-baccalaureate educational programs and the curricular components contained therein, with the exceptions of the programs in Law, Medicine, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, and the Sixth-year Professional Diploma Program in Education. It serves as the primary advocate for the University’s research mission by creating opportunities for research and fostering the scholarly basis for new and continuing research efforts.

Article II – Definitions and Organization

A. The Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty consists of those members of the University faculty who meet criteria set by the Graduate Faculty Council. They are appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, by authority of the President.

B. The Academic Programs
  1. The Graduate School comprises a group of academic disciplines called Fields of Study, some of which contain more focused disciplines called Areas of Concentration. Each Field of Study and Area of Concentration is established by the Graduate School and licensed and accredited by the Board of Governors of Higher Education. When a degree is conferred through the Graduate School, it is in a recognized Field of Study (and, where applicable, Area of Concentration).
  2. Each Field of Study has a Coordinator, who is appointed by the Dean upon nomination by the respective school or college dean or by the department head, as appropriate. The Coordinator represents that Field in transactions with the Graduate School.
C. The Graduate School Administration

The Administration of the Graduate School comprises

  1. the President of the University, the Provost and Chancellor of the University, and the Provost and Chancellor for Health Affairs, all ex officio;
  2. the Dean of the Graduate School;
  3. the Associate and Assistant Deans and Directors of the Graduate School, as well as other administrative officers as defined in the Regulations and appointed by the Dean;
  4. the Graduate Faculty Council;
  5. the Executive Committee of the Graduate School.
D. The University of Connecticut Research Foundation

The University of Connecticut Research Foundation, established by statute in 1945, serves as the major advocate for research for all campuses of the University, except the University of Connecticut Health Center, and manages all intellectual property of the University.

Article III – Structure and Functions

A. The Graduate Faculty
  1. Graduate Faculty members are eligible to serve on the Graduate Faculty Council and Graduate School committees, and may vote in elections of Council membership.
  2. All Graduate Faculty members may serve as major advisors at the master’s degree level and may serve as associate advisors on master’s and doctoral advisory committees.
  3. Graduate Faculty members who meet additional criteria of scholarship and productivity set by the Graduate Faculty Council may serve as doctoral major advisors.
  4. Appointment to the Graduate Faculty is for a period of time as set by the Graduate Faculty Council, and is renewable.
B. The Dean

The Dean is appointed by the President to serve as the chief academic and executive officer of the Graduate School and as Director of the University of Connecticut Research Foundation. The functions of the Dean are to

  1. work toward improvement in the breadth and quality of graduate education and research;
  2. administer and regularly evaluate the Fields of Study of the Graduate School, seeking to improve and strengthen them;
  3. certify to the Graduate Faculty Council the names of students who have completed requirements for graduate degrees conferred by the Graduate School;
  4. participate in the process of faculty promotion, tenure, and reappointment at the level of the Provost;
  5. develop and administer the budget of the Graduate School;
  6. interpret and apply the regulations of the Graduate School and the University with respect to graduate education;
  7. ensure that administrative procedures of the Graduate School are consistent with University and State policies;
  8. maintain records and reports on students, staff, Fields of Study, services, and budget;
  9. arbitrate conflicts arising within the Graduate School;
  10. oversee the operation of the University of Connecticut Research Foundation and appoint its staff.
C. The Graduate Faculty Council

The Graduate Faculty Council is the legislative body of the Graduate School. It establishes academic policy for graduate education at the University, except for those areas reserved to the Board of Trustees, to the University Senate, or to the Faculties of the other colleges and schools. Certain academic programs are exempted as noted in Article I.

  1. Membership
    1. The graduate faculty members of the Graduate Faculty Council are elected to represent content areas derived from the constituent Fields of Study. The number of representatives from each content area is determined by the proportional representation of faculty within that area. Each content area has a minimum of one representative, who serves a three-year term of office. The placement of Fields of Study within content areas is determined by the Graduate Faculty Council and is subject to periodic review and revision.
    2. The President, the Provost, the Dean, and other administrative officers of the Graduate School are nonvoting ex officio members of the Graduate Faculty Council. These individuals are not eligible to serve simultaneously as elected members of the Council.
    3. Two voting graduate student members are chosen by the Graduate Student Senate. Each person serves two years, with terms overlapping. Should a student representative graduate before completing a term, another graduate student will be chosen by the Graduate Student Council to fill out the term.
  2. Elections
    1. The election of the membership is ordinarily held in October and November and is by secret ballot. A minimum of two weeks is allowed between the distribution and collection of ballots. Those elected take office on January 1. All elections are in the charge of the Executive Committee, and the returns are certified by two inspectors of election selected by the Graduate Faculty Council.
    2. The voting members of the Graduate Faculty in each of the content areas defined in Section C.l.a. are defined as an electoral constituency. Persons holding appointment in more than one content area will each indicate to the Executive Committee the content area with which they wish to be associated. Otherwise, the associated content areas are those in which the primary appointments are held. In any election, persons eligible for election who feel unable to serve may withdraw their names from the list of candidates by so informing the Executive Committee through the Dean prior to the first ballot. The names of those persons who have withdrawn or are otherwise ineligible will be indicated on the ballot.
    3. Each content area establishes the electoral ballot by holding a nominating election. The ballot for the nominating election consists of the names of all members of the content area, excluding those who are members, ex officio or otherwise, of the Graduate Faculty Council and those who have asked to be withdrawn from the ballot. Each member of the content area will cast a number of votes equal to the number of representatives to be elected from that content area. Persons are elected to available seats on the Council by receiving the highest numbers of votes from at least a majority of those voting. If any positions are not filled by this procedure, a second ballot shall be prepared with a list of the names of those who had received the highest number of votes, this list to be one larger than the number of positions still open.In the event of a tie vote, the Department Head(s) (or Graduate Program Coordinator, if interdisciplinary) of the program will be asked break the tie. If a Department Head (or Coordinator) is one of those tied, the Dean of the School or College within which the program is located will break the tie.
    4. For the initial election the following procedures apply: one-third of the membership of the Graduate Faculty Council will be elected for a 1-year term, one-third for a 2-year term, and one-third plus any remainder for a 3-year term. The length of the term for each representative is determined by lot. Insofar as possible, content areas with multiple representation have their representation distributed among terms of varying length.
    5. If a Council member is unable to serve due to prolonged absence or incapacitation, the person who received the second highest number of votes in the most rehe rcent content area election will be asked by the Dean to serve the remainder of the term. Should this person be unable to serve, a special election to choose a replacement will be held according to the procedures outlined in Section C.2.c.
  3. Duties
    The Graduate Faculty Council:

    1. provides leadership in developing academic policies that promote effective programs of graduate education;
    2. establishes minimum criteria for admission to The Graduate School;
    3. establishes minimum curricular and degree requirements for The Graduate School;
    4. submits to the President for transmittal to the Board of Trustees the names of students certified by the Dean to have completed graduation requirements for the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Dental Science, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Music, Master of Public Affairs, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, and the Doctor of Philosophy. This function is performed on behalf of The Graduate Faculty;
    5. considers and approves all new graduate-level courses offered at the University (courses bearing numbers of 300 and higher), and approves S/U grading in appropriate graduate courses;
    6. sets criteria for the evaluation and review of the Fields of Study within The Graduate School and provides guidance for the Dean to carry out the evaluations;
    7. convenes meetings of the entire Graduate Faculty when appropriate.
  4. Officers
    1. The President of the University serves as chair of the Graduate Faculty Council. In the absence of the President, the Dean of The Graduate School serves as chair. In the absence of the Dean, an Associate Dean serves as chair.
    2. A recording Secretary is elected annually by the membership at the first meeting of the calendar year to prepare minutes of the meetings and distribute them to all members of the Graduate Faculty, to selected administrative offices, and to the University Archives.
  5. Meetings
    1. Meetings are held at least once each semester, at times fixed by the President ‘on the advice of the Dean and the Executive Committee of the Graduate School;
    2. Special meetings are called by the President at the request of the Dean, or at the request of at least 25% of the membership of the Graduate Faculty Council, whose signatures must be presented to the Secretary. At least one week’s notice must be given for a special meeting, and the purpose of the meeting must be publicized in the notice;
    3. All meetings of the Graduate Faculty Council are open to the public, except that by majority vote of the Council members present and voting at any meeting the Council may declare the meeting closed to all except council members and anyone specifically invited to be present. Nonmembers may address the Council if so voted by the members present and voting.
  6. Committees
    1. Committees are created by the Graduate Faculty Council at its discretion, to address continuing issues or business. These committees report to the Graduate Faculty Council. The Dean or the Dean’s designee is an ex officio member of all standing committees. Standing committees include, but are not limited to, Admissions, Curriculum and Courses, and Faculty Standards.
    2. When appropriate, the Dean creates committees of the Graduate Faculty Council to address issues deemed relevant and timely with respect to graduate education and research. Such committees report to the Dean and to the Graduate Faculty Council. The Dean or the Dean’s designee is an ex officio member of such committees.
D. The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Graduate School has both executive and advisory responsibilities to the Graduate Faculty Council and to the Dean.

  1. Membership
    1. The membership of the Executive Committee is drawn from both the Graduate Faculty Council and from The Graduate Faculty at large. At its first meeting of the calendar year the Graduate Faculty Council elects five of its members to serve on the Executive Committee. Four additional at-large members are appointed by the Dean to represent the diverse Fields and points of view represented on the Graduate Faculty.
    2. The Dean, who serves as chair of the Executive Committee, and other administrative officers as appointed by the Dean, hold ex officio membership.
  2. Duties
    The Executive Committee serves as the steering committee for the Graduate Faculty Council and acts on its behalf in academic and curricular matters requiring timely action. It also advises the Dean on matters of policy and regulatory interpretation as these may affect the administration and status of graduate education at the University. Specifically, the Executive Committee

    1. sets the agenda for the meetings of the Graduate Faculty Council;
    2. oversees the elections of representatives to the Graduate Faculty Council;
    3. approves Plans of Study, including courses for transfer from other institutions;
    4. hears appeals and resolves disputes concerning doctoral dissertation prospectuses;
    5. evaluates for academic merit proposals for creation or modification of Fields of Study and Areas of Concentration.;
    6. advises the Dean on the interpretation of Graduate School academic policies and regulations;
    7. advises the Dean on the resolution of disputes in matters to which neither the Board of Trustees’ Laws and By-laws nor the Student Conduct Code applies.The executive authority in sections D.2.c. and D.2.d. is delegated to the Dean of the Graduate School during periods of the year in which meetings are not held.
  3. Meetings
    Meetings of the Executive Committee are held monthly during the Academic Year, as set by the Dean. Additional meetings may be called by the Dean as needed.
E. The University of Connecticut Research Foundation

The University of Connecticut Research Foundation performs several functions in support of faculty and graduate student research. The functions, as stipulated by law, are to

  1. receive funds in the form of gifts, grants, research contracts, including recoverable indirect costs charged to extramural research awards, and income derived from inventions, and hold such funds in separate custody for all campuses of the University;
  2. disburse funds for purposes of education, research and development, for the dissemination of information related to such purposes and for other purposes approved by the Board of Trustees;
  3. manage all of the University’s intellectual property: receive invention reports; file and prosecute patents based on University-owned inventions and discoveries; coordinate the commercial evaluation and development of inventions; disburse appropriate share of invention-related income to inventors;

Additional responsibilities of the Research Foundation are to

  1. establish guidelines for the management and conduct of research on all University campuses except the University of Connecticut Health Center;
  2. oversee the proper use of human and animal subjects in research;
  3. ensure that all federal, state, and university research policies are met;
  4. administer specific support services and awards programs under the supervision of the Storrs Research Advisory Council, which also advises the Dean on policies to facilitate research activities on the Storrs and regional campuses (except the Health Center);
  5. conduct activities to facilitate collaboration between the University and business and industry.

Article IV – Adoption and Amendment Procedures

These bylaws were ratified by an affirmative vote of the majority of those members of the Graduate Faculty returning ballots. The bylaws took effect September 1, 1988. Members of the Graduate Faculty Council were elected during the Fall Semester 1988, and they assumed office January 1, 1989. The first meeting of the Graduate Faculty Council was held in March of that year.

Amendment of these bylaws, once ratified, will be by mail ballot of all Graduate Faculty, with a positive vote of the majority of those returning ballots necessary for adoption.