Graduate Council Bylaws

(From the Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws)

ARTICLE V. GRADUATE COUNCIL

SEC. 1 Establishment of the Graduate Council

As an integral part of the Faculty Senate structure, a Graduate Council shall be established.

SEC. 2 Purpose of the Graduate Council

The primary purpose of the Graduate council is to act upon graduate level curricular matters that are referred to it by academic departments/schools.

SEC. 3 Powers of the Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is empowered, for courses numbered 500 or higher, to approve a department/school proposal, reject and return a proposal to the originating department/school, or amend and approve the proposal. It must approve all members of the graduate faculty. Other responsibilities include program planning, curricular control, and policy-making for the Graduate College.

SEC. 4 Membership of the Graduate Council

The Graduate Council shall consist of the Chairperson, one member of the graduate faculty of each department/school offering one or more graduate degree programs, or in the case of an interdisciplinary program, a representative from the sponsoring college, and a representative of the Graduate Student Council. The term of office for members of the Graduate Council is two years. A Graduate Council member may be elected for two consecutive terms, but following the second term shall not be eligible to serve until after the lapse of an intervening year. A person elected Chairperson of the Graduate Council during his or her second term as member may serve out his of her term as chair. Upon completion of the term as chair, that person shall not be eligible to serve on the Graduate Council until after the lapse of an intervening year. Department heads are not eligible for election except in the case where a department head is the only graduate faculty member in a department/school. The following individuals shall be ex officio members of the Graduate Council without vote: the Dean and Associate Dean of the Graduate College, the most recent past-Chairperson of the Graduate Council, the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate, a representative from Meyer Library, and a representative from Records and Registration.

SEC. 5 Chairperson of the Graduate Council

The chairperson of the Graduate Council must be a member of the graduate faculty and Graduate Council at the time of election. The Chairperson of the Graduate Council is elected by a majority vote of the members present at an organizational meeting of the newly-elected Graduate Council held in May. The Dean of the Graduate College (or designee) shall preside at this organizational meeting until a new chairperson is elected. The Chairperson of the Graduate Council shall serve for a term of one year and may be elected for a second consecutive one-year term. After serving two consecutive one-year terms, the Chairperson shall not then be eligible for re-election as Chairperson until after a lapse of an intervening year. Once the chairperson is chosen, he/she becomes a non-voting member of the Graduate Council (except in the case of a tie), and therefore, the department/school he/she represents shall elect a new representative to the Graduate Council who will serve as that department/school's representative for the duration of the Chairperson's term.

SEC. 6 Meetings of the Graduate Council
  1. The regular monthly meeting of the Graduate Council shall be held on a date set by the Faculty Senate office, usually the second Wednesday of the month. The Chairperson of the Graduate Council shall preside over meetings of the Graduate Council. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Chairperson of the Curriculum Screening Committee shall preside.
  2. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council or by the Chairperson upon request of any member of the Graduate Council for the transaction of only such business as stated in the call for the meeting. Announcement of special meetings shall be placed on the Faculty Senate website a minimum of one day prior to the special meeting.
  3. All meetings of the Graduate Council and its standing committees shall be open to the public. The latest edition of "Robert's Rules of Order" shall govern participation at meetings of the Graduate Council. Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council shall be restricted to the members of the Executive Committee and guests invited by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council.
  4. An agenda of the matters to come before the Graduate Council shall be sent to each member of the graduate faculty in advance of the meeting. Any member of the graduate faculty may suggest items to be placed on the agenda, but the final arrangement of the agenda shall be left to the discretion of the Chairperson of the Graduate Council. Members of the graduate faculty desiring matters to appear on the agenda should submit them to the office of the Dean of the Graduate College at least two weeks before the Graduate Council meeting. Each agenda must contain the signature of the Chairperson of the Graduate Council indicating that the preparation of the agenda has conformed to the provisions outlined in this section.
  5. Minutes for meetings of the Graduate Council shall be produced and distributed. They shall consist of a detailed record of actions taken by the council, including
    1. the full text of all motions,
    2. who made the motions,
    3. who seconded the motions,
    4. the disposition of the motions.
    Minutes must be signed by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council before distribution to all members of the graduate faculty, all college deans, associate and assistant deans, and all department/school heads.
SEC. 7 Committees of the Graduate Council
  1. Four standing committees of the Graduate Council shall be appointed annually by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council in consultation with the Dean and Associate Dean of the Graduate College. The Graduate Council Chairperson is an ex officio member of all committees, without a vote. The committees and duties of each are as follows:
    1. Graduate Faculty Membership Committee. The Graduate Faculty Membership Committee is responsible for: (a) reviewing all applications for graduate faculty status and making recommendations for admission to the Graduate Faculty; (b) reviewing all policies and procedures related to graduate faculty status; (c) soliciting, reviewing, and approving all program-specific standards for graduate faculty status; (d) communicating to appropriate programs all relevant policies of the Graduate Council regarding qualifications for admission to the graduate faculty; and (e) making a recommendation to the Graduate Council concerning the criteria for graduate faculty status and the appropriateness of the faculty when the council is considering a new graduate program.
    2. Graduate Scholarships Committee. The Graduate Scholarships Committee is responsible for (a) administering the Basil and Joann Boritzki Scholarship; (b) recommending to the Graduate Dean a nominee for the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Thesis Award; (c) selecting graduate student nominees for Who's Who; and (d) working with the Dean's office to develop, administer, and expand scholarship and award opportunities of all kinds for graduate students.
    3. Graduate Curriculum Screening Committee. The Graduate Curriculum Screening Committee is responsible for screening and reviewing all graduate level (500 and above) curricular proposals and making a recommendation regarding their disposition to the Graduate Council. The Graduate Curriculum Screening Committee shall require that all programs affected by a particular graduate level curricular action be appropriately consulted. In addition to the appointed members of the Graduate Council, the Graduate Curriculum Screening Committee includes ex officio members who represent Meyer Library, Records and Registration, and the Professional Education Committee.
    4. Graduate Council Grievance Committee. The Graduate Council Grievance Committee is responsible for reviewing any grievance other than for a curricular matter brought to the council by
      1. a graduate student;
      2. the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council;
      3. the Graduate Council itself;
      4. any member of the graduate faculty, or
      5. the office of the Graduate Dean.
      The Grievance Committee makes a recommendation for action to the Graduate Council or the Graduate Dean. This includes appeals to decisions made by the Graduate College Dean regarding the eight-year rule for completion of a graduate degree. The Graduate Council Grievance Committee also hears and acts upon all appeals to decisions made by the Graduate Council Membership Committee and informs all involved parties of its decision. A decision of the Graduate Council Grievance Committee regarding an appeal to a membership action is binding on the Council.
  2. The Executive Committee of the Graduate Council shall consist of the Chairperson of the Graduate Council, the Chairpersons from each of the standing committees of the Graduate Council, and one other member of the Graduate Council appointed at-large by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council; the Dean and Associate Dean of the Graduate College, the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate, and the most recent past-Chairperson of the Graduate Council, shall be ex officio members without votes. The Executive Committee of the Graduate Council shall meet the week prior to the regularly-scheduled meetings of the Graduate Council. The Executive Committee shall: (1) advise the Chairperson of the Graduate Council in preparing the agendas for meetings of the Graduate Council; (2) assist in supervising the work of the Graduate Council in such manner as directed by the Graduate Council or by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council; (3) discuss issues related to program planning, curricular control, and policy-making for the Graduate College; (4) consider all issues related the graduate education at Southwest Missouri State University not delegated to the standing committees of the Graduate Council; and (5) recommend specific actions to be debated by the Graduate Council.
  3. The Chairperson of the Graduate Council may appoint ad hoc committees for the study and investigation of special problems. These committees will serve until the completion of the work for which they were appointed.
  4. All committees are to make reports to the Graduate Council and act only on the Graduate Council's instruction.
SEC. 8 Amendments of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Graduate Council after the amendment has been considered for two (2) meetings, providing the amendment was stated in the call for the meeting. Amendments shall take effect after review by the Rules Committee of the Faculty Senate and approval by the Faculty Senate.