A graduate program requires a competent graduate faculty interacting freely with qualified graduate students in a climate, which fosters intellectual growth and exploration. The maintenance of such a climate requires partnership and effective communication within the community among faculty, students, and administrators. It requires that an idea generated in any part of the community be transmitted quickly to the appropriate body where it should receive expeditious consideration and action.
In order to promote democratic processes without sacrificing flexibility, faculty organization must provide for: 1) the mechanisms for communication between individual faculty members, administrative officers, and students; 2) a policy-making body truly representative of the faculty, being elected by them and large enough to represent the various interests; 3) a representative nucleus of this body small enough to act in emergencies and to provide for constant interaction with administrative officers, faculty, and students. To affect these ends, the Graduate Faculty Senate and the Executive Committee thereof are constituted.
The rights of graduate faculty in relation to the Graduate Faculty Senate are such that graduate faculty and their programs retain the right to admit students into their own graduate programs, award corresponding degrees, minors and certificates from their program, and appoint graduate faculty to their programs, as long as such decisions adhere to policies set forth by the Graduate Faculty Senate.
Article 1. Graduate Faculty Senate
SECTION 1. Functions and Responsibilities
A. The Graduate Faculty Senate shall be the chief legislative and policy-formulating body for the Graduate Faculty of the University of Missouri. The Senate shall be responsible for changes of policy or new policies including but not limited to:
1. New courses, degree, minor, or certificate programs.
2. Changes in courses, degree, minor, or certificate programs.
3. Deletions of courses, degree, minor, or certificate programs.
4. Membership in the Graduate and Doctoral Faculty.
5. Regulations for admission of students to the Graduate School.
6. Minimum academic standards for graduate education.
B. It shall exercise these responsibilities subject only to the following limits:
The Graduate Faculty reserves the right to review, change, or rescind any policy enacted by the Senate. Policy does not include action on course, degree, certificate, or minor proposals. Such action shall be initiated by written petition signed by 30 or more members of the Graduate Faculty and submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, within 30 days after the minutes of such policy have been published. Upon such petition a special meeting of the Graduate Faculty shall be called. Notice of the meeting, together with a complete statement of the policy and the specific change to be voted on shall be mailed or emailed to each member of the Graduate Faculty no less than two weeks before the meeting. A 2/3 majority of the voting members present at the meeting is required for all amendments or recessions.
SECTION 2. Membership of the Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Senate
A. Determination of membership: Graduate Faculty statuses are recommended by the graduate degree program and are verified by the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee. The Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, may consult the Graduate Faculty Senate on cases lacking clarity or uncertainty. The Graduate Faculty Senate retains the right to review and overturn any decision made by the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee. Further policies may exist regarding each status. These bylaws merely outline the essence and rights of each status:
1. Graduate Faculty Status “A”: Those with Graduate Faculty Status “A” may serve on and chair master’s committees and may serve on or co-chair doctoral committees. “A” status faculty must meet the definition of faculty as outlined by the University of Missouri Faculty Bylaws and are granted voting rights in regard to and may serve on the Graduate Faculty Senate. “A” status does not require renewal.
2. Graduate Faculty Status “B”: Those with “B” Status may also serve on and chair master’s committees and may serve on and/or co-chair doctoral committees. However, because they do not meet the definition of faculty as outlined by the University of Missouri Faculty Bylaws, they are not granted voting rights in regard to and may not serve on the Graduate Faculty Senate, but may vote at the program level if the program so desires. “B” status does not require renewal.
3. Graduate Faculty Status “C”: Those with “C” status represents those who do not posses an appropriate terminal degree (as designated by a graduate degree program) and/or for those where it is appropriate for limited interaction with a graduate degree program. Those with “C” status can serve on master’s and doctoral committees and teach appropriate graduate-level courses in accordance with Graduate School policy. Those with “C” status must be reappointed every 2 years. They are not granted voting rights in regard to and may not serve on the Graduate Faculty Senate, but may vote at the program level if the program so desires.
4. Doctoral Faculty Status: An additional status that may only be granted to those with Graduate Faculty Status “A” or “B.” Such an additional status allows the faculty member to chair doctoral committees. This status requires renewal every 5 years.
B. Those who have Graduate Faculty Status “A” are eligible for election to membership in the Graduate Faculty Senate.
C. Each graduate department and each graduate degree-granting area program shall be affiliated with the Graduate Faculty Senate. Senate representation of a unit that is led by a dean will be affiliated as follows:
- One representative per every 1-99 faculty with Graduate Faculty Status A
- Two representatives per every 100-199 faculty with Graduate Faculty Status A
- Three representatives per every 200 or more faculty with Graduate Faculty Status A
No more than 3 representatives per unit will be allowed and 1 member will be elected to represent the Graduate School’s interdisciplinary programs.
D. No faculty member can vote in more than one election. In those instances in which a member of the Graduate Faculty is a member of more than one graduate department or is simultaneously a member of a graduate department and a graduate degree-granting area program, that member must designate the unit to which the member wishes to be assigned for purposes of representation in and election to the Graduate Faculty Senate. If a designation is not made by such faculty member, the member will be automatically assigned to the academic unit in which the member’s tenure and/or promotion resides. Exception: faculty affiliated with the interdisciplinary programs in the Graduate School may choose to vote for representatives in both their tenure and/or promotion home and the Graduate School.
E. Senators shall be elected by in the manner stipulated in Article 1, Section 6.
F. The normal term of office of a Senator shall be three years with the Senators serving staggered terms in such a manner that approximately one-third of the Senate will be elected each year.
G. During the last meeting of the spring semester, the Senate will hold a special meeting of all newly-elected and current Senators, chaired by the President of the current Senate. In the course of this meeting the Senate will nominate candidates for President, Vice President, Chairs of the Standing Committees and Member-at-Large. Nominations will be followed by a ballot to elect officers and chairs for the ensuing year. The new officers and committee chairs will arrange for an orderly assumption of duties from their counterparts at the expiration of the latter’s’ terms of office.
H. Elections shall be conducted only for: 1) those seats being vacated because of the end of the term of office, or 2) vacancies created by resignations or other reasons.
SECTION 3. Term of Office
A. The term of office for each newly constituted Senate as a corporate body shall begin on the first day of the fall semester and shall continue until the day prior to the start of the following fall semester.
SECTION 4. Organization of the Senate
The Senate shall be organized according to the following elements:
A. Executive Officers. The executive officers shall consist of a President and a Vice President.
B. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall include the President, the Vice President, the chairs of the Standing Committees, and one Senator elected at-large from the Senate. The last Past-President shall be a nonvoting ex-officio member of the Executive Committee, even if that person is not a member of the Senate.
C. Standing Committees. Standing Committees of the Senate shall be the following:
Academic Affairs Committee and Fellowships and Awards Committee. The method of selection, duties, and responsibilities of these standing committees is detailed in Article 3.
SECTION 5. Executive Officers
A. The President for the ensuing year will be elected by the Senate at the last regular meeting of the spring semester. The newly-elected President will assume office on the first day of the subsequent fall semester.
B. The Vice President for the ensuing year is also elected by the Senate at the last regular meeting of the spring semester. The Vice President will assume office on the first day of the subsequent fall semester and shall 1) be responsible for the communications of the Senate, 2) assist the President as needed, 3) be responsible for conducting election of senators and presiding over election of officers at the last spring semester meeting. If the Vice President is unable to complete all or part of the designated term of office, then the President shall conduct an election at the next regular meeting of the Senate to elect an interim Vice President. The interim Vice President will perform the duties of the Vice President until the term of the regular Vice President ends. The Senate will then elect both a President and a Vice President for the ensuing year at the last regular meeting of the Senate in the spring semester.
C. Term of Office. The term of office of the President and Vice President shall be one year and no person may serve more than three consecutive terms.
D. Recall. An executive officer may be removed from office for negligence of duty or impropriety in office.
1. Such action shall be initiated by presentation of a petition to the Member-at-Large, stating the charge and requesting removal of said executive officer from office.
2. The petition will be signed by not less than one-third of the Senate.
3. The Member-at-Large will validate all signatures on the petition and call a special meeting of the Senate in not less than 14, nor more than 28, days after receipt of the petition.
4. The Member-at-Large will conduct the hearing, read the charge, allow discussion and conduct and validate a recall vote from the Senate by mail or electronic ballot within seven days of the hearing. The executive officer subject to recall will be immediately informed of the ballot result by letter from the Member-at-Large and immediately relieved of duty in event of a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate.
5. If an executive officer is relieved of duty, this officer shall be replaced by the procedure indicated in Part A and/or Part B of this section. A president removed from office shall not serve as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee.
SECTION 6. Election of Senate Members
A. Time of Election. Election of members of the Senate for the ensuing year shall be completed no later than the end of the month of March each year.
B. Elections. By February 1st of each year the Vice President shall call for election of new members of the Senate. The Vice President shall notify the respective schools/colleges for which the seat must be filled. Each school/college with a Senate seat shall operate its own election through that unit’s Policy Committee (or equivalent). The Vice President will invite the new Senators to the last meeting of the spring semester.
SECTION 7. Meetings
Regular monthly meetings of the Senate shall be routinely scheduled during the academic year by the President of the Senate. Special meetings of the Senate shall be called by the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, with deliberate speed, call special meetings of the Senate upon petition of seven Senators or at the direction of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee or at the direction of a majority of the members voting at a regular Senate meeting.
SECTION 8. Presiding Officer
The presiding officer of the Senate shall be the President of the Senate or a representative whom the President shall designate.
SECTION 9. Quorum
A quorum shall consist of a number of Senators equal to one-half of voting members of the Senate.
SECTION 10. Voting Membership
The voting membership shall consist of the Senators or their designated substitutes.
SECTION 11. Attendance at Meetings
The meetings of the Senate will normally be open to any interested member of the University faculty or any interested graduate student. Non-voting participation and discussion by nonmembers shall be at the discretion of the President of the Senate.
SECTION 12. Order of Business
The normal order of business at any regular meeting of the Senate shall be as follows:
1. Call to order
2. Approval of minutes of the last meeting
3. Acceptance of the agenda
4. Special business for the day
5. Unfinished business
6. Reports of committee
7. Other new business
SECTION 13. Agenda
The agenda for a regular meeting of the Senate shall be distributed to members of the Senate at least four days prior to the meeting. Any item on the agenda which involves a motion to be presented before the Senate for a vote shall be identified as such.
SECTION 14. Substitute Motions and Amendments to Motions
Substitute motions or amendments, which alter significantly the substance of any motion on the agenda, shall require the same previous notice as the original motion. Substantive amendments presented from the floor will therefore have the effect of delaying the vote on the main motion until the next succeeding meeting of the Senate. The President shall determine whether an amendment is substantive.
SECTION 15. Parliamentary Authority
The business of the Senate shall be conducted under Robert’s Rules of Order, unless contrary requirements are specified elsewhere in these rules.
SECTION 16. Substitutes
A senator who is unable to attend a meeting of the Senate must send a substitute. Failure to attend GFS meetings on a regular basis without providing a substitute may be construed as negligence of duty. However, a senator who is unable to serve for more than a semester will be replaced during the period of their absence by a member elected by academic unit, i.e, school or college in a special election coordinated by the Vice President. An elected substitute will serve out the term of office if the original Senator does not return before this term has expired.
SECTION 17. Recall
A Senator may be removed from office for negligence of duty or impropriety in office.
A. Such action shall be initiated either by members of the GFS or by members of the Graduate Faculty in the elected unit who shall present a petition to Member-at-Large. This petition shall state the charge and request the removal of the senator from office.
B. The petition shall be signed either by not less than one-third of the Senate or by one-third of the Graduate Faculty from the senator’s elected unit.
C. The Member-at-Large shall validate all signatures on the petition and direct the President to call a special meeting of the Senate in not less than 14, nor more that 28, days after receipt of the petition.
D. The Member-at-Large shall conduct the meeting, read the charge, allow discussion, and conduct and validate a recall vote from the Senate by mail or electronic ballot within seven days of the meeting.
E. The senator subject to recall shall immediately be informed of the ballot result by letter from the Member-at-Large and immediately relieved of duty in the event of a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate.
F. A Senator who is relieved of duty shall be removed from the Senate immediately. A substitute shall be elected by the representative School/College.
ARTICLE 2. Executive Committee
SECTION 1. Duties and Responsibilities
A. The Executive Committee shall serve as preliminary review committee for proposed changes of policy.
B. The Executive Committee shall convey their suggestions for policy decisions to the Senate, and to its Standing Committees.
C. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to act as a representative body of the Senate in emergency situations as stated in the Preamble.
D. The Executive Committee shall determine if it should convene at either a regular interval or on an as necessary basis. A meeting can be called at any time the President deems necessary.
E. The Executive Committee shall promote coordination of policy and administration by acting as an intermediary between the Senate and the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee. This function shall include these responsibilities:
1. Receive recommendations from the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, regarding changes in policy which would better enable the Graduate School to perform its function.
2. Suggest to the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, ways of improving the ongoing implementation of Graduate Faculty policy.
3. Inform the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, of pending or completed actions of the Senate in order to ensure that policy decision.
4. Assist the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, in making policy decisions where these require the interpretation of Graduate Faculty or Senate rules or by-laws.
5. Identify problems and direct appropriate committees to consider them.
6. Appoint ad hoc committees where conditions warrant their creation.
7. Review recommendations of the Academic Affairs Committee for the approval of new graduate degree programs, certificate programs, new graduate degrees, and
dual masters degree programs.
8. Appoint non-members of the Senate to Standing and ad hoc Committees as appropriate.
SECTION 2. Membership
The Executive Committee shall consist of:
A. The President and Vice President of the Senate who shall serve as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Executive Committee.
B. The Chair of each of the Standing Committees.
C. A Member-at-Large.
D. The last past president shall be a non-voting ex officio member.
SECTION 3. Election
A. The election of the Chair and Vice Chair is provided for in Article 1, Section 4.
B. Chairs of the Standing Committees and the Member-at-Large shall qualify as members of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 3. Standing Committees
SECTION 1. The Appointment and Composition of Standing Committees
Members of the Standing Committee shall be appointed by the President by the first meeting of the academic year. If necessary to meet needs for broad disciplinary representation, additional members of the Graduate Faculty may be appointed to the Fellowship and Awards Committee. Under no circumstances may 2 faculty from the same department or area serve on the same standing committee and the number of non-senate members shall never exceed the number of senate members on a committee. Non-senate members serving on a Standing Committee may not vote on policy matters.
SECTION 2. Duties and Responsibilities of Standing Committees
A. The Committee on Academic Affairs shall be responsible for considering questions on policy and for making recommendations to the Senate regarding general Graduate School degree requirements, standards and procedures for admission to the Graduate School, curriculum and course offering, and degree programs. It shall also be responsible for making recommendations to the Senate regarding methods of encouraging scholarly endeavor and faculty development.
The Academic Affairs Committee shall be responsible for:
1. Review and approval of proposals for new courses, degree and certificate programs. Substantive changes in existing courses and degree programs shall also require action by the Academic Affairs Committee.
2. Routine curriculum changes such as changes in course titles and course numbers will be approved by the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
3. The Academic Affairs Committee shall seek additional evaluation and input regarding course changes and deletions when these changes have the potential to impact degree programs other than those of the proposing unit.
B. The Fellowships and Awards Committee shall be responsible for advising on policies regarding graduate student fellowships and awards and will generally serve as the fellowship and awards selection committee. Where necessary for reasons either of workload or assurance of broad disciplinary representation, additional ad hoc members may be appointed to the committee by the Senate or Dean of the Graduate School, or designee.
C. All other responsibilities not designated by the Senate will be handled by the Senate as a whole or an ad hoc committee.
All other business of the Senate related to student appeals and membership issue will be dealt with by ad hoc committees appointed by the President.
In circumstances when the Senate is not in session and there are urgent graduate student or program issues, the President will convene a special session subcommittee. A GFS special session subcommittee can be convened if the following criteria are met:
- There is an urgent matter typically managed by GFS
- GFS is not in regular session
- It is unreasonable to wait until GFS is in session
The process for convening a special sub-committee should be initiated by contacting the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean will then contact the President of Senate or in their absence the vice president, other member of the executive committee, or another member of the Senate and appoint them as chair of a special session subcommittee. The chair of the special session subcommittee will then select three members of Senate to serve on the committee. If three members of Senate are not available, members of the graduate faculty could be appointed instead.
Convening a Senate special session subcommittee should be limited to special, unavoidable circumstances that, if left unmanaged, would result in negative consequences for individual students or graduate students in general (e.g., urgent appeals, changes in graduate school policy, or other issues as approved by the Dean of the Graduate School). Program approvals, course approvals, and non-urgent policy changes should be addressed when Senate is in normal session.
ARTICLE 5. Amending the By-Laws
SECTION 1. Advance Notification
Proposed change(s) in the By-Laws shall be sent in writing by the Vice President to each member of the Graduate Faculty Senate two weeks prior to action thereon by the Senate. The communication shall include a copy of the By-Laws in question and the proposed change(s).
SECTION 2. Voting Procedures
The adoption of an amendment will require an affirmative vote of a majority of members present and voting, provided that no less than one-half of the membership of the Senate exercise their vote.
SECTION 3. Amendments from the Floor
In consideration of proposed amendments presented with advance notification, motions from the floor, which would affect major substantive changes shall have the effect of postponement of adoption until a subsequent meeting when the rule of advance notification, as provided for in Article 5, Section 1, will have been fulfilled for the proposed modification.
SECTION 4. Ratification of By-Law Changes
By-law changes approved through the process outlined in sections 1 through 3 shall not go into effect until ratified by Graduate Faculty eligible to vote. A simple majority of faculty participating in a mail or electronic ballot shall be required for ratification.
By-Laws originated from the Franz Report of 1968. Later they were modified and approved by the Graduate Faculty. These historical documents are on file in the Graduate School. The By-Laws were amended during Graduate Faculty Senate meetings on March 9, 1978, July 13, 1978, April 23, 1981, April 19, 1984, October 20, 1988, February 9, 1989, October 16, 1990, and February 26, 1991, May, 1996, January, 1997, March, 2000 and April, 2000 and April, 2002 and by mail ballot in March, 1994. An amendment regarding graduate faculty ratification of GFS bylaws (Article V., Section 4) was approved at the January 28, 2014 Graduate Faculty Senate meeting. By-laws amendments proposed April 2, 2015 were ratified by the Graduate Faculty April 20th, 2015.