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Bylaws Governing the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty


To establish the formal bylaws by which the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty conducts its business.

Applies to: 

The Executive Council of Graduate Faculty

Policy Statement: 

Article 1: Membership in the Graduate Faculty

Membership requirements, nomination procedures, member privileges, and member responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Kansas are established in university policy as maintained by the Office of Graduate Studies. (Please see the Graduate Faculty Appointments policy for details.) 

Article 2: Executive Council of Graduate Faculty

A. Activities
a. The Executive Council of Graduate Faculty (EC) acts in the name of the Graduate Faculty. 
b. The EC assists the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies (VPGS) in strategic leadership through bi-directional information exchange. Representatives act as a conduit for communication between their schools and the VPGS, facilitating discussions about potential strategic needs and initiatives. 
c. The EC serves as the university-level faculty governance body for graduate education, overseeing the following: 
i. Development of graduate education policy;
ii. Development, adoption, and retirement of procedures, best practices, and systems supporting graduate education;
iii. Review of nominations for membership in the Graduate Faculty;
iv. Review of petitions for exception to graduate education policy; and
v. Distribution of Graduate Studies funding awards. 
B. Membership
a. Each representative member’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of their school or college constituency. Members are expected to share developments, proposals, and information with their constituencies and to collect any feedback for the EC’s further consideration. 
i. Consistent attendance at meetings and participation in asynchronous EC business activities is necessary to ensure the full and equitable representation of all schools and the college.
b. Representative members of the EC must be current members of the Graduate Faculty and must be full-time KU instructors, but not necessarily on the tenure track. 
i. Individuals who have had Graduate Faculty privileges revoked for cause may not serve as EC representatives.
ii. Faculty who are in phased retirement or who have a terminal contract with less than three (3) years of service remaining are not eligible to be representatives.
c. The schools and college send representative members to the EC as follows:
i. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: 3
ii. School of Education and Human Sciences: 2
iii. All remaining schools (Architecture and Design, Business, Engineering, Journalism, Music, Pharmacy, Professional Studies, and Social Welfare): 1 each
d. Each school or college has the authority to appoint or elect their representatives as they deem appropriate. However, any school or college with multiple representatives cannot select more than one representative from a single department or program.
e. Representative members serve three-year terms. Each school and college may establish limits on the number of terms or the number of consecutive terms an individual member may serve as appropriate to that school or college.  
f. Any member of the EC who cannot fulfill their term or who will be unable to attend for an extended time (sabbatical, leave of absence, resignation, etc.) will be replaced according to the normal appointment or election process in their home school or college. Replacement representatives will fulfill the remainder of the original term.
g. The following leaders in the Office of Graduate Studies serve as non-voting, ex officio members.  Ex officio members may request agenda items and enjoy the same speaking privileges as other members.
i. Vice Provost for Graduate Studies (VPGS)
ii. Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Graduate Enrollment Management
iii. Assistant Vice Provost of Academic Operations
iv. Policy Coordinator
C. Removal of Members
a. Representative members may be removed for failure to fulfill their obligations to the EC. 
i. Behaviors and activities which may warrant removal include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Repeated absences, including but not limited to two consecutive absences without notice;
2. Removal or expiration of Graduate Faculty privileges; and
3. A formal finding of professional or academic misconduct. 
b. When warranted, the removal procedure shall be: 
i. In the case of repeated absence, the VPGS first contacts the representative to determine their willingness and appropriateness to continue on the EC.
ii. If the VPGS determines that removal of the representative is most appropriate, the VPGS will notify the representative in writing not less than five (5) business days prior to the circulation of the agenda for the meeting at which removal will be discussed. 
1. Upon receipt of such written notice, the representative has five (5) business days to accept or challenge the decision in writing to the VPGS. 
iii. The agenda for the next scheduled meeting will include both the VPGS’s motion to remove the representative, supported by evidence, and the representative’s written indication of acceptance or challenge.
1. If the representative challenges the VPGS’s motion, the EC’s final order of business at that meeting will be to vote to approve or deny the VPGS’s motion. 
a. The representative may present evidence and information during the discussion phase of the agenda item. 
b. The representative will recuse themselves during the vote.
2. The VPGS will personally inform the representative of the decision after the meeting, followed by a written notification to the representative and the dean of the affected school or college. 
c. Removed representatives will be replaced according to the normal appointment or election process in their home school or college. Replacement representatives will fulfill the remainder of the original term.
D. Meetings
a. The EC will meet regularly during the academic year and may be called upon to conduct occasional business during semester breaks. 
b. Meetings typically occur every three weeks, though the EC may meet more or less frequently as the business of the Graduate Faculty requires.
c. During or prior to the final meeting for an academic year, the EC will set the dates of its meetings for the following year.
E. Administrative Support
a. The VPGS will designate appropriate staff support for the EC. 
b. Staff providing support are expected to attend all meetings in full.
c. A staff member will take minutes and post them on the Graduate Studies website, according to established business practices and timelines.
d. The VPGS will ensure that a meeting agenda is distributed to the representatives at least five (5) business days prior to the EC meeting date. EC members may raise new business during meetings.
Article 3: Conduct of Business
A. Voting Procedure
a. Only representative members have voting rights.
b. In the event of a tie, the VPGS will cast the deciding vote. 
c. Representative members must be in synchronous attendance to vote, though attendance may be in-person or remote as appropriate. Remote attendance should be by videoconference whenever possible. 
d. If a representative is unable to attend a meeting, they may send a proxy or visitor to participate in discussions and to represent the perspective of the school or college, but this person does not have voting rights. The absent representative may also send opinions to be read to the group and included in the minutes, but may not vote ahead of time or via proxy.
e. Eight (8) of the thirteen (13) voting members shall constitute a quorum required to conduct official business on behalf of the Graduate Faculty. If this requirement is not met, the meeting will not be able to go forward and all business will be moved to the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting.
i. In the event that a matter must be decided between regularly-scheduled meetings, a minimum of five (5) concurring votes is required to approve a motion. 
B. Appointment of Committees
a. The EC may delegate to a committee issues of importance to graduate education at KU.
b. Establishment of Committees:
i. The committee may be convened as a standing committee or an ad hoc committee, as the EC deems most appropriate. 
ii. Such a committee may be appointed either on the EC’s own initiative or upon the recommendation of the VPGS.  
iii. The EC may recommend the appointment of such a committee by the VPGS. 
c. Powers of Committees:
i. Each committee may host discussions of matters relevant to the issue(s) delegated to their management or evaluation. 
ii. Each committee may request specific functions to be carried out by the Office of Graduate Studies’ staff support.
d. Any established committees will provide a report or briefing to the full EC at least once every semester during which the committee conducts business. 
e. Committee Recommendations:
i. Committees are expected to develop recommendations for resolving the issue(s) delegated to the committee.
ii. The committee chair provides a written recommendation for Graduate Studies staff to include in an upcoming meeting agenda. 
iii. The committee’s recommendation moves forward to the full EC as a motion, subject to the voting procedure outlined above. 
f. The membership of the EC’s committees shall be announced on the Graduate Studies website.
C. Graduate Education Policy Development Procedure
a. Graduate Studies staff partners with key stakeholders, campus experts, and the Policy Officce to develop initial proposals for new policy and policy changes.
b. The EC conducts a First Reading of the policy proposal, providing feedback for additional revision. 
c. Following the First Reading, the EC determines whether the policy is ready for a campus-wide comment period. 
d. Graduate Studies staff makes recommended revisions and coordinates with the Policy Office for legal review and to circulate the proposal for a standard two-week comment period. Stakeholders are identified in all interested academic and non-academic units across campus, as appropriate.
e. The EC conducts a Second Reading of the policy proposal, which incorporates any feedback, questions, or concerns that arose during the comment period, if appropriate. 
f. Following the Second Reading, the EC may vote to pursue further revisions or to endorse the policy for approval.
g. Graduate Studies staff coordinates with the Policy Office to submit the final draft proposal for review and final approval before publishing it in the Policy Library.
h. Proposals to retire policies are placed on the agenda for EC review and may be circulated for a two-week campus comment period, at the discretion of the EC.
i. Office of Graduate Studies retains the prerogative to make technical edits without review to policies.
Article 4: Changes to the Bylaws
A. Timing
A formal and comprehensive review of the Graduate Faculty Bylaws must be undertaken at least every five (5) years as part of the regular duties of the EC.
B. Review Requests
Any member of the Graduate Faculty (thereby including members of the EC) can request a formal and comprehensive review of the bylaws.
a. Request timing:  
i. The Graduate Faculty member must submit such a request to the VPGS no later than September 1 of the academic year during which the review will take place.  
ii. The VPGS will ensure that the request is included in the posted agenda of the second meeting of the academic year.  
b. Request procedure:
i. A request to review the EC bylaws must include a rationale for the proposed review.
1. The rationale will be made available with the posted agenda.
ii. Any such request will come forward to the EC as a motion and shall not require a second. 
iii. The EC will vote on the motion to review the bylaws after appropriate discussion at the second EC meeting of the academic year. 
iv. A review will be triggered by a two-thirds majority vote.  
v. Changes to the bylaws follow the same process as changes to policy elaborated above.

Office of Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.

Approved by: 
The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Effective on: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Graduate Faculty
Change History: 

07/06/2023: Updated links and ex officio members.
07/21/2022: Updated policy to align with current practices and grant discretion to Executive Council to review and retire policies.
02/25/2021: New Policy added to the Policy Library. 

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