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UTD Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

SCHOOL BYLAWS

I. PREAMBLE

1. Purpose

The purpose of the bylaws is to provide rules that the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science will follow in governance of its day to day business. These bylaws also serve as guidelines that the constituent departments within the School should observe in drafting their own bylaws. The bylaws of the departments should be consistent with, and must not contradict, the bylaws of the School.

2. Terminology and Rules of Order

In the rest of this document, the School denotes the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Dean denotes the Dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the University denotes the University of Texas at Dallas. A majority shall mean more than 50% of those voting.

All School and departmental meetings, as well as the meetings of all standing and temporary committees of the School and its constituent departments and programs, shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, as defined in "Robert's Rules in Plain English," by Doris P. Zimmerman.

3. Table of Contents

  1. PREAMBLE
    1. Purpose
    2. Terminology and Rules of Order
    3. Table of Contents
  2. FACULTY
    1. Members
    2. Meetings of the Faculty of the School
    3. Hiring of Faculty
  3. OFFICERS
    1. Dean
    2. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
    3. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    4. Department Chairs
    5. Heads of Programs and Chairs of Governing Committees
    6. Other Officers
  4. STANDING COMMITTEES
    1. Faculty Personnel Review Committee
    2. Academic Affairs Committee
    3. Committee on Effective Teaching
    4. Undergraduate Curriculum Committees
    5. Committees for Graduate Studies
    6. Research Advisory Committee
    7. Governing Committees for Interdisciplinary Degree Programs
  5. ADOPTION, AMENDMENT AND INTERPRETATION OF THE SCHOOL BYLAWS
    1. Adoption
    2. Amendment
    3. Interpretation

II. FACULTY

1. Members

  1. The Faculty of the School consists of all persons appointed at least half-time for at least nine months during the current academic year to one of the following positions:
    1. Professor (tenured/tenure-track)
    2. Associate Professor (tenured/tenure-track)
    3. Assistant Professor (tenured/tenure-track)
    4. Senior Lecturer
  2. The Voting Faculty of the School consists of all Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors appointed at least half-time during the current academic year in the School, together with a number of Senior Lecturers to be determined as follows:
    1. The number of Senior Lecturers in the Voting Faculty may not exceed 10% (rounded to the nearest integer) of the total number of Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors who are appointed at least half-time at the start of the Fall semester.
    2. At the beginning of each Fall Semester, the Senior Lecturers appointed at least half-time in the School shall meet to elect as many representatives as are allowed in the Voting Faculty.
    3. All Senior Lecturers may attend School and departmental faculty meetings and participate in discussions, except when the faculty meet in executive session or when matters subject to privacy protection are under consideration.

2. Meetings of the Faculty of the School

  1. Conduct of meetings
    1. At least three working days' written or email notice must be given of meetings of the Faculty of the School. The notice of a meeting must include a proposed agenda.
    2. Meetings of the Faculty are normally called by the Dean. Meetings may be chaired by the Dean, an Associate Dean who is a tenured faculty member in the School, or an elected member of the Academic Affairs Committee. A meeting may also be called at a specified date and time as a result of a petition signed by at least 10% of the members of the Voting Faculty and delivered to the Dean or a member of the Academic Affairs Committee at least four working days prior to the date of the meeting. If a meeting is called by petition, the petition must specify at least one topic to be placed on the agenda.
    3. An item may be placed on the agenda of a meeting of the Faculty of the School through a petition signed by at least two members of the Voting Faculty and delivered to either the Dean or a member of the Academic Affairs Committee at least one working day prior to the date of the meeting, or through a motion to amend the agenda made at the meeting, provided that the motion carries.
    4. A meeting can be postponed by a majority vote of those present.
    5. One of the following shall preside at meetings of the Faculty of the School: The Dean, an Associate Dean who is a tenured faculty member of the School, or an elected member of the Academic Affairs Committee.
    6. In the months of September through May, a quorum shall consist of 50% of the members of the Voting Faculty. During the months of June, July and August, a quorum shall consist of 60% of the members of the Voting Faculty. No business may be transacted in the absence of a quorum or when the University is closed.
    7. A meeting of the Faculty of the School must be convened at least once in each nine-month academic year.
    8. The convener of a faculty meeting is responsible for ensuring that business minutes are recorded at each meeting and are circulated to the Voting Faculty for approval. Copies of minutes of all School and departmental faculty meetings will be kept in the department offices and the Dean's office, and will be made available to faculty members upon request.
    9. No motions may be made or passed in executive session.
  2. Rules for voting in School and departmental faculty meetings:
    1. Only members of the Voting Faculty may vote.
    2. Any member of the Voting Faculty who is present at a meeting may request a vote by secret ballot on any motion presented, other than non-debatable motions.
    3. Proxy voting is not allowed.
    4. A member of the Voting Faculty who cannot attend a meeting may cast a vote in absentia on any matter on the agenda distributed prior to the meeting, provided that the vote is delivered in writing, clearly specifying the intent, and with the signature of the voting member, to a member of the Academic Affairs Committee.
    5. No votes may be conducted via email, except to approve the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Faculty of the School, in which case the vote of a faculty member who fails to respond within three working days shall be recorded as "aye".

3. Hiring of Faculty

  1. Each year the need for faculty positions will be identified by the Dean in consultation with the department chairs, chairs of governing committees of interdisciplinary degree programs, and the School faculty. The Dean shall recommend search plans in consultation with the department chairs and program heads, taking into consideration the number and distribution of positions that the School plans to fill and the rationale for the hiring plan.
  2. Each department shall recommend one or more Faculty Search Committees to the Dean consisting of a subset of the tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department. The Dean may also recommend special search committees with members from more than one department.
  3. Each departmental committee or special committee shall conduct the search process for each position that it can fill according to University regulations and departmental bylaws, including advertisement of the positions, review of applications, invitations to prospective candidates for interviews, soliciting of faculty votes for the candidates, and forwarding the recommendations of the faculty to the Dean.
  4. Recommendations from the search committee for offers at the Associate or Full Professor levels in a department must be voted upon by the departmental faculty members at that rank and higher. Recommendations from the search committee for offers to all candidates for tenure-track faculty positions in a department must be voted upon by the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the corresponding department. In addition, recommendations from the search committee for offers with tenure must be voted upon by the tenured faculty members in the corresponding department.

III. OFFICERS

1. Dean

  1. The Dean is the chief administrative officer of the School, and is responsible for the School's day to day running in accordance with its bylaws and University regulations, finances and physical resources, as well as for the safety of School personnel in laboratories and classrooms. The Dean, in consultation with the School's faculty, also defines the School's "future vision." The Dean is to be selected according to the policy laid out by UTD. The Dean must be a tenured faculty member in the School. The Dean serves at the pleasure of the President and Provost of the University.
  2. The Dean may appoint committees and choose their members as (s)he sees fit, with the exception that standing committees mandated by School or departmental bylaws will be constituted as provided in the bylaws.
  3. The Dean may use his or her discretion in creating, filling and replacing administrative positions in the Dean's office, including, but not limited to, associate/assistant dean positions and supporting staff positions. The Dean is encouraged to seek faculty input in a manner of his or her choosing when appointing Associate Deans (e.g., the Dean may seek faculty input through the department chairs and program heads rather than directly).
  4. The Dean has final authority within the School for recommending faculty appointments to the Provost, and has all of the authority provided by the University (see Policy Memorandum 75-III.22-3) with respect to promotions and tenure. Hiring, tenure and promotion of all teaching and tenure/track faculty in a particular department must be voted upon by the appropriate subset of the department's faculty as provided in Section II.3 of these bylaws.
  5. The faculty bear primary responsibility for curricular matters. All decisions made by the Dean relating to curricular matters should have approval of a majority of the corresponding department/program faculty. Similarly, any curricular policy change approved by the faculty that has an administrative effect (e.g., needing additional resources beyond what the department currently has) requires the approval of the Dean.
  6. The Dean, together with the Academic Affairs Committee and the department chairs, should set out the criteria to be used for annual faculty evaluations. These criteria should be communicated to the faculty within the first 30 days of the beginning of the evaluation year.
  7. The Dean should make an annual "state of the School" report to the faculty. The report should describe the progress the School has made in the past year, its accomplishments in the areas of research, teaching and service, and directions that the school may take in the near future, as well as problems that it may face.

2. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

A. Appointment:

  1. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (ADU) is appointed by the Dean from the tenured faculty of the School. The ADU reports to and is evaluated by the Dean.

B. Functions and responsibilities include:

  1. Interact with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in all matters of general undergraduate education and student advising.
  2. Oversee and be responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of all undergraduate advising within the School.
  3. Ensure that all professional undergraduate advisors and those faculty members appointed as undergraduate advisors remain properly trained and informed of faculty decisions related to the curriculum.
  4. Act as the final faculty authority within the School with regard to implementation of University and School policies related to the School's undergraduate degree programs.
  5. Serve as a conduit to the Council for Undergraduate Education for all proposed changes to the undergraduate degree programs in the School.
  6. Manage the School's Fast Track program, working with advisors and Student Records to ensure the smooth transition of qualified Fast Track students into the School's MS tracks.
  7. Serve as a member of faculty-led accreditation committees.
  8. Represent the School as a member of the Council for Undergraduate Education.
  9. Represent the School as a member of the Core Curriculum Committee.
  10. Represent the School in summer freshmen orientations.
  11. Serve on the School's Committee for Effective Teaching and be a champion for excellence in undergraduate teaching within the School.
  12. Review marginal undergraduate transfer applications as specified in the undergraduate catalog.
  13. Maintain working relationships with the advisors and key faculty at key feeder community colleges.
  14. Represent the school in undergraduate recruiting activities.

3. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

A. Appointment:

  1. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (ADAA) is appointed by the Dean. Only a tenured full professor may be appointed to this position. The ADAA reports to and is evaluated by the Dean.

B. Functions and responsibilities include:

  1. Coordinate the graduate program with respect to resources and priorities
  2. Represent the School on the Graduate Council
  3. Resolve disputes concerning graduate admissions
  4. Oversee the preparation of the Graduate Catalog copy based on inputs from the department chairs and program heads and the chairs of interdisciplinary degree committees
  5. Handle student appeals with respect to grading in graduate courses
  6. Oversee the Jonsson School mentoring program for faculty development
  7. Be the champion in the Dean's office for hiring of quality faculty, and assist search committees in the recruitment of faculty
  8. Pro-actively work with the various departments and curriculum committees to ensure that our curricula are up to date and that they are ready for accreditation-related scrutiny
  9. Pursue solutions, across the School and UTD, for major academic issues/problems such as academic dishonesty or misconduct
  10. Provide leadership in the recruiting of Ph.D. students

4. Department Chairs

A. Appointment:

  1. The Dean shall appoint department chairs in consultation with the corresponding department's faculty. Department chairs must be tenured faculty members in the School, and shall serve at the Dean's pleasure. A department chair is the chief administrative officer of his/her department and the principal liaison between the department's faculty and higher administration.

B. Functions and responsibilities include:

  1. Administration and day to day running of the department in accordance with the bylaws of the department and the School.
  2. Provide vision and leadership for steering the department towards betterment.
  3. Oversee the appointment and functioning of various committees within the department.
  4. Oversee faculty recruitment and hiring together with the search committee.
  5. Lead the department's effort in faculty career development.
  6. Oversee faculty annual evaluation together with the departmental FPRC provided for in Section V.1 of these bylaws.
  7. Oversee scheduling of courses, assignment of teaching duties, selection of undergraduate and graduate assistants, and other necessary tasks.
  8. Oversee enforcement of policies relating to ethical and professional conduct by faculty members, students, and staff of the school.
  9. Oversee the process for accreditation of the various degree programs in the department.

C. Evaluation:

  1. Each department's faculty shall evaluate their department chair every three years anonymously using instruments from Policy Memorandum 96-III.30-68. It is the responsibility of the Dean to conduct such evaluations.
  2. A summary of each department chair's evaluation will be made available to him/her. The evaluation will provide feedback for him/her and will constitute part of the Dean's overall appraisal.

5. Heads of Programs and Chairs of Governing Committees of Interdisciplinary Degree Programs

A. Appointment:

  1. The Dean shall appoint the chairs of governing committees of interdisciplinary degree programs in consultation with corresponding program's faculty, and they shall serve at his/her pleasure. Heads of degree programs that are entirely contained within a single department shall be appointed by the corresponding department chair in consultation with the faculty involved in that program. Heads of programs and chairs of governing committees of interdisciplinary degree programs must be tenured faculty members in the School.

B. Functions and responsibilities include:

  1. Administration and day to day running of the program in accordance with the bylaws of the departments involved and the School.
  2. Exercising vision and leadership for steering the program towards betterment.
  3. Overseeing the appointment and functioning of various committees within the program.
  4. Coordinating the scheduling of courses, assignment of teaching duties, and other necessary tasks with the departments involved in the interdisciplinary program.
  5. Overseeing the process for accreditation of the interdisciplinary degree program.

C. Evaluation:

  1. Program heads and chairs of governing committees of interdisciplinary degree programs shall be evaluated anonymously by the cognizant faculty every three years using instruments from Policy Memorandum 96-III.30-68. The Dean is responsible for conducting such evaluations for interdisciplinary degree programs. The chair of the relevant department is responsible for conducting evaluations of the heads of degree programs that are entirely contained within that department according to the department's bylaws.
  2. A summary of the evaluation will be made anonymously available to the program head or chair. The evaluation will provide feedback for him/her and will constitute part of the Dean's or department chair's overall appraisal.

6. Other Officers

The Dean may appoint other officers as he or she may see fit to help in administrative tasks.

IV. STANDING COMMITTEES

Each School standing committee will elect its own chairperson, unless these bylaws or University policy provide otherwise. If a committee chairmanship is elective, the election of the chair should be the first item of business in the first meeting of the committee held after its appointment. A new chair should also be elected if the composition of the committee changes. The election of the new chair should be the first item of business during the first meeting of the altered committee. If a committee with an elective chairmanship does not elect a chair, then the Dean shall appoint a chair.

Each standing committee of the School shall write or revise its charge, subject to the approval of the School faculty. Every standing committee, except the Faculty Personnel Review Committee, must keep and publish minutes, and must submit an annual report of its activities to the School faculty and Dean.

Meetings and agendas of standing committees shall be filed with the department offices at least one day in advance, and shall be publicly posted in a manner that makes them accessible to all faculty. Any School faculty member may observe a meeting of a standing committee, and the voting members of a standing committee may invite the participation of others as non-voting members, except when the committee is in executive session or when matters subject to privacy protection are under consideration.

The chair of each standing committee in the school shall file a report with the Dean at the end of his or her term summarizing the activities of the committee during that term.

1. Faculty Personnel Review Committee

A. Establishment:

The School Faculty Personnel Review Committee (FPRC) serves as the School Peer Review Committee mandated in Policy Memorandum 97-III.22-79. Each department must have its own Faculty Personnel Review Committee for annual evaluation of its faculty members.

B. Composition:

The FPRC of the School will be chaired by the Dean and shall consist of three members elected by a double-envelope secret ballot, in conformity with Policy Memorandum 97-III.22-79. Only full-time, tenured faculty members can serve on the School FPRC. At most one School FPRC member from each department can be an Associate Professor. School FPRC members who are Associate Professors cannot participate in evaluations of full Professors. The incumbent School FPRC members shall serve as the elections committee for School FPRC members for the following academic year. The composition of departmental FPRCs will be in accordance with the departmental bylaws.

C. Manner of appointment:

The members of the School FPRC are elected by the voting faculty of each department. No appointment to the School FPRC shall exceed three consecutive years. Members may be elected for a shorter term. Members who have served their full three-year terms may not be re-elected within one year. The appointments should be staggered so that at least one member is elected from each department every year. The appointment of members of the departmental FPRCs will be in accordance with the departmental bylaws.

D. Responsibilities of the School FPRC:

  1. The School FPRC is responsible for post-tenure review of faculty as described in Policy Memorandum 97-III.22-79.

E. Responsibilities of departmental FPRCs:

  1. The departmental FPRCs are responsible for performing an annual evaluation of each faculty member, in accordance with University policy (see Policy Memorandum 75-III.22-3) and criteria defined as provided in Section III.1 of these bylaws. Members of the departmental FPRCs will be evaluated by the Dean and the cognizant department chair.
  2. The result of the evaluation of a faculty member by the School or departmental FPRC, whether for post-tenure review or for an annual review, must be communicated promptly to that faculty member by the department chair. The result of the evaluation will also be communicated to the Dean.

2. Academic Affairs Committee

A. Purpose:

The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) acts as the School's faculty Executive Committee. The function of the AAC is to advise the Dean and Associate Deans on important matters concerning the School. The Dean of Academic Affair will have the responsibility to ensure that members of the committee are elected in a timely manner, and that the committee operates smoothly.

B. Composition:

The Academic Affairs Committee shall consist of two tenured faculty members elected by each department, plus one tenured faculty member appointed by the Dean, rotating among the departments. The AAC shall elect one of its members as chair at the beginning of each academic year. The normal term of service on the AAC is two years. Terms of service on the AAC should be staggered to provide continuity in the representation of each department.

C. Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of the AAC include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Resolution of questions and disputes concerning the interpretation of the School bylaws.
  2. Mediation and resolution of other disputes.
  3. Selection of mentors for faculty members.
  4. Selection of awardees for School scholarships and fellowships that are not awarded by the University Committee on Student Scholarships as specified in Policy Memorandum 78-III.21-18.
  5. Selection of members for minor or transient School committees, in collaboration with the Dean.
  6. Advise the Dean on any proposed modification to the school policy on promotion and tenure.
  7. Other duties as provided elsewhere in these bylaws.
The Dean is encouraged to consult with the AAC for advice on matters pertaining to the School. However, consultation with the AAC must not be used to circumvent School faculty meetings.

D. Meetings:

The AAC will meet at least two times during each of the fall and spring semesters.

3. Committee on Effective Teaching

A. Establishment:

A School Committee on Effective Teaching (CET) is mandated by UTD Policy Memorandum 96-III.21-70.

B. Composition:

The membership of the CET shall be two faculty members, one of whom may be a senior lecturer, elected by each department, and one faculty representative appointed by the Dean. The appointment is for two years with staggered terms so that every year only half of the committee members are newly appointed. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies serves as a voting ex-officio member.

C. Responsibilities:

The CET shall have overall responsibility for developing and administering policies and procedures for evaluating teaching performance and the effectiveness of instruction, subject to the approval of the faculty of the School. In developing policies for evaluating instructional effectiveness, the committee shall facilitate outcomes evaluations that may be required for accreditation.

Specific responsibilities of the CET include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Course evaluations are to be conducted and compiled by the School's evaluation office in accordance with policies set by this committee. The effectiveness of the course evaluation questions should be periodically evaluated and questions amended if needed. Faculty comments should be sought during this evaluation.
  2. The committee should define standards for exceptional, acceptable, and substandard performance in teaching. These standards should be fair to all faculty members and should also take into consideration a faculty member's contributions to teaching required courses, courses with high enrollments, lower-division courses and courses that require substantial effort outside the classroom.
  3. The committee will be responsible for selecting recipients of teaching awards.
  4. Members of the committee have the right to visit or inspect any course.
  5. At the request of the Academic Affairs Committee, one or more members of the CET may mentor new or adjunct faculty members with respect to teaching.

4. Undergraduate Curriculum Committees

A. Purpose and Composition:

The Dean, through an appropriate representative, provides for undergraduate curricular planning in each department by the following means. She/he shall:
  1. Ensure that departmental Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UGCC) members are appointed according to the departmental bylaws;
  2. Promote scheduling coordination between ECS departments (and UTD Schools as deemed appropriate);
  3. Coordinate undergraduate catalog copy generation through an appropriate representative; and
  4. Provide appropriate teaching resources in consultation with the UGCCs, undergraduate laboratory committees (if any), department chairs and faculty.

B. Responsibilities:

The undergraduate degree programs are primarily developed and implemented at the departmental level. Consequently, each department shall have the primary responsibility for the degree programs offered by the faculty of that department. The departmental UGCC has the primary responsibility for coordinating faculty efforts and initiatives with respect to the undergraduate curriculum.
  1. The UGCCs in cooperation with the appropriate Dean's representative and in accordance with departmental bylaws shall perform degree-program planning and catalog copy production.
  2. The department chairs and program heads, chairs of governing committees for interdisciplinary degree programs, and UGCCs, in cooperation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs acting as the Dean's representative, and in accordance with departmental bylaws, shall perform accreditation planning and implementation.
  3. Each department chair or committee(s) appointed by each department chair in accordance with the departmental bylaws will perform course scheduling.
  4. The department chairs or committee(s) appointed by each department chair in accordance with the departmental bylaws will oversee the undergraduate laboratories with regard to equipment maintenance, planning, and resource allocation. There must be a clear and well-publicized mechanism for faculty input to these undergraduate laboratory decisions.

5. Committees for Graduate Studies

A. Composition:

Each department in the School must have a Committee on Graduate Studies (CGS) appointed as provided in the departmental bylaws. For an interdisciplinary degree program, the governing committee may serve as the CGS.

B. Responsibilities:

The departmental CGSs shall have the overall responsibility for graduate studies in their respective departments or programs.

Specific responsibilities of the CGSs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The departmental CGS shall have the responsibility for developing and administering graduate admissions policy (subject to faculty approval and consistent with the University's Policy).
  2. The departmental CGS shall evaluate graduate student applications and make decisions in compliance with the department's, the School's and the University's policies on graduate admissions. The departmental CGS shall also make recommendations for graduate assistantship and/or fellowship awards.
  3. The departmental CGS is responsible for evaluating and making recommendations to the faculty on all proposals for new or revised academic requirements, courses, and curricula within the department's graduate program. All new graduate courses, special topics courses, etc., must be evaluated by the departmental CGS prior to submission to the departmental faculty.
  4. The departmental CGS will interact with the rest of the department's faculty and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in maintaining the graduate requirements catalogs, both printed and on-line versions. The on-line catalog should be kept up to date by providing relevant information to the department or school webmaster in a timely manner.
  5. The departmental CGS is responsible for resolving issues related to graduate studies, such as conflicts between a student and his/her advisor or a thesis committee member. Issues that cannot be resolved by a departmental CGS shall be referred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

6. Research Advisory Committee

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) has the overall responsibility of representing all of the School faculty in advising the Dean, department chairs, interdisciplinary program committees and the Central Administration on all matters related to research in the School.

A. Composition:

The voting members of the RAC shall be five faculty members or Associate Deans appointed by the Dean, the department chairs, and two members elected from the voting faculty of each department to staggered two-year terms. The RAC shall elect one of its members as chair at the beginning of each academic year.

B. Responsibilities include:

  1. Advise and assist the Dean in developing and promoting a vision and strategic plan for research in the School. A written summary of the research vision and the recommendations of the RAC must be communicated annually to the School Faculty and Dean.
  2. Recommend policies to promote and facilitate the research activities of the faculty of the School. The recommendations of the RAC may include, but are not limited to, technical directions, teaming, interfaces with industry and other academic institutions, and School administrative structures related to research.
  3. Coordinate, together with the Dean, the identification of research opportunities and collaborations.
  4. Work closely with the Vice President for Research and the Senate Advisory Committee on Research to integrate university research goals with those of the School faculty.
  5. Review proposals for equipment donations requiring School resources and advise the Dean promptly on the value to the School's research program and the availability of resources for each proposed donation.

7. Governing Committees for Interdisciplinary Degree Programs

A. Establishment:

The Dean, in consultation with the Academic Affairs Committee and the faculty of the School, shall appoint governing committees for such interdisciplinary degree programs as may be established according to University and UT-System regulations.

B. Composition:

Each governing committee for an interdisciplinary degree program shall have at least two members of the faculty, appointed by the Dean, from each department that contributes substantially to the program. Appointments shall be for staggered, renewable two-year terms. The Dean shall appoint a chair, who shall serve at the Dean's pleasure.

C. Responsibilities:

The governing committee of an interdisciplinary degree program may serve as the program's committees on undergraduate studies, graduate studies, and graduate admissions.

V. ADOPTION, AMENDMENT AND INTERPRETATION OF THE SCHOOL BYLAWS

These bylaws shall remain in effect in perpetuity unless and until they are amended in accordance with the rules outlined in this section. A copy of the amended bylaws shall be sent to each member of the faculty in printed or electronic form within one week after amendments to these bylaws have been approved according to the rules outlined below.

1. Adoption:

These bylaws shall take effect if they are approved by a two-thirds majority of all current voting School faculty using written, signed, double-envelope ballots during a spring or fall semester while classes are in session.

2. Amendment:

The bylaws of the School can be amended only by a tallied two-thirds majority vote of the current Voting Faculty of the School using written, signed, double-envelope ballots during the period of the spring and fall semesters while classes are in session. Such a vote can be called at a faculty meeting or by mail. Any member of the voting faculty may start this process by providing a written request to amend the bylaws containing:
  1. the exact wording of the suggested amendment to the bylaws,
  2. the signatures of at least 10% of the Voting Faculty agreeing to the exact proposed wording, and
  3. a clear explanation of the need for the amendment.
Each proposed amendment to the bylaws must be considered individually as part of a separate vote and request for a vote. Proposed amendments to the bylaws cannot be artificially linked for any reason. The written request to amend the bylaws shall be delivered to the chair of the academic affairs committee, who shall distribute such request to the Faculty and the School administrators in a timely fashion. Once the request to amend the bylaws has been delivered to the Faculty and the School administrators, a minimum two-week period for consideration of the amendment shall begin. At the conclusion of this period, a Faculty discussion meeting shall be held. The time period for voting on the proposed amendments is one week after the conclusion of the discussion meeting. All votes must be cast using signed, double-envelope ballots. One member of the Academic Affairs Committee, one representative of the Dean's office and one Voting Faculty member chosen by the Dean shall conduct the tally.
 

3. Interpretation:

The final responsibility for interpreting the School bylaws rests with the Academic Affairs Committee of the School. The interpretation given by the School AAC shall be final. Any interpretation provided by the AAC should be given in writing and made available to the whole school faculty.