Graduate Faculty Constitution Article I: Definition of the Graduate Faculty

1. The Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty at the University of Northern Iowa exists as part of the total University Faculty which is defined in Article I, Section I of the Constitution of the Faculty of the University of Northern Iowa. The primary function of the Graduate Faculty is to provide educational experiences and set policy associated with graduate programs at the University. The Graduate Faculty constitutes the Graduate College, the academic unit responsible for graduate programs at the University. Members of the Graduate Faculty normally hold rank in one of the academic colleges. Membership on the Graduate Faculty is restricted as defined in this constitution.

2. Membership on the Graduate Faculty

  • 2.1. Membership on the Graduate Faculty shall consist of two types: Associate Members and Regular Members.
  • 2.2. Associate Members. Visiting professors, distinguished national or international scholars or researchers, full-time UNI employees with at least a Master’s degree, external practitioners with specialized knowledge are eligible for associate membership.
  • 2.2.1 Appointments to Associate Membership
    • 2.2.1.1 Nominations for Associate Membership will be recommended by the Department Graduate Faculty. Nominations require the endorsement of the Department Head and approval by the Graduate Dean.
    • 2.2.1.2 Appointment to Associate Membership is permanent for UNI employees.
    • 2.2.1.3 The Graduate Dean or Graduate College staff shall maintain a roster recording of appointments. Normal review and revision shall result in updates to the roster as soon as practicable. Associate membership will be reported to the Graduate Council annually.
    • 2.2.1.4 Electronic forms nominating Associate Members shall be in the Graduate College at least one week prior to the start of the semester.
  • 2.2.2 Qualifications for Associate Membership
    • 2.2.2.1 Nominees must possess, at a minimum, an earned Master’s Degree appropriate to the discipline from an accredited or internally recognized institution.
    • 2.2.2.2 Nominees must also possess relevant professional (or practical-oriented) expertise appropriate to the assignment or level of student interaction.
    • 2.2.2.3 Exceptions may be granted by the Graduate Dean with the approval of the Graduate Council.
  • 2.2.3 Responsibilities of Associate Members
    • 2.2.3.1 Assist in advising graduate students.
    • 2.2.3.2 Serve on graduate student dissertation, thesis, or research project committees.
    • 2.2.3.3. Serve and participate in Graduate College events.
    • 2.2.3.4 Practice and adhere to “The Policies and Procedures of the University of Northern Iowa,” section 6.10, Ethics and Academic Responsibility.
  • 2.2.3.5 Restrictions
    • 2.2.3.5.1 Ineligible to serve as dissertation advisor, thesis chair, or director of a research paper.
    • 2.2.3.5.2 Ineligible to vote in elections or Graduate Faculty meetings.
    • 2.2.3.5.3 Ineligible to serve on Graduate College committees or Graduate Council.
  • 2.3. Regular Members. Tenured and tenure track faculty at the assistant professor level or above with the appropriate terminal degree are eligible for Regular Membership on the Graduate Faculty.
  • 2.3.1 Appointments to Regular Membership.
    • 2.3.1.1 Nominations for Regular Membership will be recommended by the Department Graduate Faculty. Nominations require the endorsement of the Department Head (or College Dean in the event the candidate is a Department Head) and approval by the Graduate Dean.
    • 2.3.1.2 Appointment to Regular Membership is for a non-specified period of time.
    • 2.3.1.3 The Graduate Dean or Graduate College staff shall maintain a roster recording of appointments. Normal review and revision shall result in updates to the roster as soon as practicable. A roster of Regular Members is available on the Graduate Council website.
  • 2.3.2 Qualifications for Regular Membership
    • 2.3.2.1 Nominees must possess an earned terminal degree appropriate to the discipline from an accredited or internally recognized institution.
    • 2.3.2.2 Nominees must hold, at a minimum, a tenure track appointment at the assistant professor level.
    • 2.3.2.3 Nominees must provide evidence of continued instructional and professional competence after completion of the terminal degree.
    • 2.3.2.4 Exceptions may be granted by the Graduate Dean with the approval of the Graduate Council.
  • 2.3.3 Responsibilities of Regular Members
    • 2.3.3.1 Attend meetings of the Graduate Faculty and vote in elections.
    • 2.3.3.2 Serve on Graduate College committees and/or Graduate Council.
    • 2.3.3.3 Provide instruction in courses designed for graduate level students.
    • 2.3.3.4 Develop appropriate and pertinent course syllabi and course content.
    • 2.3.3.5 Advise graduate students in their program of study.
    • 2.3.3.6 Serve on and/or chair thesis or advisory committees for master’s or specialist degree candidates.
    • 2.3.3.7 Serve on, but not chair, doctoral dissertation advisory committees. (Note: see section 2.3.3.11)
    • 2.3.3.8 Provide evidence of ongoing professional competency.
    • 2.3.3.9 Continue to investigate and research pertinent research topics and disseminate results and conclusions to academic scholars and refereed publications. And/or, continue creative endeavors in the form of performances, exhibitions, patents, artistic or literary productions, and other activities.
    • 2.3.3.10 Practice and adhere to “The Policies and Procedures of the University of Northern Iowa,” section 6.10, Ethics and Academic Responsibility.
    • 2.3.3.11 Restrictions
      • 2.3.3.11.1 Persons serving as chairs of doctoral dissertation advisory committees must have demonstrated substantial involvement in graduate education, including chairing master’s theses and serving on both thesis and dissertation committees at UNI or another accredited institution or research center. Further evidence may include documented successful experience directing/supervising doctoral dissertations at another accredited institution or research center or documented prior research experience of an appropriate nature at a research center, industrial research entity, or research consortium.
      • 2.3.3.11.2 Persons serving as chairs of doctoral dissertation advisory committees must also show evidence of continued scholarly productivity after completion of the terminal degree. This evidence may include:
        2.3.3.11.2.1 Publication of research activities and/or manuscripts, in refereed journals, peer-reviewed journals, books, monographs, and articles appropriate to the discipline.
        2.3.3.11.2.2 Function as principal investigator of a competitively-funded research project, or grant.
        2.3.3.11.2.3 Professional accomplishments in the form of performances, exhibitions, patents, artistic or literary productions, and service as a reviewer or editorial board member of a journal.
        2.3.3.11.2.4 Publication and/or presentation of research results of papers, reports, grants, book reviews, sponsored research, or panel participation at colloquia, conferences, and meetings of professional societies.
        2.3.311.2.5 Evidence of recognition for significant consulting and advisory positions, awards, or honors at state, or national accomplishments.
      • 2.3.3.11.3 Newly appointed Regular Graduate Faculty or those lacking experience as a doctoral advisor must serve as a co-advisor through the completion of the oral comprehensive examination or the dissertation approval process. Procedures and requirements for advancement from co-advisor to doctoral advisor status shall be determined by each program area with the concurrence of the Graduate Dean.
      • 2.3.3.11.4 Responsibilities of Regular Members of the Graduate Faculty with approval to serve as a doctoral dissertation advisor will follow the guidelines established by the Graduate College and the graduate program.

3. Revocation of Graduate Faculty Membership

  • 3.1 Graduate Faculty members who are not meeting their responsibilities, per sections 2.2.3 and 2.3.3 above, may have their membership discontinued.
    • 3.1.1 Department Graduate Faculty and the Department Head will make an evaluation with appropriate rationale for why the faculty member’s graduate faculty status should be discontinued. This will be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate College by the second Friday in October, as well as notification to the affected faculty member who has been denied faculty membership.
    • 3.1.2 The affected faculty member who wishes to dispute the Department’s decision must make an appeal to the Dean of Graduate College by the fourth Friday in October.
    • 3.1.3 Both the evaluation and the appeal will be forwarded to the Graduate Council, who will make the final determination regarding the revocation of Graduate Faculty membership by the end of the semester.

4. Procedures for Appealing Denial of Graduate Faculty Membership

  • 4.1 Faculty members may also dispute denial of Graduate Faculty Membership.
    • 4.1.1 An appeal must be filed, and will be forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate College (with notification to the Department Graduate Faculty) by the second Friday in October.
    • 4.1.2 The Department Graduate Faculty and the Department Head must provide an evaluation with appropriate rationale for not granting membership status to the Dean of the Graduate College by the fourth Friday in October.
    • 4.1.3 Both the appeal and the evaluation will be forwarded to the Graduate Council, who will make the final determination regarding Graduate Faculty membership status by the end of the semester.

Article II: Officers and Duties

1. Chairperson

The chairperson of the Graduate Faculty will be elected by a vote of the membership in the spring of each year for a one-year term and may serve for no more than two years consecutively. The chairperson of the Graduate Faculty shall convene regular and special meetings of the Graduate Faculty and preside over them. The chairperson of the Graduate Faculty shall prepare, with the assistance of the chairperson of the Graduate Council and the Graduate Dean, agenda for meetings and provide for the distribution of the agenda to the Graduate Faculty prior to the meeting. The chairperson of the Graduate Faculty will act as a spokesperson for the Graduate Faculty and as an ex-officio member of the Graduate Council.

2. Secretary

The secretary will be appointed by the Graduate Dean and will also serve as secretary to the Graduate Council. The secretary will record minutes of meetings of the Graduate Faculty and of the Graduate Council, and publish and distribute them to the University Faculty with assistance from the Office of the Graduate Dean.

Article III: Meetings

1. Regular Meetings

One regular meeting of the Graduate Faculty will ordinarily be held during the Spring semester of each academic year. The Graduate Dean will review the status of graduate activities at this meeting. The chairperson of the Graduate Faculty and/or the chairperson of the Graduate Council may also address the meeting. The chairperson of the Graduate Faculty will schedule this meeting in consultation with the Graduate Dean and the chairperson of the Graduate Council.

2. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Graduate Faculty may be called by petition of 20 regular members of the Graduate Faculty. The petition is submitted to the chairperson and must specify the reasons for calling the meeting. Such meetings shall take place within 30 calendar days of receipt of the petition. Special meetings may also be called by either the chairperson of the Graduate Council or the Graduate Dean.

3. Quorum

Quorum will be 15 percent of the total Graduate Faculty.

4. Procedures

Meetings of the Graduate Faculty will be conducted according to normal parliamentary procedure using the latest revision of Robert's Rules of Order.

Article IV: The Graduate Council

1. Function

The Graduate Council is the principal decision-making body of the Graduate Faculty. The Council acts on behalf of the Graduate Faculty on all graduate education policy and curricular matters. It has the power to act on all matters within the jurisdiction of the Graduate Faculty except to amend this constitution or to set aside decisions made by the Graduate Faculty, except in emergencies and only then by a two-thirds vote. The Council is advisory to the Dean of the Graduate College and responsible to the Graduate Faculty and, through the Graduate Faculty, responsible to the faculty of the university as a whole. The actions of the Graduate Council are subject to review by the Graduate Faculty.

2.Composition

The elected membership of the Graduate Council consists of Regular Graduate Faculty members from each academic college, a representative from the Rod Library Graduate Faculty, and two graduate students with one representing the master's programs and one representing the doctoral programs. The number of Graduate Council members from each academic college is based on the number of graduate faculty in each college; colleges with less than 200 Regular Graduate Faculty members will have two representatives, colleges with 200 – 299 Regular Graduate Faculty members will have four representatives, and colleges with 300 or more Regular Graduate Faculty members will have six representatives.

These faculty members shall be elected by the eligible voting members of the Graduate Faculty from their respective units. The graduate student members are elected from the graduate student advisory committee to the Graduate Dean. The Chairperson of the Graduate Faculty is an ex-officio, voting member of the Graduate Council. The following are ex-officio, non-voting members of the Graduate Council: The Graduate Dean and other officers of the Graduate College (Associate or Assistant Deans, and Assistants to the Dean). Exclusive of ex-officio members, no more than one faculty member of the Graduate Council shall be from the same department or school.

3.Election and Term of Office

Elected members of the Graduate Council serve for a term of two years, with no member allowed to serve more than three consecutive terms. Elections are staggered so that one member of each academic college is elected in the spring of each academic year. The graduate student representing the doctoral programs serves for two years and the graduate student representing the master's programs serves for one year with no graduate student allowed to serve for more than three consecutive terms. Terms begin and end with the beginning of the Fall Semester. 7Each academic college conducts its own election and reports the results to the Graduate Dean.

4. Officers

At the first meeting of the Graduate Council in the Fall Semester, the elected members of the Council will elect a Chairperson and a Vice-chairperson from their ranks.

  • 4.1 Chairperson -- The chairperson of the Graduate Council will be elected by the members of the Graduate Council for a one-year term. The chairperson will convene regular and special meetings of the Graduate Council and preside over them. The chairperson will prepare, with the assistance of the vice-chairperson, agenda for meetings and provide for the distribution of the agenda to the Graduate Council prior to any meetings. The chairperson will act as the spokesperson for the Graduate Council.
  • 4.2 Vice-chairperson -- The vice-chairperson of the Graduate Council will be elected by members of the Graduate Council for a one-year term. This person will assist the chairperson of the Graduate Council and serve as chairperson in his or her absence.
  • 4.3 Graduate Dean -- The Graduate Dean is the executive officer of the Graduate Council and serves as an ex-officio non-voting member.

5. Authority

Decisions of the Graduate Council in regard to graduate matters are authoritative, subject to the provision of review in Article IV, Section 1, of this constitution, subject to the general authority of the Faculty through the Graduate Faculty, and the rules and regulations of the University of Northern Iowa and of the Board of Regents.

Article V: Ratification and Amendment

1. Ratification

This constitution will become the official Constitution of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Northern Iowa one month from the date of its adoption by majority vote of the Graduate Faculty either (a) at a regular or special meeting, or (b) via electronic or other contemporary means, notice of which shall have been provided at least one week in advance to the Graduate Faculty.

2. Amendment

This constitution may be amended, revised, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of those either (a) present at a regular or special meeting of the Graduate Faculty, or (b) who vote via electronic or other contemporary means, notice of which, including a statement of the proposed amendment, revision, or repeal shall have been provided at least one week in advance.