Chapter 3359-24 Bylaws and Grievance Procedures

3359-24-01 Bylaws of the graduate faculty.

(A) Name. This organization shall be known as the graduate faculty of the university of Akron.

(B) Purpose. The purpose of the graduate faculty shall be to encourage and contribute to the advancement of knowledge through instruction and research of highest quality, and to foster a spirit of inquiry and a high value on scholarship throughout the university.

(C) Duties. The duties of the graduate faculty shall be:

(1) To develop curricula leading to appropriate graduate degrees;

(2) To participate in research, publication, and professional societies;

(3) To recruit, encourage, and supervise superior students in their graduate studies;

(4) To conduct graduate classes and seminars that stimulate creativity, independent thought, and scholarly attitudes and performance;

(5) To serve on supporting committees, as needed; to supervise student research; and to direct theses and dissertations;

(6) To help develop and maintain a graduate library appropriate to a sound graduate program;

(7) To elect the members of the graduate council, and if elected to the council, to 'serve in the best interests of the graduate faculty and the graduate school; and

(8) To participate in the selection of a vice president for research and dean of the graduate school.

(D) Membership.

(1) The following shall be members of the graduate faculty.

(a) President of the university.

(b) Senior vice president and provost.

(c) Vice president for research and dean of the graduate school.

(d) Associate/assistant dean(s) of the graduate school.

(e) Deans of colleges offering graduate programs.

(f) Distinguished professors.

(g) Chairs of departments/schools offering graduate programs.

(h) Appointees as indicated in paragraph (D)(2) of this rule.

(2) There is only one graduate faculty of the university of Akron. Within that graduate faculty, members have different responsibilities. All members of the graduate faculty are defined as being "Category I" members. Those members of the graduate faculty, who request and are granted the prerogative to direct doctoral dissertations (described herein), are defined as being "Category II" members.

(a) Application for graduate faculty membership is made upon the recommendation of the graduate faculty of the department/school or a duly constituted committee of that faculty. Applications are reviewed in turn by the department chair/school director, the college dean, and the graduate council. Appointments to the graduate faculty are made by the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school on the basis of the recommendations of the graduate council. Any member of the university faculty, who holds a full-time appointment at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or professor, including those ex-officio members designated in paragraphs (D)(1)(a) to (D)(1)(g) of this rule, may be nominated.

(b) Nominations and recommendations for appointments of members shall be made in the following categories:

(i) "Category I": teaching of master's degree courses, directing of master's degree theses, and teaching of doctoral courses.

(ii) "Category II": "Category I" responsibilities plus directing of doctoral dissertations.

(c) Ex-officio appointments shall be in "Category I." A majority of members serving on doctoral dissertation committees must be in "Category II." Candidates, who received their terminal degrees within one year of applying for graduate faculty membership, will be granted the category that they request for a five-year period. Reappointments will then be contingent upon requirements for each category.

(d) Quality is the primary factor in awarding membership on the graduate faculty. Those closest to the discipline are in the best position to provide a qualitative assessment of a candidate's research, scholarly and/or creative accomplishments. The role of the department/school's graduate faculty, the department chair/school director, and the collegiate dean in evaluating the candidate's credentials for graduate faculty membership is to provide the crucial quality assessment. All applications forwarded for graduate faculty membership must contain written qualitative assessments of the candidate's research, scholarly and/or creative activities.

(e) In addition, in order to ensure minimum quantitative standards on a university-wide basis, the following shall be the minimum criteria for applying and being recommended for "Category I."

(i) Candidates must possess a terminal degree appropriate to their fields.

(ii) Candidates must be actively engaged in scholarly or creative activities demonstrative of current knowledge of and involvement with their fields. Examples of this requirement include:

(a) Paper presentations at regional, national or international meetings of the professional discipline; and

(b) Reviewed performances or exhibits or published creative work; a minimum of one refereed publication is required. For non-publication-oriented disciplines, reviewed creative work or activity in recognized forums is required.

(iii) Candidates may present other evidence of scholarly or creative activity such as panel membership, discussant, patents or performance activity.

(iv) Reappointment to the graduate faculty will depend upon demonstrating the requirement in paragraph (D)(2)(e)(ii) of this rule within the previous appointment period.

(f) The following shall be the minimum criteria for applying and being recommended for "Category II."

(i) Candidates must possess a terminal degree appropriate to their field of expertise and employment.

(ii) Current scholarly competence as demonstrated by at least four refereed scholarly publications or the equivalent. Examples may include refereed journal articles, chapters in scholarly books, conference proceedings, and successful external research grants. Two of these refereed publications must be journal articles or chapters in scholarly books.

(iii) In appropriate disciplines, scholarly books containing substantial original material by the author may be substituted for the refereed publications described in paragraph (D)(2)(f)(ii) of this rule.

(iv) Reappointment to the graduate faculty will depend upon demonstrating the above within the previous appointment period.

(g) It shall be the responsibility of each department/school to develop its own guidelines specifying criteria for members of that department to be nominated for graduate faculty status, based on standards in their own disciplines. The guidelines will be developed by the full-time graduate faculty of the department/school and the academic dean. Guidelines must be approved by the graduate council and the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school. These guidelines shall meet or exceed the general criteria described above and shall be approved and on file in the graduate school office prior to the submission of any appointment application.

(h) Persons, who do not meet all of the preceding criteria but are recognized by their departmental/school colleagues as being highly qualified in their special fields of study, may apply in a specific category by the graduate faculty of a department/school for membership in the graduate faculty.

(i) All applications shall be accompanied by an abbreviated vita (form provided as part of the application). Such curriculum vita must provide complete information concerning possession of the appropriate terminal degree for the discipline, concerning research and scholarship with bibliographic citations (complete, ordered list of authors' names, volumes, years, pages), and other scholarly or professional activities indicated by year. The curriculum vita must differentiate refereed publications from non-refereed.

(i) The applicant, departmental graduate faculty committee, department chair/school director, and the college dean are to provide or attest to both qualitative and quantitative information substantiating the nominee's qualifications.

(ii) The candidate must specify which category of membership is desired. Candidates, who are clearly qualified for "Category," should request consideration for this category of membership, even if they are not affiliated with doctoral programs.

(3) A faculty member holding joint appointments in more than one university department/school must seek graduate faculty status in each department/school in which graduate faculty membership is desired.

(4) Any person desiring to appeal graduate council's actions taken under the provision of paragraph (D)(2) of this rule may request a review by a committee composed of: two members of the graduate council who are not on the graduate faculty membership committee, and three members of the graduate faculty who are not in the candidate's department/school, to be appointed by the senior vice president and provost or designee who shall serve as a non-voting chair.

(5) Appointments to the graduate faculty shall be for initial and subsequent terms of five years. Terms shall begin on the first day of the fall semester and end on the day preceding the first day of the fall semester five years later. Appointments made during the fall semester shall be considered as having been made on the first day of that semester. For appointments made during the spring semester, the term shall be considered as having begun on the first day of the following fall semester. Applications for reappointments shall be made not later than March first for a term to begin in the following fall semester.

(6) Adjunct, part-time, visiting, and other faculty members shall be eligible for ad hoc temporary "Category I" appointment to the graduate faculty. Such an appointment shall be given for the performance of specified graduate faculty functions (e.g., for teaching specific master's or doctoral level courses and serving on specific master's or doctoral committees).

(a) Ad hoc temporary functions shall exclude:

(i) directing of doctoral dissertations or master's theses, and

(ii) service as the representative of the graduate school on dissertation committees.

(b) The vice president for research and dean of the graduate school shall make such an appointment for a specified period of time to fulfill specified function(s), normally for a period of one academic year. Faculty shall be nominated for such an appointment by the full-time graduate faculty in the department/school, the department chair/school director, and the collegiate dean, and must possess the appropriate terminal degree, documented experience, and other credentials relevant to performance of the specified graduate faculty function(s), as defined by departmental/school guidelines.

(c) An ad hoc appointment may be renewed, but only on a case-by-case basis.

(7) Only members of the graduate faculty shall be permitted to teach courses at the graduate level. Only those members who hold a full-time, regular (non-ad hoc temporary) appointment to the graduate faculty at the university of Akron shall be eligible to vote as graduate faculty members.

(8) For some disciplines, "Category II" graduate faculty status is essential for a faculty member's career path. Therefore, a new hire past the one-year terminal degree may be granted "Category II" for a five-year period according to the following scale:

Time since report of terminal degree

Publications* required

0-1 year

0 refereed publications

1-2 years

1 refereed publication

2-3 years

2 refereed publications

3-4 years

3 refereed publications

*Or creative activity according to department/school criteria.

(a) The above is equivalent to one refereed publication per year following the receipt of the terminal degree or four refereed publications in the last five years.

(E) Officers. Officers of the graduate faculty shall be the president of the university, the senior vice president and provost, the academic deans of colleges offering graduate programs, the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, and a vice chair elected by the graduate council. Their duties shall be as follows:

(1) The president, as executive head of the university in all its departments/schools, shall receive the reports of subordinate officers, shall advise and counsel them, and shall have the powers and responsibilities stated in the bylaws of the board of trustees of the university.

(2) The senior vice president and provost shall receive the reports of the graduate council, and shall advise and counsel the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school and the graduate faculty as the chief academic officer of the university responsible to the president for the supervision of the academic functions of the university.

(3) The academic deans of those colleges offering graduate programs shall be responsible for direct supervision of graduate faculty and programs within their respective colleges.

(4) The vice president for research and dean of the graduate school shall be responsible for the administration of the graduate school, and shall supervise its programs and its student body. The vice president and dean shall serve as chair and preside at meetings of the graduate faculty and shall be responsible for recording and maintaining of minutes of all meetings of the graduate faculty, sending out notices of all meetings, and for seeing that all graduate faculty receive copies of the agenda prior to, and minutes after, all meetings. Two copies of all documents shall be sent to the university archivist.

(5) The vice chair shall be elected by the graduate council and shall preside over graduate faculty and graduate council meetings in the absence of the chair.

(F) Committees. The graduate council shall be the executive committee of the graduate faculty and shall represent the graduate faculty in proposing matters of academic policy and procedure of the graduate school, and in counseling and advising with the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school in matters of administering the graduate school.

(1) The graduate council shall consist of fourteen elected graduate faculty members, one elected graduate student, and the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school.

(a) The faculty members shall be elected from the colleges and divisions as follows:

College or division

Number of elected members

Buchtel college of arts and sciences

  

- Humanities division - 1

  

- Natural sciences division - 1

  

- Social sciences division - 1

5

- Visual arts division - 1

  

- At-large - 1

  

The LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education

2

College of business administration

2

College of Engineering

2

College of health professions

2

College of polymer science and polymer engineering

1

(b) The student member shall be elected yearly by the graduate student government.

(c) The vice president and dean shall not have voting rights, except in the case of tie votes.

(d) The number and apportionment of graduate council members shall be reviewed within three years of the adoption of these bylaws and at least every three years thereafter by the graduate faculty. A similar review shall be conducted whenever a college not now offering a graduate degree shall institute one.

(2) The term of office of a faculty member on the graduate council shall be three years and the terms arranged so that no fewer than four members shall be replaced each year. No members serving full three-year terms can succeed themselves. No more than one member of the faculty of any department/school may serve on council during any given year. Faculty membership on the graduate council is limited to those members of the graduate faculty who qualify under paragraph (D)(2) of this rule or department chairs/school directors who qualify under paragraph (D)(1) of this rule.

(3) The faculty members retiring from the graduate council each year shall duly constitute a nominating committee which will meet in March and propose the names of two graduate faculty members from each college or division represented by the retiring members.

(a) The nominations shall be transmitted to the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school by April first, and the vice president and dean shall circulate the slate to the graduate faculty. Prior to April fifteenth, any five qualified members of a college or division may nominate an additional member of their group by petition addressed to the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school through the college dean.

(b) On or about April fifteenth, the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school shall send a ballot to each member of the graduate faculty concerned, which ballot shall list all nominees for the graduate council classified according to college or division. Faculty members shall vote only for the representative of their own particular group and shall vote for one nominee only, except when a member-at-large is elected from the Buchtel college of arts and sciences. The ballot shall be inserted in an unmarked envelope which shall be placed inside another envelope. The outer envelope shall be signed and returned to the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school no later than May first.

(c) The graduate council shall then tally the vote and preserve the ballots for one month after the May meeting. In the event that no candidate for a given position receives a majority of the votes cast, there shall be a reballot between the two candidates with the largest pluralities. Results of the election shall be announced to the graduate faculty, and the newly elected members shall take up their duties on September first.

(d) If a vacancy should occur on the graduate council with one year or more left in the term, a special election shall be held. The newly elected member shall serve for that portion of the term for which the originally elected member shall be absent. For the special election, the last nominating committee shall be asked to submit a slate of two names from the appropriate faculty group; other nominations may be made in accordance with the procedure described in paragraph (F)(3)(a) of this rule. If a vacancy occurs with less than one full year remaining in the term, the dean of the college may recommend for appointment to the graduate council a person from the appropriate college or division to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

(4) The duties of the graduate council shall include:

(a) To evaluate the qualifications of nominees and recommend membership on the graduate faculty.

(b) To vote upon all matters of policy of the graduate school, not otherwise established by the graduate faculty.

(c) To counsel and advise the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school in administering the policies of the graduate school as related to, but not limited to admissions, dismissals, transfers, awards, curricula and degree programs.

(5) The vice president for research and dean of the graduate school shall serve as chair of the graduate council. At its first meeting each fall, council shall elect from among its members a vice chair and a secretary. The vice chair shall work with the chair on the agenda for each meeting and preside in the absence of the chair.

(6) Standing committees of the graduate council shall be as follows:

(a) A graduate faculty membership committee, comprised of a chair and one other faculty member of the graduate council who will serve as vice chair, plus four persons from the membership of the graduate faculty, shall be elected by the council. Six different colleges shall be represented in the membership of this committee. This committee shall review all nominations for membership on the graduate faculty, using the guidelines in paragraph (D)(2) of this rule, and make recommendations to the graduate council. Those persons approved by the graduate council shall be recommended to the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school for appointment to the graduate faculty. Any nominated person who is rejected by the council or the vice president and dean may seek further consideration through the procedure described in paragraph (D)(4) of this rule.

(b) A graduate faculty curriculum committee, comprised of a chair and one other faculty member of the graduate council who will serve as vice chair, plus four persons from the membership of the graduate faculty, shall be elected by the council. Six different colleges shall be represented in the membership of this committee. This committee shall review all curriculum proposals and related curricular issues referred to either the graduate council or the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school under the operative university curriculum review policies and procedures.

(c) A graduate faculty student policy committee, comprised of a chair and two other faculty members of the graduate council, one of the two identified as vice chair, and three persons from the membership of the graduate faculty, shall be elected by the council, plus three graduate students to be elected by the graduate student government. Six different colleges shall be represented in the faculty membership of this committee. This committee shall assist the graduate council and the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school in resolving issues regarding admission and denials of admission, transfer credit, dismissals, special standing, and other matters relating to the general welfare of graduate students.

(d) The vice president for research and dean of the graduate school shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of all standing committees of the graduate council. No other member of the graduate faculty may serve on more than one standing committee at a time.

(e) Ad hoc committees of graduate council may be appointed by the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school as needed. The chair shall be a member of graduate council and shall report to the council.

(7) Minutes of the graduate council meetings shall be available electronically to all members of the graduate faculty and graduate council within two weeks of each meeting. Unless a formal objection to the action of council is submitted in writing to the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school within two weeks after the date of distribution, council actions shall be considered as approved by the graduate faculty. All such actions should be forwarded to the faculty senate whenever action by that body is required.

(a) If written objection to any action of the graduate council is received by the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, the vice president and dean shall report it to the council for consideration. One member of council shall be designated by the vice president and dean to arbitrate the matter between council and the objector. If agreement has not been reached after two weeks, a special meeting of the graduate faculty shall be called. The action of the graduate faculty on the issue shall be binding and reported in the next minutes of the graduate council.

(8) The graduate council shall meet at least once a month during the academic year and two-thirds of the membership shall constitute a quorum.

The agenda for meetings of the graduate council shall be prepared by the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school in consultation with the vice chair prior to each meeting and shall include a report from each standing committee. Any member of the graduate faculty may submit items for the agenda to any member of the graduate council.

(G) Meetings.

(1) The graduate faculty shall hold a regular annual meeting. A quorum at any meeting shall be ten per cent of the graduate faculty membership. Members shall be notified one month prior to the date of all regular meetings.

(2) The agenda for each regular meeting shall include:

(a) A report by the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school on the state of the graduate school,

(b) A report by the vice chair of graduate council on the activities of the graduate council,

(c) A report from a representative of university libraries on the state of the libraries as they pertains to graduate study,

(d) A report from a representative of information technology on the state of the computing and telecommunication units as they pertain to graduate study,

(e) A report from a representative of graduate student government, and

(f) Other business.

(3) Special meetings of the graduate faculty shall be called by the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school when:

(a) Ten members so petition, or

(b) The counsel and guidance of the graduate faculty are sought by the vice president and dean and/or the graduate council.

(4) The chair of the graduate faculty shall appoint a parliamentarian, who shall base any ruling on "Robert's Rules of Order, Revised."

(5) Minutes of each graduate faculty meeting shall be posted electronically for all members of the graduate faculty and sent to graduate student government. A permanent file shall be kept in the graduate school office. Two copies shall be sent to the university archivist.

(6) These bylaws may be amended by vote at special meetings of the graduate faculty that are called for the specific purpose of considering such amendments, and provided that the amendments are distributed to the entire membership in writing at least one month prior to the meeting and are approved by two-thirds of those present at such meetings. Amendments may also be made by a two-third vote of those voting by secret mail ballot, provided the amendment has been submitted to the entire membership in writing at least six weeks prior to the deadline for receipt of the vote. Amendments are subject to ratification by the board of trustees.

Effective: 11/16/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3359.01
Rule Amplifies: 3359.01
Prior Effective Dates: 11/04/77, 12/20/79, 08/20/04, 08/30/09, 10/22/10, 10/01/12, 02/01/15

3359-24-02 Grievance procedure for graduate students.

(A) Purpose.

The procedures set forth in this document are intended to provide graduate students with a formal channel of appeal and redress of grievances arising out of their academic and/or employment relationship with the university.

(B) Procedures.

(1) Any graduate student who believes that he or she has valid grounds for a complaint shall attempt to resolve the problem through a conference with the faculty member involved, the department head, and/or the graduate advisor. Following that, the student may attempt to resolve the problem with the assistance of the academic dean. A graduate student presenting a case to the academic dean must provide a full written statement of the grievance, together with all appropriate supporting material. When or if the problem has not been adequately solved at that level or the student wishes to appeal that decision, the student shall prepare a written statement of the complaint setting forth clearly and specifically the allegations and shall hand deliver the written complaint to the dean of the graduate school. The dean of the graduate school shall notify the complainant confirming the receipt of the complaint and shall request all materials from the dean of the complainant's college.

(2) Within one week of receipt of the complaint, the dean of the graduate school shall communicate with all parties in an attempt to informally resolve the problem. The result of this process will be a recommendation by the dean of the graduate school which will be communicated in writing to all parties, including the senior vice president and provost.

(3) The complaint shall become a grievance to be filed with the senior vice president and provost if:

a) the dean of the graduate school wishes to have a hearing committee render a recommendation on the grievance; or

b) the student wishes to appeal the recommendation of the dean of the graduate school. The student must notify the senior vice president and provost in writing within one week of notification of the dean of the graduate school's decision on the complaint.

(4) Upon receipt of the grievance, the senior vice president and provost shall notify in writing the president of graduate student government that a hearing committee should be constituted. The hearing committee shall be organized in no more than two weeks.

(5) When the grievance has been filed with the chairperson of the hearing committee, it shall be the responsibility of that chairperson to notify in writing all parties involved in the grievance within two working days. This notification shall include the following information: that a grievance has been filed; the nature of the grievance; and the parties involved.

(6) If the charged party in that grievance admits the validity of the grievance, the chairperson of the hearing committee shall waive the hearing and shall direct an appropriate resolution in consultation with the hearing committee.

(7) If the party charged in the grievance denies the validity of the grievance, the hearing committee shall conduct the hearing.

(C) Hearing committee.

A hearing committee shall be established as follows:

(1) Chairperson. The chairperson shall be a member of the graduate faculty with full membership, but not from a department involved in the proceedings. This chairperson shall be selected by the senior vice president and provost and shall serve for only one grievance proceeding. The chairperson shall conduct the hearing and shall vote only in the case of a tie.

(2) Members: four members shall be selected as follows:

(a) From the complainant's department - graduate student not directly involved, selected jointly by the department head and the president of the graduate student government. If the grievance is filed against the department head, the academic dean shall substitute for the department head. If the grievance is filed against the department, the senior vice president and provost shall substitute for the department head.

(b) From the complainant's department - a faculty member not directly involved, selected jointly by the department head and the president of the graduate student government. If the grievance is filed against the department head, the academic dean shall substitute for the department head. If the grievance is filed against the department, the senior vice president and provost shall substitute for the department head.

(c) A graduate student not involved with the complainant and not from the complainant's department, selected by the vice chairperson of the graduate council.

(d) A member of the graduate faculty with full membership not involved in the complaint nor from the complainant's department, selected by the senior vice president and provost.

(3) A hearing committee shall be organized anew each and every time a grievance is brought forth. A hearing committee shall serve through the adjudication and resolution of the complaint.

(D) Hearing procedure.

(1) The hearing must take place within two weeks of the hearing committee's formation.

(2) At least three working days prior to the hearing, the hearing committee chairperson shall provide the hearing committee and the parties involved with:

(a) The student's written statement of the grievance.

(b) Written notification of when and where the hearing committee shall meet.

(c) A copy of grievance procedures for graduate and all relevant documents.

(3) Each party shall be required to appear in person before the hearing committee to present his/her case. Each party may have an advisory/colleague present to protect his/her rights if so desired. However, the parties shall speak and act on their own behalf. Witnesses may be called to present evidence on behalf of the complainant or the charged person. The use of tape recorders is prohibited, except as may be required to accommodate persons with disabilities.

(4) All parties shall be entitled to an expeditious hearing. In urgent cases in which it is alleged that a regulation, administration decision, or action threatens immediate and irreparable harm to any of the parties involved, the hearing committee shall expedite the hearing and disposition of the case. The hearing committee is empowered to recommend to the dean of the graduate school that an individual, department, or college discontinue or postpone any action which threatens to cause irreparable harm, pending the final disposition of the case.

(5) The burden of proof shall be on the complainant and the standards of justice and fair play shall prevail in the adjudication of violations and grievances.

(6) If necessary, the hearing committee may consult with the university's office of general counsel for advice at any time throughout this process.

(E) Decisions and actions.

(1) The hearing committee shall decide as follows: there has been a violation of the complainant's rights, or there has been no violation of the complainant's rights.

(2) Should the hearing committee determine that a violation of the complainant's rights occurred, the committee shall, if practical, recommend a resolution to the senior vice president and provost.

(3) The senior vice president and provost, exercising his/her judgment, shall act on the implementation of the resolution recommended by the hearing committee.

(F) Record keeping.

The chairperson of the hearing committee shall be responsible for keeping a summarized, written record of all the proceedings.

(1) Records of all proceedings shall be prepared by the secretarial personnel of the graduate school. Copies of all proceedings shall be distributed as follows:

(a) To all parties involved in the proceedings.

(b) To the hearing committee members.

(c) To the president of the graduate student government.

(d) To the dean of the graduate school.

(e) To the senior vice president and provost.

(2) A copy of all proceedings shall be kept in the office of the dean of the graduate school pursuant to the university's record retention proposal.

(G) Appeal.

An appeal may be made to the president of the university after all of the above procedures have been followed. The president of the university shall assess each case on an individual basis and his/her decision shall be considered final.

Replaces: 3359-24-02

Effective: 1/31/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3359
Rule Amplifies: 3359
Prior Effective Dates: 03/13/2000