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Graduate School

Chapter 6: Graduate Council Constitution, By-Laws, Procedures

Constitution
By-Laws of the Graduate Council

Graduate Council Committees
Graduate Courses
Graduate Programs
Guidelines for Award of Credit

A. Constitution

The Graduate Council is the chief legislative and policy- formulating body of the Graduate Faculty. Its duties are to formulate, review, and approve policies concerned with the conduct of graduate study at Kansas State University, providing effective leadership in advocating graduate education and scholarship of the highest caliber. Its actions are reported to the Graduate Faculty and to appropriate colleges of the University. The Graduate Council is composed of one representative from each college having a graduate program, and four representatives from each of six Academic Areas. The Dean of the Graduate School, or the Dean's designated representative, is the presiding officer of the Council, but not a voting member. Two representatives of the Graduate Student Council, one of whom is the Graduate Student Council President, are also non-voting Council members.

ARTICLE I. Powers of the Graduate Faculty of Kansas State University

Section 1. The Graduate Faculty has authority over all matters pertaining to Graduate Faculty nominations, graduate courses and curricula, and requirements for graduate degrees.

Section 2. The Graduate Faculty of Kansas State University is authorized to participate in the establishment of policies for the supervision and control of graduate programs.

ARTICLE II. Graduate Council of Kansas State University

To facilitate the exercise of the powers outlined in Article I, the powers and responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty are hereby delegated to a representative body to be called the Graduate Council of Kansas State University. This delegation of authority by the Graduate Faculty is subject to revision by the Faculty. The primary aim of including a Graduate Council in the organization of Kansas State University is to facilitate Graduate Faculty participation in the establishment of university policies and in the formulation of procedures for their interpretation.

ARTICLE III. Amendments

The constitution may be amended at any meeting of the Graduate Faculty by a 2/3 majority vote of the members present and voting, provided that the members of the Graduate Faculty have had in their hands a copy of the proposed amendment at least two weeks in advance of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken. The procedures for placing a proposed amendment before the Graduate Faculty are:

1. submission of the proposal by a Graduate Council Member to the Dean of the Graduate School, followed by its appearance on the agenda of the Graduate Council, and if approved by the Graduate Council, then submission to the Graduate Faculty; or

2. a petition to the Dean of the Graduate School, signed by 10 Graduate Faculty members, which makes it mandatory for the proposal to appear on the agenda of the next Graduate Council meeting, and if approved by the Graduate Council, then submission to the Graduate Faculty.

B. By-Laws of the Graduate Council

B.1 Graduate Council Membership from Academic Areas

The Graduate Faculty is organized into Academic Areas for the purposes of electing representatives to the Graduate Council. These Academic Areas, which form constituencies for representation to Graduate Council, will ensure that educational and scholarly diversity between disciplines is represented in all Graduate Council deliberations. These areas, and the graduate programs and academic units assigned to each, are:

Applied Natural Sciences: Agronomy; Animal Sciences and Industry; Clinical Sciences; Entomology; Grain Science and Industry; Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources; Human Nutrition; and Plant Pathology.

Arts and Humanities: Architecture; Art; Communication Studies, Theatre and Dance; English; History; Interior Architecture and Product Design; Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning; Library; Modern Languages; Music; and Philosophy.

Basic Natural Sciences: Anatomy and Physiology; Biochemistry; Biology; Chemistry; Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology; Geology; Kinesiology; and Physics.

Business and Education: Accounting; Arts, Sciences, and Business*; Curriculum and Instruction; Educational Leadership; Finance; Management; Marketing and Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs.

Mathematical and Engineering Sciences: Architectural Engineering and Construction Science; Aviation Technology*; Biological and Agricultural Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computing and Information Sciences; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Engineering Technology*; Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering; Mathematics; Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering; and Statistics.

Social Sciences: Agricultural Economics; Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design; Communications; Economics; Family Studies and Human Services; Geography; Hospitality Management and Dietetics; Journalism and Mass Communications; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work; and Women’s Studies.

* College of Technology and Aviation (Salina Campus)

B.2 Graduate Council Membership from Colleges

The Graduate Faculty members also have membership in colleges. The following colleges shall have representation on Graduate Council:

College of Agriculture

College of Architecture, Planning & Design

College of Arts & Sciences

College of Business Administration

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of Human Ecology

College of Technology and Aviation

College of Veterinary Medicine

Since graduate education is often interdisciplinary, faculty members may participate in more than one graduate program. For purposes of election and service to Graduate Council, Graduate Faculty members will have a primary program or departmental affiliation, and a primary membership in a college.

B.3 Election Procedures

It is the responsibility of the Graduate Council to supervise the election of Graduate Council members from Academic Areas and colleges.

Each Academic Area will elect four representatives to the Graduate Council, and each representative will have a term of three years. Terms will be arranged that at least one member is elected each year from each Academic Area. The four representatives of each Academic Area must be from at least two colleges.

Each college will elect one representative to the Graduate Council, and each representative will have a term of three years. Terms will be arranged so that at least two college representatives are elected each year.

No graduate program area within an academic unit may have more than one member on the Graduate Council. A representative may serve no more than two terms consecutively.

The Graduate Council is responsible for supervising the election of Graduate Council members. No later than the second Monday of February, the Election Committee will call for nominations of eligible Graduate Faculty members to stand for election for the vacant Graduate Council seats. Ballots for the election of representatives to the Graduate Council will be provided electronically by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Members of the Graduate Faculty are eligible to serve as representatives to the Graduate Council. College and university administrators (those with more than 50% administrative appointments, e.g., the Provost, Vice- Provosts, Associate Provosts, Assistant Provosts, Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Assistants to the Dean, etc.) are not eligible to serve as representatives. Graduate Faculty from all departments and graduate programs within the college or the Academic Area vote for the eligible members. The election of representatives must be completed by April 1.

B.4 Meetings

1. Graduate Council

The presiding officer of the Graduate Council must call a meeting at least once a month during the academic year. A meeting may be canceled if there is no business; however, in no case may two consecutive meetings be canceled. No meeting is official unless a quorum is present. A quorum consists of more than half of the voting members, excluding proxies. Proxies are limited to current voting members of the Graduate Council. The presiding officer must be notified of the name of the proxy in advance of the scheduled meeting of the Graduate Council.

A separate agenda for each meeting must be prepared by the presiding officer and distributed as far ahead of the meeting as possible, but no less than one working day before a meeting. All proposals submitted by the Graduate Council Policy Committees must be on the agenda. Any voting member of the Graduate Council may request before the scheduled meeting that an item be placed on the agenda.

A petition signed by at least 10 Graduate Faculty members and submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School in advance of the publication of the agenda must appear on the agenda of the next Graduate Council meeting. At any Graduate Council meeting, a request by a Graduate Council member for a secret ballot must be granted.

A vote on any policy matter brought to the Graduate Council for approval may occur no sooner than at the next regularly scheduled Graduate Council meeting following the initial presentation to the Council.

2. Graduate Faculty

If significant agenda items exist, the Dean of the Graduate School must schedule a meeting of the Graduate Faculty to present the annual report. Notice of the meeting, with a list of items for discussion, is sent to each Graduate Faculty member.

All reports to the graduate faculty are to be circulated to the membership at least one week ahead of the meeting of the graduate faculty if the contents of such reports are to be considered for action.

B.5 Duties

The Graduate Council sets the broad framework for all graduate study and has responsibility for monitoring and advocating excellence in graduate education; for setting program standards; for Graduate Faculty membership, including continuation of membership; for admissions requirements and procedures; and for other matters affecting graduate work.

Within this framework, the graduate faculties of departmental and interdepartmental programs establish their own requirements for individual programs of study. The Graduate Council, under its authority, allows graduate programs wide latitude in setting specific requirements and policies for: admissions, language competence, courses, research, and other matters pertaining to its graduate degrees.

C. Graduate Council Committees

Graduate Council is organized into the following standing committees and caucuses:

Coordinating Committees:

* Academic Area Caucuses. Membership: the elected representatives from the Academic Area, plus elected College representative(s) from departments within the Academic Area. Charge: to ensure that the viewpoints of Area Graduate Faculty are represented and considered at all levels of Graduate Council deliberations. This includes appointing appropriate Caucus members to the Graduate Council Policy Committees, and maintaining an active communication between Caucus members, Graduate Faculty members, Graduate Program Directors, and academic deans within the Area.

* Graduate Council Election Committee. Membership: the representatives from each Academic Area Caucus who are concluding their terms of office. Charge: the coordinating and certifying of the election process by which Academic Area and college representatives are selected for service on Graduate Council. This includes defining the list of graduate faculty members who are eligible for election to Council, soliciting nominations for election, determining the procedures for ensuring equitable representation, and administering the election process.

Policy Committees:

* Graduate Student Affairs Committee. Membership: at least one representative from each of the Academic Area Caucuses, as appointed by each Caucus, and also as a voting member, one graduate student representative who represents the Graduate Student Council. Charge: matters concerning the admission and retention of graduate students by graduate degree programs and graduate certificate programs. Specific duties may include: considering initiatives that impact the quality of teaching/research in graduate education and the funding of graduate education; considering initiatives that impact and facilitate faculty efforts in student recruitment; and recommending policies to Graduate Council concerning graduate student admission requirements, academic misconduct, and matters of readmission. The Committee serves as the Graduate Council Grievance Committee and the Graduate Council Readmission Committee.

* Graduate Academic Affairs Committee. Membership: at least one representative from each of the Academic Area Caucuses, as appointed by each Caucus, and also as a voting member, one graduate student representative who represents the Graduate Student Council. Charge: matters of graduate courses, curricula, programs, and graduate faculty membership. Specific duties may include: review proposals concerning graduate courses, graduate curricula, graduate programs and program-specific criteria for graduate faculty membership prior to their consideration by Graduate Council; and the review of existing graduate curricula and programs. This Committee will serve as the Graduate Council representation during any formal review of graduate programs.

* Graduate Council Committee on Planning. Membership: at least one representative from each of the Academic Area Caucuses, as appointed by each Caucus. Charge: matters of policy influencing the quality of graduate education and the administration of the Graduate Council. Specific duties may include: monitoring and planning activities of matters that impact graduate education and scholarship, providing graduate faculty input into such planning activities, reviewing policy changes that result in changes to the Graduate Handbook prior to consideration by the Graduate Council, and considering matters of financial exigency that impact graduate education.

* Graduate Council Assessment and Review Committee, (GCARC). Membership: at least one representative from each of the Academic Area Caucuses, as appointed by each Caucus, and additional members from the Graduate Faculty as appointed by the Graduate Dean to fulfill the responsibilities of the committee. Charge: matters of reviewing, evaluating, and approving assessment plans and Board of Regents (BOR) program review documents submitted by various graduate units throughout the university. The GCARC will regularly review the current procedures for graduate program review, identify methods to incorporate feedback data from the assessment process, determine the feedback mechanism to the graduate programs and the Graduate Deans, and submit recommendations to the Graduate Council's Committee on Planning to update the Graduate Handbook. Annually the GCARC will review and submit recommendations to the Graduate Deans pertaining to BOR program review and submit an annual report to the Provost Office.

D. Graduate Courses

D.1 Prerequisite Policy

The prerequisites to graduate courses may be either specific courses or specific numbers of credits in pertinent subjects. Departments may choose to include the statement "Students without the prerequisite must have the permission of the instructor" at the beginning of the course descriptions in the Graduate Catalog.

The following Graduate Council Academic Area policies are incorporated in the general Graduate Council policy on prerequisites:

Humanities:

1. In disciplines that require the development of skills and the acquisition of knowledge in a set order, specific courses are normally cited as prerequisites.

2. In disciplines that regard a set order for acquiring skills and knowledge as either inadvisable or unnecessary, prerequisites may be stated in terms of class standing or a minimum number of semester hours of prior course work in a specific area.

Physical and Social Sciences:

1. All 600-999 courses must have course work prerequisites.

2. Courses in the 500-599 range normally have course work prerequisites as specified above. The minimum acceptable prerequisite for a 500-599 course is class standing (e.g., junior or senior).

Faculty wishing to depart from the general policies set forth above must submit, in conjunction with their request for approval of the course in question, a written justification for the proposed deviation.

D.2 Practica and Internships

Experiential courses such as practica and internships that are similar to regular employment or on-the-job training may be offered for graduate credit on the following conditions:

1. There must be a prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in at least one other graduate course that treats of the theory and the body of knowledge underlying the experiential course. Normally a recitation or lecture should be an integral part of the experiential course.

2. The student must be closely supervised by a graduate faculty member.

The student may receive remuneration while enrolled in a practicum or internship that has been approved in advance by the supervisory committee.

D.3 Graduate Course Approval

All courses that carry graduate credit, except those numbered 500-599, must be approved by the Graduate Council. When a department submits a course for approval, the following procedures should be followed:

1. The course is approved by the department and by the college.

2. The Course Approval Form, available on the Registrar's website, is filled out by the department/unit head and signed by the college dean. Two copies of this form are submitted to the Graduate School.

3. The Graduate School sends the request to the appropriate Committee. The Committee may request clarification, additional information, or consultation.

4. The Committee returns the form, with its recommendation, to the Graduate School. If the course is approved by the Committee, it is sent to the Graduate Council for action. If it is not approved, the submitting department head or program chairperson is notified in writing by the chairperson of the Committee of the reasons for rejection.

5. If the department does not agree with the decision, the department head or program chairperson has the right to appeal by supplying written notice to the Dean of the Graduate School and requesting that the recommendation be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Committee meeting and that the department head or program chairperson be allowed to discuss the decision.

D.4 Graduate Course Removal

All courses that carry graduate credit, except those numbered 500-599, must be approved by the Graduate Council to be dropped from the program. When a department submits a course to be dropped, the following procedures should be followed:

1. Course removal is approved by the department and by the college.

2. The course form, available on the Registrar's website, is filled out by the department/unit head. The form is then signed by the department head and college dean and submitted to the Graduate School.

3. The Graduate School sends the request to the appropriate committee. The committee may request clarification, additional information, or consultation.

4. The committee returns the form, with its recommendation, to the Graduate School. If the request is approved by the committee, it is sent to the Graduate Council for action. If it is not approved, the submitting department head or program chairperson is notified in writing by the chairperson of the committee of the reasons for rejection.

5. If the department does not agree with the decision, the department head or program chairperson has the right to appeal by supplying written notice to the dean of the Graduate School and requesting that the recommendation be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled committee meeting and that the department head or program chairperson be allowed to discuss the decision.

E. Graduate Programs

E.1 New Graduate Programs

All requests to offer new graduate degree programs and graduate certificate programs must be approved by the Graduate Council.

1. The following approvals are mandatory, in the order given: the department or program Graduate Faculty, the department head or program chairperson, other departments or colleges offering similar material, college course and curriculum committee, college faculty (unless the course and curriculum committee is the official representative of the college faculty), and college dean. The Assessment of Student Learning Plan must be approved by the Graduate Council Assessment and Review Committee concurrent to submission of the proposal to the Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee.

2. The request is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School, who sends it to the appropriate Academic Area Caucus for their information and review, and to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee for their review. The Academic Affairs Committee may request clarification, additional information, or consultation.

3. The Graduate Academic Affairs Committee returns the request with its recommendation to the Graduate School. If the advanced degree is approved by the Committee, it is sent to the Graduate Council for action. If it is not approved, the submitting department head or program chairperson is notified in writing by the Dean of the Graduate School of the reasons for rejection.

4. If the department or program does not agree, the department head or program chairperson has the right to appeal by supplying written notice to the Dean of the Graduate School and requesting that the recommendation be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Graduate Academic Affairs Committee meeting and that the department head or program chairperson be allowed to discuss the decision.

E.2 Graduate Program Discontinuation

All requests to discontinue graduate degree programs and graduate certificate programs must be approved by the Graduate Council.

1. The following approvals are mandatory, in the order given: the department or program Graduate Faculty, the department head or program chairperson, other departments or colleges offering similar material, college course and curriculum committee, college faculty (unless the course and curriculum committee is the official representative of the college faculty), and college dean.

2. The request is forwarded to the dean of the Graduate School, who sends it to the appropriate Academic Area Caucus for their information and review, and to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee for their review. The Academic Affairs Committee may request clarification, additional information, or consultation.

3. The Graduate Academic Affairs Committee returns the request with its recommendation to the Graduate School. If the request to discontinue is approved by the committee, it is sent to the Graduate Council for action. If it is not approved, the submitting department head or program chairperson is notified in writing by the dean of the Graduate School of the reasons for rejection.

4. If the department or program does not agree, the department head or program chairperson has the right to appeal by supplying written notice to the dean of the Graduate School and requesting that the recommendation be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Graduate Academic Affairs Committee meeting and that the department head or program chairperson be allowed to discuss the decision.

F. Guidelines for Award of Credit

F.1 Regular Courses

It is accepted practice among Regents' institutions, as well as an established standard for accreditation, to so design and teach graduate courses that a week's work is required for 1 hour of credit. For a regular semester of fifteen weeks, one class hour per week is expected for one hour of credit. In addition, contact hours spread over the 15 weeks allow students to assimilate material and to do the outside scholarly work expected as an integral part of graduate study. The work week thus runs considerably longer than 40 hours.

F.2 Non-Traditional Courses

To accommodate increasing interest in graduate study for professional advancement, several nontraditional formats have arisen. Credit is now sought for intensive short courses, as well as for workshops, professional meetings, travel, and weekend sessions, both on and off campus. Despite differences in style and location, such offerings should be conducted consistently with the accepted standard, so that the meaning of a credit remains the same.

As with regular courses, the value of workshops and short courses derives from the responsibility assumed by faculty for rigorous and substantive content and for the reliable evaluation of students. Passive exposure or proforma equivalency in contact hours is not sufficient for academic credit.

For each unit of graduate credit in intensive or short courses, there should be at least 15 hours of direct instruction and a proportionate amount of outside scholarly work. Direct instruction should extend over at least 3 days per credit, and no more than 1 credit should be earned per week. In rare instances, the Dean of the Graduate School may authorize exceptions, provided there is ample documentation that the requirements for direct instruction and outside work are met. A limited reduction in contact hours may be permitted if appropriate additional outside work is required as approved by academic deans and the Graduate School. Such additional outside work is expected to be over and beyond the outside work associated with a course offered in the usual semester-long format. When any exception is allowed, course publicity must indicate the nature of outside work in sufficient detail to give an accurate picture of the work involved for a typical student, as well as a date for the completion of all work.

F.3 Other Credit Activities

If professional meetings, musical or dramatic performances, films, art exhibits, or similar events are counted as part of the in-class experience, sufficient reading, structured discussion, research, writing, and similar activities must be required to meet the requirements presented here. Credit must not be offered simply for attendance at professional meetings or campus events. The additional requirements must be substantial and qualitatively comparable to those to which students are held for comparable credit in regular courses.