Graduate Studies

Operating Paper of the Graduate School

Revised 3-23-12

1. Introduction
2. Composition of the Graduate School
3. Rules of Procedure & By-Laws
4. Amendment

Section One - Introduction

I. Preamble
It is the primary goal of the Graduate School to facilitate, encourage, support, and coordinate excellence in graduate education at Western Illinois University.  To achieve this goal, the Graduate Council and the Graduate Office in concert with the Provost, Deans, Department Chairs/Directors, Department Graduate Committee Chairs and Graduate Faculty, will oversee issues relating to policies and procedures and academic standards in graduate education.

II. Relationships within the Graduate School

A. The Graduate Faculty are drawn from virtually all disciplines of the University and are also members of the faculties of the various academic units of the University.

B. The Graduate Council is established as an all-University body, with appropriate representation from major academic disciplines.  The Graduate Council draws its membership from all sectors of the Graduate Faculty and is set up to assure adequate representation of all academic areas as well as to achieve an all-University point of view.

C. The Graduate Office is the central administrative/coordinating agency  for the graduate programs of the University.  Because this is essentially a joint effort, there are close working relationships between the Graduate Office and the departments, faculties, divisions, and colleges of the University.

III. Relationship between the Graduate School and the Administration of WIU

A. Graduate education falls within the administrative jurisdiction of the Provost and Academic Vice President of the University.

B. Duties and responsibilities of the Provost and Academic Vice President:

1. Carries out established policy and also exercises leadership in the development of graduate education at the University;

2. Allocates and assumes budgetary responsibility for such graduate awards as fellowships;

3. Participates with deans in the allocation of such other graduate awards as regular teaching assistantships;

4. Represents the Graduate School in dealings with other universities, professional associations, fund-granting agencies, or other persons and bodies outside this University.

IV. This operating paper implements the By-laws, Governing Policies and Practices of the Board of Trustees and it is drawn up in accord with these By-laws, Governing Policies and Practices.

Section Two - Composition of the Graduate School

I. The Graduate Faculty

A. Information Applicable to Full and Associate Graduate Faculty

1. Members of the Graduate Faculty at the time of the amendment of this section of these By-laws shall retain their membership in the Graduate Faculty until they specifically request that they be excused or until the department initiates a withdrawal of graduate faculty status through the appropriate Dean.

2. Full membership in the Graduate Faculty originates in the department and must be approved by the Academic Dean.  Nominations for Full Graduate Faculty status shall be approved by a majority vote of the Graduate Council at an official meeting of the council.

3. Only members of the Graduate Faculty shall teach graduate courses and serve on graduate advisory committees.

4. Members of the Graduate Faculty shall have access to the agenda and the minutes of each Graduate Council meeting.

B. Full Graduate Faculty Status

1. Membership

a. Full membership in the Graduate Faculty shall be based on the following criteria:

i.appropriate terminal degree;

ii. evidence of scholarly/creative activity appropriate to the field as it coincides with the academic department's expectations for scholarly/creative activity for retention and tenure.  Evidence includes:

1. A faculty member's record of teaching, publications, conference presentations, professional and academic service, grants and special awards, and professional memberships/affiliations indicating that an applicant can facilitate, encourage, support, and coordinate excellence in graduate education at Western Illinois University.

2. A letter of support/recommendation signed by both the Department and Graduate Committee Chairs explaining how the applicant's scholarly/creative activity warrants full membership in the graduate faculty as it coincides with the academic department's expectations for retention and tenure in his/her discipline.

3. Evaluation involves deliberation of the evidence provided to the Graduate Council in relation to the primary goal of the School of Graduate Studies.  Does the applicant provide evidence that he or she can facilitate, encourage, support, and coordinate excellence in graduate education at Western Illinois University? A simple "yes" majority of voting Graduate Council members is needed for full membership in the Graduate Faculty.

b. Full membership in the Graduate Faculty shall be granted to the President of the University, the Provost and Academic Vice President, the Deans of the Colleges, Chairs/Directors of departments offering graduate work, and the Dean of Libraries.

2. Powers Associated with Full Membership in the Graduate Faculty

a. Full members of the Graduate Faculty are empowered to determine academic policy, graduate standards, degree requirements, and make recommendations concerning graduate programming within the guidelines and policies established by Western Illinois University.

b. Full members of the Graduate Faculty have voting privileges on all issues pertaining to graduate education at Western Illinois University.

c. Only full members of the Graduate Faculty may chair capstone experiences such as theses, major papers, or final projects.

d. Only full members of the Graduate Faculty may nominate and elect members of the Graduate Council.

C. Associate Graduate Faculty Status

1. Membership

a. All faculty hired into tenure/tenure track positions will be granted Associate Graduate Faculty status, unless indicated otherwise by the Department Chair at the time of hiring.

2. Powers of the Associate Graduate Faculty

a. Associate members of the Graduate Faculty may teach graduate classes.

b. Associate members of the Graduate Faculty may serve on capstone experience committees but may not chair such committees.

c. The departments and colleges will determine the voting privileges of the associate members of the Graduate Faculty on issues pertaining to graduate education at the respective departmental or college level.

D. Temporary Graduate Faculty Status

1. Membership

a. Appointments for Temporary membership in the Graduate Faculty for a limited duration (not to exceed one academic year without re-applying) may be granted by the Director of Graduate Studies.

b. Temporary membership in the Graduate Faculty shall be based on department need as evidenced by information contained on the application for membership form and a letter of support from the appropriate Department Chair.

c. Appointment of Temporary members to the Graduate Faculty shall be submitted as an Information Item to the Graduate Council.

2. Powers of the Temporary Graduate Faculty

a. Temporary members of the Graduate Faculty may teach graduate classes.

II. The Graduate Council

A. Composition

1. Two representatives with full graduate faculty status shall be elected from each Academic college.

2. These members shall be nominated and elected by full members of the Graduate Faculty in the respective colleges.

3. Ex-officio members, without vote, shall include:

a. The Provost and Academic Vice President (or designee)

b. The Director of Graduate Studies (or designee)

B. Term of Office

1 Graduate Council members shall be elected to three-year terms. Terms shall be staggered in such a manner that a majority of members shall not complete their term of office in any one year.

2. Terms of office shall begin at the start of the Fall Semester.

3. A member shall be eligible to serve a second full-term only after the lapse of one or more years following his/her last period of service.

4. A person serving part of a term, as a replacement, shall be eligible for election to an immediately following term.

5. If a vacancy on the Graduate Council occurs between regularly scheduled elections, the person who had received the next largest number of votes for the position shall serve as replacement until the next regular election.

C. Powers and Functions of the Graduate Council

1. The Graduate Council is empowered to act as agent for the Graduate Faculty with delegated power to formulate policy, subject to requisite administrative and Board approval, with regard to:

a. Establishing policy governing new programs at the graduate level, and recommending the institution of specific programs subject to requisite administrative and Board approval.

b. Establishing policy governing course approval.

c. Establishing overall policies for student entrance into graduate degree programs and for continuance in such programs.

d. Establishing such other overall policies related to graduate academic standards as may prove to be necessary.

e. Establishing policy, on matters within Graduate School jurisdiction, regarding graduate assistants.

f. Maintaining a continuing two-way flow of information and recommendations between the Graduate Council and the Graduate Office, the Graduate Faculty, the colleges, divisions, departments and faculties, the central administration, and other interested parties.

g. Maintaining a continuing review and evaluation of graduate programs, standards, and administration.

h. Maintaining a continuing self-scrutiny concerning the procedural and substantive effectiveness of the Graduate Council.

i. Maintaining a continuing study of effective means of enlisting the services and ideas of Graduate Faculty members not serving on the Graduate Council, as well as all other interested parties.

D. Officers of the Graduate Council

1 The Graduate Council shall elect its own Chair and Vice-Chair annually at the last meeting of the academic year with responsibilities beginning with the first meeting date of the Fall Semester.

E. Committees of the Graduate Council

1.The Graduate Council shall be empowered to establish and terminate its own committees and sub-committees, both standing and ad hoc.

2. The Graduate Council shall appoint the members of these committees.  Each committee shall elect its own chair.

3. These committees shall embrace such areas as graduate programs, graduate educational policy, and any other matters under Graduate Council jurisdiction.

4. These committees may establish such subcommittees as may be necessary.

5. Committees or sub-committees of the Graduate Council may include non-members as well as members of the Council.  All members of such committees must be full members of the Graduate Faculty.

III. The Department Graduate Committee

A. Composition

1. Each department shall establish a graduate committee composed of graduate faculty members.

B. The Departmental Graduate Committee shall be charged with the following responsibilities:

1. To establish liaison between the department and the Graduate School.

2. To determine the admissibility of applicants to the graduate program of the department.

3. To determine a method of assigning a permanent adviser to all admitted students.

4. To maintain current records for each graduate student, and these records may be examined by faculty members upon request.

5. To approve degree plans and petitions for changes before they are forwarded to the Graduate Office.

6. To specify the style and form of theses and share the responsibility with the adviser for having theses meet standards established by the Department and the Graduate School.

7. To review applications for departmental graduate assistantships.

8. To review and evaluate the department's graduate program and make recommendations to appropriate administrative officers.

IV. The Graduate Office

A. Composition

1. The Graduate Office operates under the supervision of the Director who is an ex-officio member of the Graduate Council.  The Director will represent the Graduate School in dealings with other universities, professional associations, and other persons or bodies, where appropriate.

2. The Graduate Office staff shall consist of administrative support personnel and/or civil service personnel.

B. The Graduate Office shall be charged with the following responsibilities:

1. To provide liaison among the Graduate Council, the central administration, and other college/departmental legislative bodies.

2. To distribute matters presented to it, whether they originate from the graduate faculty (departments or departmental committees) or from the administrative body (Provost and Academic Vice President), to the appropriate bodies for decisions, thereby ensuring rapid resolution of policy issues or the presentation of new business for concerned parties.

3. To act as the vehicle for the implementation of new policies and will also suggest policy revisions and new policies where these emerge in the performance of other responsibilities articulated above.

4. To act, in concert with faculty bodies, upon matters related to student admission or reinstatement, approval of transfer courses, approval of degree plans, petitions for waivers or exceptions to rules and regulations, and awarding of degrees.

5. To maintain all necessary records concerning students, the Graduate Faculty, the Graduate Council, and other appropriate matters.

Section Three - Rules of Procedure and By-Laws

I. Rules of Procedure and By-laws for the Graduate Faculty

A. Calling of Meetings

1. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall call meetings of the Graduate Faculty.

2. Meetings of the Graduate Faculty may be called at the request of the Graduate Council, the Provost and Academic Vice President, the President, or upon petition by ten percent of the membership of the Graduate Faculty.

B. Agenda for Meetings

1. The agenda for any Graduate Faculty meeting shall be set by the Chair of the Graduate Council, in consultation with the Graduate Council.

2. The agenda of any Graduate Faculty meeting must be circulated to all members of the Graduate Faculty at least one week in advance of the meeting.

3. Items may be placed upon the agenda at the initiative of the Graduate Council, the Chair of the Graduate Council, the Provost and Academic Vice President, the President, or upon petition by five percent of the membership of the Graduate Faculty.

C. The Conduct of Meetings

1. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall preside.

2. Robert's Rules of Order shall be used, and assistance to the presiding officer shall be rendered by a Parliamentarian appointed by the chair of the Graduate Council.

3. One-third of the full members of the Graduate Faculty shall constitute a quorum.

D Nomination and Election of Members of the Graduate Council

1. Membership

a. The faculty member must have full graduate faculty status.

b. Faculty may only represent the College that their employment contract denotes.

c. The faculty member may not serve two consecutive three-year terms. At least a full calendar year must elapse prior to serving again.

2. Nomination

a. The Graduate Office shall notify full members of the graduate faculty in the specific college(s) when a vacancy occurs.

b. Nominations for members to fill a vacancy as a representative of the specific college will be done by petition At least 10 graduate faculty assigned to the college must sign the petition The completed petitions are forwarded to the Graduate Council

c. All faculty that qualify for the election, based on a valid petition will be placed on the ballot.

d. The candidate may withdraw by notifying the Graduate Council in writing no later than 3 days after the petition filing deadline.

3. The Election Process

a. All full members of the Graduate Faculty shall be mailed a ballot.

b. If a candidate receives a simple majority of all ballots cast, then that person is elected as the Graduate Council representative.

c. If a majority vote is not obtained, then the Graduate Council will hold a "run-off" election between the top two candidates A simple majority in this second election will determine the member In case of a tie vote, the Chair of the Graduate Council shall "flip-a-coin" to determine the winner.

II. Rules of Procedure and By-laws for the Graduate Council

A. Calling of Meetings

1. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall call meetings of the Graduate Council.

2. The Graduate Council shall meet at least once each month during the academic year.

3. Meetings may be requested by the Provost and Academic Vice President, the President, or upon petition by three members of the Graduate Council or ten percent of the Graduate Faculty.

4. Meetings are open to any member of the Graduate Faculty.

B. Agenda for Meetings

1. The agenda for any Graduate Council meeting shall be set by the Chair of the Graduate Council.

2. The agenda of any Graduate Council meeting must be circulated to all department chairpersons/directors, graduate committee chairpersons, and College Deans at least three days in advance of the meeting.

3. If matters not on the announced agenda are to be discussed, action should not be taken until a subsequent meeting except under unusual circumstances and then as governed by the rules of order adopted by the Graduate Council.

4. Items may be placed upon the agenda at the request of the Chair of the Graduate Council, the Provost and Academic Vice President, the President, or upon petition by three members of the Graduate Council or five percent of the Graduate Faculty.

C. The Conduct of Meetings

1. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall preside.

2. The Graduate Council shall adopt its own rules of order.

3. A majority of voting members of the Graduate Council shall constitute a quorum.

D. All other rules of procedure and By-laws for the Graduate Council that prove to be necessary, and are not in conflict with the rules and By-laws listed above, are to be formulated by the Graduate Council and require no ratification except by that body.

Section Four - Amendment

I. Amendment

A. Any change of the policy-making or administrative structure herein described is subject to approval by the full members of the Graduate Faculty and requisite administrative approval.

1. Such a proposed amendment may be initiated by the Graduate Council, the Provost and Academic Vice President, the President, or by petition of ten percent of the Graduate Faculty.

2. Proper notice of the contemplated change must be given and adequate opportunity for expression of opinion must be provided in an open meeting. The proposed amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the full members of the Graduate Faculty who respond in a mail ballot or by a number equal to one-half of the number of full members which are present and voting at a Graduate Faculty meeting.

B. The rules of procedure and By-laws of the Graduate Faculty and the Graduate Council contained in this document, may be amended by action of the Graduate Faculty, with proper notice of the contemplated change and adequate opportunity for expression of opinion. A two-thirds vote of or by a number equal to one-half of the total membership of the Graduate Faculty, which number are present and voting at a Graduate Faculty meeting, is required.

C. The rules of procedure and By-laws of the Graduate Council, other than those contained in this document, may be amended by action of that body, with proper notice to all members of the contemplated change and adequate opportunity for discussion. A two-thirds vote of those present at a Graduate Council meeting is required.