Constitution - University of Alaska Anchorage

The Graduate School at the University of Alaska Anchorage provides leadership and
administrative support for all UAA graduate programs. The Graduate School will act to
sustain and improve the quality of graduate education at UAA by the following:
 Providing support for faculty development and scholarship
 Providing support for graduate student research and scholarship
 Working with faculty in schools and colleges to strengthen and assure the quality
of graduate programs
 Advocating on behalf of faculty and students in UAA’s graduate programs
 Facilitating the growth and development of new graduate programs and
interdisciplinary scholarship
 Providing leadership and visibility for UAA’s current and future graduate
program directions
This constitution and bylaws are enacted by the Faculty Senate of the University of
Alaska to establish powers, organization, and procedures for the performance of its
responsibilities for the conduct of graduate education and research programs as
determined by the University of Alaska Board of Regents. The By-laws of the Graduate
School are in compliance with the Faculty By-Laws of the University of Alaska
Article I. General Principles: Responsibilities of the Graduate School
A. Administration.
The Dean of the Graduate School (see Article II) will oversee the administrative
management of graduate programs, policy guidance, program review, and program
standards. Committees of the graduate faculty (GAB, Council of Graduate Directors) and
the student body (GSA), and an administrative staff will carry out these functions.
B. Faculty
Faculty will have several lines of representation in the Graduate School, including
the GAB (curriculum and program approval), the Council of Graduate Directors
(advisory), and Graduate Faculty designations. Graduate Faculty will be appointed
within their academic programs and confirmed by the Graduate School (see Article III).
C. Student Support
The Graduate School will help secure and help allocate financial support for the
work of graduate students through graduate assistantships, fellowships, scholarships,
research grants, and travel grants.
D. Development and Research Support
The Graduate School will stimulate improvement in graduate programs, faculty
development and graduate student training by promoting and facilitating independent
research and scholarship, and creative activities.
Article II. Administrative Structure of the Graduate School
A. The Graduate Dean. The chief administrative officer of the Graduate School shall be
the Dean, who shall be responsible for administering and supervising the Graduate
School. The Graduate Dean and his/her staff will provide over-site and leadership for
Graduate Programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Graduate Dean’s duties
shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Fostering a climate for Graduate Faculty that is conducive to creativity and
2. Furthering the interests of Graduate Faculty
3. Supporting and implementing appropriate vehicles for career growth and
development of the Graduate Faculty.
4. Supporting and protecting the rights and responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty.
5. Upholding the standards of quality for appointment to the Graduate Faculty.
6. Implementing policies and procedures for admission and graduate processes and
for maintaining academic records in conjunction with the Registrar and
Enrollment Management.
7. Administering scholarships, fellowships, assistantships and tuition waivers.
8. Seeking improved financial support for graduate students and graduate programs.
9. Producing the University Graduate Handbooks for Faculty, Staff and Students;
thesis and dissertation manuals, and other documents as directed by the Council
of Graduate Directors and Chairs.
10. Participating in planning and development of graduate education with assistance
from the Council of Graduate Directors and Chairs.
11. Serving as an advocate and spokesperson for graduate education, research, and
other scholarly activity.
12. Through program review and outcomes assessment, and available data through
the Office of Institutional Research, monitoring the quality and productivity of
graduate programs and assist in their improvement.
13. Review and approve (if appropriate) major academic decisions involving graduate
14. Work with faculty, departments, deans, the Graduate Academic Board and the
Council of Graduate Directors and Chairs to ensure that degree programs have
appropriate requirements and standards, including standards for thesis quality.
15. Monitor graduate student progress as reflected by the forms submitted to The
Graduate School and The Registrar’s Office.
B. Associate or Assistant Graduate Deans – are responsible for assisting the Graduate
Dean in academic and faculty matters.
C. Graduate Coordinators - A Graduate Coordinator shall be appointed from each
graduate program (or college/school). This individual may serve more than one program
as appropriate for the college or school. Graduate Coordinators shall be recommended for
appointment by the Academic Dean of the College or School.
D. Director of the Graduate School – is responsible for assisting the Graduate Dean in
over-site of the administration of graduate programs. The director will manage the
diverse functions and activities and staff of the Graduate School. He or she will develop
and implement rules, regulations, processes, policies and procedures ensuring necessary
administrative actions are carried out. The director’s include but are not limited to:
1. Organizing the Graduate School administrative functions and assisting in the
implementation of the Graduate School’s mission, vision and goals.
2. Planning and implementation of strategic and long range planning.
3. The analysis and interpretation of rules and regulations.
4. Administration and development of the Graduate School’s system and
5. The selection, training, evaluation, supervision and performance management
of Graduate School staff.
6. Creating and managing budgets.
Article III. Graduate Faculty
A. Definition
UAA faculty involved in graduate education will be designated as graduate
faculty under one of two categories: Full and Associate. Full members of the Graduate
Faculty may teach graduate courses, direct theses, and serve on thesis committees.
Associate members of the Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses and may serve
on thesis committees, but are not eligible to direct theses. Membership in this category is
provided for individuals who do not meet the criteria for full membership.
B. Criteria for Graduate Faculty Designation
The criteria of selection are designed to advance the specific programs of the
University, and it is expected that participating departments will periodically review the
selection criteria and propose appropriate discipline- or program-specific criteria.
1. Terminal degree or the equivalent in the discipline or demonstrated competence
in the teaching area.
2. Evidence of ongoing scholarly and professional work.
Graduate Faculty must have maintained active and recent scholarship in fields of
expertise. While research and scholarly production may be defined differently in
each discipline or academic competence, the following guidelines are relevant:
a. The activity involves a studious inquiry or examination.
b. The activity seeks to discover and interpret new concepts, theories,
laws, facts, relationships, or perceptions OR the activity seeks to propose
new applications of them.
c. The results of scholarship and other professional production are in a
form accessible to peer review, depending upon the mode of scholarly
production. For example, in the performing arts, there may be a provision
for formal, public, peer evaluation. In other disciplines, there may be a
provision for peer evaluation of products such as archival or published
research, presentations before professional societies, licensure and
certification, or significant consulting activity.
3. Documented commitment to graduate education
Evidence for commitment to graduate education may have been demonstrated at
this University or at another institution by activities such as the following:
• teaching graduate classes
• directing research projects and theses
• serving on GAB
• serving on the Council of Graduate Directors
• advising graduate students
• serving as a graduate program coordinator
• developing graduate programs and courses
• participating in graduate recruitment activities
• developing research facilities
Demonstration of a commitment to graduate education by new members of the
faculty in the first year of hiring may be determined in the interview.
C. Process of Designation and Continuation
1. Process of designation
a. Upon initial adoption of this policy at UAA, those members of the current faculty who
have been teaching graduate courses with some frequency and performing the duties of
an operating graduate faculty, will, at the recommendation of the department chair and
the dean of the academic unit, with recommendation by Council of Graduate Directors
and Dean of the Graduate School, and with the approval of the Provost and the
Chancellor, be designated Full Members, with subsequent review according to the
"process of continuation, as specified below.
b. After the initial designation of a Graduate Faculty, the process of designation to the
Graduate Faculty will
i. originate with the individual, or the coordinator of the program, and the
graduate faculty of the instructional unit in a process that will
ii. include the recommendation of the chair;
iii. proceed through review and recommendation by the dean; and, in typical
iv. be recommended by a "membership committee" of the Council of Graduate
Directors, and will be recommended to
v. the Dean of The Graduate School, who will recommend to
vi. the Provost, who, with acceptance of the recommendations accompanying the
process, will make the appointment by letter.
NOTE: In some cases--typically in instance of trans-disciplinary research and teaching
and in interdisciplinary research and teaching where there may be no single
departmental discipline to advocate the appointment--the Dean of the college or the
Dean of The Graduate School may initiate the process. He or she will submit the case for
approval by the graduate faculties of the program(s) concerned with the projected
research and teaching, after which the normal process will be followed.
c. In the event that a new faculty member is hired with graduate teaching responsibilities,
status in the Graduate Faculty may be awarded at the time of appointment, for a period of
two years. It is advisable that, where possible, the program coordinator be involved in
designating a graduate faculty member.
d. In emergency circumstances, a temporary appointment may originate with the
recommendation of the concerned unit of instruction, the Dean of the college, and the
Dean of the Graduate School. Upon this action, the Dean of the Graduate School may
recommend a one-semester exemption to the normal process, which will require a
temporary appoint by the Provost.
e. In none of the provisions for membership in a Graduate Faculty is there the
that membership is perpetual or that nay faculty ahs a contrac6tual right or obligation to
teach graduate courses without the normal provisions for review and renewal.
2. Process of continuation
The process of continuation varies somewhat according to the categories of membership.
a. For faculty holding Full Membership, credentials are reviewed at the time of initial
appointment and every five years thereafter.
b. For faculty holding Associate Membership, status is reviewed every three years for
continuation as an associate member or for acceptance as full members. At the request of
an associate member, his or her status may be reviewed for acceptance as a full member
at any time when a change in circumstances warrants such change in designation.
Article IV. Graduate Students
A. Composition of the Student Body
Graduate students shall be persons admitted to the Graduate School by the Dean
for post-baccalaureate study programs who have enrolled and continue in good standing
in a UAA graduate program, as defined in bylaws and Graduate School policy. Maximum
periods may be prescribed during which students who have been admitted to graduate
degree or certificate programs will be permitted to re-register for study or research
without the necessity of readmission to the Graduate School.
B. Admission
1. Qualifications and Procedure
Applicants with the necessary background for advanced training in their chosen
major fields, excellent undergraduate scholastic records or other appropriate
qualifications, may be admitted for graduate work. Individual graduate programs are
responsible for admission to their programs, and all programs are responsible for having
their stated operational standards for admission on file with the Graduate School. In cases
where programs wish to admit students who do not satisfy program standards, the
application is subject to review and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School. The
Dean, taking account of any recommendations concerning admissions standards made by
the Policy and Review Councils, shall scrutinize the recommendations on admission
made by the faculties of major programs with a view to assuring observance by all of
them of suitable minimum standards. Decisions on admission to and continuation of
graduate student status shall be based upon all evidence available as to the probability
that the applicant has the qualifications to succeed in his or her chosen graduate program.
Standards of admission shall be applied to all applicants in an equal, impartial manner.
The procedures for processing applications shall be specified in bylaws. The faculty of a
graduate degree or certificate program may specify test data or other supporting evidence
needed as a basis for its recommendations on admission. The Dean has the authority to
suspend admissions to a program after appropriate consultation with the GAB and the
Council of Graduate Directors.
2. Termination
The Dean of the Graduate School may terminate a student’s graduate status because of
the student’s failure to maintain minimum standards of achievement or progress as
stipulated in print by the Graduate School and the faculty of the degree or certificate
program in which the student is enrolled. The degree program is obligated to publish its
standards and criteria either in the form of a Handbook for students or on its website (or
both). The Dean shall act after reviewing the student's academic record and on the
recommendation of a majority of the student’s committee, or of any committee charged
by that faculty with the evaluation of student progress.
3. Graduate Student Association
(See Article V of this Constitution.)
4. Graduate Degrees and Certificates
a. Requirements
To satisfy requirements for graduate degrees or certificates students must
complete the program requirements in training and research, and examinations, as
stipulated by the Graduate School and the student’s committee or the faculty of the
degree or certificate program selected. Each graduate program is responsible for
supplying the incoming student with a handbook/guide of the rules and regulations
governing the procedures for successfully completing a degree in the field and those
criteria that would cause either probation or termination from the program. Where
possible, this information should also be replicated on the program’s website.
b. Certification
Certification of completion of the requirements for degrees or certificates within
the jurisdiction of the Graduate School shall be made by the Dean upon the basis of the
students' scholastic records and the reports of the examining committees giving
evaluations of preliminary written examinations, oral examinations, and dissertations.
Article V. Constituent Organs and Committees
1. Council of Graduate Directors
a. Composition
There shall be Council of Graduate Directors that will serve as an advisory body
for the Graduate School. Membership shall be described in a bylaw. The Dean of the
Graduate School shall chair the Council of Graduate Directors.
The voting membership of the Council of Graduate Directors shall consist of the
Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Graduate School; two
administrative officers of the Graduate School designated by the Dean of the Graduate
School; the chairs/coordinators of UAA graduate programs; Chairs of Departments in
which each graduate program resides; the chairs of each Policy and Review Council; the
Research Advisory Committee, the IRB Committee; and one representative each from
GAB and GSA. These representatives shall be selected by their respective committees.
When unable to attend a meeting a member may designate an alternate.
b. Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the Council of Graduate Directors shall include the
following: (1) periodically review programs of graduate study and recommend their
continuance, modification, or discontinuance; (2) consider proposals for and recommend
policy, implementation of policy, and changes in programs or administration of the
Graduate School; (3) continually review the effectiveness of the structure and
performance of the Graduate School in discharging its missions; (4) provide guidance and
counsel to the Dean of the Graduate School and the Vice Provost for Research and
Graduate Studies, on any matters relating to graduate education at the University of
Alaska Anchorage.
2. Graduate Academic Board
The functions and composition of the Graduate Academic Board are specified in
the Bylaws of the UAA Faculty Senate, Section 3, Article V. The responsibilities of the
GAB include:
(a) approval of all new permanent numbered courses and changes in number,
content, title, and description of existing graduate courses;
review and recommendation of any changes in existing graduate degree and
graduate certificate programs; which have been initiated by program faculty;
review and recommendation of any new graduate degree or graduate
certificate programs, which have been initiated by faculty.
3. Community Advisory Committee
There shall be a Community Advisory Committee to provide advice, needs
assessments and outside perspective on graduate programs at UAA. This committee will
include chairs or designated representatives of standing community advisory committees
for graduate programs, as well as other community members with suitable interest and
expertise pertinent to the support and development of graduate programs at UAA.
4. Graduate Student Association
a. Organization
There shall be a Graduate Student Association (GSA), representative of the entire
body of graduate students registered in programs administered by the Graduate School in
Anchorage. The voting membership of the GSA shall include any graduate or
professional student enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits and pursuing a masters or
doctoral degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Officers of the Council shall be
designated and chosen in accordance with the provisions of the by-laws of the Graduate
Student Association. Meetings of the Association shall be held at least three times each
semester during the academic year.
b. Governance
The Graduate Student Association shall have the authority to conduct its own affairs,
consistent with its constitution and bylaws and with University and Graduate School
policies, regulations, and procedures.
c. Responsibilities
The Graduate Student Association shall be the official organization representing
graduate students of the University of Alaska, Anchorage within the structure of the
Graduate School and the University governance system. The Association’s
responsibilities shall include the following:
(1) It shall serve as the official channel whereby recommendations from the graduate
student body as a whole are brought to the Dean and the constituent organs and
committees of the Graduate School. This is not intended in any way to limit the access of
any individual student or student group to the administration or faculty of the Graduate
(2) It shall be the chief instrumentality for achieving graduate students’ participation in
the affairs of the Graduate School and shall nominate graduate student representatives to
all appropriate councils and committees of the Graduate School and to other University
(3) It shall assimilate, coordinate, and disseminate pertinent information to graduate
(4) It shall seek to promote appropriate academic, social, professional and economic aims
of graduate students.
(5) It shall fulfill the responsibilities set forth in the by-laws of the Graduate Student