1.4.2 Academic Committees

A. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide (1) general membership guidelines governing the formulation and operation of Academic committees and councils (hereafter committees) and (2) responsibilities governing University academic committees.

B. Definition and Purpose of Academic Committees

  1. An Academic committee is a group of persons appointed by the President to consider, investigate, review and recommend on certain matters or subjects under the committee's assigned responsibilities. 
  2. There are two types of Academic Committees in the Division of Academic Affairs standing committees (which have a continuing existence) and special or ad hoc committees (which go out of existence as soon as they have completed a specific task). 
  3. All Academic Committees and Councils in this document with the exception of ad hoc committees identified in section C.8 below, are standing committees.

C. Membership

  1. All full time faculty members/librarians are eligible for membership on academic committees. 
  2. The term of office for faculty members/librarians is for a maximum of three academic years. 
  3. No faculty member/librarian shall be appointed for two consecutive terms on any University Academic Committee. 
  4. Department chairs are eligible for membership. 
  5. Faculty membership for academic committees shall be in accordance with the following formula:

    Each college shall have at least one representative. The College of Arts and Sciences shall have at least one representative from the Arts and at least one representative of the Sciences. 

  6. Each committee/council may have one librarian member serving as a member.

  7. All faculty appointments to Academic Committees shall be made by the President in the following manner:

    1. Prior to the beginning of a new academic year, when faculty vacancies exist on an academic committee, President – elect of the Faculty Senate will convene the Faculty Senate Committee on Committees, which is comprised of Senators representing each College.

    2. The Committee on Committees, following procedures adopted by the Faculty Senate, will identify and review prospective appointees. 

      1. All faculty in a unit who are eligible to serve on an academic committee shall be formally notified of committee vacancies and provided an opportunity to express interest in such service. If qualified and willing to serve, all faculty should be provided with an opportunity for appointment to academic committees over time.

      2. The Committee on Committees should strive to achieve ethnic/gender/discipline balance in selecting prospective committee members.

    3. The Committee on Committees shall forward their recommendations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

    4. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall consult with the Deans to verify faculty members availability to serve, or to suggest alternative faculty members.

    5. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall then consult with the President – elect of the Faculty Senate to verify the Academic Committees membership rosters.

    6. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall then submit the recommendations to the President for final approval.

  8. The President and/or Vice President for Academic Affairs shall consult with the President of the Faculty Senate before making faculty appointments to special or ad hoc committees and task forces.

  9. The term of office for student members is one academic year.

    1. Student members shall be nominated by The University of Texas at Tyler Student Government Association.

    2. Student members shall be nonvoting.

  10. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee shall be a nonvoting ex-officio member of all academic committees. In addition, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall assign to each committee a nonvoting administrator/staff person to serve as liaison to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  11. Appointment of additional ex-officio members by the Vice President for Academic Affairs is specified, where appropriate, in the individual description of committees.

  12. A committee vacancy shall be declared when any of the following conditions are met:
    1. A member's term expires.
    2. A member resigns from the University or from the committee prior to the expiration of his/her term on the committee.
    3. A member has three (3) unexcused absences from regularly scheduled committee meetings.
    4. A member is removed from the committee by two-thirds majority vote of the committee members.
    5. A member is incapacitated and cannot serve on the committee.
    6. A member dies.
  13. When a vacancy occurs in an unexpired term of membership, a replacement shall be appointed following established procedures to serve the remainder of the three-year term.

    1. If the vacancy occurs at, or near, the end of the academic year, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with section C.7 above.
    2. If the vacancy occurs during the fall semester, or early in the spring semester, the following procedure shall be used: 
      1. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall notify the President of the Faculty Senate.
      2. The President of the Faculty Senate shall consult with the appropriate Dean to identify at least two faculty member candidates for the vacancy.
      3. The President of the Faculty Senate shall then present the candidates for the vacancy to the Committee on Committees, which shall evaluate the candidates and form a recommendation.
      4. The President of the Faculty Senate shall forward the recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
      5. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall forward the recommendation to the President for subsequent appointment.
  14. Exceptions to these general membership provisions include the following:
    1. Membership on the Teacher Education Committee is specified in the Texas Education Code.
    2. Membership on the Graduate Council is specified in the description of the Graduate Council.
    3. Membership on the Core Curriculum and Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittees are specified in the description of the Undergraduate Council.

D. Procedures

  1. All committee appointments or recommendations are to be made the prior Spring Semester and are effective at the beginning of the academic year.
  2. The Committee on Committees shall designate a chair and chair – elect. Officers will serve for a one-year term which commences with the beginning of the academic year.
  3. Relevant committee reports and recommendations shall be forwarded to the Faculty Senate and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 
  4. The chair of each committee shall distribute the minutes of each meeting to committee members and the Faculty Senate using the Faculty Senate Blackboard site. 
  5. The committee chair shall submit an academic year-end report of its activities and recommendations to the Faculty Senate. 
  6. The Faculty Senate shall review the recommendations of the committees and forward the recommendations, along with any amendments to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 
  7. Each committee member is assigned a term of membership by the Committee on Committees so that one-third of the committee member's terms conclude each year. Appointees whose terms are shortened will be eligible for re-appointment following the guidelines for replacement of a vacancy in Section C.13. 
  8. Proxy voting is prohibited. 
  9. A majority of committee members constitutes a quorum.

E. Standing Academic Committees

1.  Undergraduate Council

The Undergraduate Council has the responsibility for reviewing criteria for program outcomes, program evaluation, evaluation criteria for course changes, approval of substantive course changes and adoption of new courses. The Council is also responsible for advising University librarians on all matters related to library operations affecting undergraduate curricula. The council includes a member from the Library. This Undergraduate Council reports to the Faculty Senate and Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

Members of the Undergraduate Council serve as the leadership for two sub-committees; The Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee and the Core Curriculum Subcommittee.

The Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee has the responsibility for: Minimizing course content duplication; Reviewing all new courses, minors, majors, or other academic programs submitted by department chair and college deans; Insuring that course descriptions are clear and understandable and accurately reflect content; and, Insuring that course numbers and course prerequisites reflect the correct course sequence in academic programs.

The members of the Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee include at least one member from each College, one member from the Arts and one member from the Sciences. At least two voting members of the subcommittee are members of the Undergraduate Council. The Chair of the Undergraduate Council and a representative from the Registrar’s Office are ex-officio members of the Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee. Members serve three year terms, with one-third of the members completing their terms each year. Members are appointed using the process described in Section C.7. The Core Curriculum Subcommittee has the responsibility for: Members of the Undergraduate Council serve as the leadership for two sub-committees; The Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee and the Core Curriculum Subcommittee.

The Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee has the responsibility for:

a. Reviewing all new courses proposed to satisfy the core curriculum;

b. Reviewing the assessment planning, data collection, analysis and program improvement recommendations related to the core curriculum;

The members of the Undergraduate Core Curriculum Subcommittee include at least one member from each College, and one member from each of the departments or programs responsible for Core Curriculum courses. At least two voting members of the subcommittee are members of the Undergraduate Council. The Chair–elect of the Undergraduate Council will serve as the Chair of the Core Curriculum Subcommittee; The Chair of the Undergraduate Council is an ex-officio member of the Core Curriculum Subcommittee. Members serve three year terms, with one-third of the members completing their terms each year. Members are appointed using the process described in Section C.7.

2. Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is the graduate faculty’s advisory body to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs regarding graduate education at UT Tyler. The Graduate Council reports to the Faculty Senate and Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Graduate Council shall advise the Vice President of Academic Affairs, through the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, with regard to:

a. The setting of policies and procedures for the operation of graduate programs.

b. The growth of graduate studies at UT Tyler.

c. The approval of all graduate programs offered by the university.

d. The setting of minimum university-wide standards for admission to and graduation from graduate programs.

e. The approval of program exceptions to university graduate admissions and graduate administration policies.

f. The means by which proposed and existing graduate programs can be strengthened.

g. The qualifications for designation as graduate faculty.

The Graduate Council shall be composed of members elected from the Full or Associate members of the Graduate Faculty of the University. Included are the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies and two graduate students chosen by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Each college with graduate programs shall have two representatives on the Council; one member elected by the members of the college, and one member appointed by the Dean of the college. Representatives shall serve three year terms with terms of service beginning in the fall semester. The Dean of Enrollment Management, Registrar, Director of the Library, and the Dean of Graduate Studies, shall be ex-officio members without vote. In the event of a resignation or inability to continue term of office, the Dean for the College will appoint an interim representative.

The Chair-elect for the Graduate Council shall be voted on by the Graduate Council membership at the first fall meeting with the term as Chair beginning the following fall semester.

The standing committees appointed from the membership of the Graduate Council are the Executive Committee and the Curriculum committee.

The Executive Committee shall consist of the current Chair, Chair–elect and Dean of Graduate Studies. This committee shall prepare the agenda for all meetings of the Council. At the Vice Provost/Dean’s request, the Executive Committee may make advisory recommendations on University policy, but such recommendations shall be reported to the Council at its next regular meeting.

The Curriculum Committee shall consist of at least five members, including the Committee Chair, and shall be appointed by the Chair of the Graduate Council. This committee shall review and make recommendations on all new courses, course changes or deletions, new programs, program changes or deletions, and new certificates. Ex-officio members will be the Dean of Enrollment Management, the Registrar, and the Director of the Library.

3.  Research Council

The primary purpose of the Research Council is to make recommendations regarding faculty research policies and procedures and the allocation of organized research funds. Each academic year, in consultation with the Associate Vice President for Research (AVPR), the Research Council appoints members to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) subcommittees. The research Council sets policy for the functioning of the IRB and IACUC subcommittees, and provides oversight of all committees having duties related to research. The Council ensures that all subcommittees are operating in compliance with federal, state, and UT System rules, regulations, and laws. The Research Council advises the AVPR on programs and policies pertaining to faculty research; serves as a hearing board for Conflict of Interest cases involving faculty researchers; and occasionally serves as a review board for external grant proposal submissions. The Research Council reviews research proposals and makes recommendations to the AVPR for internal grant funding, and reports to the President or designee through the Faculty Senate.

F. Other Academic Committees

Other academic committees may be formed to perform specific functions as deemed necessary by the President. These committees shall be formed following direct consultation with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Faculty Senate.

G. Review

The Divisional Head for this policy is the Provost. This policy shall be reviewed every even year or sooner if necessary by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Faculty Senate.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  12/01/2001

LAST AMENDED:  04/22/2009