Graduate Council By-Laws

By-Laws of the University Graduate Council: April 2014

The following bylaws were approved by UBC Senate on April 16 2014.

University Graduate Council

There shall be a University Graduate Council appointed by and responsible to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Dean and Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, shall be the Chair of the Council.

  1. Membership
    1. Faculty Members (22)
      1. The Faculties shall select 22 members as described in the Appendix, Distribution of Voting Membership. The selected faculty members must be members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
      2. Each Faculty shall determine its own procedures for selecting its representatives.
    2. Student Members (6)
      1. The Graduate Student Society shall elect 6 members. The elected students must be registered in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
      2. The Graduate Student Society shall determine its own procedures for electing its representatives.
    3. Staff members (2)
      1. Two graduate program staff members shall be chosen by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies from a list of nominees provided by the Faculties.
      2. Each Faculty shall determine its own procedures for selecting its nominees.
    4. Ex officio members (with voting power unless otherwise noted)
      1. The Dean and Vice-Provost.
      2. The Associate and Assistant Deans of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
      3. The Vice-President Students and the Vice-President Research & International or their delegates.
      4. The two faculty members of Senate elected by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
      5. The Registrar (non-voting; Secretary of Graduate Council).
    5. Term of Membership
      1. The term of membership on Graduate Council for faculty and staff shall be three years.
      2. The term of membership on Graduate Council for graduate students shall be one year.
      3. There is no limit on the number of terms an individual may serve on Graduate Council.
      4. If a member must be replaced, then a new member must be selected using whatever procedures the affected unit (Faculty or Graduate Student Society) deems proper.
    6. Periodic Review and Adjustment
      1. The Graduate Council shall review the allocation of members described above every five years and make appropriate changes.
  2. Powers and Duties

Under the University Act, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has various powers and duties relating to the academic quality of graduate studies at the University. Some of these powers are delegated to the Graduate Council, which is constituted as in Section I and which operates as detailed in Section III. The powers and duties of the Graduate Council, acting on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, shall be:

  1. subject to Senate approval, and appeal to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to make rules and regulations for the government, direction and management of the Faculty and its affairs and business;
  2. subject to Senate approval, and appeal to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to determine the courses of instruction and programs in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and to review proposals for changes in such courses and programs;
  3. to advise the Dean and Vice-Provost on scholarships and financial support for graduate students;
  4. to advise the Dean and Vice-Provost on strategic priorities for the continuous improvement of graduate education at the University; and, generally,
  5. to deal with all matters assigned to the Graduate Council by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and by the Dean and Vice-Provost.
  1. Operational Procedures
    1. Meetings of Graduate Council
      1. There shall be at least four scheduled regular meetings of the Graduate Council in each academic session, September through May. A regular meeting may be cancelled by the Dean if there is neither urgent nor sufficient business. The agenda for each regular meeting shall be set by the Dean and sent to the membership of Graduate Council at least 10 days prior to the meeting.
      2. Non-members of the Council may be included in any Council meeting by invitation of the Chair.
      3. The quorum required for the transaction of business shall be not less than one half of the voting members.
      4. The usual order of business shall be:
        1. Approval of Agenda
        2. Minutes of previous meetings
        3. Membership
          • declarations of vacancies and new members
          • ratification of changes to membership of subcommittees
        4. Unfinished Business from earlier meetings
        5. Business Arising from the minutes
        6. Chair’s Remarks
        7. Reports of Standing Committees
        8. Reports of Other Committees
        9. Other Business
      5. Any matter not already on the agenda of a regular meeting may, at the request of a member from the floor of the Graduate Council and at the discretion of the Chair, be included on the agenda under Other Business. Any member may request in writing to the Secretary of the Graduate Council an agenda item for the next meeting of the Graduate Council. A member may give notice of a motion from the floor of the Graduate Council and the motion shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting.
      6. The Registrar will perform the same duties for the Graduate Council as for the Faculties.
      7. An additional meeting of the Graduate Council may be called to discuss particular topics. It may be called by the Chair of the Graduate Council at his/her discretion, but with the usual notice of meeting.
      8. On any proposed recommendation(s) of the Graduate Council, an email ballot or a Special Meeting of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for the sole purpose of discussing the proposed recommendation(s) may be initiated by a request from either
        1. 25% of the membership of the Council, or
        2. 5% of the membership of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
      9. There shall be at least two meetings per year of the full membership of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to allow the Dean to solicit advice from the membership and to report on the operation of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University.
    2. Committees of the Graduate Council
      1. The standing committees of the Graduate Council shall include Policy, Curriculum, and Scholarships. Graduate Council may delegate its responsibility to a standing committee by a 2/3 vote. Members of the Graduate Council are eligible for membership on any committee. The Graduate Council may establish standing or ad hoc committees as needs arise.
      2. Every Graduate Council committee shall be free to include additional members, who need not be members of the Graduate Council. Changes in a committee’s membership shall be reported and ratified at the next regular Graduate Council meeting.
      3. The terms of reference of each standing committee shall be approved by the Graduate Council.

 

Previous By-Laws of the University Graduate Council: 1986 - April 2014

The following bylaws were initially approved by UBC Senate on December 10, 1986. Revisions were approved by Senate on December 12, 1990 and February 22, 2006. The 2006 revisions included a formula to be used in determining representation for each Faculty. Revisions to this formula were approved by Senate on May 18 2011.

By-Laws Relating to the Establishment of the University Graduate Council (1986)

University Graduate Council

There shall be a University Graduate Council appointed by and responsible to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies shall be the Chair of the Council.

I. Membership

1. Faculty Members (75 elected members +2 senators)

a) The Faculties shall select up to 75 members using the formula described in Allocation Formula for Faculty Representation on Graduate Council. Only members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will be eligible to serve on the Graduate Council.

b) The Graduate Council shall review the distribution of these elected members every five years and make appropriate changes.

c) Faculty members of Senate elected by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies shall serve as members-at-large (two at present).

d) Each Faculty shall determine its own procedures for selecting its representatives (see 1.a). In cases where representatives are chosen by an election, only members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will be eligible to vote.

e) The number of selected representatives under 1.a) shall be fixed at 75; only the distribution can change.

f) The selection of faculty members shall be completed by August 15.

2011 revision to formula: Allocation Formula for Faculty Representation on Graduate Council

2006 revision and formula: Redistribution of Faculty membership in Graduate Council

2. Elected Student Members (14)

a) The Graduate Student Society shall elect 14 members. The elected students must be registered in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

b) The Graduate Council shall review the distribution of these elected members every five years and make any appropriate changes.

c) The student member of Senate elected by the students in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies shall serve as a member-at-large.

d) The Graduate Student Society shall determine its own procedures to elect the representatives (see 2.a).

e) The number of elected representative under 2.a. shall be fixed at 14; only the distribution can change.

f) The election of student members shall be completed by August15.

3. Term of Membership

a) The term of membership on Graduate Council for graduate students shall be one year.

b) The term of membership on Graduate Council for the elected faculty shall be three years.

c) The terms of the elected faculty members shall be staggered such that one-third of faculty members are elected each year.

d) Either student or faculty members may be re-elected without limit.

e) The position of a Graduate Council member shall be declared vacant by the Secretary of the Graduate Council when he/she has received notice that the member has resigned, or that the member is going on leave for a period of more than six months, or that the member has been granted disability leave. Any elected member may be granted a leave of absence for up to two consecutive ordinary meetings of the Graduate Council. Any absence without leave for three consecutive ordinary meetings shall result in a declaration of vacancy by the Secretary of the Graduate Council. No one may appoint a proxy to act in the member’s absence.

f) If an elected member (graduate student or faculty) must be replaced, then a new member must be elected using whatever procedures the affected unit (Faculty or Graduate Students Society) deems proper.

II. Powers and Duties of Graduate Council

Under the University Act, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has various powers and duties relating to the academic quality of graduate studies at the University. Some of these powers will be delegated to the Graduate Council, which will be constituted as in Section I and which will operate as detailed in Section III.

The powers and duties of the Graduate Council, acting on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, shall be:

  1. subject to Senate approval, and appeal to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to make rules and regulations for the government, direction and management of the Faculty and its affairs and business;
  2. subject to Senate approval, and appeal to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to determine, and to review proposals for changes in the courses of instruction and programs in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies;
  3. to advise the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on scholarships and matters associated with graduate research within the University, and
  4. generally, to deal with all matters assigned to the Graduate Council by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

III. Operational Procedures for Graduate Council

1. Meetings of Graduate Council

a) There shall be at least four regular meetings of the Graduate Council scheduled each academic session, September through May. A regular meeting may be cancelled by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies if there is neither urgent nor sufficient business. The agenda for the regular meetings shall be set by the Dean and sent to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' membership at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

b) The quorum for the Graduate Council meetings shall be 60% of the total Graduate Council membership, other than the Chair.

c) Meetings of the Graduate Council are open to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Faculty and others invited by the Chair. Normal business shall be conducted with members of the Graduate Council allowed to propose and second motions, and to vote. During the course of the discussion the Chair may invite comments from the visitors.

d) The usual order of business shall be:

i. Record messages of regret from absentees

ii. Correspondence

iii. Membership – declarations of vacancies and new members

iv. Unfinished business from earlier meetings

v. Minutes of previous meetings

vi. Business arising from the minutes

vii. Chair’s remarks

viii. Reports of standing committees

ix. Reports of other committees

x. Other business

Any matter not already on the agenda of a regular meeting may, at the request of a member from the floor of the Graduate Council and at the discretion of the Chair, be included on the agenda under other business. Any member may request in writing to the Secretary of the Graduate Council an agenda item for the next meeting of the Graduate Council. A member may give notice of a motion from the floor of the Graduate Council and the motion shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting.

e) The Registrar will perform the same duties for the Council as the Faculties.

2. Committees of the Graduate Council

a) The standing committees of the Graduate Council shall include Coordinating [Coordinating Committee was abolished by Senate December 1992], Policy, Curriculum, and Scholarships. Graduate Council may delegate its responsibility to a standing committee by a 2/3 vote. Elected members of the Graduate Council are eligible for membership on any committee. The Graduate Council may establish standing or ad-hoc committees as needs arise.

b) When a vacancy on a standing committee occurs or is expected to occur, the Chair of the standing committee shall notify the Coordinating Committee. The vacancy shall be announced in a regular meeting agenda before the vacancy is filled.

c) Every Graduate Council committee shall be free to include additional members, whether they be members of the Graduate Council or not. The majority of the committee must vote in favour of the additional member. The membership addition shall be reported and ratified at the next regular Graduate Council meeting.

d) The Coordinating Committee of the Graduate Council will serve to prepare agenda and background material for the Graduate Council and to perform executive tasks between Graduate Council meetings. The Coordinating Committee of the Graduate Council shall consist of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, the Chairs of the Standing Committees, and all Associate Deans of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Vice-Chair shall be one of the Associate Deans of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Vice-Chair shall also chair the meetings in the absence of the Chair. The Secretary of the Coordinating Committee shall be appointed from the Graduate Council membership.

e) The terms of reference of each standing committee shall be determined by the Coordinating Committee and approved by the Graduate Council.

f) An additional meeting of the Graduate Council may be called to discuss particular topics. It may be called by the Chair of the Graduate Council at his/her discretion on consultation with the Coordinating Committee. An additional meeting must be called by the Chair upon a motion of the Graduate Council carried by a simple majority of those voting.

g) There shall be at least two meetings per year of the full membership of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to approve the awarding of degrees, to allow the Dean to solicit advice from the membership, and to report on the operation of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University.

h) On any proposed recommendation(s) of the Graduate Council, 25% of the membership of the Council, or 5% of the membership of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, may request a mail ballot, or a referral to a Special Meeting of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies called for the sole purpose of discussing the proposed recommendation(s).

i) A notice of a Special Meeting shall describe the purpose of the meeting and be given to all members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at least 10 days before the meeting. The Special Meeting shall only concern itself with matters outlined in that agenda. The quorum for any Special Meeting shall be 10% of the members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.