Faculty Handbook
July 1999

Section 1Section 2Section 3Section 4Section 5Section 6Section 7

Section 2 Academic Governance

2.1 Definition of Academic Governance

  1. Academic governance is the system through which the Board, the University administrators, and the University faculties participate in developing policy on academic matters.
  2. Because The University is an academic institution, any and all policies adopted by The University to guide and control its activities may be broadly interpreted to constitute policies on academic matters. For the purpose of this UT HSC Faculty Handbook, however, the term "academic policies" shall generally refer to those policies that either guide and control the education, research, public service functions of the University Faculty or that deal with the rights and responsibilities of the individual faculty member. Thus, University policies that direct alumni affairs, non-faculty personnel issues, financial matters, hospital management, etc. are not considered to be "academic policies" except in those cases, such as the planning function, where their partial inclusion is required by their close relationship to the academic governance process.

2.2 Academic Governance of The University

2.2.1 The Role of the Board

The Board is the final institutional authority on academic policy. The Board may establish or revise University policy on any academic matter other than the planning and development of the curricula4. The University's Charter and Bylaws specifically reserve to the Board the authority to:

  1. establish admission, progression, and retention requirements for students5;
  2. confer academic degrees6;
  3. determine new or revised programs to be offered relating to instruction, research, and service7;
  4. d. grant tenure8;
  5. approve the establishment of all major academic units, i.e., campuses, colleges, departments, institutes, etc.9; and
  6. approve the adoption and revision of faculty personnel policies10.

2.2.2 The Role of the President

The President has the delegated, executive authority to establish or revise University academic policy on any matter not otherwise reserved to the Board or the faculties11. Additionally, the President has the responsibility in academic governance to:

  1. formulate policies on academic matters12;
  2. execute all laws and board actions13;
  3. establish and maintain lines of communication between all parties participating in academic governance14;
  4. implement and enforce the academic policies of the Board15;
  5. recommend to the Board the award of degrees16;
  6. review proposed faculty promotions in rank17; and
  7. provide leadership in the determination of strategic directions for The University18.

2.2.3 The Role of the University Faculties

The faculties of the various University campuses and institutes have, for their respective units, the specifically reserved and sole authority to plan and develop the curricula19(Section 2.3.7.1). Furthermore, the faculties must authorize The University to award academic degrees20, and must actively participate in the determination of the strategic directions of the campuses and institutes of The University21.

Additionally, one member of the Board is a faculty member appointed on an annually rotating basis from one of the four campuses of The University22, and members of the faculties may be appointed to serve on certain Board standing committees and ad hoc search advisory committees23.

2.3 Academic Governance of UTHSC

2.3.1 General Policy

Effective academic governance is a hallmark of a mature educational institution. Therefore, all participants have the duty to strive to make academic governance at UTHSC:

  1. a cooperative process that demands a joint effort between the Chancellor and the Faculty of UTHSC with appropriate participation by students, alumni, and staff;
  2. an open process that is characterized by a courteous, free-flowing exchange of information and opinions between all interested parties;
  3. a respectful process that gives increased weight to the opinions of participants who are accountable for the matters under consideration;
  4. a comprehensive process that assumes that any issue may be relevant to the academic enterprise;
  5. a bilateral process that produces (1) policies that are campus-wide in their applications, and (2) policies that only apply to one college or non-collegiate academic unit; and
  6. a responsible process that is subordinate to governmental authority, the final institutional authority of the Board, and the delegated authority of the President.

The level of participation by the Faculty in the academic governance process varies. The Glossary contains definitions of four levels of participation: consultation, advice or recommendation, shared responsibility, and delegated authority.

2.3.2 Campus-Wide Academic Policies & Definition

Campus-wide academic policies are policies that apply to two or more colleges and/or non-collegiate academic units at UTHSC. Campus-wide policies apply only to UTHSC. These include, but are not limited to, campus-wide academic policies that are contained in this UTHSC Faculty Handbook, the UTHSC Administrative Manual, and the UTHSC Five-Year Plan.

2.3.3 Collegiate Academic Policies & Definition

Collegiate academic policies are policies that apply to only one college or non-collegiate academic unit. Hereinafter, unless otherwise noted, the terms college and collegiate refer to the non-collegiate academic units as well as to the colleges.

Collegiate academic policies include, but are not limited to, policies contained in the collegiate sections of the UTHSC Catalog, the various collegiate five-year plans, and the academic policy statements and bylaws developed by the colleges to govern their internal academic matters.

2.3.4 Organization of the UTHSC Faculty for Academic Governance

2.3.4.1 General

On both the campus-wide and the collegiate levels, the UTHSC Faculty is represented in academic governance by faculty leaders who are either elected by faculty members or appointed by, or with the approval of, the Chancellor.

2.3.4.2 Elected Campus-Wide Faculty Leadership: The Faculty Senate

On the campus-wide level, the UTHSC Faculty Senate represents the Faculty as its sole elected body. The Faculty Senate operates under bylaws that are approved by the Board, is made up of voting Senators who are elected by faculty members and nonvoting Senators who serve ex officio, and is led by Faculty Senate officers who are elected by the voting Senators. Appendix C contains the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate.

2.3.4.3 Appointed Campus-Wide Faculty Leadership: Chief Officers and Campus-Wide Committees

There are a number of chief officers and campus-wide committees, appointed by the Chancellor to provide advice and recommendations on UTHSC activities and services. A complete listing of these chief officers and campus-wide committees, including committee functions and memberships, is contained in the UTHSC Administrative Manual. The membership of campus-wide committees may include faculty members, students, and staff members, with most non-ex-officio faculty committee seats being held by faculty members who are nominated for appointment by the Faculty Senate leadership.

2.3.4.4 Elected Collegiate Organization: Faculty Organizations

The Faculty of each college has its own faculty organization. The bylaws of each college (a) must provide an effective mechanism for participation by the collegiate Faculty in the academic governance of the college, (b) must provide for faculty organization officers who are elected by the collegiate faculty members, and (c) must be approved by the Chancellor. The structure of the collegiate faculty organizations varies, depending on the size and complexity of the college. The purposes of a collegiate faculty organization include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. promote and facilitate communication among the members of the Faculty, the elected faculty leadership, and the appointed faculty leadership of the college;
  2. b. afford faculty members opportunities to propose, review, and discuss policies and programs of the college; and
  3. c. foster development of an environment that will enhance faculty participation in academic governance of the college.
2.3.4.5 Appointed Collegiate Faculty Leadership

The Chancellor, with the approval of the President, appoints one member of the Faculty of each college and non-collegiate academic unit to serve as the Dean or Director of that college or unit. The process for selection of a Dean is described in Section 2.3.7.5. The Dean or Director is the academic, as well as administrative leader, of the college or unit. The colleges and the Graduate School of Medicine are headed by Deans. The Library and Biocommunications Center and the School of Biomedical Engineering are headed by Directors. Hereinafter, unless otherwise noted, the term Dean refers to these Directors as well as to the Deans.

The Deans, with the approval of the Chancellor, appoint faculty members to serve as Chairs of the collegiate departments. The process for selection of a Chair is described in Section 2.3.7.6. The Chairs are the academic, as well as the administrative, leaders of their respective academic units.

The Deans, with the approval of Chancellor, may also appoint faculty members of their colleges to serve as assistants to the Deans. These positions have titles, such as Assistant or Associate Dean. The roles of these individuals vary according to the needs of the colleges24.

The Deans and Chairs may also appoint standing or ad hoc faculty committees to advise on academic matters. At the collegiate level, Deans are encouraged to include faculty members nominated by collegiate faculty organizations as committee members.

2.3.5 The UT Memphis Campus-Wide Academic Governance Process

2.3.5.1 Proposals for Campus-Wide Academic Policies

New or revised campus-wide academic policies may be proposed by the Faculty Senate or the Chancellor. Also, any individual faculty member may request a new or revised campus-wide academic policy by presenting the request to the Faculty Senate or to the Chancellor.

2.3.5.2 Review and Recommendations Concerning Campus-Wide Academic Policies

Proposals for new and revised campus-wide academic policies must be reviewed by the Faculty Senate. If a proposal originates in the Faculty Senate, the Senate will review the proposal and make recommendations to the Chancellor, if the proposal is approved. If a proposal originates in the Senate and the recommendation is against approval, no further action will be taken. If the Chancellor initiates a new or revised academic policy, the Chancellor will forward the proposal to the Faculty Senate for review and recommendations. In the Faculty Senate, the President of the Senate is responsible for making sure that the appropriate Senate procedures are followed in the review of new or revised academic policies.

2.3.5.3 Decision by the Chancellor on Campus-Wide Academic Policies

After review and recommendations by the Faculty Senate, the Chancellor makes a decision to either accept or reject the proposed new or revised academic policy. If the Chancellor's decision is not in agreement with the recommendations of the Faculty Senate, and the decision is to reject the proposal, the Chancellor will make every effort to reach consensus before a final decision is made. However, if the Chancellor's decision is to accept the policy and the policy requires approval by the President or the Board25, the usual UTHSC policies and procedures will be followed.

2.3.6 The UTHSC Collegiate Academic Governance Process

Each college has its own process for developing new or revised collegiate academic policies (Section 2.3.4.4). However, the curriculum cannot be changed without the approval of the collegiate faculty. In accordance with the Charter and Bylaws of The University, the Dean has the authority, delegated by the President and Chancellor, to make decisions on other collegiate academic matters in consultation with the collegiate faculty. The process used by the individual college depends on the size and complexity of that college; however, the process used by any college must:

  1. provide that new or revised academic policies may be proposed by the collegiate faculty organization, the appointed collegiate faculty leadership, or any individual faculty member;
  2. provide for review and recommendations of proposed academic policies by the collegiate faculty organization and the appointed faculty leadership; and
  3. provide that the Dean must accept or reject proposed academic policies in a timely manner.

However, in the event of a disagreement between the Dean and the faculty, the Dean will make every effort to reach consensus before a decision is made. If the Dean's decision is to accept the policy and the policy requires further approval (i.e., at the UTHSC, UT System, and/or Board levels), the usual UTHSC policies and procedures will be followed.

2.3.7 Special Issues in Academic Governance of UTHSC

2.3.7.1 Planning and Development of the Curricula

The Board determines the instructional programs to be offered at UTHSC. Proposals for such programs may be originated through the academic governance process described in Sections 2.3.5 and 2.3.6 above; however, the Board retains the right of final approval. On the other hand, the UTHSC Faculty has the specifically reserved and sole authority to plan and develop the curricula for instructional programs. For the purpose of this Faculty Handbook, the terms curricula and curricular refer to the subject matter, method of instruction, and grading policy in all courses offered by UTHSC, the sets of courses required for degrees offered by UTHSC, and the aspects of student life that relate to the instructional process.

  1. Curricular matters that involve the Faculty of only one college are decided by the Faculty of that college, under the leadership of the Dean.
  2. Curricular matters that involve the Faculties of more than one college are decided collectively by the Faculties of the affected colleges. In these cases, the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with the appropriate Faculty Senate standing committee, will establish a process to be followed.
2.3.7.2 Additional Responsibilities of the Chancellor in Academic Governance

In addition to the responsibilities of the Chancellor in academic governance otherwise described in this Section 2.3, the Chancellor is responsible for:

  1. establishing and maintaining lines of communication among all parties participating in academic governance;
  2. implementing and enforcing the academic policies of the Board and the President; and
  3. c. monitoring both the campus-wide and collegiate academic governance policies and processes described in this Section 2.3 for the purposes of (1) assuring adherence to such policies and processes, and (2) providing ad hoc procedures to resolve academic governance issues not covered by the policies and processes of this Section 2.3.
2.3.7.3 The Critical Nature of the Planning Process

The University's Charter and Bylaws provide that the faculties must actively participate in the determination of the strategic directions of the campuses26. UTHSC has a comprehensive planning process for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing campus-wide and collegiate goals and objectives, determining strategies to accomplish the goals and objectives, and recommending allocation of resources to implement the strategies. Each college maintains a collegiate planning process in harmony with the campus-wide plan. The planning process provides for extensive participation by the UTHSC Faculty. Faculty members are routinely invited and encouraged to provide comments on the plans and suggestions for their improvement.

2.3.7.4 Selection of the Chancellor

The Chancellor is elected by the Board upon the recommendation of the President. In the event of a vacancy or notice of an impending vacancy in the Office of the Chancellor, the President must appoint an advisory committee that includes UTHSC Faculty representation to assist in identifying and screening candidates for the position27.

2.3.7.5 Selection of Vice Chancellors and Deans

Vice Chancellors and Deans are appointed by the Chancellor with the approval of the President. In the event of a vacancy or notice of impending vacancy in the Office of a Vice Chancellor or Dean, the Chancellor must appoint an advisory committee that includes Faculty Senate Executive Committee representation to assist in identifying and screening candidates for the position. If the vacancy is a Dean, the advisory committee must also include faculty representation from the college that has the vacancy.

2.3.7.6 Selection of Department Chairs

Department Chairs are appointed by the responsible Dean with the approval of the Chancellor and the President. In the event of a vacancy or notice of impending vacancy in the Office of a Department Chair, the Dean must appoint an advisory committee that ordinarily should include faculty representation from the department with the vacancy. The Dean should also consult with the faculty members who hold regular appointments in the affected department prior to the selection. The faculty members who hold regular appointments in the affected department should have the opportunity to meet and evaluate the candidates.

2.3.7.7 Selection of Other Appointed Faculty Leaders and Campus and Collegiate Administrators

If advisory committees are appointed to assist in identifying appointed faculty leaders other than Deans and Chairs or Administrators other than the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellors, such advisory committees must include Faculty Senate representation. In any case, consultation with appropriate faculty representatives must occur prior to the selection.

2.3.7.8 Evaluation of Campus Administrators and Appointed Collegiate Faculty Leaders

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is responsible for the establishment and implementation of a process to provide for faculty evaluation of the performance of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Chairs, and Associate and Assistant Deans. The evaluation process should be developed in consultation with the Chancellor.

2.3.7.9 General Faculty Meetings

At least once annually, all individuals holding faculty appointments at UTHSC are invited to a general faculty meeting called the Annual Faculty Meeting. Usually this meeting precedes the annual business meeting of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate President presides over the Annual Faculty Meeting and presents the annual report of the Faculty Senate to the Faculty. Additional general faculty meetings may be called by the Chancellor or the Faculty Senate President.

Footnotes:

  1. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article 1, Section 2(a).
  2. Charter and Bylaws, Charter Provisions of The University of Tennessee, Article V, Section 6 and Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article I, Section 2(g) and Article III, Section 5.
  3. Charter and Bylaws, Charter Provisions of The University of Tennessee, Article V, Section 8.
  4. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article III, Section 5.
  5. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article I, Section 2(f).
  6. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article III, Section 5.
  7. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article III, Section 5.
  8. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(e).
  9. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(c).
  10. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(c).
  11. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(g).
  12. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(i)(4).
  13. Charter and Bylaws, Charter Provisions of The University of Tennessee, Article V, Section 8 and Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(i)(4).
  14. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(i)(5).
  15. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(e).
  16. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article 1, Section 2(a).
  17. Charter and Bylaws, Charter Provisions of The University of Tennessee, Article V, Section 7.
  18. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 3(c).
  19. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article VI, Section 8.
  20. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article III, Section 1 and Article IV, Section 1(a), (b) and (c).
  21. Certain positions in this category, e.g., Assistant Dean for Administration, may be held by non-faculty staff members.
  22. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 2(c).
  23. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 3(c).
  24. Charter and Bylaws, Bylaws of The University of Tennessee, Article IV, Section 1(c).