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College Bylaws

The College bylaws were significantly revised by Graduate Studies Council between August 25, 2015 and November 24, 2015 to clearly separate bylaws from policies. Additions were made by Graduate Studies Council on August 23, 2016 to conform to the requirements of the Faculty Handbook. The bylaws are also available as a PDF file.

Article I. Name, Authority, Mission, Scope, and Amendment

  1. Name

    The name of the body constituted in this document shall be the College of Graduate Health Sciences of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

  2. Authority

    Established in 1928, the College of Graduate Health Sciences (hereafter referred to as the College or CGHS) is a duly constituted academic unit of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (hereafter referred to as UTHSC) with the authority to recommend the awarding of degrees and certificates. The College operates in accordance with the rules, regulations and policies of the University of Tennessee.

  3. Mission

    The mission of the College is to improve the knowledge about human health through education, research, and public service, with an emphasis on improving the health of Tennesseans.

  4. Scope

    These Bylaws provide the administrative structure and operating procedures for the College and shall apply to all subordinate units in the College. In the event of a conflict between the College Bylaws and the UTHSC Faculty Handbook, the bylaws and policies of UTHSC, the University of Tennessee, the Board of Trustees, or the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the bylaws and policies of these other entities shall apply.

  5. Amendment

    A quorum being present, these Bylaws may be amended at a meeting of the CGHS Graduate Studies Council by two-thirds vote of the members.

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Article II. College Organization

The College is campus-wide with respect to its faculty, policies, programs, and relationships. In the administration of College policies and programs, the established lines of executive and administrative authority within UTHSC are followed.

  1. Dean

    The executive and administrative head of the CGHS is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Sciences, who reports to the Chancellor of UTHSC. The Dean receives recommendations on College issues from the Graduate Studies Council (Article II.C).

  2. Assistant and Associate Deans
    1. Appointment

      Assistant and Associate Deans shall be appointed upon recommendation of the Dean following consultation with appropriate search committees, or as necessary, in accordance with the University of Tennessee procedures.

    2. Duties

      The authority and responsibility of each administrator shall be set forth in job descriptions as specified by the Dean.

    3. Review

      The performance of all administrative officers shall be reviewed annually by the Dean.

  3. Graduate Studies Council
    1. Composition

      The Graduate Studies Council is chaired by the Dean and consists of the Chair or Director of each program and department within the College, a representative from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and a student representative.

    2. Counsel

      The Graduate Studies Council is advised by the following committees appointed by the Dean of the College: Credentials Committee (Article III.A) and Curriculum Committee (Article III.B). In addition, The Graduate Studies Council is advised on student affairs by the Graduate Student Executive Committee (Article III.C) and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and on faculty affairs by the Faculty Committee (Article II.F). Advice on academic affairs and postdoctoral affairs are provided by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, respectively. The Graduate Studies Council may seek additional counsel as needed.

    3. Authority

      The Graduate Studies Council is responsible for reviewing new courses and programs in the CGHS. The Council also recommends the credentialing of faculty to the Dean. It shall be within the province of the Council on its own initiative to plan and to recommend institution of programs of graduate instruction; to set standards of admission and curricula; and to assemble, organize, and interpret information pertaining to the graduate programs at UTHSC. Recommendations arising from these activities shall be submitted to the Dean. When program matters that are of concern to another college or other unit are under consideration, the administrative head of that unit shall be consulted.

  4. Chairs and Directors
    1. Program Chairs and Directors

      Program Chairs and Directors are faculty members appointed by their respective programs. The Program Chair may designate the Program Director to sign concerning academic matters within the College. Program Chair and Director responsibilities include:

      1. recruiting students to their program;
      2. directing application and admissions;
      3. directing course registration;
      4. ensuring that students are meeting requirements for their degree program;
      5. making students aware of courses available from other programs;
      6. reporting annually on the status of the program;
      7. performing periodic program review (Article IV.G).
    2. Department Chairs

      Each Department Chair’s responsibilities include:

      1. accountability for all administrative and professional activities of the department;
      2. yearly review of the performance of faculty and staff in the department;
      3. initiating the process of promotion for the faculty of the department.
  5. Departments

    The College shall be organized into departments as necessary to fulfill the College mission.

  6. Faculty
    1. Responsibility

      The faculty are responsible for establishing and maintaining a standard of excellence for graduate work within the College. Members of the graduate faculty are responsible for the instruction of candidates for the M.S., M.D.S. and Ph.D. degrees, postdoctoral fellows, and other students enrolled at UTHSC. The post-baccalaureate programs for which the faculty are responsible are listed in the CGHS section of the Catalog. The faculty, along with the Dean, will continuously monitor ongoing programs to ensure that their level of excellence is maintained.

    2. Credentialing and Appointment of the Faculty

      Faculty may hold one or both of two faculty standings within the College: credentialed and appointed. Credentialing in the College is required before a faculty member may (1) direct a graduate course and serve on students’ faculty committees or (2) supervise the research of students working toward degrees awarded through the CGHS. Appointment is to a department within the College to fulfill specific duties within the department and University.

      1. Credentialing
        1. In general, the credentialed CGHS faculty consists of faculty members whose primary appointment is in one of the professional colleges of UTHSC and who are actively engaged in research. Any paid, affiliated, or adjunct faculty member at UTHSC who holds an earned doctorate or the highest degree appropriate to the field and has demonstrated an interest in research may be nominated by a Program Chair for credentialing as CGHS faculty.
        2. Approval of credentials to serve on the graduate faculty is made by the Dean upon the recommendation of a Program Chair and/or the Credentials Committee.
        3. Credentials to serve on the graduate faculty do not necessarily carry approval to direct degree research without additional certification as described in Article II.F.3.
      2. Appointment
        1. In certain instances, faculty may be appointed directly in a department within the College to fulfill specific instruction, research, and administrative needs that are best met by such an appointment.
        2. A primary or adjunct appointment in a department within the College does not credential the faculty member as described in Article II.F.2.a.
        3. The procedure for appointment in a department at a specific rank shall follow the procedures and criteria specified in the UTHSC Faculty Handbook for both tenure- and non-tenure-track appointments. Non-tenure track appointments are contingent on the availability of funds. With the Dean's approval, the department Chair will post the position and appoint an advisory search committee to review applicants. Appropriate candidates will interview with tenured/tenure-track faculty of equal or greater rank to the advertised position to judge the suitability of the candidate for appointment at rank and their ability to communicate effectively with students in English. In consultation with the faculty, the Chair will select the candidate and make an appropriate offer of appointment. For tenure-track appointments, the offer will include a specific period of pre-tenure probation that will occur before consideration of an application for tenure.
    3. Certification to Direct Degree Research
      1. Graduate faculty credentialed to direct master’s research shall have published in peer-reviewed journals, shall have served on thesis or dissertation committee(s) or supervised postdoctoral fellows for at least one year, and shall be involved in an active program of research.
      2. Graduate faculty credentialed to direct doctoral research shall have established independence in their research, in addition to the requirements for directing master’s research. Approval to direct degree research shall remain valid as long as an approved member holds the valid credential in the CGHS.
      3. To be a Research Advisor to direct master’s or doctoral degree research, graduate faculty from affiliated institutions must first be appointed as affiliated faculty at UTHSC. This appointment may be directly to the College or to another college at UTHSC.
    4. Credential Appeal Procedure

      In the event that an individual is not recommended for specific credentials by the Program Chair and/or the Credentials Committee, the individual may appeal to the Dean. The Dean’s decision to overturn a negative recommendation shall be accompanied by a justification statement that is communicated to the Graduate Studies Council.

    5. Promotion

      Promotion in rank will be based upon the consideration of the faculty member's qualifications relative to the criteria outlined in the UTHSC Faculty Handbook. An application for promotion in rank may be initiated by a faculty member no later than January 1; compilation of the application dossier may take considerable time and therefore should be initiated well in advance of the application deadline.

      The application dossier will document the fulfillment of the required criteria for promotion, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook Appendix N. The dossier must include the contact information of at least three references, only one from UTHSC, who can provide a subjective peer-evaluation of the candidate. The number of references is limited to six.

      In departments with greater than two faculty members (excluding the department chair) at or above the rank under consideration, those faculty will meet as a departmental committee to discuss the application and make an advisory recommendation to the department chair. The recommendation will include a summary of the discussion prepared by a chair elected by the departmental committee and the count of votes obtained by anonymous ballot. For the application to continue forward, the department chair will forward the dossier and a nominating letter to the chair of the Collegiate Promotion and Tenure (CPT) Committee. The dossier will also contain peer-evaluations obtained by the department chair from at least three references; these may include references not provided by the applicant. Should there be a negative departmental committee recommendation that is overturned countermanded by the department chair, the nominating letter should address the reason and the departmental committee may file a dissenting view to the CPT.

      After dissemination of the dossier to the CPT Committee, the CPT Committee Chair will entertain a motion to vote on the promotion that must be seconded before discussion of the application. In the event the motion to vote is not seconded, or a subsidiary motion to postpone indefinitely is seconded and passed by a simple majority, the Chair will communicate to the department chair the unwillingness of the CPT Committee to consider the application. An anonymous vote following a successful motion to close debate will be recorded by the Committee Chair. The voting record will be communicated in writing to the Dean for further action. Committee members may independently submit written dissenting views to the Dean.

      The Dean will review the CPT Committee's recommendation and dissenting views, if any, to make a final decision. The Dean will prepare a detailed written explanation for a decision that overturns the CPT Committee's recommendation or, in the event of a tie vote, a decision for or against promotion.

      Faculty denied promotion are entitled to appeal the decision as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

    6. Tenure

      Award of tenure will be based upon the consideration of the faculty member's qualifications relative to the criteria outlined in the UTHSC Faculty Handbook. Progress toward meeting these qualifications will be assessed with a mid-probation review (determined by the length of the probationary period specified in the appointment letter). The mid-probation review will follow the procedures for a tenure application but will not proceed beyond the department level.

      An application for award of tenure may be initiated by a faculty member no later than January 1; compilation of the application dossier may take considerable time and therefore should be initiated well in advance of the application deadline.

      The application dossier will document the fulfillment of the required criteria for tenure, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook Appendix L. The dossier must include the contact information of at least three references, only one from UTHSC, who can provide a subjective peer-evaluation of the candidate. The number of references is limited to six.

      In departments with greater than two tenured faculty members (excluding the department chair) at or above the rank under consideration, those faculty will meet as a departmental committee to discuss the application and make an advisory recommendation to the department chair. The recommendation will include a summary of the discussion prepared by a chair elected by the departmental committee and the count of votes obtained by anonymous ballot. For the application to continue forward, the department chair will forward the dossier and a nominating letter to the chair of the Collegiate Promotion and Tenure (CPT) Committee. The dossier will also contain peer-evaluations obtained by the department chair from at least three references; these may include references not provided by the applicant. Should there be a negative departmental committee recommendation that is overturned countermanded by the department chair, the nominating letter should address the reason and the departmental committee may file a dissenting view to the CPT.

      After dissemination of the dossier to the CPT Committee, the CPT Committee Chair will entertain a motion to vote on tenure that must be seconded before discussion of the application. In the event the motion to vote is not seconded, or a subsidiary motion to postpone indefinitely is seconded and passed by a simple majority, the Chair will communicate to the department chair the unwillingness of the CPT Committee to consider the application. An anonymous vote following a successful motion to close debate will be recorded by the Committee Chair. The voting record will be communicated in writing to the Dean for further action. Committee members may independently submit written dissenting views to the Dean.

      The Dean will review the CPT Committee's recommendation and dissenting views, if any, to make a final decision. The Dean will prepare a detailed written explanation for a decision that overturns the CPT Committee's recommendation or, in the event of a tie vote, a decision for or against tenure. Faculty denied tenure are entitled to appeal the decision as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

    7. Termination for Adequate Cause

      The procedures for termination of a faculty member, tenured, tenure track, or non-tenure track, for adequate cause are outlined in the UTHSC Faculty Handbook. An advisory committee of all departmental and College tenured faculty will review and vote on the initiation of termination proceedings as outlined in the UTHSC Faculty Handbook 8.3.1.2.

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Article III. Standing Committees

All standing committees of the College of Graduate Health Sciences shall have the option of meeting by any means in which the call to order and adjournment of the meeting can be communicated to the committee membership, and each committee member can participate in the committee proceedings during the meeting.

  1. Credentials Committee

    The Credentials Committee is responsible for reviewing applications for credentialing of the faculty and recommending faculty credentials to the Graduate Studies Council. The Credentials Committee meets as needed, at least twice yearly, to review applications for faculty credentials.

  2. Curriculum Committee

    The Curriculum Committee advises the Graduate Studies Council on curriculum matters, including review and approval of new course proposals and new programs of study. Each program director or chair communicates new course proposals or changes to courses or the program curriculum to the Curriculum Committee for review, comment, and approval. For the Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering, the joint curriculum is coordinated at regular joint faculty meetings; the program director or chair communicates new course proposals or changes to courses or the program curriculum to the Curriculum Committee for review, comment, and approval. The Curriculum Committee meets monthly, as needed.

  3. Graduate Student Executive Committee

    The Graduate Student Executive Committee is a student organization with representatives from each degree program. The Committee acts on matters of concern to the students and advises the Graduate Studies Council on student matters.

  4. Postdoc Advisory Committee

    The Postdoc Advisory Committee is an organization with representatives from investigators, postdoctoral fellows, the Office of International Affairs, the Faculty Senate, and departmental business managers. The Committee acts on matter of concern to postdoctoral fellow training and advises the Dean.

  5. Faculty Committee

    The Faculty Committee serves to foster communication among College faculty and leadership, provide a forum to discuss items of faculty interest, and advise Graduate Studies Council. The Faculty Committee consists of faculty holding full- or part-time appointments within the College; all such faculty are members of the Faculty Committee. Faculty holding a credential without an appointment are represented through their academic programs. The Faculty Committee will elect a chairperson from the Committee membership at the Spring-term committee meeting to serve as the presiding officer at all meetings of the Committee in the subsequent academic year. The Faculty Committee shall meet no less than once per academic term.

  6. Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee

    Per the UTHSC Faculty Handbook, the CGHS Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee will consist of at least four tenured faculty and a non-voting tenured faculty chair appointed by the Dean. An academic officer from the College will also be appointed by the Dean and will serve as an ex officio non-voting member. In the event that there are not enough tenured faculty in the College to compose a committee, the Dean will appoint tenured faculty from other colleges. All members of the committee will hold a credential in the College and must be full-time UTHSC faculty. Committee composition will be such that these requirements are met with faculty at or above the rank of the application(s) under consideration.

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Article IV. Academic and Student Affairs

  1. Catalog and CenterScope Statements

    The UTHSC Catalog and The CenterScope statements have the force of policy.

  2. Admissions
    1. Graduates of The University of Tennessee and of other accredited institutions are eligible to apply for admission to the College. The College will consider all applicants who have completed the necessary prerequisites for advanced study.

    2. Equal educational opportunity is offered to all persons without regard to race, religion, sex, age, creed, color, national origin, or disability.

    3. There are certain minimum abilities required for eligibility to participate successfully in educational programs and activities by students enrolled in the CGHS. These are listed in the Catalog. All persons who wish to enter one of the programs in the CGHS should be aware of the minimum abilities required for success.

    4. Admission decisions for the College programs do not take disabilities into consideration; students may disclose their disabilities after admission.

    5. A prospective student must have completed undergraduate prerequisites for graduate study, as determined by the respective graduate program. Admissions are restricted to the self-determined capacities of the programs involved in graduate study.

  3. Student Status

    Regular students are students who seek admission to one of the doctoral or master’s degree programs offered by the College. Regular students must register for at least nine credit hours each term to be considered full-time.

  4. Degree Candidacy

    Admission to the College entitles the student to register for graduate courses but does not mean that the student is admitted as a candidate for an advanced degree. Candidacy for an advanced degree will be determined after the student has satisfied criteria established by the program in which the student seeks training and by the College.

  5. Academic Progress
    1. Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student. This evaluation includes not only periodic objective evaluations such as the GPA, performance on comprehensive examinations, and acceptance of the thesis or dissertation, but also subjective appraisal by the faculty of the student’s progress and potential. Other attributes, primarily those concerned with the level of professionalism expected of a student in a particular discipline, may be considered.

    2. Continuation of graduate study within the College results from positive actions taken by the program.

  6. Academic Due Process

    A student who is denied continuation in a graduate program has the right to appeal as outlined in College policies.

  7. Periodic Program Review

    The College educational programs will undergo periodic program review in accordance with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission requirements.

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Article V. Parliamentary Authority

Robert's Rules of Order shall govern meetings of the College and its subsidiary organizations provided they are not in conflict with the bylaws or other rules of the College.

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College of Graduate Health Sciences
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Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-5538