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The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) first opened its doors as an expansion of the TTUHSC (Lubbock) GSBS, and seated its first class of master’s students on the then regional campus in El Paso in the fall of 2013. In August 2014, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) officially acknowledged the creation of a freestanding, independent GSBS at TTUHSC El Paso. In January 22, 2016, the Master of Science (M.S.) in Biomedical Sciences degree was approved by the THECB and officially added to TTUHSC El Paso’s program inventory. On September 1, 2016, the post-baccalaureate certificate program in biomedical sciences was approved by the THECB and officially added to the TTUHSC El Paso’s program inventory.
Subject to the policies and procedures of the TTUHSC El Paso and the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, and subject to their approval, the GSBS Faculty shall define and implement the mission and goals of the GSBS and shall have the responsibility for review of and final actions for the following:
- Definition and delivery of the content of the curriculum.
- Effectively assess student learning outcomes for each GSBS academic programs.
- Develop and enhance opportunities for inter professional education in order to assess student learning and understanding of the Biomedical Sciences.
- Promote student participation on Biomedical research projects to gain first-hand experience in a laboratory setting.
- Award passing grades only to those students who have demonstrated mastery of the course material.
- Evaluate and determine whether students' behavior or conduct is suitable to represent the scientific community.
Faculty Credentials. It is the policy of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) (and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso)) that an official academic transcript for each faculty member be kept on file as required for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Furthermore, faculty with international degrees are required to provide course-by-course transcript evaluations. The GSBS makes every effort to obtain transcripts from the hiring department. The GSBS Dean reviews all transcripts submitted by all departments for the purpose of appointing new graduate faculty.
2.1 General. To be eligible for membership, all faculty members must be employed by TTUHSC El Paso. GSBS faculty are faculty who have appointments through the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM).
Prospective members must: (1) be recommended for membership by a majority of the voting GSBS members; and (2) be approved for GSBS membership by the GSBS Graduate Council and by the Dean. All nominations for GSBS membership are submitted to the GSBS Graduate Council by the GSBS main office.
GSBS graduate faculty membership privileges vary by category:
- Full Member – This membership status is determined by the faculty member’s primary qualifications and career interests. Full members have all membership privileges (a-e) listed in Section 2.2.
- Associate Member – This membership status is primarily granted for the purpose of teaching. Membership privileges under this category are limited to privileges (b), (c), and (f) listed in Section 2.2.
Emeritus/retired TTUHSC El Paso faculty may only be granted associate membership at the discretion of the GSBS Dean. Members of the GSBS graduate faculty who wish to retire, including emeritus appointments, may switch to associate membership by notifying the GSBS main office. Failure to notify the GSBS shall result in discontinuation of membership.
2.2 Membership Privileges. Depending on the membership category, membership privileges may include:
- Teaching and/or serving as the instructor of record in a graduate-level course.
- Teaching in a graduate-level course.
- Serving on student hearing committee as a chair and/or a voting member of the committee during a student grievance procedure.
- Voting on issues pertaining to curriculum requirements, graduate course content, election of new faculty members, and changes to the specific guidelines of the graduate program.
- Serving as a representative on the GSBS Graduate Council or on any committee appointed by the GSBS Graduate Council, GSBS graduate faculty, and/or GSBS Dean; and voting in the election of members to the GSBS Graduate Council.
- Voting in the election of officers of the GSBS graduate faculty, and on general GSBS issues.
2.3 Membership Criteria. Criteria for graduate faculty membership within the TTUHSC El Paso GSBS include: (a) possession of the terminal academic degree in the field, or recognition for substantive and distinctive contributions to the discipline; (b) tangible evidence of ongoing productivity in scholarly research and/or creative activity; (c) successful experience in (or potential for) teaching, counseling, and/or directing students at the graduate level; and (d) demonstration of professional behavior in interactions with colleagues, students, and staff. The guidelines for fulfilling these criteria shall be established by the GSBS Dean and by the GSBS Graduate Council.
2.4 Review of Membership. Each GSBS graduate faculty member shall be recommended for renewal in five-year intervals. The renewal shall be supported with recommendations by the GSBS Graduate Council and for either approval or disapproval from the GSBS Dean. Any graduate faculty member who no longer demonstrates evidence of meeting the criteria described in section 2.3 shall be notified of the deficiencies and placed on probation for a period of up to two years. If deficiencies persist through the end of the probationary period, the TTUHSC El Paso GSBS membership shall be terminated.
3.0 Frequency and Purpose of Meetings. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) faculty shall meet annually in the month of May. Additional meetings may be called by the GSBS Dean, by vote of the GSBS Graduate Council, or by petition representing at least 25 percent of GSBS faculty members. The purpose of these meetings is to conduct business brought forward by the faculty and administration of the GSBS.
3.1 Notification of Meetings. Members of the GSBS graduate faculty shall be notified of the time and place of a regular or special meeting of the GSBS graduate faculty at least two weeks in advance.
3.2 Authority. The GSBS graduate faculty may override by majority vote any specific action taken by the GSBS Graduate Council.
3.4 Agenda and Conduct of GSBS Faculty Meetings. The agenda of the GSBS faculty meetings shall be established by the GSBS Dean, and the GSBS Graduate Council. Only agenda items may be considered for formal action at meetings. Matters not on the agenda may be discussed, but formal action shall require either a ballot vote of the entire GSBS graduate faculty or the scheduling of another duly announced GSBS faculty meeting. Unless otherwise stated in the bylaws herein, “Robert's Rules of Order” by Henry M. Robert shall be followed in conducting meetings of the GSBS graduate faculty.
3.5 Majority Vote. Decisions of the GSBS faculty shall be made by a simple majority vote (more than half of the votes cast) of members present at a duly called meeting or by a simple majority vote of members casting mail or email ballots. The number of GSBS faculty in attendance at a meeting or responding to mail and/or email ballots is referred to as a quorum.
4.1 The GSBS Graduate Council. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) Graduate Council, a governing body of elected representatives, shall act on behalf of the GSBS graduate faculty and shall serve as an advisory body to the GSBS Dean on all matters relating to the GSBS programs. It is expected that the GSBS Dean consult the GSBS Graduate Council on all actions considered in relation to the graduate programs. Should a recommendation by the GSBS Graduate Council be disapproved by the Dean, reasons for this disapproval shall be communicated to the GSBS Graduate Council before further actions are taken.
4.2 Membership on the GSBS Graduate Council. The GSBS Graduate Council shall consist of GSBS graduate faculty members. Graduate Council members shall be elected by the GSBS graduate faculty. A representative elected by the GSBS Graduate Student Association shall serve as a non-voting member of the GSBS Graduate Council.
4.3 Terms of Membership. Elected GSBS Graduate Council members shall serve two-year terms with unrestricted eligibility for re-election. They shall be elected in alternate years by April 15 and take office September 1.
4.4 Vacancies. GSBS Graduate Council vacancies or unexpired terms shall be filled by graduate faculty election.
4.5 Attendance. All GSBS Graduate Council members are expected to attend the meetings of the GSBS Graduate Council. No alternatives or representatives will be allowed in the GSBS Graduate Council meetings. Three unexcused absences shall result in replacement on the council by another faculty member selected by the GSBS Dean.
4.6 Officers of the GSBS Graduate Council. The GSBS Dean shall serve as chair of the GSBS Graduate Council and shall have the deciding vote in the event of a tie.
4.7 Frequency and Conduct of Meetings. The GSBS Graduate Council shall generally meet monthly, although additional meetings may be called by the GSBS Dean or as voted by the GSBS Graduate Council. All members are required to attend the GSBS Graduate Council meetings. Decisions by the GSBS Graduate Council shall be made by a majority vote. Unless otherwise stated in bylaws herein, “Robert's Rules of Order” shall be followed in conducting meetings of the GSBS Graduate Council.
4.8 Agenda Items and Announcement of Meetings. Any member of the GSBS Graduate Council may place items on the agenda of a GSBS Graduate Council meeting. Announcement of the time, place, and agenda for any meeting shall be sent at least two weeks prior to the meeting. Matters not on the agenda may be discussed, but only agenda items may be considered for formal action at the meeting — unless all members (or alternates) are present and vote unanimously to suspend this rule.
The Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences shall be appointed by the President of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) Associate/Assistant Dean shall be appointed by and report to the GSBS Dean; shall serve as the staff member responsible for the administration of the GSBS graduate programs; and shall serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the GSBS graduate faculty. If elected to membership in the GSBS graduate faculty, the Associate/Assistant Dean may also serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the GSBS Graduate Council.
7.1 Authority and Affiliation Agreements. The administrative responsibility for the GSBS graduate programs shall fall under the GSBS through the authority vested in the GSBS Dean by the chancellor, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso president, and the TTU System Board of Regents. Affiliation agreements may be developed between the GSBS and other institutions for such purposes as developing interdisciplinary graduate programs, sharing administrative services, establishing common standards and common admissions procedures, facilitating cross-campus student enrollment in graduate courses, etc. The GSBS Dean may delegate certain aspects of graduate student program management to the Associate Academic Dean to facilitate intercampus program collaboration within these affiliation agreements. All existing and proposed affiliation agreements should be reported at least once per year to the GSBS Graduate Council.
7.2 Course Director’s (Faculty of Record) Responsibilities. Course directors shall be responsible for the content of the course syllabus, review of exams, exam grading, and any other activity related to class delivery, taking into consideration the recommendation of the Dean as well as student feedback provided through course evaluations.
7.3 Associate Course Director’s Responsibilities. Associate course directors shall assist the course director in activities related to the development and delivery of the course content as needed.
This governance plan may be amended upon submission to the graduate faculty and by a simple majority vote, either in person or through mail and/or email ballots.
Amendments to the bylaws shall be subject to final approval by the GSBS Dean and the TTUHSC El Paso president. Written notice of the intention to consider amendments to this document shall be sent to all members of the GSBS graduate faculty at least 15 days prior to the call for a vote.
Administrative changes for minor corrections/additions may be made to the bylaws by the GSBS Dean with notice to the Graduate Council. Minor changes include, but are not limited to, changes to titles and/or administrative structure.