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By-laws

Article I. Membership

A. The Graduate Faculty in Marine Biology
The Graduate Program in Marine Biology is one of the graduate programs of the College of Charleston (CofC). Its faculty members are appointed under criteria specified below. Faculty members are drawn from a number of additional institutions in the area. By criteria and procedures established in this document, all regular marine biology graduate faculty members have co-equality in teaching, advising, and governance roles as defined herein. Members of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology whose primary employment is not at CofC hold adjunct appointments in the College of Charleston Department of Biology and are also adjunct members of the CofC graduate faculty.

Members of the graduate faculty share an avowed interest in graduate instruction through scholarly research, student advising, the teaching of advanced subjects, and program development.

B. The By-Laws
These By-Laws and all amendments shall constitute the rules and regulations governing the conduct and procedures of the faculty of the Graduate program in Marine Biology in the performance of its duties. Throughout this document, “the faculty” refers to the marine biology graduate faculty and “the program” refers to the Graduate Program in Marine Biology.

C. Criteria for Selection of the Graduate Faculty

  1. An earned advanced degree, in the candidate’s field.
  2. Evidence of productive scholarship by the candidate. Such evidence may include two of the following:
    1. Recent publications of the results of original investigations in appropriately edited journals in which manuscript contents are critically evaluated.
    2. Research grant support from extramural sources.
    3. Recognition of research competency by one’s peers, such as serving on national review committees. In certain cases, other specific recognized professional accomplishments may qualify a candidate for appointment.
  3. Active or planned participation in graduate education such as teaching graduate courses, serving on graduate committees, and taking part in any other activities relevant to the training of graduate students.

D. Appointment to the Graduate Faculty

  1. There are two categories of faculty membership. Regular members possess an earned doctorate (or the equivalent). Associate members possess a Master’s degree (or the equivalent).
  2. Any regular member of the faculty may recommend candidates for consideration for appointment to the faculty.
  3. The Marine Biology Council shall review the credentials of all proposed appointees to the graduate faculty. Following study by the Council, appointee’s names must be brought before the entire faculty for their evaluation. The Marine Biology Council (based on their vote) will make a recommendation to the entire faculty with respect to whether each appointment should be made. If a candidate is approved for appointment by the faculty, his or her name will be sent for approval to the Dean of Graduate Studies of CofC by the Director of the program.
  4. Appointments to the faculty are made by the President of the CofC upon recommendation of the Dean of Graduate Studies of CofC.
  5. Appointments are for a period of three years.
  6. Appointees to the graduate faculty must indicate their acceptance, in writing, to the President.
  7. If a member’s employment shall cease at the institution from which he or she was appointed, the faculty appointment ends. Any reappointment shall follow the procedure for initial reappointment.

E. Reappointments to the Graduate Faculty

  1. Faculty having completed a term of appointment may be reappointed by demonstrating, during his or her previous term, active participation in aspects of graduate education such as: continued productive scholarship, the teaching of graduate level courses, chairing or serving on graduate student advisory or examination committees, and active participation in the business of the graduate faculty.
  2. Reappointment to the faculty shall follow the same procedure and criteria as for appointment to the faculty.

F. Associate faculty

Associate faculty members possess a Master’s degree (or its equivalent), but not an earned doctorate. An associate faculty member will have all the rights of regular graduate faculty members, except the right to serve as a major advisor to graduate students. Appointment, continuation of appointment and reappointment of associate faculty members will follow the same procedures as for regular faculty. Appointments will be for a term of three years.

Article II. Functions of the Graduate Faculty

The faculty shall assume the following functions:

  1. Establish and instruct such committees, standing and ad hoc, as may be necessary for the performance of its function and elect to provide for the appointment of the members of the committees.
  2. The faculty shall be concerned with all matters relating to the academic program, the curriculum, admissions and continuation standards, and degree requirements. The faculty shall have the right and obligation to recommend to the President of CofC needed institutional and academic studies, either directly or through appropriate committees. The President shall then transmit such recommendations to the Board of Trustees along with his or her recommendation. Final actions on such proposals shall be with the Board of Trustees.

Article III. Officers

Section 1

A. Director, Marine Biology Graduate Program

  1. Appointment
    The director shall be a marine scientist and shall be appointed by the President of CofC. The Director shall have his or her appointment in the Biology Department of the College of Charleston. The Director shall be responsible to the appropriate administrators at CofC in all matters of program administration and fiscal management.
  2. Duties
    The Director coordinates and administers all phases of education and research of the Program, including utilization of communal space assigned to the Program by the Marine Resources Division and such other space as may become available for the Program. He or she is responsible for the preparation of an annual report (submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies); the preparation and control of expenditures of an annual budget of operation as approved by the appropriate CofC administrators; and is the principal institutional officer for all requests in support of the Program. The Director shall be the speaker of the faculty and shall preside at all meetings of such faculty.

Section 2

B. Secretary
At its last meeting of the academic year (Spring), the faculty shall elect from among its membership a Secretary, who will serve for a term of one year and who will be responsible for performing the duties normally associated with such an office.

Section 3

C. Parliamentarian
At its last meeting of the academic year (Spring), the faculty shall elect from among its membership a Parliamentarian, who will serve for a term of one year and who will be responsible for performing the duties normally associated with such an office.

Article IV. Meetings

Section 1

A. The faculty shall meet at least once each academic semester. Meetings shall be called by the Director. The Director or, in his or her absence, the Secretary, shall preside. In cases involving absence of both, the faculty will elect from among its membership at the meeting a Director Pro Tempore, who will preside.

B. Additional meetings may be called upon submission of a written petition of at least 20% of the faculty to the Director. Said meetings shall be held in twenty-one calendar days.

C. Thirty percent of the graduate faculty shall constitute a quorum.

D. The director, with the assistance of the Secretary, shall prepare the agenda. Faculty members may submit items for inclusion on the agenda. The faculty Secretary shall circulate written notice of the meetings together with the agenda at least one week before each regular meeting.

Section 2

In all deliberations, the faculty and its committee shall adhere to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Interpretations shall be made by the Parliamentarian.

Section 3

Motions for a roll call or a secret ballot are in order. A person must be present at the meeting in order to cast his or her ballot. Unless otherwise required by these Bylaws, motions are decided by a majority of those voting. In case of a tie, the presiding officer may cast the deciding vote.

Article V. Committees of the Faculty

Section 1

General Regulations

  1. Members of committees shall be elected for a term of one year, with the exception of members of the Marine Biology Council, who serve for three years. Members of other committees may be reelected twice and then may serve again only after a lapse of three years.
  2. A Nominating Committee, made up of four faculty members elected by the faculty at the first meeting of the academic year, submits names of candidates for all committees. Any member of the faculty may make additional nominations for committee membership from the floor.
  3. All standing committees shall be elected at the last meeting of the faculty each academic year.
  4. The Secretary of the faculty shall publish and distribute to all faculty members a complete list of committees upon election of the committees.
  5. Within ten days after the election of new committees, the chairs of the outgoing committees shall call meetings of the new committees and transfer all records to them.
  6. Each new committee shall elect a chair and a secretary and report these names to the Secretary of the faculty.
  7. When a vacancy occurs between regular elections, the position shall be filled by election at the next regular meeting of the faculty.
  8. Each committee shall meet and shall report to the faculty at least once each semester.
  9. One student shall sit on each standing committee, except for the Admissions Committee, but they may not vote. These students shall be elected by the Marine Biology Graduate Student Association.
  10. A simple majority of the committee membership shall constitute a quorum.
  11. Meetings of a committee may be called by the committee chair or at least 50% of the members.
  12. Committees will be elected according to the multiple selection procedure prescribed in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. A majority vote is required for election to all committees. If an insufficient number of candidates received a majority to constitute a committee on the first ballot, run-off elections will be held. each run-off slate will exclude the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes in the previous balloting.

Section 2

The following committees are established:
Marine Biology Council

  1. The Director of the Program is the Chair of the Marine Biology Council. In addition to the Director, this standing committee is composed of nine members, including three from the College of Charleston and six at-large members. No more than two at-large members can come from the same institution.
  2. The Director cannot serve as a representative of CofC. He or she will vote only in case of a tie. The Director shall chair all meetings, schedule meetings, notify all representatives, and must convene a meeting when one-third of the Council petitions in writing for a special session.
  3. A member of the Council (excluding the Director) will serve a three-year term and may succeed himself or herself once in this appointment. Members are elected for staggered terms (1/3 each year).
  4. The Council is responsible for reviewing the Program, including core curricula and all other courses for inclusion in the Program as recommended by the Curriculum and Academic Planning Committee. Recommendations of the Council regarding the curriculum must be submitted for action to the faculty and the to the Dean of Graduate Studies of CofC. Final decisions will be made by the President of CofC.
  5. The Council will periodically review and evaluate as appropriate the curriculum and requirements so that the Program reflects the needs of the students and the community and is academically and scientifically sound. Changes recommended by the Council are subject to approval by the Faculty. Such recommendations shall be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies of CofC for his or her approval.
  6. The Marine Biology Council is also concerned with formulating long range goals related to marine biology graduate education, including reviewing the establishment of mechanisms both to accomplish these goals and to monitor their success.
  7. The Marine Biology Council functions as the steering body of the marine biology graduate program and serves the interests of the program and the individual students. The Council has primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of each graduate student in the program until the student has chosen a thesis advisor and committee. the Council hears and makes recommendations upon appeals from graduate students regarding changes in status, extension of time limits, satisfaction of requirements, transfer of credits, and other similar matters. Their recommendations will become final unless appealed in accordance with appropriate student procedures at CofC.

Admissions Committee

  1. The Admissions Committee shall consist of eight faculty members: two from CofC and six at-large. No more than three members can come from any one institution.
  2. The duties of the committee shall be:
    1. To review and make recommendations concerning admission procedures and policies. Admission policies must be adopted by the faculty and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies and President of CofC.
    2. To review applications for admission and make decisions concerning admissions.
    3. To review applications for financial assistance, assistantships and fellowships for new students and make recommendations concerning these. In many cases funds for support of new students comes from departments or agencies of the participating institutions and are designated for defined purposes (e.g., Teaching or Research Assistants). In these cases, final decisions on awards of support shall be made by the appropriate department chair or agency administrator in consultation with the Program Director.

Curriculum and Academic Planning Committee

  1. The Curriculum and Academic Planning Committee shall consist of eight faculty members: two from CofC and six at-large members. No more than three members can come from the same institution.
  2. The duties of the Committee shall be:
    1. To make recommendations to the Marine Biology Council concerning all courses, programs and changes in the graduate curriculum. No changes in the curriculum shall be presented to the Marine Biology Council without the committee's action. If approved by the Marine Biology Council, recommendations of the Curriculum and Academic Planning Committee are forwarded to the faculty for approval. Upon approval, these curriculum changes will be forwarded to the appropriate body at CofC for institutional approval.
    2. To review and make recommendations with regard to graduation requirements.
    3. To review and make recommendations to the Marine Biology Council with regard to graduate academic requirements and programs, both existing and projected, in the light of the purposes, resources and long-range plans of the program and the needs of the students.
    4. To recommend to the Marine Biology Council long-range activities and goals for the program. To this end, the committee shall:
      1. gather information from such administrators, academic departments, committees, program directors, and other individuals as necessary;
      2. gather necessary budgetary information for new activities and goals.

Funding and Cooperative Research Committee

  1. The Funding and Cooperative Research Committee shall consist of four members, one from CofC and three at-large.
  2. The duties of the committee shall be:
    1. To investigate sources of funding to insure continued progress toward research and academic goals.
    2. To expedite cooperative sharing of facilities, personnel, and equipment among participating institutions.

Faculty-Student Relations Committee

  1. The Faculty-Student Relations Committee shall consist of four faculty members. One from CofC and three at-large.
  2. The committee shall be responsible for orientation and introduction of all new students to available facilities and the faculty.
  3. The committee shall be responsible for development and operation of a continuing scholarly seminar series.
  4. The committee shall be responsible for the preparation and annual updating of a graduate student handbook.
  5. The committee shall be responsible for regular interfacing with the graduate student body to maintain morale and help identify student concerns and communicate them to the faculty and to the Marine Biology Council.

Articles VI. Procedures for Amending the By-Laws

  1. Initiation: A change in the By-Laws must be proposed by a motion from a member of the faculty and seconded by another member at any regular meeting of the faculty and submitted in writing to the program Director. The Director will appoint an ad hoc amendment committee (composed of the initiating member and at least three other faculty members approved by a majority of the members present).
  2. Committee Analysis: The amendment committee will study the changes proposed, prepare an analysis of the effects on the Program, and write in clear form compatible with the existing By-Laws. They will submit their report to the Director in time for it and a copy of the formal amendment to be circulated to all members of the faculty at least two weeks prior to the next official meeting of the faculty.
  3. Enactment: The amendment will be read at the next meeting of the faculty and the report of the ad hoc amendment committee will be presented. The faculty will then discuss and vote on the amendment. To be enacted, an amendment must be approved by two-thirds of those voting. After final action on the amendment, the ad hoc committee is dissolved. No such amendment will be effective until approved by the Board of Trustees of CofC upon recommendation by its Dean of Graduate Studies and President.