A template to help colleges and departments write graduate program bylaws is available ONLINE

www.gradsch.wsu.edu/faculty-staff/coordinatorsresources via a link on the right under “Revised WSU Grad Program Bylaws Guidelines.” An example of bylaws for a hypothetical graduate program also is available under the “Sample Bylaws” link.

Providing for each WSU graduate program to establish and administer bylaws is part of the Graduate School initiative to update policies and procedures.

Bylaws are intended to give programs flexibility while enhancing quality, said Debra Sellon, professor in veterinary clinical sciences and associate dean in the Graduate School.

“Bylaws will help faculty clarify governance of graduate programs,” she said. “They will let programs determine which faculty participate and in what ways. This allows faculty to set up their own decision-making processes.

“Bylaws also will enable faculty to develop a structure for regular review of procedures,” she said.

Perhaps most exciting, Sellon said, bylaws will help define how faculty can participate in graduate programs that may not be in their own college or on their home campus.

“This opens the door for interdisciplinary collaboration, for faculty to be active in any program for which they qualify – and to place their graduate students in the area that best suits their goals,” Sellon said. “It increases the flow of ideas without interference of artificial barriers.”

Deans are being asked for a schedule of bylaws submissions from their colleges, with programs divided equally among quarterly due dates: July 2009, October 2009, January 2010 and April 2010. Program bylaws will be reviewed by the Graduate School and graduate studies committee prior to approval by the Faculty Senate.

With the bylaws, colleges also will submit a list of faculty “grandfathered in” as approved participants in graduate programs. All those participating as graduate faculty who are not WSU faculty must be approved as adjunct faculty and must submit a CV to the Graduate School dean. Annual updates of approved faculty also will be sent to the Graduate School.

See an earlier WSU Today article about the Graduate School policies and procedures update ONLINE @ www.wsutoday.wsu.edu and search “graduate policies.”