Drafted March 2008; Approved April 2008; Amended February 2014; Amended October 2015; Amended October 2018

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1: Name

The name of this body is the University Graduate Council of the Graduate School at Montana State University, hereafter referred to as the UGC.

Section 2: Purpose and Duties

The purpose of UGC is to facilitate graduate education at Montana State University and the specific duties are to:
1. Advise the Dean of the Graduate School;
2. Make recommendations about graduate programs and curricula and forward decisions to the Dean of the Graduate School;
3. Promote graduate education and the success of graduate students;
4. Evaluate graduate education to ensure quality and currency;
5. Evaluate and make recommendations on creating and deleting programs and curriculum changes by departments and colleges;
6. Consider issues raised by faculty or graduate students related to policies and procedures;
7. Establish criteria for membership on UGC;
8. Establish bylaws governing the organization of UGC, the frequency of its meetings, and procedures for the conduct of its meetings.
9. Communicate with university stakeholders about changes in policies and procedures.

Article II: Organization and Administration

Section 1: Membership

Each College at MSU is represented by one council member, except the Colleges of Letters and Science, Arts & Architecture, and Education & Health and Human Development who have two representatives each to better represent the dual disciplines in these colleges. Members must be tenured or tenure-track faculty. Each member has one vote. In addition to the voting members from colleges, there are up to three graduate students, who are in good standing, that represent the Graduate Student body. Ex Officio non-voting members include the Dean of the Graduate School, the Vice-Chair of the MSU Faculty Senate, the Library, International Programs, and the graduate student representatives.

Section 2: Selection and Terms

Faculty members are selected through processes determined by each College and serve three-year staggered terms ending on June 30th. Any faculty member may be elected for two consecutive three-year terms after which the member shall rotate off UGC. The Graduate Student representatives are appointed by rotation among the Colleges and serve a one-year term that may be repeatable and overlapping.  The Graduate Student representatives do not need to be full-time.

UGC members are expected to actively participate, regularly attend meetings, and keep their constituents informed about matters discussed before UGC.

Section 3: Meetings

UGC has two regularly scheduled meetings each month during the academic year. The dates and times of these meetings shall be set after consultation with UGC members. Meetings shall be held at the MSU Bozeman campus with off-campus members participating through teleconference or videoconferencing technology.

Section 4: Quorum

A quorum at a regular meeting shall consist of a minimum of 50% of the voting members of UGC. A majority vote of the members present for a quorum shall determine all actions.

Section 5: Mail Vote

In the absence of a quorum, members present may record their votes and request a mail vote of members not in attendance. The time of reply shall be limited to 5 days. Upon receipt, mail votes shall be tallied and the majority of votes will determine actions of UGC.

Section 6: Agenda and Minutes

Minutes of UGC meetings will be recorded by a staff member of the Graduate School. Agendas for upcoming meetings will be distributed at least three days before the meetings are held.

Article III: Officers

Section 1: Officers

UGC meetings shall be presided over by the Chair of UGC. Members of the UGC shall elect The Chair and Vice Chair and each will serve a two-year term. The Vice Chair presides in the absence of the Chair and is the Chair-elect becoming the Chair after the two-year term of the present Chair is over. In the event that neither the Chair nor the Vice Chair can preside over a meeting, the members present may select a member to preside.

Article IV: Committees

Section 1: Standing Committees

There are three standing committees: Curriculum, Governance, Policy and Procedures. These committees complete duties prescribed by UGC bylaws, policy, or other duties assigned by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Section 2: Other Committees

As determined by UGC in consultation with the Dean of the Graduate School, additional committees or task forces may be formed.

Article V: Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of UGC provided members receive at least 5 working days written notice prior to such a meeting that describes the amendment and its purpose. To approve an amendment to the Bylaws, a two-thirds vote of the UGC is required.