Bylaws are the written rules that determine how the Medical School conducts its business, and they define the procedures for the shared governance of the Medical School. Our bylaws are grounded in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Definitions and responsibilities of the entities mentioned in these bylaws are found in the Medical School constitution.
The bylaws of the Medical School must be in compliance with University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, and with the Medical School constitution, all of which have precedence. These bylaws are independent of any employment contract with the University and therefore do not determine terms or conditions of employment.
Article 1. Dean
Section 1. Appointment
- The dean is appointed by the University of Minnesota president in accordance with University policy.
- The dean may be assisted by assistant, associate, executive, or vice deans who are appointed by the dean. Regional campus dean(s) (or designated medical school officers) are appointed by the dean, and may be assisted by assistant or associate deans who are appointed by the regional campus dean(s). In this document, the phrase “designated medical school officer” is used to refer to any of the assistant, associate, executive, vice deans, or regional campus dean(s).
- Per University policy and accreditation regulations, the dean and regional campus dean(s) cannot be members of any admissions, scholastic standing, appointment, or promotion and tenure committees or councils.
- All designated medical school officers should hold a primary appointment as a faculty member in a Medical School department.
- The search process for any dean position must follow University policy and procedures, should provide Medical School members with the opportunity to meet openly with and hear from candidates who are announced as finalists, and should allow for all relevant constituencies to provide input on the selection process.
Section 2. Reviews
- The dean and regional campus dean(s) must perform developmental and evaluative reviews of the designated medical school officers in accordance with University policy.
Article 2. Campuses
- A proposal to create, significantly reconfigure, or eliminate a Medical School campus should be made in consultation with the Medical School councils and dean prior to presentation to the Board of Regents.
Article 3. Departments
- A proposal to create, significantly modify, or eliminate a department should be made in consultation with the Medical School councils prior to approval by the dean.
- Departmental name changes occur following the approval of the proposal by the Faculty Assembly.
Section 1. Department Heads
- Department heads are appointed by the dean and must hold a primary appointment as a faculty member in the Medical School department that they lead. Interim department heads must hold a primary appointment as a faculty member in a Medical School department.
- The search process for a department head position must follow University policy.
- The dean conducts developmental and evaluative reviews of the department heads in accordance with University policy.
Article 4. Faculty Practice Plan
- The procedures governing the operation of University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians) are provided in its bylaws.
Article 5. General Rules for Medical School Committees and Councils
The rules outlined in this Article apply unless specific deviations from these rules are outlined in these bylaws.
Unless qualified, in the sections of this Article below, the word “committee” refers to the councils, and their standing committees and subcommittees.
Section 1. Committee Membership
- The Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) will maintain the membership lists of councils and committees, and notify the faculty when there are open positions. Faculty will nominate themselves or be nominated for various positions by submitting a short biography and a statement about why they feel they should serve on the committee. OFA will verify eligibility, and prepare a list of nominated faculty members to be presented to the Faculty Assembly and distributed for vote. Voting for open faculty positions will occur once per year.
- With the exceptions below, each committee will develop a nomination process for new members. New faculty members must be approved by a vote of the Faculty Assembly. The nomination process should be aligned with the Medical School’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- When elected faculty members are unable to serve the remainder of their term, and the position needs to be filled in the middle of the academic year, the committee may recommend an appointed faculty member to serve the remainder of the academic year, and the dean will appoint that faculty member.
- Medical student representatives must be selected by their peers according to the rules established in the Medical Student Constitution.
- Staff and community members must be nominated by each committee and appointed by the dean.
- Elected faculty committee members, staff, and community members serve three-year terms, with elected faculty committee members having an option to renew for one additional term without a re-election. At least one year must intervene between terms before a member may stand for re-election. When possible, terms should be staggered so that no more than 50% of the positions turn over in a given year.
- All terms begin July 1 of each year.
- Committee members must abide by the Board of Regents Code of Conduct.
- Committee members are expected to participate in annual implicit bias training.
- Committee members are expected to conduct an equity review of their policies every three years.
- Committee members are expected to consider and support diversity, equity, and inclusion within every policy and action set by the committee.
- The entity that selected the committee member determines whether there is reasonable cause for a member’s removal from a committee. A finding of misconduct or discrimination resulting in disciplinary measures is cause for removal of a committee member. If it is determined that a member must be removed and replaced, or if a vacancy arises for other reasons, an interim appointment should be made by the nominating entity in accordance with the same procedures followed for normal committee member selection, or nominated by the dean or a designated medical school officer. The length of the interim appointment should coincide with the term of the member being replaced.
- With the exception of the Medical Student Admissions and Medical Student Scholastic Standing Committees and their subcommittees, a committee member who cannot attend a meeting is expected to find an eligible replacement for that meeting. If a replacement is not found, the member or representative is considered to have missed the meeting. Failure to attend meetings may be considered cause for removal.
- Unless explicitly stated below, the committee chair (or chairs) is elected by the voting committee members to serve a two-year term. Committee chairs should have a minimum of five years of faculty experience. Subcommittee chairs should have a minimum of three years of faculty experience.
- The names of the committee members and chairs should be publicly available and accessible.
Section 2. Meetings
- Committees should meet at least twice per year, and may choose to meet more frequently.
- Meetings may be called by either 1) a committee chair, 2) the dean or a designated medical school officer, or 3) a majority of the voting committee members.
- Meeting agendas should be publicly available and accessible.
- Any committee member (voting or non-voting) may submit items for a meeting agenda.
- Exception: Any agenda item that includes discussion of private information of a faculty member, student, employee, or anyone who is a candidate for a faculty, student, or employee position must not be made public.
- Meetings should be open and accessible. If a committee must meet in executive session, it should do so for the shortest time possible.
- Executive sessions may be held only after approval by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present. Non-voting members may be present during an executive session, unless they are explicitly excluded by a motion approved by a majority of the voting members present.
- Any meeting where policies are being discussed or adopted must be an open meeting.
- Exception: Any meeting discussing private information of a faculty member, student, employee, or a candidate for faculty, student, or employee position must be held in executive session.
- A quorum consists of a majority of voting committee members. If a meeting fails to obtain a quorum, or if the committee chooses, votes may be taken electronically. Meetings where electronic votes are used must obtain a quorum.
- Voting members that attend a meeting remotely count toward a quorum.
- For standing committees and subcommittees of the Faculty Assembly, the majority of the voting members present must be faculty members to constitute a quorum.
- In order to accomplish their meeting agendas, committees have the right to impose time limits on speakers, and to restrict the right to speak to voting members of the committee. Any such limits or restrictions must apply equally to all speakers and should be applied only when necessary.
- In consultation with the committee chair, the dean, regional campus dean(s), or a designated medical school officer may appoint a secretary for each committee. The secretary is the custodian of the committee’s records and is responsible for circulating the agenda, keeping and distributing the minutes (or notes), assisting with the preparation of annual reports, and any other functions as assigned by the dean, regional campus dean(s), or the committee.
Section 3. Other rules
- Special committees (e.g., ad hoc committees and task forces) should have a specific charge and an expected deadline for completion of their assigned task. Unless they have a task that only affects a narrow constituency, special committees should have representation from all campuses and should have broad representation from within the Medical School selected from diverse departments, type, and rank of faculty members.
- All committees should submit a report to the dean and the Faculty Assembly at least once per year. The report should include information regarding any policies and procedures that it adopted, revised, or revoked, and should include information regarding the activities of any standing subcommittees.
- All committees should respond in a timely manner to requests for information from any other official Medical School or University entity, subject to University and Medical School policies.
- All materials produced and provided by committees will be available in an accessible format.
Article 6. Medical School Faculty Assembly
Section 1. Membership
- The Medical School Faculty Assembly is composed of all full time faculty.
Section 2. Policies
Medical School Policy
A course or principle of action that generally applies across the Medical School. For example, a Medical School policy may involve multiple standing committees, subcommittees, or councils; affect departments or units; impact all students, trainees, staff, or faculty members; or require significant commitment of financial or personnel resources.
Committee and Department Policies
A course or principle of action that is narrowly focused and limited in scope. For example, this type of policy could involve a specific subgroup of Medical School members.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
A more detailed series of actions that defines how a committee functions. All committees should adopt SOPs. These procedures do not require broad consultation or Faculty Assembly approval, but must be publicly available and provided to the Faculty Assembly for information.
- Committees, departments, and regional campuses should develop an approval process for their policies. These SOPs should include requirements for consultation, timelines that allow adequate time for discussion and feedback, and a delay in implementation that provides time for anyone wishing to challenge a specific proposal to follow the appeals process outlined in these bylaws.
- Within the Medical School, the final authority to resolve a disagreement regarding a policy (including committee, department, and regional campus policies) resides with the dean.
- Any member of the Medical School may appeal a policy by submitting a written petition to the dean stating their objection and a proposed solution.
- If the petition involves a recently approved policy, the implementation date of the policy must be delayed until the petition is resolved.
- The dean or a designated medical school officer is responsible for ensuring that all policies, policy proposals, and SOPs are available to members of the Medical School and to the University community in a timely fashion. The dean or a designated medical school officer may use an email or the Medical School website to do this. All members of the Medical School are expected to check electronic communications regularly and to familiarize themselves with relevant policies and SOPs and with any amendments to them.
Section 3. Meetings
- The Faculty Assembly meets a minimum of once per year.
- Special meetings of the Faculty Assembly may be held on the call of the dean. Special Faculty Assembly meetings require at least five working days notice.
- The dean determines the agenda for all Faculty Assembly meetings. Proposals for agenda items must be submitted to the dean at least 10 working days before a scheduled meeting.
Article 7. Councils and Committees
Section 1. Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Council (APTC)
- The voting membership of the APTC consists of the chairs of the Clinician Track Promotion Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee for the Academic and Tenure Tracks, and at least three faculty members elected by the Faculty Assembly (one per track).
- A designated medical school officer is a non-voting member of the APTC. Neither the dean nor the regional campus dean(s) may be a member of the APTC.
Section 2. Council of Graduate Students (CGS)
- The CGS consists of at least five representatives who are selected by their peers.
- The membership of the CGS should be drawn from at least three different graduate programs and should include representation from both campuses.
Section 3. Council of Postdoctoral Scholars (CPS)
- The CPS consists of at least five representatives who are selected by their peers.
- The membership of the CPS should be drawn from at least three different departments.
Section 4. Department Heads Council (DHC)
- The voting membership of the DHC consists of the heads of all Medical School departments and the dean.
- The dean is the chair of the DHC.
- The regional campus dean(s) and the designated medical school officers are non-voting members of the DHC.
- The DHC meets at the call of the dean, usually monthly, but at least nine times per year.
Section 5. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC)
The voting membership of the DEIC consists of at least 20 elected faculty members and 15 staff members who are appointed by the dean, as well as at least six students of the Medical School (must include a graduate student and a DPT student), two medical residents or fellows, two postdoctoral trainees, two community representatives (i.e., individuals working with and/or directly serving the surrounding community). There should be representation from all Medical School campuses, and the committee should have broad representation from multiple departments.
The DEIC determines the staff and community members who are appointed to this council. The DEIC makes recommendations for appointed members, who are then appointed by the dean. The medical students, residents, fellows, postdoctoral trainees will select their own appointees.
- The dean or a designated medical school officer is a non-voting member of the DEIC.
Section 6. Faculty Advisory Council (FAC)
- The membership of the FAC consists of the faculty members elected to the Faculty Senate, the faculty members appointed to represent their departments who do not have Faculty Senate representation, and the faculty members appointed to represent the major affiliated sites such as Hennepin Healthcare, HealthPartners (Regions), and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
- The majority of FAC members must be faculty senators.
- The dean or a designated medical school officer are non-voting members of the FAC.
- The voting members of the FAC must elect a vice chair of the FAC annually. The vice chair becomes the chair of the FAC the following year.
Section 7. Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC)
- The procedures governing the operation of the GMEC are provided in its charter, which is granted and overseen by the Faculty Assembly.
- The GMEC charter should be reviewed when the constitution of the Medical School is reviewed, or when deemed necessary by the Faculty Assembly or the GMEC.
Section 8. Graduate Programs Council (GPC)
- The voting membership of the GPC consists of the Directors of Graduate Study from each of the graduate programs with administrative homes in the Medical School.
- The non-voting members of the GPC are: the dean or a designated medical school officer, one representative of the graduate faculty members from each regional campus, one representative from each of the Councils of Graduate Students, one representative for postdoctoral trainees, and the Director of Graduate Studies from University-wide graduate programs with a substantial number of medical school graduate faculty members but with administrative homes not in the Medical School.
Section 9. Medical Student Admissions Committee (MSAC)
- The voting membership of the MSAC consists of at least nine elected Medical School faculty members. At least one faculty member must be from each regional campus and one from the Medical Scientist Training Program.
- The following are non-voting members of the MSAC: representatives from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and designated medical school officers representing the dean and the regional campus dean(s). Neither the dean nor the regional campus dean(s) may be a member of the MSAC.
- Voting members of the MSAC cannot be active members of any MSAC standing subcommittee.
Section 10. Medical Student Education Committee (MSEC)
- The voting membership of the MSEC consists of at least 10 elected faculty members, five MSEC subcommittee chairs, six medical student representatives, and one representative of the medical residents and fellows. At least two of the elected faculty members must be from the regional campuses and one must be from the Medical Scientist Training Program.
- Elected members of the MSEC cannot be active members of any MSEC standing subcommittee.
- The following are non-voting members of the MSEC:
- dean or designated medical school officers,
- regional campus dean(s)
- one member of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC),
- directors of undergraduate medical education for major affiliate sites such as Hennepin Health, HealthPartners, and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System,
- director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, and
- a community member.
Section 11. Medical Student Scholastic Standing Committee (MSSSC)
- The voting membership of the MSSSC consists of at least three elected faculty members and at least two medical student representatives. At least one faculty member and one student member must be from each regional campus.
- Designated medical school officers representing the dean and the regional campus dean(s) are non-voting members of the MSSSC. Neither the dean nor the regional campus dean(s) may be a member of the MSSSC.
Section 12. Research Council (RC)
- The voting membership of the Research Council consists of at least ten voting faculty members.
- One half of the voting members are appointed by the dean or a designated medical school officer, and the other half are elected by the Faculty Assembly.
- The composition of the RC should reflect all of the principal research communities within the Medical School.
- The non-voting members of the RC are the dean or a designated medical school officer, the regional campus dean(s) or a designated medical school officer from the regional campuses, one representative from each of the Councils of Graduate Students, one representative of the postdoctoral trainees, and the directors of all research units.
Section 13. Regional Campus Faculty Councils
- The voting membership of regional campus faculty councils consist of all faculty members on the regional campus who have at least a 25% 94XX (job code) primary appointment in a department.
- The regional campus dean(s) is a non-voting member of the regional campus faculty council.
Article 8. University of Minnesota Faculty Senate Elections
- Nominations for University Faculty Senate positions follow the University Senate bylaws.
- The University Senate office provides a list of eligible faculty members to the Office of Faculty Affairs, who reviews and verifies the list each year. Eligible faculty are invited to submit a self nomination. Once the nomination period has ended, eligible voters will receive an electronic ballot to cast their votes.
- All faculty members deemed eligible by the University Senate office vote for all Medical School senators.
Approved and Adopted by the Executive Vice President and Provost
June 25, 2021
Amended and Approved by the Faculty and Dean of the Medical School
October 2, 2023
Approved and Adopted by the Executive Vice President and Provost
November 7, 2023