Medical School Constitution
Table of contents
Mission and Academic Responsibilities
The mission of the Medical School is to be a leader in enhancing the health of people through the education of skilled, compassionate, and socially responsible scientists, physicians, and health professionals. With two campuses serving diverse populations in rural and urban Minnesota, the Medical School is dedicated to preeminence in primary care medicine, exemplary specialty care, innovative research, and education.
The Medical School is responsible for:
- the educational program leading to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree;
- graduate and continuing medical education programs;
- in collaboration with the Graduate School and other Schools, instruction in and administration of graduate programs leading to Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, as well as the MD/PhD degree and other dual degrees;
- the educational program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree;
- postdoctoral training;
- the educational program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Mortuary Science;
- undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Medical School that are available to students registered in other colleges; and
- post-baccalaureate certificate programs.
The University of Minnesota Medical School upholds that an environment of inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and respect for the similarities and differences in our community fosters excellence, and that diversity within the institution fuels the advancement of knowledge. An atmosphere where differences are valued leads to training a culturally competent workforce qualified to meet the needs of the varied populations we serve.
This constitution establishes a framework for communication and collaboration among Medical School faculty members, students, professionals-in-training, administrators, and staff members by defining the roles, responsibilities, and organization of these various parties. It gives all members of the Medical School a voice in the affairs of the School, and defines the mechanisms for shared governance.
Nothing in this constitution bars any committee of the Medical School from discussing or expressing views on any matter they deem appropriate, independent of the views of any other entity. Should conversations and debates become contentious, the expectation is that these discussions will remain respectful, focused on ideas, and in accordance with University of Minnesota policies.
The authorities of the Medical School are delegated by the Board of Regents in accordance with the constitution of the University Senate, which stipulates that “all matters relating to the educational and administrative affairs of the University are herein committed to the president, the Faculty Senate, the University Senate, and the several faculties.” These authorities may be modified by subsequent action of the Board of Regents.
Actions of the Medical School must be in compliance with appropriate University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, which have precedence. This constitution is independent of any employment contract with the University and therefore does not determine terms or conditions of employment.
Article 1. Members
The members of the Medical School are its faculty members; students and professional training appointees’ its academic, civil service and bargaining unit staff members; and members of the community who are invited to participate in the affairs of the Medical School. All members of the Medical School have the right to attend and speak or otherwise communicate non-verbally during any open meeting of the Medical School and have the responsibility to participate in the affairs of the Medical School as outlined in the constitution and bylaws or as assigned by the dean in accordance with the Board of Regents policy: Academic Freedom and Responsibility.
Section 1. Faculty
- The faculty of the Medical School consists of all people holding appointments as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, or Regents Professor in a Medical School department or in the Mortuary Science program.
- The faculty of the Medical School is composed of voting and nonvoting members.
- Voting members include all regular and term faculty members whose primary appointment is in a Medical School department or in the Mortuary Science program.
- Adjunct, retired, emeritus, and visiting faculty members are non-voting members.
- The Dean’s Office must maintain a list of the voting faculty members.
- Voting for faculty representatives to the University Senate must follow the procedures outlined in the constitution and bylaws of the Faculty Senate and as further delineated in the Medical School bylaws.
- The Medical School graduate faculty is composed of all faculty members who have an appointment in the Graduate School.
Section 2. Other constituencies
Members of other constituencies are non-voting members unless otherwise specified. The bylaws of the Medical School establish the means by which members of other constituencies may participate in the aspects of Medical School governance that are relevant to their rights, interests, and concerns.
- Students are those undergraduate, medical, and graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota and in good standing in educational programs administered by the Medical School.
- A separately constituted and elected Medical Student Council (MSC) or its successor is the governing body for medical students and serves as the liaison between the medical students and all other official Medical School entities.
- Professionals-in-training are those people who are engaged in postgraduate studies at the Medical School, such as medical residents, fellows, and postdoctoral trainees.
- The Medical School staff includes academic professionals and administrators, and administrative staff whose appointments are in the Medical School.
- Community members are those people invited to participate in Medical School affairs who are not described in any of the preceding sections. The process to invite their participation and their roles are documented in the bylaws.
Article 2. Dean
Section 1. Responsibilities
The dean is the chief executive officer of the Medical School and is accountable to the president of the University of Minnesota or the president’s designee. The dean is the chief academic officer for medical education. The dean has administrative authority over the affairs and resources of the Medical School and provides leadership in formulating policies, ideas, and proposals that support the continued improvement of the Medical School’s educational, research, clinical, and outreach programs.
The responsibilities of the dean include, but are not limited to, the following:
- official communications between the Medical School and the Board of Regents, the University and the public;
- periodically reviewing departmental programs and ensuring fairness among and within departments with respect to promotion and tenure standards, and allocation of financial and other resources;
- administering the Medical School’s staffing, space, and equipment;
- preparing the annual budget of the Medical School;
- chairing the faculty assembly;
- making an annual presentation regarding the state of the Medical School;
- making recommendations to the president or the president’s designee when action of the Board of Regents is requested or required. Such recommendations include, but are not limited to, resource needs, appointments, promotion, tenure, and salary of all faculty members;
- approving the articles and bylaws of the University of Minnesota Physicians and its annual budget;
- approving clinical programs, the creation of new clinical services, and new practice sites;
- in collaboration with other schools and colleges, overseeing continuing medical education;
- in consultation with the graduate faculty members of each program, appointing directors of graduate study for graduate programs whose administrative home is in the Medical School; and
- oversight of postdoctoral training.
Section 2. Standing committees that are advisory to the dean
Standing committees that are advisory to the dean are called councils.
A. Faculty Advisory Council (FAC)
The FAC advises the dean on matters pertinent to the research, educational, or clinical programs of the Medical School, including faculty affairs, finance, and planning. The responsibilities of the FAC include:
- overseeing the functions of the faculty assembly, including working with the dean to develop the agenda for faculty assembly meetings;
- reviewing and making recommendations on policies that are being forwarded to the faculty assembly for approval;
- periodically reviewing the constitution, bylaws, and charters of the Medical School and, when necessary, charging a special committee to draft amendments.
Members of the FAC include those Medical School faculty who have been elected by their peers to the University Senate.
- Nominations committee (NC-FAC): The responsibilities of the NC-FAC include:
- developing the slate of candidates for elected positions on Medical School FAC;
- providing recommendations for faculty positions on advisory councils if asked by the dean.
B. Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Council (APTC)
The responsibilities of the APTC include reviewing Medical School promotion and/or tenure procedures for faculty members and making recommendations to the dean regarding any aspect of the faculty appointments.
- Clinician Track Promotion Committee (CTPC): The responsibilities of the CTPC include evaluating the recommendations for promotion of all clinician track faculty members received from the department heads and making recommendations on promotion to the dean; and reviewing abbreviated dossiers for new advanced rank Clinical Track faculty members and recommending rank to the dean.
- Promotion and Tenure Committee (P&TC): The responsibilities of the P&TC include evaluating the recommendations for promotion and/or tenure of all regular and academic track faculty members received from the department heads and making recommendations on promotion and/or tenure to the dean; and reviewing dossiers for new advanced rank regular or academic track faculty members and recommending rank, track, and/or tenure to the dean.
Per University policy, only tenured faculty members are allowed to vote on the promotion and tenure of tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
C. Council of Graduate Students (CGS)
The CGS advises the dean on any issues relevant to graduate students and serves as the official liaison between the graduate students and all other official Medical School entities. The responsibilities of the CGS include:
- establishing mechanisms that allow graduate students to communicate and exchange information;
- accumulating information representative of the views of graduate students and presenting those views to the dean; and
- selecting representatives to the Medical School standing committees and subcommittees as described in the bylaws.
D. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC)
The responsibilities of the DEIC include:
- advising the dean on the impact of Medical School policies, programs, and services related to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity;
- developing a planning process for diversity, equity, and inclusion that identifies strategic objectives and actions;
- generating and recommending initiatives that actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- reviewing Medical School policies, programs, and services related to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity, and recommending changes and improvements to the dean; and
- promoting compliance with equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity laws and University policies regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion among the Medical School departments and units by monitoring and assessing the outcomes and effectiveness of programs and initiatives.
E. Graduate Programs Council (GPC)
In collaboration with the Graduate School, the GPC provides oversight to the Master’s and PhD degree-granting programs that have their administrative home in the Medical School. The responsibilities of the GPC include:
- discussing and making recommendations to graduate programs regarding best practices in graduate education;
- providing advice to the Medical School and Graduate School deans regarding the distribution of funds that support graduate education in the Medical School; and
- consulting with the Graduate School and Medical School administrations regarding graduate education.
- Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs Committee (BSGPC): The responsibilities of the BSGPC include operational oversight of the graduate programs housed, in whole or in part, in the basic science departments of the Twin Cities campus.
F. Research Council (RC)
The Research Council advises the dean on matters of research in the Medical School including, but not limited to, decisions regarding the creation, renewal, or elimination of research units.
Duluth Faculty Council (DFC)
The Duluth Faculty Council advises the regional campus dean on matters regarding the campus budget, as well as undergraduate and graduate education, faculty, and research issues pertaining to the Duluth campus.
Article 3. Organization
Section 1. Campuses
The Medical School is one school with two campuses: one in the Twin Cities and one in Duluth.
A. Duluth Campus
In support of the overall mission of the Medical School, the purpose of the Duluth campus is to be a national leader in improving healthcare access and outcomes in rural Minnesota and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities; research is crucial to achieving this purpose.
The Duluth regional campus dean (DRCD) is the executive officer and lead representative of the Duluth campus of the Medical School. The DRCD reports to the Medical School dean.
The responsibilities of the DRCD include, but are not limited to:
- administering policies and procedures applicable to the Duluth campus on behalf of the Medical School;
- demonstrating stewardship of resources provided to the Duluth campus to support the work of faculty, staff, and students;
- administering the staffing, space, and equipment allocated to the Duluth campus;
- regularly reporting to the dean of the Medical School regarding the teaching, research, clinical, and service programs of the Duluth campus;
- appointing special committees as necessary to conduct the business of the Duluth campus;
- Reporting on the state of the campus to members of the Medical School.
Section 2. Departments
Departments are the primary organizational units of the Medical School and are responsible for establishing the criteria and standards for faculty tenure and/or promotion with approved 7.12 statements, as required by University policy. All faculty members should hold an appointment within a Medical School department.
Departmental faculty members are responsible for conducting research, developing and delivering educational content, assessing learner competencies, and providing service in a field or related fields of knowledge, and for the promotion of excellence in their respective areas.
Departments have autonomy in their affairs that shall be consistent with the policies of the Medical School and the University and are subject to approval of the dean.
A. Department Heads
Each department is led by a department head who is appointed by the dean. The responsibilities of a department head include, but are not limited to:
- departmental strategic planning in accordance with the overall mission of the University and Medical School;
- maintaining the quality of the faculty by:
- supervising the recruitment and appointment of new faculty members, assigning teaching and service responsibilities, and reviewing the performance of all faculty members
- making recommendations to the dean regarding faculty retention, promotion, tenure and annual salary increments according to University policies and procedures
- providing mentorship, promoting professional development, and stimulating and supporting faculty efforts in research, teaching, and service;
- ensuring that the department faculty members maintain academic standards in the department’s field or fields of knowledge during the education of undergraduate, medical, and graduate and professionals-in-training by
- recommending course and clerkship directors through a consultative process involving the Medical School administration
- approving undergraduate and graduate courses that fall under the jurisdiction of the department
- overseeing departmental residencies, fellowships and certificate programs; and
- administering their department’s staffing, space, and financial resources, and presiding over departmental faculty meetings.
B. Department Heads Council (DHC)
The Department Heads Council is advisory to the dean with respect to research, education, clinical service, budget, strategic planning, and other aspects of the Medical School’s mission and operation, particularly with respect to the allocation of funds for salary increases and for the allocation and expenditure of the various resources of the Medical School.
- Basic Science Heads Council (BSHC): The responsibilities of the BSHC are to advise the dean in all administrative, educational, and research matters affecting the Medical School in general and the collective Basic Science Departments in particular.
- Clinical Science Heads Council (CSHC): The responsibilities of the CSHC are to advise the dean in all administrative, educational, clinical, and research matters affecting the Medical School in general and the collective Clinical Science Departments in particular.
Section 3. Research and Education Units
The Medical School may establish centers, institutes, medical discovery teams, or other units to carry out specific mission-based programs, particularly collaborative research. Each unit must have a director who reports to the dean and is responsible for overseeing its administration and budget.
- A unit director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, approving all contracts to be undertaken by or on behalf of the unit and, as necessary, further obtaining the approval of the dean for any contract; and submitting an annual written report and financial statement to the dean and the faculty assembly on the unit’s activities, including all contractual obligations entered into by or on behalf of the unit.
Section 4. Faculty Practice Plan
- Clinical faculty members are governed by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents policies concerning the private practice of medicine.
- Faculty practitioners must be members of University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP). UMP supports the mission of the Medical School by delivering quality care to patients, providing expert instruction to medical students and medical professionals-in-training, and conducting medical and scientific research.
Article 4. Governance
Section 1. Medical School Faculty Assembly
One purpose of the faculty assembly and its committees is to permit frank and open discussion of any subjects of concern to the faculty members of the Medical School. The faculty assembly consists of the voting faculty.
- The faculty assembly is responsible for the approval, revision, and revocation of all internal academic policies of the Medical School.
- The dean is the chair of the Medical School faculty assembly. The chair of the FAC is the vice chair of the faculty assembly.
- The faculty assembly and its standing committees and subcommittees may appoint special committees as necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. If a special committee has been in existence for over five years, the faculty assembly should consider whether to make the special committee a standing committee or subcommittee.
Section 2. Standing committees of the Faculty Assembly
All actions of the standing committees, subcommittees, and special committees of the faculty assembly must be consistent with Medical School and University policies.
A. Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC)
The GMEC provides oversight to graduate medical education programs, including maintenance of individual program accreditation and assurance of adequate institutional support. The committee provides similar service to non-accredited programs and those accredited by other agencies.
B. Medical Student Admissions Committee (MSAC)
The responsibilities of the MSAC include:
- developing medical student admissions policies that are bias-free and ensure consistency across campuses and programs;
- ensuring implementation of the admissions processes according to approved policies and procedures;
- reviewing data, including individual applications as necessary, to ensure appropriate admissions outcomes across campuses and programs; and
- overseeing final decisions regarding the admission of prospective students to the educational program leading to the MD and MD/PhD degrees.
- Duluth Admissions Committee (DAC): The responsibility of the DAC is to annually recommend to the MSAC candidates for admission to the Duluth campus to carry out studies toward the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
- MD/PhD Steering Committee (MSTPSC): The responsibility of the MSTPSC is to annually recommend to the MSAC candidates for admission to the MD/PhD program to carry out studies toward the dual degrees of Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
- Twin Cities Admissions Committee (TCAC): The responsibility of the TCAC is to annually recommend to the MSAC candidates for admission to the Twin Cities campus to carry out studies toward the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
D. Medical Student Scholastic Standing Committee (MSSSC)
The responsibilities of the MSSSC include:
- ensuring that all students pursuing an MD degree maintain an acceptable rate of academic progress toward the completion of the degree and meet the expected academic and professional standards of the Medical School;
- reviewing and addressing academic progress data by race/ethnicity and gender to identify disparate outcomes;
- developing and reviewing Medical School policies regarding medical student academic and professional performance and ensuring compliance with approved policies;
- ensuring consistent outcomes across all campuses and programs.
- Duluth Scholastic Standing Committee (DSSC): The responsibilities of the DSSC include monitoring the quality of performance of individual medical students admitted to the Duluth campus in a continuous and consistent fashion until those students are transitioned to the Twin Cities campus. The DSSC decides which Duluth medical students are eligible for advancement, and acts to deny advancement to Duluth medical students deemed ineligible.
- Twin Cities Scholastic Standing Committee (TCSSC): The responsibilities of the TCSSC include monitoring the quality of performance of individual medical students admitted or transitioned to the Twin Cities campus in a continuous and consistent fashion. The TCSSC decides which Twin Cities medical students are eligible for advancement, and acts to deny advancement to Twin Cities students deemed ineligible. The TCSSC is responsible for determining those students eligible for graduation with the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
Article 5. Adoption, implementation, interpretation, review, and amendment of the Constitution
Section 1. Adoption
- The decision to adopt an entirely new constitution must be made by the dean and the FAC through a consultative process. The new document must be prepared by a special subcommittee of the FAC, which may include non-faculty members at the discretion of the chair of the subcommittee.
- The subcommittee should consult broadly with all constituencies in developing the new document, including all entities mentioned in the current constitution. Draft versions of the constitution should be widely discussed, particularly among the faculty, during formative stages of preparation.
- An electronic version of the draft constitution must be circulated to all members of the Medical School at least 15 calendar days prior to each faculty assembly meeting where it will be presented and discussed. A straightforward and accessible electronic method for providing comments and feedback must be available during this time period.
- Adoption of any proposal requires a quorum of one-third of the voting members of the faculty of the Medical School, and a two-thirds affirmative vote of the quorum.
- Members of the voting faculty will submit electronic ballots for a period of not less than 15 calendar days.
- The version of the constitution that has been ratified by the voting faculty must be forwarded by the dean for final approval to the Executive Vice President and Provost according to the Board of Regents and University policy.
Section 2. Implementation
- This constitution becomes effective immediately after its approval by the Executive Vice President and Provost. This constitution applies under all circumstances, including standard and interim leadership of the Medical School, and it replaces all preceding constitutions.
Section 3. Review
The constitution and bylaws will be reviewed periodically, but no less than every five years, by the FAC and the dean.
Section 4. Amendment
- Amendments are substantive changes that need to be made to the governing documents, such as modification of the mission, organization, governance structure, or responsibilities of the entities described in the constitution and bylaws.
- Editorial changes, such as correcting spelling and grammatical errors, updating the appendices, or changing the title (but not the responsibilities) of a subcommittee, are not considered amendments.
- An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by the dean, any standing committee of the Medical School, or via petition by at least fifteen members of the voting faculty. The FAC must review the proposed amendment and forward it, with its recommendation regarding approval, to the faculty assembly for discussion and vote.
- An electronic version of the proposed amendment must be circulated to all members of the faculty assembly at least 15 calendar days prior to each meeting of the faculty assembly where it will be presented and discussed. A straightforward and accessible electronic method for providing comments and feedback must be used during this time period.
- Proposed amendments to the constitution may be approved by two-thirds of those who cast votes among voting members of the faculty of the Medical School.
- The version of the constitution that has been ratified by the voting faculty must be forwarded by the dean for final approval according to Board of Regents and University policy.
Article 6. Bylaws
The procedures for operating under this constitution are specified in its bylaws. The voting faculty may adopt, amend, or revise the bylaws, provided that the resulting actions are in accord with the provisions of this constitution, the constitution of the University Senate, and the policies and regulations of the Board of Regents.
- The decision to adopt an entirely new set of bylaws must be made by the dean and the FAC through a consultative process. The new document must be prepared by a special committee of the FAC, which may include other members, including non-faculty members, at the discretion of the chair of the subcommittee.
- Amendment of any of the bylaws may be proposed by the dean, any standing committee of the Medical School, or via petition by at least fifteen members of the voting faculty. The FAC should review the proposed amendment and forward it, along with its recommendation regarding approval, to the faculty assembly for discussion and vote.
- An accessible electronic version of the proposed amended or new bylaws must be circulated to all members of the faculty assembly at least 15 calendar days prior to presentation and discussion at a faculty assembly meeting. It may be discussed at subsequent faculty assembly meetings. during at least one faculty assembly meeting. A straightforward and accessible electronic method for providing comments and feedback must be used during this time period.
- A majority vote of the faculty assembly is required to advance the proposed bylaws, amendments, or revisions to an electronic faculty vote.
- Members of the voting faculty will submit electronic ballots for a period of not less than 15 calendar days. If the adoption, amendment, or revision of bylaws is approved by a majority of the voting faculty members who return ballots, the new bylaws are considered approved by the faculty.
- The bylaws become effective immediately after ratification by the faculty and approval by the dean.