Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School


A. Chairperson

Bylaws of the Council of Graduate School Programs

(Approved, February, 1996)
(Amended, October 1997)
(Amended, November, 1998)
(Amended, September, 2002)
(Amended, September, 2004)
(Amended, April, 2005)

I. Purpose and Jurisdiction

  1. The primary function of the Council of Graduate School Programs (the "Council") is to discuss and formulate the aims, purposes, and quality standards for Master's and Ph.D. Programs under the auspices of the Graduate School at Loyola University Chicago. The Council has jurisdiction over all academic matters delegated and makes policy recommendations in such areas as: admissions, curriculum, qualifying exams or projects, theses and dissertations, and overall objectives.

  2. The actions of the Council shall be reviewed by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the Dean rejects a motion passed by the Council, the Dean shall return it to the Council stating in writing his reasons for disagreeing. If the Council reaffirms a motion rejected by the Dean and does so by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, the motion is then sent to the Dean for reconsideration.

II. Officers and Ex-Officio Members

A. Chairperson

The function of the Chairperson is to conduct meetings, arrange agendas, appoint Standing and Ad Hoc committees, and work as liaison person with the Dean of the Graduate School and the Council. The Chairperson does not vote on Council motions, except in the case of a tie vote. The Chairperson also convenes and serves as chair of the Executive Committee.

B. Chairperson-Elect

The function of the Chairperson-Elect is to conduct meetings in the absence of the Chairperson and to assume the office of Chairperson in the event the Chairperson vacates the office. The Chairperson-Elect assumes the position of Chairperson the following year. In addition, the Chairperson-Elect helps to identify key agenda items during the year and ensures effective transition and continuity of Council work from one year to the next. The Chairperson-Elect serves as Secretary for the Council and chairs the Nominations Committee.

C. Past-Chairperson

The function of the Past-Chairperson is to conduct meetings in the absence of the Chairperson and Chairperson-elect. In addition, the Past-Chairperson helps identify key agenda items during the year and ensures effective transition and continuity of Council work from one year to the next. In the event a Past‑Chairperson vacates the office or is not reappointed to the Council, the Council may appoint another member of the Council with sufficient Council experience to serve this function. The Past Chairperson is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Council.

D. Secretary

The Chairperson-Elect shall serve as Secretary of the Council with administrative support provided by the Graduate Dean's Office. The duties of this individual are to insure that minutes are taken and distributed to members of the Council.

E. Ex-Officio Members

The Dean of the Graduate School and such other officials as may be appropriate may be named as ex-officio members by the Executive Committee. All Ex-officio members have full speaking privileges at all meetings but may not vote or serve as Officers of the Council.

III. Committees

A. Standing Committees

Executive: The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, Chairperson-Elect, Past Chairperson, chairs of the standing committees, and two members at large elected by the Council. The Dean of the Graduate School and his/her designee shall serve as ex-officio members of the Executive Committee. The functions of this committee are: to make decisions when time does not permit a meeting of the whole Council, and to prepare materials, issues, agendas, and other items for Council meetings.

Nominations: A Nominating Committee of no less than three persons and no more than five persons, appointed by the Chairperson and chaired by the Chairperson-Elect, shall present a slate of candidates for each officer position at the last meeting of the year. This slate shall be as representative of the various campuses and constituencies as possible. The committee shall also be responsible for identifying candidates to fill officer vacancies.

Curriculum Review: The Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) shall serve as advisory to the Council. The CRC shall be chaired by a member of the Council and four additional members shall be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee. The Dean of the Graduate School shall appoint an ex-officio member to serve on this committee and provide administrative support for the committee. The function of the committee shall be to evaluate, analyze, and determine the appropriateness of any new programs or courses, or of changes in existing programs, proposed to the Graduate School by departments or programs which offer a graduate degree. The chairperson of the committee shall have the discretion to determine that a proposed change is sufficiently minor that it does not require full review by the committee and the Council.

For review of graduate programs, the Curriculum Review and Program Review Committees will follow guidelines attached as Appendix A to these by laws. For review of course changes or new courses, the Curriculum Review Committee will follow guidelines attached as Appendix B to these by laws. These guidelines may be changed by a majority vote of the Council.

Program Review Committee: The Program Review Committee will serve as the Council’s representative to the overall process of program review as conducted by Loyola University Chicago. Its primary functions will be to:

  • Ensure that, in programs with both undergraduate and graduate components, appropriate attention has been paid to graduate needs, interests and concerns.
  • Monitor the fairness and thoroughness of the review process as it applies to Graduate concerns.

The Program Review Committee will consist of two members (a chair and an alternate), approved by the Executive Committee, who will provide general oversight of the process of program review and the role of the Council. In addition, a member shall be appointed to work with each unit under review during a given Academic Year (if that unit has a graduate program). The named individual and the Program Review Committee will be responsible for providing input into the process, as needed, monitoring the process, and preparing a report for the Council concerning each program under review during a given academic year. The Chair of the Program Review committee will be a member of the Executive Committee of the Council. The individual program monitors will ideally come from the Council, but may be non-members of the Council, at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Awards Committee: The Awards Committee shall recommend recipients of the following awards: Graduate Faculty Member of the Year, Dissertation/Thesis of the Year, Commencement Speakers, Honorary Degree Recipients, and such other awards as may from time to time be instituted. This committee shall consist of no fewer than three and no more than five members. The chair will be selected by the Executive Committee and members will be nominated by the Committee Chair and approved by the Executive Committee. Membership shall represent as many disciplines and campuses as feasible. The Chair of the Awards Committee shall be a member of the Executive Committee.

Ad Hoc Committees: These committees shall be appointed and charged with specific duties by the Chairperson of the Council in response to recommendations by the Council in consultation with the Executive Committee. Chairs of these committees ordinarily are members of the Council, but members may be drawn from the Graduate Faculty at large.

IV. Representation

A. Membership

  1. Each Department or degree granting center offering a Master’s degree or PhD degree within the Graduate School shall have one representative on the Council. This representative shall be selected by each unit in a manner determined by that unit. Normally, the representative should be either the Chair of that unit, or the Graduate Program Director. The representative must be a member of the Graduate Faculty.
  2. The Dean of the Graduate School shall serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the Council.

  3. The Dean of the Graduate School may appoint Graduate School staff from among the Associate Deans and Assistant Deans to serve as ex-officio, nonvoting members of the Council.

  4. The nonvoting members shall have full privileges of speaking, but shall be ineligible to serve as Officers of the Council.

  5. There shall be four student members of the Council with full voting privileges. Unless otherwise determined by the council, students shall serve a two year term, with two students selected annually. The Dean of the Graduate School shall select the student members in consultation with the Executive Committee, and with an attempt to balance representation by campus and School.

B. Officers

  1. A Nominating Committee, described above, shall secure the names of available and interested Council members for elections. This committee shall call for nominations at the February meeting and present a slate of officers and representatives at the April meeting.

  2. Nominations shall also be accepted from the floor.

  3. When there is more than one candidate for a given position, voting shall be by secret ballot. In this event the Dean of the Graduate School shall conduct the election.

  4. Newly elected officers shall assume their duties at the conclusion of the last meeting of the year.

V. Meetings

A minimum of four meetings of the Council shall be scheduled each year, usually in October, November, February, and April.

VI. Procedures

A. The Council shall conduct its meetings according to Robert's Rules of Order.

B. The members of the Council are expected to:

  1. Attend and participate in Council meetings.

  2. Establish regular procedures for consulting the faculty who contribute to the Master's and Ph.D. Programs of their respective Departments.

  3. Represent to the Council the concerns of their faculty.

  4. Report actions of the Council to their respective Departments.

C. The agenda shall be determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the Executive Committee and the Dean of the Graduate School and shall be distributed at least 10 days before a scheduled meeting. Minutes shall be distributed in advance of the next scheduled Council meeting and shall be voted on at such a meeting.

VII. Amendments

A. The Constitution and the by laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the voting membership.

B. An amendment shall be voted on at the duly scheduled meeting following the one in which it is proposed. Discussion and modification may take place on both occasions.

C. If fewer than two-thirds of the members are present when the vote is to be taken, and if a majority of those present agrees, the voting may be conducted by a mail ballot.

Bylaws: Appendix A

Graduate Program Review and Evaluation Process

Bylaws: Appendix B

Guidelines for Review and Evaluation of New Course and Program Modification Proposals
See also: Procedures/Checklist, Course Proposal Form


The Curriculum Review Committee will review proposals for changes in existing courses and proposals for new courses. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the appropriateness of each proposal and ensure that the proposed course logically fits within the context of the particular program. The Curriculum Review Committee oversight is also designed to ensure that courses meet general university interests, that is, avoid unnecessary course duplication, reflect attention to issues relating to student concerns about advertised goals and ground rules, and recognize demands placed upon units outside of the department necessary for the proper execution of the course, such as library resources.

The Curriculum Review Committee will review changes in existing programs in addition to its evaluation of proposals for new courses.  The purpose of the review is to assess the nature of the proposed change(s) in terms of overall program design, academic rigor, and trends in the field.  Once evaluated by the Curriculum Review Committee, proposals will go before the Council of Graduate School Programs for approval.  If approved, the proposal then goes to the Academic Affairs UPC for review.  Implementation of proposed changes cannot occur until the proposed changes receive approval from the AAUPC.

Guidelines for Review of Proposals for program modification

All proposals for program modifications should include the following elements:

  1. Presentation of the existing program components and the proposed change(s).
  2. A substantive rationale/justification for the proposed change(s).
  3. A discussion of the strengths of the proposed change(s).
  4. If the proposed change(s) draw upon the resources of other units, permission from the appropriate Department Chairs and Dean must accompany the proposal.
  5. A discussion of how the proposed change(s) fit within what goes on at the program’s benchmark institutions.
  6. A substantive statement of support from the Dean/Director of the School (when appropriate).
  7. A description of the plans for implementation of the proposed change(s).

Guidelines for Review of Proposals for New Courses

For new courses, the following general guidelines shall be in effect, the submission of 1) a complete Application for Approval of a New Course, 2) three critical reviews by experts within the area of expertise from outside the department or academic unit proposing the course, 3) recommendation to accept the course by the Curriculum Review Committee, and 4) the majority approval of the Council. If a course appears to duplicate an existing course, there must be specific justifications for why it is still needed. Should the Curriculum Review Committee consider a new course to be acceptable, this recommendation will be made to the Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting, provided the title, short description, target group, and objectives of any new courses have been distributed to members of the Council at least seven days in advance of the meeting. Minority reports of the Curriculum Review Committee will be presented by their author at the meeting of the Council. Specific procedures for approval of a new course are outlined below:

  1. The department, program, or institute proposing the course submits the stipulated number of copies of a complete Graduate School Application for Approval of a New Course form to The Graduate School.
  2. The department, program or institute proposing the course submits at least three names of reviewers external to the program who posses expertise in the academic field of the proposed course.
  3. The course proposal is submitted to at least three of these external reviewers for evaluation and comment.
  4. The Curriculum Review Committee receives copies of the proposal and the comments of at least two of the reviewers.
  5. The Curriculum Review Committee discusses the course proposal with attention to the following types of issues:
    a. Clear description of the course's goals and content, including for purposes of illustration a relatively detailed schedule, a list of readings, and the evaluation procedure. The evaluation segment should indicate the percent of grade dependent on tests, papers, class presentations, and class participation, while recognizing that not every course will utilize all of these evaluative categories.
    b. The nature of prerequisites, if any, for the course.
    c. The nature of the role of the course in terms of the program, i.e., required for the degree or elective, and how this relates to the proposed schedule of offerings.
    d. The relationship of the new course to existing courses in the program. Does this replace an existing course? Are plans underway to drop such a course? What is the timetable for doing this?
    e. The reasons for adding this course.
    f. Adequacy of library resources.
    g. Number of faculty available to teach the course. If there is only one person, is this appropriate?
    h. An analysis of the course evaluations provided by external reviewers.
    i. Presence of course duplication, if any.
  6. The Curriculum Review Committee recommends action to the Council:
    a. Acceptance as is.
    b. Acceptance based on specific revisions or recommendations to be incorporated into the proposal.
    c. Request for further information/clarification. In this case, the Curriculum Review Committee returns the proposal to the department, program, or institute for clarification or correction. At times, the Curriculum Review Committee may ask the faculty member proposing a course to attend a committee meeting to answer questions or clarify issues.
    d. Not approve the proposal. Failure to recommend adoption can be due to negative external reviews or refusal of the department, program, or institute to consider the suggestions made by the Curriculum Review Committee. The proposal is returned to the department, program or institute for final revision or retraction.
    e. If course duplication appears to be an issue, the Curriculum Review Committee may offer one of two solutions:
    • The course be cross-listed with the two departments involved.
    • The existing course be made available to the students who would be served under the proposed course, thereby alleviating the need for said course.

Meetings of the Curriculum Review Committee

The Curriculum Review Committee shall meet a minimum of four times per year sufficiently in advance of a regularly scheduled meeting of the Council to insure that brief descriptions of new courses and/or program changes recommended for approval can be distributed to the Council in advance. As a general guideline, all materials necessary to the evaluation of a new course and/or program change are to be submitted to the members of the Curriculum Review Committee at least 21 days prior to an upcoming Council meeting and at least 7 days prior to the scheduled meeting of the Curriculum Review Committee. No course or program change will be evaluated by the Curriculum Review Committee without complete documentation and the prior distribution of this material to the committee members as indicated above.

Presentation of a New Course or program change to the Council

It will be the responsibility of the Chairperson of the Curriculum Review Committee to present new courses and program changes to the Council for approval. Should any questions arise, then it will be the responsibility of the chairperson to address the question at issue either at that meeting of the Council or at a subsequent meeting of the Council.

Approval of a New Course or program change

A new course or program change can be approved at the regularly scheduled Council meeting in which the course or change is presented, provided the title, brief description target group and objectives of the new course or rationale for the program modification has been made available to Council members at least seven days in advance of the meeting. A majority vote of the Council shall be sufficient to approve a new course or program change.