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Faculty Bylaws


The Graduate Faculty is the faculty of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. It is composed of persons representing a diversity of interests that contribute to the knowledge of biomedical science, in the broadest sense of the term, and who are qualified as educators by their scholarly or creative work and their effectiveness or potential effectiveness in teaching and training graduate students. The Graduate Faculty consists of Members, Associate Members, Distinguished Members and Emeritus Members.

1.1 Members of the Graduate Faculty

Any faculty member of The University of Texas institutions at Houston, or of other authorized institutions, who has an academic appointment of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or equivalent, and who will be an active participant in graduate programs of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is eligible to become a Member of the Graduate Faculty. Members shall be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, following the nomination by two faculty sponsors, and upon the recommendation of the nominee's parent institution, the Membership Committee of the Graduate School, and the Graduate Faculty. Appointments are subject to approval by the Presidents of the Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents.

Responsibilities of Members may include teaching of courses, supervision of student dissertation research, membership on committees, affiliation with Graduate Programs and such other functions as may be requested by the Graduate Faculty and the Dean.

Upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee, the Dean of the Graduate School may appoint Members for a term of up to five years, this appointment being contingent upon the continued appointment of the member in the parent institution. Members may be reappointed for terms of up to five years by the Dean upon recommendation of the Membership Committee.

1.2 Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty

Individuals who meet the above criteria for members but are not presently qualified to direct student dissertation research may be appointed as Associate Members of the Faculty for a term of up to five years. In addition, biomedical professionals who are employed as staff by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences or a University of Texas institution in Houston, and who hold appropriate graduate degrees may be appointed as Associate Members upon nomination by the Dean and approval by the Membership Committee. Responsibilities of Associate Members include those of Members except for the supervision of student dissertation research. Associate Members may apply for Regular Membership as appropriate.

1.6 Distinguished Senior Lecturers of the Graduate Faculty

The Membership Committee of the Graduate School may recommend to the Dean the appointment of Distinguished Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of the Graduate School. This category is reserved for Members who have been active and contributory and whose teaching experience and qualifications demonstrate extraordinary service and performance but whose current administrative or other professional responsibilities preclude continued participation as a Member. The privileges and responsibilities of a Distinguished Senior Lecturer are the same as those of a Member, although Distinguished Senior Lecturers would not normally be expected to supervise student dissertation research. A Distinguished Senior Lecturer shall continue as long as the appointee is a faculty member of an authorized institution. Any Distinguished Senior Lecturer who so requests may be returned to Regular Membership by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Membership Committee. Appointment shall be made by the Dean and shall be subject to approval by the Presidents of the Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

1.7 Emeritus Members of the Graduate Faculty

Whenever a faculty member achieves Emeritus status in the parent institution, the faculty member shall also be considered for Emeritus status at the Graduate School using guidelines established by the Membership Committee. Appointment shall be made by the Dean and shall be subject to approval by the Presidents of the Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center, and by UT System.

1.8 Graduate Programs

The Graduate Faculty may establish special interest areas, to be designated as Programs of the Graduate School, characterized by common educational goals. The program shall consist of those interested faculty members who share the disciplinary and educational objectives represented by the individual Program, without regard for institutional or departmental affiliations. A faculty member may affiliate with more than one program.

Program activities will be coordinated by a Program Director, this Director appointed by the Dean upon recommendation of the Program Faculty. The Program Director shall form a Program Committee by a method agreeable to Members of the Program. The Program Director shall be responsible for all activities of the Program. The members of the Program shall establish operational guidelines which are subject to approval by the Graduate Faculty. The Program shall establish requirements for admission of students into the Program, course requirements, and standards of academic performance, including procedures for dismissal of unsuitable students.

The Program Committee shall evaluate student applications for admission into the Program and shall transmit recommendations concerning admissions to the Admissions Committee (each Program shall have a representative serving on the Admissions Committee), shall advise students concerning courses and laboratory tutorials, shall monitor student programs, shall administer such program examinations as may be required, shall provide advice concerning dismissal of students, and shall perform such other duties assigned by the Program Director, the Dean, or the appropriate student committees of the faculty. The Program shall offer a general introductory course in its area of interest suitable for a wide variety of students, and offer advanced courses suitable for expert education in that special interest area.

Faculty groups may form Graduate Programs upon petition to the Dean, who shall transmit the petition to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall transmit the petition to the other Standing Committees for recommendations. The Executive Committee shall present the petition to the Faculty, for approval. If the petition is approved by the Faculty and accepted by the Dean, it shall be forwarded to the Presidents (or their designees) of MD Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Health Science Center for their consideration and transmittal to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for its approval which is required before the proposed Program may be initiated.

1.9 Meetings of the Graduate Faculty

Regular meetings shall be held two times per academic year: September and February. The President of the Graduate Faculty shall preside; the Vice-President shall preside in the President's absence. The meetings shall be conducted in general accordance with Robert's Rules of Order. Special meetings may be called at any time by the President of the Faculty, by the Executive Committee, or by petition of ten or more Faculty Members. A quorum is constituted as two times the square root of the number of Members of the Faculty. Regular meetings will be open to all students. The President of the Student Association will have the privileges of a voting member.

The agenda, and minutes of the previous meeting, will be distributed to the Faculty one week prior to regular meetings. Ten or more Faculty Members may petition the Executive Committee to delay a vote on an issue requiring a vote of the Faculty. This petition must be accompanied by specific reasons for postponement and must be received at least two weeks prior to the faculty meeting at which the vote is scheduled to occur. No faculty member shall be allowed to petition the Executive Committee more than once for postponement of a vote on a specific issue. There shall be an excerpt of the minutes of the faculty meeting, including discussion of the issue calling for a vote, sent to all faculty one week following the first meeting when the issue is announced.


The officers of the Graduate Faculty are a President and a Vice-President. The Vice-President shall be elected annually by written vote of the Faculty. The Vice-President shall serve one year in that office and the following year as President. The manner and time of the election shall be determined by the Executive Committee.

2.1 President

The President shall serve for one year beginning October 1. As the chief representative of the Graduate Faculty, the President shall be responsible for application and implementation of rules and policies of the Graduate Faculty, for proper execution of duties by Committees of the Graduate Faculty and for faithful adherence to these Bylaws. The President may call special faculty meetings. Upon recommendation of the Membership Committee and with the approval of the Faculty, the President shall recommend to the Dean the appointment of all chairpersons (with the exception of the Executive Committee) and members of all Standing Committees. The President may appoint ad hoc committees as necessary and shall be an ex officio member of all Standing Committees. The President may call meetings of any Standing Committee. If for any reason the President should vacate office, the Vice-President shall become President to serve the balance of the year plus the elected term following.

2.2 Vice-President

The Vice-President shall serve as President-elect for one year and shall become President upon expiration of the President's term of office. If for any reason the Vice-President should vacate office, a timely election shall be held to fill the balance of the term. The Vice-President shall preside at Faculty meetings in the absence of the President and shall be Chairperson of the Executive Committee. The Vice-President shall be responsible for preparing the agenda for meetings of the Executive Committee and for the preparation of minutes for circulation to the members of the Committee and to the President.


The Graduate Faculty shall maintain the following standing committees which are responsible to the Graduate Faculty and advisory to the Dean: Executive Committee, Membership Committee, Admissions Committee, Academic Standards Committee, Curriculum Committee, Program Directors Committee, and Student Scholarship Committee. Members of all committees shall be appointed by the Dean upon recommendation of the President of the Faculty, the Membership Committee and the Graduate Faculty.

Student Members shall be recommended to the Dean by the Student Association. Two student members shall be appointed to the Program Coordinating Committee annually; three students shall be appointed to the Curriculum Committee annually. The Dean shall appoint the Chairpersons of all committees, except the Executive Committee. Chairpersons are not voting members except to break tie votes.

The President of the Faculty shall be an ex officio member, without vote except on the Executive Committee, of all Standing Committees. Faculty appointments to committees with the exception of the Program Directors Committee shall be made for three-year terms with one-third of these committee members being appointed annually.  Committee membership shall commence on October 1, and end on September 30. Committee reports will be made at each faculty meeting.

3.1 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is composed of the Dean or the Dean's designate, the President of the Faculty, the Vice-President of the Faculty, the Chairpersons of all Standing Committees, one representative from among the Directors of Specialized Master's Degree Programs, the President of the Student Association, and three at-large representatives from among the GSBS faculty who will be appointed to staggered terms of three years each by the GSBS Membership Committee. In addition, the President of the Faculty and the chairs of the Academic Standards, Admissions, Curriculum, and Membership committees will serve as ex officio, voting members of the Committee in the year following their appointments.

The Vice-President of the Faculty is the Chairperson of the Executive Committee. Meetings shall be called by the Vice-President or the President of the Faculty upon recommendation from any member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet at least five times per year. The Executive Committee may upon request assume an advocate role in all matters related to academic freedom, appointments, and tenure involving members of the Graduate Faculty.

The Executive Committee is responsible for coordinating activities of Standing Committees, for reviewing academic policy, for periodic evaluation of Programs, for initiating emergency legislation, for establishment of procedures which provide nominees for the office of Vice- President, for determining the manner and time of the annual election, and for such other action as the Faculty and the Dean may deem necessary. The Chairperson of the Executive Committee shall report the Committee's recommendations to the Faculty.

3.2 Membership Committee

The Membership Committee shall consist of nine faculty members. Three persons to serve three year terms shall be appointed annually by the Dean, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the Faculty. Due regard for representation from UT institutions at Houston and Programs shall be maintained when appointing Committee members. The Committee shall meet as often as is necessary to discharge its duties.

The Membership Committee shall be responsible for ascertaining that Members of the Graduate Faculty meet the requirements set forth in Section 1 of these Bylaws and to this end shall review the activity of each faculty member at least once every five years and make recommendations concerning reappointment to the Dean. The Membership Committee shall recommend annually to the President of the Faculty the membership of all Standing Committees of the Faculty, except the Executive Committee, the Membership Committee and the Program Directors Committee. An orderly turnover of membership of the Standing Committees at a rate of approximately one- third each year and due regard for representation from UT institutions at Houston and Programs shall be maintained. The Membership Committee shall also nominate Chairpersons of Standing Committees, subject to ratification by the Faculty and appointment by the Dean.

3.3 Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Program and up to 10 at-large faculty members appointed by the Dean, to ensure coverage of all program areas. This committee is responsible for soliciting recommendations from appropriate Program faculty and/or faculty subcommittees concerning student admission, for evaluating applications for admission, and for the submission of recommendations concerning admissions to the Dean.

The Admissions Committee is responsible for assuring that only persons who have demonstrated a potential for scientific excellence and meet the academic credentials defined in the GSBS catalog be recommended for admission.

3.4 Academic Standards Committee

The Academic Standards Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Program. This committee is responsible for recommending to the Dean the appointments to all student Advisory and Examining Committees. This committee shall be responsible for recommending degree plans to the Dean for ensuring that faculty policies concerning academic standards are fulfilled. This committee shall make recommendations to the Dean for all scholastic disciplinary matters. The committee shall act as a panel to determine whether grounds exist for dismissal of a student.

3.5 Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee shall consist of nine faculty members and three students. This committee is responsible for review and approval of all course offerings of the Graduate Faculty, and for evaluating all introductory and area requirement courses offered by Programs.

3.7 Program Directors Committee

The Program Directors Committee shall consist of the directors of academic Programs, as defined under section 1.6 of the bylaws, plus two student representatives. The director of the MD/PhD Program shall be an ex officio member of the committee. The Dean shall recommend the membership and chairperson of the committee to the graduate faculty for approval.

The Program Directors Committee shall make recommendations to the Dean and Executive Committee concerning the effectiveness and initiation of GSBS policies. Duties will include: consideration of policy affecting the function of the Graduate School; consideration of policy affecting the structure and governance of Graduate Programs; approval of new graduate programs as defined under section 1.6 of the bylaws; and recommendation to the Membership Committee for appropriate Program representation on the Graduate School Standing Committees.

3.8 Student Scholarship Committee

The Student Scholarship Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Program. This committee is responsible for reviewing student fellowship and scholarship applications and recommending the winners to the Dean.

3.9 Student Success and Well-Being Committee

The GSBS Student Success and Well-Being Committee is responsible for ensuring that the GSBS maintains a welcoming environment through advising, mentoring, and community engagement to empower all students to thrive, achieve, and maximize their success. The Committee will include 9 faculty and 3 staff members (or GSBS affiliates) to serve 3-year terms, 3 students to serve a 1-year term with an option to renew, and the Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Affairs. Regard for representation from UT institutions and Graduate Programs will be maintained when appointing Committee members.

Duties of the Committee may include but are not limited to: conducting regular assessment of student needs to identify opportunities to foster and facilitate professionalism in the GSBS community; the recruitment, development, and retention of all students, including but not limited to first generation college students, low-income students, and underserved student populations; supporting student-led initiatives on community engagement and development; initiating effective professional and wellness offerings; and making recommendations to the Dean on these matters. The Committee will meet at regular intervals as determined by its members but shall meet no fewer than two times per academic year.


The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the faculty members present (online or in person) at a faculty meeting to which all members were invited. Voting may be at any scheduled meeting providing that a proposed amendment, endorsed by ten faculty members, has been given to the Executive Committee sixty days prior to the scheduled faculty meeting and circulated to all members of the faculty three weeks prior to the meeting.

Last update: 1/10/2024


For Faculty-related information, please contact GSBS Faculty Affairs