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Graduate Bylaws

The Graduate Group Bylaws define the organization and administrative and operational responsibilities of the Department of Sociology's graduate program.

About the Bylaws

The Graduate Group Bylaws delineates the organizational structure of the Department of Sociology’s graduate program, which operates through three standing committees: the Graduate Program Committee, the Admissions Committee, and the Comprehensive Examination Committee, all members of which are appointed by the chair of the department.

  • The Graduate Program Committee oversees graduate student progress, program requirements, student petitions, and support for continuing students. 
  • The Admissions Committee makes decisions on applications for graduate study and financial aid for new students.
  • The Comprehensive Examination Committee prepares the comprehensive exam and evaluates student performance. 

A PDF of the Department of Sociology's Graduate Group Bylaws is available here.

Bylaws

Article I. Objective

1. Degrees offered: At UC Davis the Graduate Program in Sociology, a departmentally based graduate program, offers a M.A. degree and a Ph.D. degree.

2. Statement of the discipline: Sociology is concerned with the study of sociology, broadly defined:with institutions, small groups, economy, polity, and culture. Sociologists work within a number of subfields, which, to name just a few, include the family, crime and deviance, social movements, work, occupations, and labor markets, medicine and health, urban, political economy and political sociology, and social psychology. They also use a plurality of methodological and theoretical approaches in their research.

3. Mission of the program: Our mission is to train outstanding scholars in sociology who will become sociologists in major institutions around the nation.

Article II. Membership

A. Criteria for Membership in the Graduate Program

1. Members must hold an appropriate academic title as outlined in Graduate Council Policy, GC 1998-02, “Policy on Membership in Graduate Programs.” Sociology’s Graduate Program is Departmentally based so membership is based upon disciplinary expertise and active research. Members throughout campus are eligible for consideration to membership if they have been voted into the program (the process is outlined in Subarticle B). Initial appointment is five years. Faculty with appointments in the Sociology Department have automatic membership rights in the program.

2. Criteria for membership in the Sociology Graduate Program are:

a. Ph.D. and a strong record of research and professional development relevant to the social sciences;

b. Demonstrated ability to be an effective mentor in helping students with professional development;

c. Evidence of past and current high quality research and publication;

d. Evidence of adherence to the highest professional standards in relations with graduate students and faculty colleagues;

e. Membership in the UC Davis Academic Senate.

3. Voting Rights: Members of the Sociology Graduate Program are eligible to vote on policy and curricular matters related to the Graduate Program.

B. Application for Membership

1. The voting members of the Graduate Program Faculty will annually elect a membership committee of three faculty members. This committee will make recommendations to the full faculty on requests/recommendations for membership and renewals of membership.

The committee will, in making its recommendations, provide the voting members with arguments both for and against acceptance. Faculty may be recommended to the Graduate Program as well as self-nominate. Criteria for membership are detailed above.

2. Faculty outside the Sociology Department may self-nominate by submitting a Curriculum

Vitae and letter of interest to the Graduate Program Membership Committee (Subarticle B.1).

3. Requests/recommendations for membership must be approved by more than 2/3rds of the voting faculty. Renewal of membership in the graduate program faculty will be automatic for departmental faculty as long as they have been positively reviewed by their colleagues as part of the merit review process. Renewal of membership in the graduate program faculty for faculty who are not members of the Sociology Department and for Sociology emeriti is described in Subarticle D.

4. Anticipated Contributions: Graduate Program Faculty members may serve as members or chairs of graduate students’ Qualifying Paper, Qualifying Examination, and Dissertation Committees. They are expected to attend the annual Graduate Program Faculty meeting, typically held at the end of each academic year.

C. Emeriti status

Emeriti are eligible for membership with full voting rights. Criteria used for evaluation of membership will be the same criteria used for all graduate program members.

D. Review of Membership

The criteria for membership are the same for sociology faculty and faculty outside the sociology department. Every five years the criteria for reviewing and evaluating membership renewals for faculty who are not members of the Department and for emeriti are:

1. The Ph.D. and a strong record of research and professional development relevant to the social sciences;

2. Demonstrated ability to be an effective mentor in helping students with professional development;

3. Evidence of service on sociology graduate students’ Qualifying Paper, Qualifying Examination, and/or dissertation committees;

4. Evidence of past and current high quality research and publication;

5. Evidence of adherence to the highest professional standards in relations with graduate students and faculty colleagues;

6. Membership in the UC Davis Academic Senate.

E. Membership Appeal Process: Termination of membership will be considered during the regular review for continuation of membership. Terminated members may appeal for renewal but for denial or of renewal of membership, Faculty’s last appeal is to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Article III. Organizations & Administration

The Graduate Program in Sociology is administered by the Chair of the Sociology Department with day- to-day responsibilities delegated to the Graduate Program Committee and the Graduate Program Chair, who also serves as Department Vice-Chair.

Article IV. Graduate Program Chair

The Graduate Program in Sociology is a departmentally based graduate program administered by the Department Chair. The day-to-day responsibilities of the Graduate Program are delegated to the Graduate Program Chair, who also serves as Department Vice-Chair. The Graduate Program Chair assists the Staff Graduate Coordinator with all aspects of the Graduate Program, serves ex officio on the Graduate Program Committee, Admissions Committee, and Comprehensive Examination Committee. S/he consults with the Department Chair about problems that arise, advises graduate students informally, and maintains statistics on student progress, awards, and employment outcomes.

Article V. Committees

The Sociology Graduate Program has three standing committees whose members are appointed by the Chair of the Sociology Department. These are the Graduate Program Committee, the Admissions Committee, and the Comprehensive Examination Committee. All members of the Graduate Program are able to serve on these committees.

The Graduate Program Committee oversees graduate student progress, program requirements, student petitions, and support for continuing students. The five faculty members of the Graduate Program Committee, including a Committee Chair, are appointed by the Department Chair. There are two graduate student representatives but they are not eligible to vote. All terms are for one year. The Chair of the Graduate Program participates ex officio. The Department Chair does not vote but is available for consultation.

The Admissions Committee makes decisions on applications for graduate study and financial aid for new students. The five faculty members of Admissions, including a Committee Chair, are appointed by the Department Chair. There are two graduate student representatives but they are not eligible to vote and they do not participate in the portion of the meetings devoted to the distribution of money to prospective students. All terms are for one year. The Chair of the Graduate Program participates ex officio. The Department Chair does not vote but is available for consultation.

The Comprehensive Examination Committee prepares the comprehensive exam and evaluates student performance. The three faculty members of the Comprehensive Examination Committee, including a Committee Chair, are appointed by the Department Chair. There are no graduate student representatives allowed on this committee. All terms are for one year. The Chair of the Graduate

Program participates ex officio. The Department Chair does not vote but is available for consultation.

Article VI. Student Representatives

Based upon recommendations of the program’s Graduate Student Sociological Association, the Chair and the Graduate Program Chair appoint student representatives to committees. Student representatives may be excused from meetings during discussions of other students, personnel actions or disciplinary issues relating to faculty, during rankings of existing students for funding, and for disciplinary issues related to students.

Article VII. Graduate Advisors

Graduate Advisors will be appointed in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Graduate Council and the Office of Graduate Studies. The Chair of the Graduate Program will nominate graduate advisors to the Office of Graduate Studies for review and appointment. Upon approval from Graduate Studies, four faculty will be appointed to serve two-year terms as Faculty Advisors, making a ratio of one advisor for approximately every 15 graduate students.

Article VIII. Meetings

The Graduate Program Faculty will have at least one meeting each academic year to be called by the Chair of the Sociology Department. Additional meetings can be called by the Chair or by petition of a fourth of the members. Changes in the by-laws and decisions on new members must be approved by more than 2/3 of the voting faculty; other decisions will be made by a vote of more than 50% of the members. Meetings are not official without a quorum, defined as more than 50% of the members. Unofficial meetings (meetings that lack a quorum of 50%+), however, are authorized to put issues before the full membership by a mail or electronic ballot. Decisions on membership, on changes in the by-laws, or changes in the program requirements will be made either by mail ballot (including ballots placed in mailboxes of faculty members in the Sociology Department and ballots sent via campus mail to members in other Departments) or by web-based technology (sent to all members of the Graduate Program). Program members are given one week to vote. Two representatives of the Graduate Student Sociology Association are sometimes invited to attend meetings but they can be excluded from discussions of sensitive issues.

Article IX. Quorum

Changes in the by-laws and decisions on new members must be approved by more than 2/3rds of the voting faculty; other decisions will be made by a vote of 50%+ of the members. Balloting to establish/revise by-laws or graduate program policy can be done either in a meeting of the program, via email, or other web-based balloting technology. The balloting may be done either publicly (such as a voice vote or show of hands) or anonymously. Any member can make a public or confidential request to the program chair for anonymous balloting at any time. If via email or web-based technology: a) the by- laws must state how the motion may be introduced (e.g. by an executive committee, a percentage of the membership, etc.), b) the by-laws must clarify how an anonymous vote will be administered, and c) 7 days must be provided for expression of opinions about the proposal prior to the acceptance of votes, and the program must allow 7 days for votes to be returned or before the polls are closed.

Article X. Amendments

The degree requirements of the Sociology Department’s Graduate Program have been approved by the Graduate Council. Changes to these requirements must be approved by the members of the Graduate Program. Revised by-laws require approval by more than 2/3rds of the Graduate Program members and will be submitted to Graduate Council for review and approval.

Revised: June 28, 2002; March 31, 2005; June 17, 2006. Approved by Graduate Council: July 12, 2016