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Program Bylaws

Preamble

Revised February 2021

The Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Arid Lands Resource Sciences (ALRS) offers a program of graduate study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Arid Lands Resource Sciences. The program is interdisciplinary and provides an academic environment in which to examine the ecological, economic and social factors which influence the sustainable use of arid and semiarid lands. Special interdisciplinary concentrations combining aspects of the biological, physical, and social sciences, not available in the usual major-minor degree programs, may be used by advanced students with promising research projects and strong interests in arid lands.

This interdisciplinary program includes faculty members representing almost 20 different departments across the campus. The current participating departments include, but are not limited to: Agricultural and Resources Economics, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Anthropology, Architecture, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Family and Community Medicine, Geography and Regional Development, Geosciences, Hydrology and Water Resources, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Near Eastern Studies, Office of Arid Lands Studies, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Plant Sciences, Political Science, Psychology, Renewable Natural Resources, and Soil, Water and Environmental Science, The Udall Center, and the Institute for the Environment. This broad based interdisciplinary group is currently represented by over 55 different faculty members. These details are stated explicitly in the Graduate Student Handbook for Arid Lands Resource Sciences and are available on our website.

As the program has grown dramatically over the past few years, the size of the general faculty and the executive committee has grown appropriately. The Executive Committee (appointed by and responsible to the Dean of the Graduate College serves as the executive, policy, and administrative agency for the Program. The structure and organization of this Committee shall conform to the Guidelines for Interdisciplinary Programs established by the Director, Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs.

Innovative planning and creative leadership are essential to maintain and foster excellence in this diversified interdisciplinary program. These and related functions are served by the Committee (Faculty) on Arid Lands Resource Sciences and its Executive Committee. In the following sections the Bylaws that govern policies and operating procedures are outlined.

Executive Committee and Chairperson of the Committee

1. The Chairperson of the Committee will be appointed by the Faculty Director, Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs from nominations submitted by the Executive Council. The Chairperson will normally serve a five-year term (each year will begin on July 1st and end on June 30th of the following year). The Chair may not serve more than ten years consecutively or two terms. A second term must be approved by a two-thirds positive vote by the Executive Committee.

The duties of the Chair are: a) call and preside at meetings of the Executive Committee as needed, but not less than one time per semester, b) appoint necessary subcommittees as needed, c) administer the budget of ALRS Program, d) apply for institutional graduate fellowship and recruitment awards, obtain fee waivers and reward students for both meritorious performance and financial need. e) manage administrative matters and serve as the immediate supervisor of the program staff person, f) prepare annual reports and budget requests, g) direct course change and approval forms and oversee the updating of the graduate handbook, and h) assist students in following through on their qualifiers and finding the appropriate dissertation advisor.

2. The Executive Committee consists of at least 9 members representing the major areas of study within the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Program. The Executive Committee is responsible for nominating or receiving nominations for new members of the Executive Committee and will vote on these nominations. Members of the Executive Committee will be appointed only from the membership of the ALRS Committee (Faculty). Each Executive Committee member will serve a five-year term. Each year of service will begin on July 1st and end on June 30th of the following year. Each of these terms can be renewed by vote of the Executive Committee and approved by the Dean of the Graduate College.

The Executive Committee is responsible for administering the ALRS graduate program, including admission of graduate students, evaluation of continuing graduate students, publicizing the Program both intra- and extra-murally, planning the continued updating and development of the Arid Lands Resources Sciences Program, formulating the annual budget, assisting in the securing and allocating of the necessary funding, and advising University administration on issues pertinent to the overall program.

3. A member of the Executive Committee may be asked to step down as a member of the Executive Committee if that person has three unexcused absences from Executive Committee meetings during a year or fails to respond to three application packages. If that person can demonstrate an active membership in the general Committee, they may continue to serve as a general member, but not as a member of the Executive Committee until at least two years have passed.

4. ALRS’s representative to GIDPAC will be a member of the ALRS Executive Committee and be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The term will be three years beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.

Standing Assignments or Committees

1. As needed a curriculum committee will be established to review the core curriculum and provide recommendations for improving the program, updating the requirements, and substituting courses for courses that have been dropped. This committee shall consist of members of the Executive Committee and the professors responsible for teaching the core curriculum. Student input will be requested to assist in this task. This task should be undertaken at least once every three years if not more often, depending on circumstances.

2. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the recruitment and admissions of all graduate students. The completed packet of each applicant will be distributed to the Executive Committee, who can accept the student as is, reject the applicant, recommend acceptance with probation, or call for an executive committee meeting to discuss the applicant and make a final decision. If two-thirds of the Executive Committee vote yes for acceptance of any one candidate, that shall be construed as an official acceptance. If one-third of the Executive Committee vote no on acceptance of any one candidate, that shall be construed as an official non-acceptance. If a committee member does not respond within a reasonable time (more than three weeks), that vote shall be accepted as an abstention and majority rule shall be the deciding factor. When deemed necessary the Chair shall call a special admissions meeting. A quorum (for a meeting or mail-in voting) shall constitute two-thirds of the Executive Committee membership with majority vote deciding the result.

Membership

Nominations for membership in the ALRS Committee (Faculty) can be made by submitting a request for membership, a recent curriculum vita and two letters of recommendation to the Chair of the Executive Committee. The Chair can then poll the executive committee or submit the information for a formal vote. A two-thirds majority of positive votes of the Executive Committee shall be required for recommendation to membership to the Faculty Director of the Graduate College and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, who shall confer membership. Criteria for membership shall include scholarly and research productivity in arid lands research and active service with students as dissertation directors, committee members or sources of research funding.

Members shall be listed as Faculty of the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Committee in the graduate handbook and in the Graduate Catalog.

A member of the Committee or Executive Committee on Arid Lands Resource Sciences may be dropped from membership due to failure to participate in the activities of the Committee (e.g. refusal to be actively involved in the teaching of the required courses, track courses, special electives or required independent study). Participation includes but is not limited to service as a dissertation director for graduate students, active participation as committee members on graduate committees, providing funding and advice to students.

Membership shall be the subject of periodic review by the Executive Committee. In the event that a member is dropped from the program, that member may reapply if the criteria established above are met.

Criteria for Membership in the Graduate Faculty for the ALRS GIDP 

A.    Prologue:    

1.    As specified in UHAP Policy 3.1.04:
 
Members of the graduate faculty have special privileges and obligations within graduate education, especially related to thesis, dissertation and other culminating capstone project committee roles and membership, as well as graduate student advising and mentorship. Graduate faculty membership is automatically granted to tenured and tenure-track faculty and continuing-status and eligible academic professionals with faculty titles and may be granted selectively to career track faculty or others. The Graduate College, in coordination with the academic colleges and programs, oversees the criteria, processes, and procedures related to the granting, review, and in rare cases of unacceptable performance, the remediation or removal of graduate faculty membership to ensure the quality of graduate programs and delivery of graduate education.

2.    The Graduate College policies governing graduate faculty membership are set out here: https://grad.arizona.edu/policies/academic-policies/graduate-faculty-policy 
3.    Members of the Graduate Faculty are expected to maintain the “Responsibilities of Graduate Faculty”, as outlined in section 4.1 of the Graduate College policy.

B.    Criteria for membership in the Graduate Faculty in the ALRS GIDP

Faculty members of the University of Arizona who are Tenured, Tenure-eligible, Continuing status, Continuing status-eligible, or Career Track, are eligible for Graduate Faculty membership in the ALRS GIDP, when:

1.    Hold a terminal degree in a discipline relevant to the interdisciplinary mission of the ALRS GIDP; AND
2.    Have experience conducting research, as evidenced by grants, publications, conference presentations, white papers, or governmental reports relevant to arid lands resource sciences; OR
3.    Have at least 2 years of experience conducting research in governmental or non-governmental institutions, industry or clinical settings relevant to arid lands resource sciences, as evidenced in the work history of the applicant.  The Executive Committee of the ALRS GIDP may request a recommendation letter from a supervisor or a senior peer of the applicant, attesting to the relevance and quality of the research contributions of the applicant; AND 
4.    Have a record of effective mentorship of graduate or undergraduate students, or expressed interest and commitment to provide such mentorship to the students of the ALRS GIDP.

C.    Criteria for the endorsement to chair a Doctoral Committee.  

The following additional criteria are used to determine if a member of the Graduate Faculty in the ALRS GIDP has the endorsement to chair doctoral committees. Faculty with the endorsement to chair doctoral committees are expected to maintain the responsibilities outlined in section 4.4 of the Graduate College policy.

1.    All members of the Graduate Faculty in the ALRS GIDP shall have the endorsement to chair doctoral committees if they are Tenure-eligible/Tenured faculty or Continuing Status-eligible/Continuing Status academic professionals with faculty appointments.
2.    Members of the ALRS Graduate Faculty with Career Track faculty appointments shall have the endorsement to co-chair doctoral committees together with a Tenure-eligible/Tenured faculty or Continuing Status-eligible/Continuing Status eligible member of the ALRS Graduate Faculty, provided the Career Track faculty has a proven record of graduate student supervision in the ALRS GIDP.
3.    Members of the ALRS Graduate Faculty with Career Track faculty appointments shall have the endorsement to chair doctoral committees if they previously served on at least one ALRS GIDP doctoral committee as a committee member, a co-chair, or a chair.

See also section 1.1.5 of https://grad.arizona.edu/policies/academic-policies/graduate-faculty-policy for important information about the endorsement to chair criteria.  

G.     Vote on Membership in ALRS GIDP Graduate Faculty

Nominations for faculty membership in the ALRS GIDP can be made by submitting a request for membership, and a recent curriculum vita to the Chair of the Executive Committee. Letter(s) of recommendation from existing ALRS GIDP faculty members may also be attached to the nomination.  The Chair shall then submit the information for a formal vote. A two-thirds majority of positive votes of the Executive Committee shall be required for recommendation to membership to the Faculty Director of the Graduate College and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, who shall confer membership.

Amendments

The Bylaws may be amended or revised by motion of the Executive Committee and a two-thirds positive vote of the ALRS Committee.
 

Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (ALRS GIDP)
Criteria for Membership in the Graduate Faculty for the ALRS GIDP


A. Prologue:

1. As specified in UHAP Policy 3.1.04:
Members of the graduate faculty have special privileges and obligations within graduate education, especially related to thesis, dissertation and other culminating capstone project committee roles and membership, as well as graduate student advising and mentorship. Graduate faculty membership is automatically granted to tenured and tenure-track faculty and continuing-status and eligible academic professionals with faculty titles and may be granted selectively to career track faculty or others. The Graduate College, in coordination with the academic colleges and programs, oversees the criteria, processes, and procedures related to the granting, review, and in rare cases of unacceptable performance, the remediation or removal of graduate faculty membership to ensure the quality of graduate programs and delivery of graduate education.

2. The Graduate College policies governing graduate faculty membership are set out here:
https://grad.arizona.edu/policies/academic-policies/graduate-faculty-policy

3. Members of the Graduate Faculty are expected to maintain the “Responsibilities of Graduate Faculty”, as outlined in section 4.1 of the Graduate College policy.


B. Criteria for membership in the Graduate Faculty in the ALRS GIDP Faculty members of the University of Arizona who are Tenured, Tenure-eligible, Continuing status, Continuing status-eligible, or Career Track, are eligible for Graduate Faculty membership in the ALRS GIDP, when:

1. Hold a terminal degree in a discipline relevant to the interdisciplinary mission of the
ALRS GIDP; AND

2. Have experience conducting research, as evidenced by grants, publications, conference presentations, white papers, or governmental reports relevant to arid lands resource sciences;

OR

3. Have at least 2 years of experience conducting research in governmental or nongovernmental institutions, industry or clinical settings relevant to arid lands resource sciences, as evidenced in the work history of the applicant. The Executive Committee of the ALRS GIDP may request a recommendation letter from a supervisor or a senior peer of the applicant, attesting to the relevance and quality of the research contributions of
the applicant; AND

4. Have a record of effective mentorship of graduate or undergraduate students, or expressed interest and commitment to provide such mentorship to the students of the ALRS GIDP.


C. Criteria for the endorsement to chair a Doctoral Committee.

The following additional criteria are used to determine if a member of the Graduate Faculty in the ALRS GIDP has the endorsement to chair doctoral committees. Faculty with the endorsement to chair doctoral committees are expected to maintain the responsibilities outlined in section 4.4 of the Graduate College policy.

1. All members of the Graduate Faculty in the ALRS GIDP shall have the endorsement to chair doctoral committees if they are Tenure-eligible/Tenured faculty or Continuing Status-eligible/Continuing Status academic professionals with faculty appointments.

2. Members of the ALRS Graduate Faculty with Career Track faculty appointments shall have the endorsement to co-chair doctoral committees together with a Tenureeligible/Tenured faculty or Continuing Status-eligible/Continuing Status eligible member of the ALRS Graduate Faculty, provided the Career Track faculty has a proven record of graduate student supervision in the ALRS GIDP.

3. Members of the ALRS Graduate Faculty with Career Track faculty appointments shall have the endorsement to chair doctoral committees if they previously served on at least one ALRS GIDP doctoral committee as a committee member, a co-chair, or a chair. See also section 1.1.5 of https://grad.arizona.edu/policies/academic-policies/graduate-facultypolicy for important information about the endorsement to chair criteria.

G. Vote on Membership in ALRS GIDP Graduate Faculty Nominations for faculty membership in the ALRS GIDP can be made by submitting a request for membership, and a recent curriculum vita to the Chair of the Executive Committee. Letter(s) of recommendation from existing ALRS GIDP faculty members may also be attached to the nomination. The Chair shall then submit the information for a formal vote. A two-thirds majority of positive votes of the Executive Committee shall be required for recommendation to membership to the Faculty Director of the Graduate College and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, who shall confer membership.

This policy has been approved by a majority vote (7 supporting, 2 absent, none against) by the Executive Committee of the ALRS GIDP, on February 16, 2021, and approved by the Graduate College on March 26, 2021.

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Last updated 29 Mar 2021