School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics


School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Bylaws (Amended September 16, 2009)


  1. Purpose: The purpose of this document is to provide the governance framework for the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and defining the organizational framework of the School.  It provides a framework into which Bylaws of the departments within the School must fit.
  2. Faculty

  3. Faculty:  The Faculty of the School is defined as persons having at least a 50% appointment for nine months at the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, and Senior Lecturer.  All members of the Faculty are entitled to attend and participate in School and Departmental faculty meetings. Faculty members with joint appointments may vote only in the Department in which they have the largest fractional appointment or, in the case of equal splitting, in the Department in which they choose to be enfranchised.   At the start of each Fall semester, the Senior Lecturers in each department shall meet to elect voting representatives equal to 10% of the Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors in the department, rounded to whole numbers.  These elected representatives join all Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors to form the Voting Faculty and may vote in matters that come before the Department and/or School.
  4. Meetings: The Faculty of the School will meet in general session at least once each academic year, at the call of the Dean.  Meetings must be announced at least one week in advance of the meeting and a written agenda must be distributed at least two days in advance.  Items may be placed on the agenda upon petition by at least two members of the Voting Faculty.  The Dean will chair faculty meetings.

    The Dean may call a special meeting of the Faculty at any time on two-working-day notice and shall call a special meeting upon petition by one third of the Voting Faculty. The agenda of a meeting called by petition must specify at least one topic to be placed on the agenda.

    For purposes of voting, a quorum is defined as 50% of the Voting Faculty. 
    Except as specified elsewhere in these Bylaws, all business in the School will be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.  Minutes of the meetings shall be taken by the Secretary of the Faculty, as defined herein, and maintained by the Deans office, and are to be accepted by the Voting Faculty at the next meeting. The Secretary of the Faculty will act as parliamentarian.  It will be in order to amend any matter brought before the Faculty to request a written electronic vote.  Such amendments must be accepted by a supermajority (60%) of those attending the meeting. The result of the subsequent email ballot will be binding.
  5. Officers of the School

  6. Dean: The Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics serves at the pleasure of the President of the University of Texas at Dallas and reports directly to the Provost.  The Dean is a tenured member of the faculty of the School with the rank of Professor.

    The Dean has responsibility for the administration of the School in accordance with these Bylaws, including responsibility for preparing and managing the School budget, approving all personnel actions and, in consultation with Department Chairs, assigning duties to the members of the faculty.  The Dean will consider the recommendations of the faculty regarding curricular matters, appointments, promotions and tenure decisions.

    The Dean may appoint faculty members to committees that he/she determines to be useful to the effective management of the School, and will recommend to the Provost the composition of ad hoc committees for faculty reviews and promotions. The appointment of an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies or an Associate Dean of Graduate Studies requires approval of the School Executive Committee as described in Section 9.  All administrative officers serve at the pleasure of the Dean.

    The Dean will represent the School, both within and outside the Campus.  At the Fall semester faculty meeting, the Dean will report on the State of the School.
  7. Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education:  Appointed by the Dean with the approval of the Voting Faculty, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education has responsibility for training and supervising undergraduate advisors and ensuring that students receive timely, accurate academic advice.  He/She has the final faculty authority on School and Departmental policies on undergraduate degree programs and works with the Dean of Undergraduate Education.  The Associate Dean represents the School on the Council for Undergraduate Education and as a member of the School Committee for Effective Teaching. He/She has responsibility for the accuracy of catalog listing and assisting the departments with course scheduling.  The Associate Dean manages the summer advising program and takes part in campus recruiting efforts.
  8. Associate Dean of Graduate Education: The person appointed by the Dean to this position must be a tenured faculty member and must be approved by the Voting Faculty. The Associate Dean coordinates the advanced degree programs within the school including assisting with catalog entries and scheduling of courses, exams, and thesis defenses.  The Associate Dean will assist in the development of proposals for graduate fellowship support, and will administer School-wide Graduate Fellowships.  He/she will serve on the Graduate Council, and will provide close coordination with the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  9. Department Heads: The Dean appoints Heads of the academic departments in the School in consultation with the faculty of that Department and with the approval of the Provost.  The Head is the chief administrative officer of the unit and serves as the liaison between the faculty and the higher administration.  The Head is expected to provide leadership in the department while managing the day-to-day administration of the unit.  In accordance with Departmental Bylaws, the Head will appoint faculty committees, oversee faculty recruiting, promotion and retention, perform annual evaluations of faculty and staff, provide teaching assignments to faculty and lecturers, manage the scheduling of courses, and manage course evaluation and accreditation.  In accordance with University policy, the Dean will conduct an evaluation of the Head by the faculty every five years the results of which will be made available to the Head and used by the Dean in evaluating the overall performance of the Head.
  10. Other Officers:  With the approval of the Provost, the Dean may appoint other members of the faculty to administrative positions such as Center Director, Program Head, and Program Coordinator to administer research and interdisciplinary programs as opportunities arise.  Such officers serve at the pleasure of the Dean and are subject to annual performance reviews by the Dean in consultation with the appropriate Department Head.


  12. Faculty Personnel Review Committee:  This (FPRC) Committee is mandated by UT Dallas Policy Memorandum 75-III.22-3. This Committee is chaired by the Dean, and is composed of one member, elected annually in the Spring by secret ballot, to represent each Department.  The members must be tenured faculty members and are appointed for two year terms.  Upon adoption of these Bylaws, three departments will be chosen at random to elect members for only a single year, the others to elect members for full terms.  Members of the Committee may succeed themselves only if no other tenured faculty member in the department is available to serve.  Each Department should select an alternate to serve in the event the elected member is unable to serve a full term. The Committee will select one of its members to serve as Secretary of the Faculty whose duties were described in Section 3.

    The Committee will conduct Periodic Performance Evaluations of Tenured Faculty as described in Policy Memorandum 97-III.22-79 as revised and amended.  Associate Professors on the Committee do not participate in the evaluation of Professors.  The Provost’s Office will provide the Committee with the files of those faculty members selected for review. The Dean will consult with the FPRC on third-year reviews of untenured faculty members and will consider the comments of the Committee in the review process.  The Dean will consult the FPRC on requests for Faculty Development Leave. 

    The FPRC will serve as the School’s elected Executive Committee and will advise the Dean on matters of curriculum, degree programs, and accreditation matters as needed.  The approval of a majority the Executive Committee is required for the appointment of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Associate Dean of Graduate Education.
  13. School Council: The School Council consists of Department Heads, Directors, and Associate Deans in the School and serves as its administrative committee.  The Council will meet regularly to discuss administrative matters and to bring issues affecting the departments to the attention of the Dean.  The School Financial Officer will serve ex officio as the Council Secretary and will prepare an agenda in advance of each meeting and provide minutes of the previous meeting for approval.
  14. Committee on Effective Teaching:  This committee is mandated by Policy Memorandum 96-III.21-70.  The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education serves as chair. It has the responsibility for oversight of the teaching evaluation within each Department. It will ensure that uniform procedures are in place that include student course evaluation, peer evaluation through classroom visits, and take account of course load, course development, and dissertation supervision.  Each Department will appoint a member of the Committee, typically the Associate Head for Undergraduate Studies. Non-voting student members will be appointed as described in Section 12. The Committee will provide input into nominations for teaching awards.
  15. Dean’s Student Advisory Committee (DSAC):  Departments may name one undergraduate and one graduate student to serve on this Committee.  This Committee will elect among its members a graduate student and undergraduate student to serve as non-voting members of the Committee on Effective Teaching.  The Dean will convene this Committee at least once each semester to consult with students about policies and procedures in the School.  DSAC members may request additional meetings with the Dean as the need arises.


  17. New Hires: Each Department will conduct open searches for faculty positions, whether at the junior or senior level, through the efforts of ad hoc search committees.  Each search committee will be appointed by the Department Head and charged with advertising the position, collecting nominations and evaluating applications.  In consultation with the Head, the search committee will invite prospective candidates to campus, arrange for public seminars, and ensure that the candidates meet with as many faculty members as possible.  The Committee will recommend to the Department Head a ranked list of acceptable candidates. The Department Head will recommend candidates to be hired to the Dean, including salary, start-up costs, and space needs in the recommendation.  In the case of hiring into a tenured position, an ad hoc committee, which may be the search committee, should prepare a report based on the candidate’s record and recommendations, voting for or against a tenured appointment.  Before an offer can be made, it must be approved by the Dean and Provost.   Non-tenure track hiring is the responsibility of the Department Head in consultation with the School’s Committee on Effective Teaching and with the approval of the Dean.  Draft Policy Memorandum 08-III.22-96 will serve to guide the appointment of senior lecturers.
  18. Promotions: The Department Head will recommend to the Dean an ad hoc committee to examine the credentials of each faculty member being considered for promotion to tenure or promotion to the rank of professor.  The ad hoc committee will prepare a report on the merits of the case under consideration, weighing internal and external reference reports, research output, teaching evaluations, and service to the profession, the University, and the community.  Policy Memo 75-III-22-3 will govern promotion procedures within the School.  Promotions of senior lecturers to the second level will be guided by Policy Memorandum 08-III.22-96.

    Grievance Procedures

  20. Faculty grievances shall accord with the “Faculty Grievance Procedure” approved by UT DALLAS and spelled out in the Faculty Handbook (Policy Memorandum 92-III.21-54).  Student grievances shall be in accordance procedures specified in the UT DALLAS Handbook of Operating Procedures Title V, Chapter 51.

    Adoption of these Bylaws and Amendments to them

  22. These Bylaws, after circulation to the faculty for comments and corrections, will be scheduled for a vote of the full faculty.  This will be carried out by electronic balloting and must be adopted by a 2/3 vote of the current tenure/tenure track faculty members in the School.  After adoption of the Bylaws, they may be amended by placing the amendment on the agenda of a meeting of the faculty for discussion and then presented at a second meeting for a vote.  A 2/3 majority of the Voting Faculty at the meeting is required for amendment.

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  • Updated: February 10, 2014

  • Adopted Tuesday, September 25, 2007; Amended September 16, 2009.