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School of Medicine Faculty Assembly

Bylaws

Bylaws of the Faculty Organization of
The University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

*Adopted by School of Medicine Faculty Assembly on March 4, 2002
*Amended April 7, 2003
*Amended April 12, 2007
*Amended April 29, 2009
*Amended September 20, 2012
*Amended March 21, 2013

 

Article I – Names
The names of the bodies constituted in this document shall be the School of Medicine Faculty Assembly (SOMFA) and the School of Medicine Faculty Council (SOMFC) of The University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, hereinafter referred to as the Assembly and the Council.

 

Article II- Roles and Responsibilities
The Assembly shall act as the principal body for the development of policy for the School of Medicine subject to the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. The Dean, as the chief administrative officer, is responsible for approval and implementation of all policy decisions, subject to the approval of the President of the Health Science Center. The Council shall consider any matters referred to it by the Dean and act as the advisory body to the Dean.
 
The Assembly and Council shall consider all matters that, directly and indirectly, affect the ability of the School of Medicine faculty to carry out with excellence their programs of teaching, research, and patient care service. These governing bodies may submit recommendations on any matters affecting the interests of the School of Medicine to the Dean for his action and transmittal to the President, the Chancellor, and/or Board of Regents.

 

Article III - School of Medicine Faculty Assembly

 

Section I. General Membership
The Assembly shall consist of all members of The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio faculty appointed to the School of Medicine and holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor.

Section II. Voting Members

Each Assembly member who holds a full time faculty appointment shall have one vote.

Section III. Purposes and Responsibilities

 

A. Faculty and Academic Affairs: The purpose and objectives of the Assembly are to foster, support, and maintain excellence in all aspects of medical education, research, and health service at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine.
B. Administrative Affairs: The Assembly is formed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System and exercises its authority within those rules.   Members of the Assembly shall exhibit an active interest in the progress and future of the School of Medicine and shall be charged with active participation in major planning for the School of Medicine and the campus as a whole. The Assembly shall accept responsibility for performing those functions essential to the furtherance and conduct of programs of excellence in all activities of the School.   The Assembly is responsible for conducting elections to identify the School of Medicine representatives to the UTHSCSA Faculty Senate. The Assembly shall forward issues to the Faculty Senate that may affect the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and welfare of the faculty.
C. Student Affairs: Since the School of Medicine exists primarily as an educational endeavor, the members of the Assembly shall exhibit active interest in student affairs.
1. The Assembly has responsibilities to establish, by example, and to maintain, by appropriate means, exemplary standards of ethical, moral, personal, and professional conduct by the student body.
2. Insofar as practical, and within the Rules and Regulations of the University and pertinent laws, the conduct and regulation of student activities other than those relating to academic matters shall be controlled by the students acting through their own organization and rules.
3. Consideration shall be given to insuring appropriate student representation on School of Medicine committees and in various functions as defined by the faculty bodies.

Section IV. Officers

 

A. Officers: The Officers of the Assembly shall be the Chair, Chair-Elect, Assembly Representative to the Council, and the Secretary/Treasurer.  No two officers, for a particular term, may represent the same department. Members of the School of Medicine Faculty Council are not eligible to serve as Officers of the Assembly. In addition to the officers, a basic science department faculty member will hold a voting member position on the Faculty Assembly Executive Committee. This member will be elected by the faculty assembly for a term of five years.
B. Roles and Responsibilities: The Chair shall convene and preside over all meetings of the Assembly Executive Committee (hereinafter referred to as the SOMFA EC) and of the Assembly (regular and special meetings). The SOMFA EC, with the approval of the Dean, shall review and approve/disapprove the nominations submitted to the four (4) standing School of Medicine Committees.  The Chair and the Assembly Representative are responsible for attending all Council meetings as voting members of the Council. The Chair-Elect shall preside over Assembly and Executive Committee meetings in the absence of the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall attend the meetings of the Faculty Senate.  The Secretary/Treasurer is responsible for the minutes of the Executive Committee and Assembly meetings and shall post them, in a timely fashion, to the Assembly website and shall also oversee the financial affairs of the Assembly.
C. Assembly Terms and Progression of Officers: All terms of the Officers correspond to the UTHSCSA fiscal year of September 1 through the following August 31. The faculty member elected to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer shall serve a four year term as an Assembly Officer.  The first year they will serve as the Secretary/Treasurer. They shall then serve as the Assembly Representative in term year two, Chair-Elect in term year three, and Chair in term year four. In the event of an Officer vacancy in mid-term, each remaining Officer will assume the role and responsibilities of the next progression of Officer’s position for the remainder of the term or until a special election can occur. The Chair will then appoint one of the remaining Officers to assume the Secretary/Treasurer role and responsibilities.
D. Assembly Executive Committee: The SOMFA EC shall be comprised of the Officers of the Assembly (Chair, Chair-Elect, Assembly Representative to the Council and Secretary/Treasurer) and the elected basic science department faculty member The duties of the SOMFA EC shall be to organize and develop the agenda for regular and special meetings of the Assembly and to focus the activities of the Assembly. The SOMFA EC shall also oversee Assembly elections and may call a special election in the event of a vacancy of an Assembly Officer. The recent Past-Chair of the SOMFA EC will serve as an Ex-Officio member to the SOMFA EC.

 

Section V. Elections

 

A. Election of Assembly Officers: The Assembly shall elect the Secretary/Treasurer from its membership annually by the end of May. The Officer must be elected from the membership of the Assembly and will serve from September 1st of the elected year until August 31st of the fourth year.
B. Nomination and Election Procedures: The SOMFA EC shall serve as the Election Committee that oversees annual elections of the Assembly Secretary/Treasurer and the School of Medicine Faculty Senators, as well as special Assembly elections. The Election Committee shall determine the method of nomination of candidates, balloting, and ballot counting, and certifying the election. The call for nomination of candidates from and by the Assembly membership shall occur between March - April. A member of the Election Committee will be designated to confirm each nominee’s willingness to be a candidate. The slate of candidates will be developed from nominations received by the Election Committee, and a brief biosketch will be submitted from each candidate. The biosketches will be distributed to the members of the Assembly at least two weeks prior to the end of April using broadcast e-mail, Assembly website posting, and other notification, if deemed necessary. Additionally, a separate vote for identified nominees will be held to fill the basic science department faculty member position to replace the incumbent as the term expires or as needed. Voting will be allowed for a 15-day voting period, after which the Election Committee will certify the election prior to the end of May of a given year. Election procedures may be held in conjunction with those in Article V. C.

Section VI. Impeachment of Assembly Officers

A Petition for Impeachment of an elected officer of the Assembly is created when requested by at least 20 percent of the members of the Assembly. This written Petition for Impeachment shall be forwarded to the Dean of the School of Medicine.  The Dean shall appoint an Impeachment Committee consisting of those members of the SOMFA EC who are not so named in the Petition for Impeachment. The Impeachment Committee shall determine the method of voting and will request a special poll for Assembly members to vote for or against impeachment. A vote of no confidence shall consist of at least 50 percent of the Assembly voting in the impeachment poll. If the Impeachment Committee certifies a vote of no confidence, the impeached officer’s appointment will be terminated immediately. The Impeachment Committee shall determine the method of notification of all parties regarding the voting results.

Section VII. Meetings

 

A. Regular Meetings: Regular meetings of the Assembly shall be convened by the SOMFA EC at least once a year and up to quarterly. The SOMFA EC shall meet monthly. Assembly members may submit items for any meeting agenda up to three days prior to the meeting. Proposed items for Assembly vote cannot be introduced unless submitted in writing to all members of the Assembly prior to the meeting.
B. Special Meetings: A special meeting of the Assembly shall be convened (a) at the direction of the Council, (b) upon request from the Dean, or (c) upon request of 10 percent or more of the members of the Assembly. Written notice of such special meetings with the agenda shall be sent to all Assembly members one week in advance of the meeting.
C. Quorum: Assembly members present at the meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of Assembly business.
D. Rules and Procedure: Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern the conduct of all meetings.  Proxy voting is not authorized.
E. Records and Reports: A full set of minutes of each meeting of the Assembly shall be recorded, and a copy will be sent to the Dean of the School of Medicine for permanent filing. Minutes of the Assembly meetings will be posted on the Assembly website within one month of the meeting.
F. Guests: The Assembly Chair may invite faculty members or other interested parties to attend as guests. Assembly members or other interested parties may, upon written request addressed to the Assembly Chair, be granted permission for guests to attend a meeting of the Assembly. Such guests shall have the privilege of the floor but shall not have the right to vote.

 

Article IV - School of Medicine Faculty Council

 

Section I. General Membership
The Faculty Council shall consist of the Dean, all department chairs of the School of Medicine, the Assembly Chair and the Assembly Representative. The Vice, Associate and Assistant Deans of the School of Medicine are ex-officio members of the Council.

Section II. Voting Members

Each member of the Council shall have one vote. The ex-officio members may not vote or second motions.

Section III Purposes and Responsibilities

 

A. Faculty and Academic Affairs: The purpose and objectives of the Council are to foster, support, and maintain excellence in all aspects of medical education, research, and health service at the School of Medicine.
B. Administrative Affairs: The Council is formed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System and exercises its authority within those rules.  Members of the Council shall exhibit active interest in the progress and future of the School of Medicine and shall be charged with active participation in major planning for the School of Medicine and the campus as a whole. The Council shall accept responsibility for performing those functions essential to the furtherance and conduct of programs of excellence in all activities of the School.
C. Student Affairs: Since the School of Medicine exists primarily for its educational endeavors, the members of the Council shall exhibit active interest in student affairs.
1. The Council has responsibilities to establish, by example, and to maintain, by appropriate means, exemplary standards of ethical, moral, personal, and professional conduct by the student body.
2. Insofar as practical, and within the Rules and Regulations of the University and pertinent laws, the conduct and regulation of student activities, other than those relating to academic matters, shall be controlled by the students acting through their own organization and rules.
3. Consideration shall be given to insuring appropriate student representation on medical school committees and in various functions as defined by the faculty bodies.

Section IV. Officers

The Officers of the Council shall consist of the Chair, the Vice Chair, and the Secretary. The Dean of the School of Medicine shall be the Chair of the Council. There shall be a Vice Chair and a Secretary elected annually by the Council from its membership. The duty of the Vice Chair is to serve as the Chair in their absence.  It shall be the duty of the Secretary to record minutes of the Council meetings and to post them, in a timely fashion, to the Assembly website.  The Council shall oversee annual election of the Council Vice Chair and Secretary.

 

Section V. Meetings

 

A. Meetings: The Council will have a regular monthly meeting. Special meetings of the Council may be convened by either of the following: the Chair, upon request in writing from four members of the Council, or upon 25 percent of the Assembly. Written notice and the agenda will be distributed consistent with the urgency of the matter(s) at hand.
B. Quorum: A majority of the voting membership of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of Council business.
C. Rules and Procedure: Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern the conduct of all meetings. Proxy voting is not authorized.
D. Records and Reports: A full set of minutes of each meeting of the Council shall be recorded, and a copy will be sent to the Dean of the School of Medicine for permanent filing. Minutes of the Council meetings will be posted on the Assembly website within one month of the meeting.
E. Guests: The Council Chair may invite faculty members or other interested parties to attend as guests. Council members or other interested parties may, upon written request addressed to the Council Chair, be granted permission for guests to attend a meeting of the Council. Such guests shall have the privilege of the floor but shall not have the right to vote.

 

Article V- Faculty Senate

 

A. Purpose: In accordance with The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Bylaws of the Faculty Senate, there are three major purposes for the Senate: 1) to contribute actively toward the goals and missions of the Institution for its ultimate benefit and improvement; 2) to provide a means for campus-wide communication among faculty of all the schools and departments, as well as between the faculty and the administration; and 3) to serve as the representative voice of the faculty of the University.
B. Representation: The faculty of each UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Schools (Medicine, Health Professionals, Dentistry, and Nursing) shall be represented in the Senate as stipulated through Senate Bylaws.
C. Election of Faculty Senators: The Chair of the Faculty Senate will inform the Assembly Chair of the number of Faculty Senate positions to be elected annually by the end of March. Senators will hold office for a term of three academic years. Balloting to determine Assembly representation to the Faculty Senate will be through vote of School of Medicine faculty members of the Assembly. Election procedures may be held in conjunction with other Assembly elections. (See Article III. Section V. Elections)

 

Article VI - Standing Committees

 

Section I. Purposes and Responsibilities

 

There shall be the following standing committees: There are four (4) standing committees.  The supervisory Dean and the chair of each standing committee shall recommend replacements for current members rotating off the committee in addition to the request sent out by the SOMFA Executive Committee regarding faculty interest.  The SOMFA EC will review all submitted names and approve/disapprove these nominees with the approval of the Dean. The SOMFA EC may provide feedback and/or submit recommendations for new members to each of the four standing committees.

 

Section II. Meetings

 

A. Meetings: The committee will have regular meetings as determined by the Committee Chair. Special meetings of the committee may be convened by any of the following: the Committee Chair, upon request in writing from four members of the committee, the Assembly Chair, the Council Chair or the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. Written notice and the agenda will be distributed consistent with the urgency of the matter(s) at hand.
B. Quorum: A majority of the voting membership of the committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of Council business.
C. Rules and Procedure: Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern the conduct of all meetings. Proxy voting is not authorized.
D. Records and Reports: A full set of minutes of each meeting of the committee shall be recorded, and a copy will be sent to the Dean of the School of Medicine for permanent filing. Minutes of the committee meetings will be posted on the Assembly website within one month of the meeting.
E. Guests: The Committee Chair may invite faculty members or other interested parties to attend as guests. Committee members or other interested parties may, upon written request addressed to the Committee Chair, be granted permission for guests to attend a meeting of the committee. Such guests shall have the privilege of the floor but shall not have the right to vote.

 

Section III. Admissions Committee
Appointment: Members are appointed to a term of three years. The Dean shall appoint a Chair annually.
Membership: Faculty members are appointed by the Dean on the recommendation of the SOMFA Executive Committee.  In situations where deemed necessary for efficient committee functioning, the Dean may extend or shorten the period of service by any committee member.  The Admissions Committee consists of a Selection Subcommittee and an Interview Subcommittee.  One or more faculty members from each department, at least 25 senior medical students, and 6 to 10 community physicians (appointed by the Dean) comprise the Interview Subcommittee.  A group of at least 20 experienced members of the faculty are appointed by the Dean to form a Selection Subcommittee that evaluates individual applicants to decide on offering an interview, and ultimately final ranking for acceptance following the interview.  The Interview Subcommittee members interview individual applicants and submit their narrative recommendations to the Selection Subcommittee.  The Selection Subcommittee then evaluates the complete application including interview narratives and ranks the applicants for acceptance. 
Charge: To interview medical school applicants and communicate their evaluations to the Selection Subcommittee for final discussion and ranking.   Decisions are then communicated to the Dean of the School of Medicine.

 

Section IV. Curriculum Committee
Appointment: Members are appointed to a term of three years. The Dean shall appoint a Chair and Vice Chair annually. The Executive Committee consisting of Chair, Vice Chair, Vice Dean, Assistant Deans of Curriculum, and Curriculum Subcommittee Chairs sets agendas and ensures smooth flow of business.
Membership: Faculty members are appointed by the Dean on the recommendation of the School of Medicine Faculty Assembly Executive Committee. In situations where deemed necessary for efficient committee functioning, the Dean may extend or shorten the period of service of any committee member. Voting membership shall consist of six preclinical Module Directors/Discipline Coordinators, three Clerkship Directors, one 4th Year Course Director, three at-large teaching faculty, one Regional Academic Health Center teaching faculty, and three medical students. Ex-officio (non-Voting) membership consists of the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, the Senior Associate Dean for Admissions, the Assistant Deans for Curriculum, the Assistant Dean for Students, the Assistant Dean for Academic Enhancement, the Assistant Regional Dean for Education (RAHC), the Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Professional Development, one representative from the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, and a representative from the Registrar’s Office.
Charge: Curriculum Committee is the body that provides central oversight and makes recommendations to the dean and dean delegates, for the overall design, management and evaluation of a coherent and coordinated curriculum.

Specifically:

  • Defines objectives which guide curricular content and provides basis of program evaluations for effectiveness
  • Ensures that student formative and summative assessments measure outcomes linked to defined curricular objectives which students receive in a timely manner
  • Defines types of patients, clinical conditions, level of responsibility, and appropriate settings for student experiences
  • Incorporates opportunities for active learning, independent study, development of critical thinking and problem-solving, demonstration of ethical behaviors and practice of communication skills into pedagogies and assesses related student outcomes
  • Ensures comparable educational experience across sites within a discipline
  • Accesses expertise in curricular design, pedagogy, assessment and evaluation methods
  • Utilizes national norms of accomplishment as a frame of reference
  • Monitors content and workload in each discipline and identifies gaps and redundancies
  • Evaluates both whole and component parts of the curriculum for achievement of medical education program objectives, revising curriculum continuously and with freedom from parochial, political or department pressures
  • Establishes graduation requirements for M.D. candidates

Section V. Student Promotions Committee
Appointment: Members are appointed to a term of three years. The Dean shall appoint a Chair and Vice Chair annually.
Membership: Faculty members are appointed by the Dean on the recommendation of the School of Medicine Faculty Assembly Executive Committee.  In situations where deemed necessary for efficient committee functioning, the Dean may extend or shorten the period of service by any committee member. Voting membership shall consist of three at-large teaching faculty, six teaching faculty from foundational curriculum, and six teaching faculty from clinical curriculum.  Ex-officio (non-voting) membership consists of the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, the Senior Associate Dean for Admissions, the Assistant Deans for Curriculum, the Assistant Dean for Students, the Assistant Dean for Academic Enhancement, the Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Professional Development, and the Assistant Regional Dean for Education (RAHC). The Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education can call a special meeting in addition to those already specified. An Executive Committee of Chair, Vice Chair, Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, Assistant Dean for Students, Assistant Dean for Academic Enhancement, and Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Professional Development to set agendas and ensure smooth flow of business.
Charge: The Promotions Committee is charged with review of the academic progress and professional development of each student during all components of the four year medical education program, making recommendations to the dean and dean delegates.  The Committee has primary responsibility for recommending for graduation only those candidates who have satisfactorily completed all graduation requirements and demonstrated the professional conduct appropriate for a physician.

Specifically:

  • Reviews all final grades, evaluations and scores for each student failure and endorses or recommends exceptions to the remedial and/or repeat guidelines
  • Tracks individual progress for each student for whom a final a final grade of “F” has been recorded for the remainder of the student’s educational program
  • Tracks progress of individual students on LOA or independent study
  • Endorses or recommends exceptions to the academic action guidelines (including warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal) for students failing to meet pre-set milestones for satisfactory progression
  • Recommends promotion (and graduation) for qualified students
  • Ensures that students recommended for graduation meet professional standards of conduct for physicians
  • Monitors and advises regarding breaches of professionalism

Section VI. Diversity Committee

Terms of Appointment: Members are appointed to a term of three years on a staggered schedule with one-third of the committee completing a term of service annually. In situations where deemed necessary for efficient committee functioning, the Medical Dean may extend or shorten the period of service by any committee member. The Associate Dean for Faculty and Diversity serves as Chair.
Membership: Faculty members, staff, house staff and students are appointed by the Dean after consideration of interest survey responses, equitable representation, and School of Medicine Faculty Assembly Executive Committee approbation.
Charge: The Committee shall have the responsibility to advise and assist the Associate Dean for Faculty and Diversity in developing, updating and supporting policies and programs that advance diversity and inclusion related to the School of Medicine faculty, staff, students and other trainees, and in particular, regarding recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion. The Diversity Committee will be responsible for interacting with and have representation within all other standing committees. This Committee reports through the Associate Dean for Faculty and Diversity to the Medical Dean and the School of Medicine Faculty Assembly.

Section VII. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad Hoc Committees are created by the Dean who will appoint the members and the Chair of each Ad Hoc Committee. The Dean will give each Ad Hoc Committee its charge at the first scheduled committee meeting. The committees shall not exist beyond the academic year in which appointed, unless specifically appointed by the Dean for a longer period.


Section VIII. Accountability
Committee Chairs shall submit a written report to the Chair of the Assembly and/or the Dean upon request.

 

Article VII – Jurisdiction

 

Section I. Protests of Council Action
Members of the Assembly may submit to the Assembly Chair, in a timely manner, individually signed protests concerning Council action. If such protests concerning any given item are received from at least 20 percent of the Assembly, the Assembly Chair must present the protested item for reconsideration by the Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

 

Section II. Repeal of Council Action
In the event that protested Council action is upheld, it shall be the prerogative of the Assembly to affirm, modify, or rescind the contested Council action by a three-fourths vote of the entire Assembly membership.

 

Article VIII - Bylaws Amendments
Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed and submitted in writing by any member of the Assembly at a regular meeting of the SOMFA EC, by SOMFA EC action, by Council resolution, or by petition of twenty-five percent of the members of the Assembly membership. Proposed amendments are to be placed on the agenda of the following regular meeting of the SOMFA EC for discussion and vote. Upon a two-thirds vote of the Officers of the Assembly, the proposed amendment is submitted in the form of secret ballot by the Chair of the Assembly to all members who have voting privileges. Amendments will be submitted in writing to all members of the Assembly for at least 30 days prior to such a vote. Approval of amendments requires affirmative votes of two-thirds of the ballots that are returned within 10 working days of the mailing and shall become effective immediately.

The SOMFA EC shall review the Bylaws every five years. When major revisions are deemed necessary, the SOMFA EC will recommend that the Dean appoint an Ad Hoc Bylaw Committee.

 

Article IX - Bylaws Enactment
The provisions of this instrument shall become effective upon its adoption by a majority vote of the Assembly membership.