Bylaws



BYLAWS
of
GRADUATE PROGRAM IN SOCIOLOGY
Rutgers University

I. Preamble 

These bylaws govern the affairs of the Graduate Program in Sociology (hereafter the “Graduate Program”), and will not be suspended except by way of amendment. These bylaws are understood to operate in conjunction with the department’s Graduate Student Handbook and the department’s bylaws. However, the graduate program and its bylaws are under the reporting line of the School of Graduate Studies, Rutgers University. These bylaws will be consistent with all applicable sections of University Regulations and with the Bylaws of the School of Graduate Studies. University and School of Graduate Studies regulations will supersede these bylaws in the event of any conflict.

II. Membership 

1. All Rutgers faculty members with doctoral degrees in sociology or related fields are eligible to apply for Full, Associate or Affiliate Membership of the Graduate Faculty of Sociology. Those tenured or tenured-track faculty members who have their primary appointments in other Rutgers departments, and not in sociology, and do not have graduate Ph.D. programs of their own, may serve as full members of the graduate faculty; all others will be Associate members.

A. Applications for Member, Associate Member or Affiliate Member must be made in writing and circulated to all of members of the Graduate Program at least two weeks in advance of a meeting to vote on their nomination.

B. Applications for Member, Associate Member or Affiliate Member must be made in writing and circulated to all of members of the Graduate Program at least two weeks in advance of a meeting to vote on their nomination.

C. Discussion of the application and voting will be carried out at a regularly scheduled graduate faculty meeting. Approval requires a two-thirds majority vote.

The Sociology Graduate Program includes Members, Associate Members, and Affiliate Members. Members and Associate Members of the Graduate Program are Members and Associate Members of SGS, and Affiliate Members of Sociology Graduate Program are Affiliate Members of SGS. All faculty of Rutgers University with appointments at or above the rank of Assistant Professor, Assistant Research Professor, or Assistant Practice Professor are eligible to become Graduate Program Members. Rutgers faculty with appointments at or above the rank of Assistant Teaching Professor who are active in research or creative activity are also eligible to become Graduate Program Members. Other Rutgers faculty members and persons outside of Rutgers who have established a record of scholarship or creative activity, or who are conducting original research in the context of their professional or clinical practice, are eligible to become Graduate Program Associate or Affiliate Members. Nominations of faculty or outside scholars for Membership, Associate Membership, or Affiliate Membership in the SGS are initiated by the Graduate Director in consultation with the faculty of the program and approved via voting at the Graduate Sociology Faculty Meeting consistent with current voting requirements and in accordance with the relevant provisions of the graduate program’s bylaws. Member, Associate Member, and Affiliate Member nominations to the SGS are reviewed and approved by the SGS Dean or Dean's designate and, where necessary, the appropriate Academic Cluster Committee.

2. Any Member of the Sociology Graduate Program at Rutgers is eligible to chair masters and doctoral committees for students in the program(s) to which they belong, vote at Graduate Sociology Faculty Meetings, and at SGS meetings, and may serve on Sociology Graduate Program and SGS committees. Each member of the graduate program faculty must be approved by the Graduate Program Committee every 5 years. The vote will take place during the Fall or Spring meeting of the Full Graduate Faculty.

3. Associate Members are appointed by the Graduate Program Committee to 5 year terms. Associate Members of a graduate program at Rutgers may serve on masters and doctoral committees and other program committees and teach graduate courses. Associate Members may chair masters committees but may not chair doctoral committees. Associate Members have voice, but not vote, in the affairs of the Sociology Graduate Programs and at meetings of the SGS. Associate Members may not serve on SGS standing committees and are not eligible to serve as representatives of the SGS to the Faculty Council of Rutgers-New Brunswick or the University Senate. In some instances, it may be desirable for an Associate Member to supervise a Ph.D. student's thesis or dissertation research. In such instances, and with approval of the program director, the SGS Dean, or the Dean’s designate, will appoint a Member of the SGS and of the student's graduate program to serve as “mentor of record.” The “mentor of record” is responsible for the academic progress of the student. Associate Memberships may be terminated by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies upon request of the Graduate Director.

4. Affiliate Members are appointed by a graduate program to 5 year terms. Affiliate Members of a graduate program at Rutgers may serve on masters committees but not doctoral committees. Affiliate Members may not chair masters committees. Affiliate members may serve on Sociology Graduate Committee and teach graduate courses. Affiliate Members have voice, but no vote, in the affairs of the Sociology Graduate Program and at meetings of the SGS. Affiliate Members may not serve on SGS standing committees and are not eligible to serve as representatives of the SGS to the Faculty Council of Rutgers-New Brunswick or the University Senate. Affiliate Memberships may be terminated by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies upon request of the Graduate Director.

5. Faculty who leave the University, whether or not for another academic position, may retain Membership in their graduate program(s) for a period of up to 4 years after the official termination of their appointment at the University. Such faculty may be appointed as Associate Members upon request of a program's Graduate Director.

6. Members of graduate programs are expected to be active scholars and regularly participate in their program as teachers of graduate students, thesis and dissertation supervisors or committee members, or in another substantive, scholarly way defined by the program. Those who are members of more than one program are expected to actively participate in each. All graduate programs will review their membership at least every 5 years based on an active research program as determined by the Sociology Graduate Program. Members who are inactive in any program may, by vote of the program faculty, be asked to withdraw.

7. These criteria must be approved by the Dean of SGS and the SGS Executive Council. The review process must include a statement of criteria agreed upon by the program’s faculty, as well as processes for notification, preparation of materials for review, right of rebuttal, and right of appeal.

III. Organization

A. Graduate Program Director 

1. The Graduate Program Director must be a tenured faculty member and a full member of the Graduate Program in Sociology. He or she will be responsible for the administration of the Graduate Program. In consultation with the graduate faculty, s/he will coordinate processes governing graduate admissions, schedule graduate classes, oversee curriculum design, monitor graduate student supervision (including student-advisor relations), oversee student financial support, supervise the graduate curriculum and scheduling of classes, manage routine program administration, and maintain relations with the School of Graduate Studies.

2. The Graduate Program Director will work closely with the Chair of the Department of Sociology, serving ex officio on the Department Executive Committee, just as the Department Chair shall serve ex officio on the Graduate Program Committee. The Graduate Program Director will cooperate with the Department Chair in matters of graduate curriculum development and the assignment of graduate teaching, based on faculty requests and program needs. Selecting eligible teaching assistants (TAs) for undergraduate courses is the responsibility of the Undergraduate Program Director, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. 

3. The Graduate Program Director will serve a three year term, with a limit of two consecutive terms. Nominations for Graduate Program Director will be requested by the Chair of the Department of Sociology at least two months prior to the end of the current Graduate Program Director’s term from members of the graduate faculty. The Chair may nominate individuals to serve. Even if only one candidate is nominated, there will be an election by the graduate faculty. The results of the election must be presented to the faculty no later than two weeks after the vote is announced. The Graduate Program Director must be elected by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. If no candidate receives such a majority, there will be a run-off election between the top two candidates (or three in the case of a tie for second), following the above procedures. The winner of this election or elections will be recommended to the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

B. Graduate Program Committee

1. The Graduate Program Committee will consist of the Graduate Program Director, Department Chair, and 5-7 faculty members (assistant, associate and full in no particular ratio or quotas as long as each rank is represented).  The department chair will select the Graduate Program Committee members based upon Department of Sociology faculty elections held each year with some discretion to achieve a semblance of balance by rank and areas. Those faculty elected will serve on the committee only with their consent.  If a faculty member does not wish to serve on the committee, the chair will select the next faculty with the highest votes, again with some discretion as noted above. Faculty may not take their name off the list of eligible faculty more than three years in a row. The elected faculty members appointed to the Graduate Program Committee shall serve for one year, advising the Graduate Program Director about student problems, student-faculty problems, and other graduate program matters. 

2. The Graduate Program Committee shall be responsible for coordinating the admissions process and making recommendations for selection and funding of incoming students.  The Graduate Program Director will communicate the admission recommendations to the School of Graduate Studies. 

3. Other Committees shall be formed as necessary, on the advice of the Graduate Program Director or graduate faculty to conduct the affairs of the program.  The charge and members of such committees must be approved by a simple majority vote in a graduate faculty meeting.  This vote may be taken online if time is critical.

4. In committee assignments, efforts will be made to fairly reflect the diversity as represented by its current program faculty. 

5. In any evaluation of graduate students for University-wide or other external awards or fellowships (such as the Bevier, or GSNB or SAS teaching or research awards), if the advisors of the students being considered are on the committee that is conducting the evaluation and ranking, they will recuse themselves from the vote. The advisors can participate in the discussion, but they may not register a vote. Faculty members who are not the student’s advisor but who nevertheless feel that they have a conflict of interest may choose to abstain from voting.

C. Meetings 

1. The Graduate Program Director will call meetings of the graduate faculty at least once a semester, with two weeks advance notice.

2. Items for inclusion on the agenda must be submitted to the Graduate Program Director at least one week in advance of the meeting. The Graduate Program Director will distribute the meeting agenda at least three days in advance. Ordinarily, items that are not included on the agenda may be introduced as new business, but will not be voted on until a subsequent meeting where they are formally on the agenda or by emergency ballot. 

3. Special meetings of the Graduate Faculty may be convened on the written request of three or more faculty members. They must observe the same deadlines as above – at least two weeks in advance with an agenda to be distributed at least three days in advance. In extreme circumstances, the Graduate Program Director may authorize special meetings with less than a week’s notice; the Department Executive Committee minus the Graduate Program Director will resolve any appeals to this decision.

4. A quorum is one third of the graduate faculty membership, excluding faculty members on leave that year. Faculty may join the meetings by Skype if they are physical unable to attend the meeting in person.  Skype attendance will be allowed for generating a quorum.   

5. All votes will be taken by a show of hands, or by ballot if one member so requests. Those graduate faculty on Skype may vote on measures.  In the case of ballot measures, the Graduate Program Director or Chair will record the vote of those faculty members on Skype. Otherwise proxy opinions may be reported, but proxy votes will not be permitted. One must be present in person or by Skype for votes to count.  Meetings will be conducted following general parliamentary procedure. Except where otherwise stated, a majority vote will be considered at least 51% of those present at a graduate faculty meeting. 

6. Minutes will be recorded by the Graduate Program Director or an attending faculty member, or another designated individual, and distributed to all graduate faculty within two weeks after the meeting, and introduced at the following meeting for approval. Minutes will record the duration of the meetings, attendance, announcements, discussion items, motions and votes.

7. Up to two graduate student representatives are entitled to attend and have full voice, but not vote, at Graduate Faculty Meetings. These representatives shall be selected by the Graduate Union of Sociology Students (GUSS).  The student representative(s) shall not attend meetings or those portions that involve evaluations of specific students, such as the annual review, or deliberations on tenure, promotion, and evaluation of faculty.

8. The Graduate Program Director shall meet with the officers of GUSS each semester to discuss issues related to the graduate program. 

IV. Student Requirements and Procedures 

A. Academic Requirements and Procedures 

1. All student requirements and procedures for the M.A. and Ph.D. program shall be described in the Graduate Student Handbook.

2. Any revisions or additions to the Graduate Student Handbook on matters of program policies, requirements or procedures, must be voted on by a two-thirds majority in a graduate faculty meeting. 

3. Any inconsistencies or ambiguities in the Graduate Student Handbook will be addressed by the Graduate Program Director. If any parties are still dissatisfied, they may appeal to the Sociology Department’s Executive Committee for resolution.

B. Advisors and Committees

1. The Graduate Program Director will assign all first-year graduate students a provisional first-year advisor from the Graduate Faculty. Changes to first-year advisor assignment must be approved by the Graduate Program Director, but shall be allowed only for special circumstances.  Students shall select their academic advisor in their 2nd year in agreement with eligible (full) graduate faculty. 

2. Assignments of main advisors or other committee members may be changed, with the permission of all parties concerned, including existing and proposed advisors and committee members, as approved by the Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Program Director will try to resolve any conflicts, although any of the parties may appeal the Graduate Program Director’s decision through the process described in Article V.

3. The committee requirements and expectations for the department’s required Qualifying Papers shall be found in the Graduate Student Handbook. 

4. A student’s committee for the dissertation proposal defense must consist of three members.  These include the student’s main advisor and at least two additional members of the Graduate Faculty of Sociology. Once the basic dissertation proposal defense committee has been formed as specified above, additional members from the Graduate Faculty may join the committee if desired by the graduate student and approved by her/his dissertation advisor with approval of the Graduate Program Director.   

5. A student’s committee for the dissertation defense must consist of at least four members: the student’s main advisor, at least two other members of the Graduate Faculty of Sociology, and at least one outside member, that is, from another graduate program at Rutgers, or from another university. Independent scholars deemed qualified by the School of Graduate Studies may also serve, but only as outside members. 

V. Grievances and Appeals

A. Student Appeals 

1. A student has the right to appeal any action by an instructor. S/he should first discuss the matter with the faculty member(s) involved. If the matter cannot be resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student should appeal to the Graduate Program Director. If the student or other parties to the issue are still dissatisfied, they may appeal in writing to the Department’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will either consider the matter themselves or constitute an ad hoc Committee of Review, comprised of graduate faculty members, to resolve the matter. If the complaint is directed against the Graduate Program Director or another member of the Executive Committee, those members will participate in the Committee deliberations, but will be excused before the committee votes. If the matter remains unresolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, it will be referred to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final determination.

2. The student shall also have the option to take specific issues or concerns to one of the department’s elected ombudspersons for further discussions and resolutions of issues. The graduate students shall have voting rights in the selection process of departmental ombudspersons.  Further details for ombudspersons-related procedures shall be found in the Graduate Student Handbook. 

3. Students who wish to appeal other matters such as advisor assignments and committee arrangements should first approach the Graduate Program Director, who will attempt to resolve the matter. If the student or other parties to the issue are still dissatisfied, they may appeal in writing to the Department’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will either consider the matter themselves or constitute an ad hoc Committee of Review to resolve the matter. If the complaint is directed against the Graduate Program Director or another member of the Executive Committee, those members will participate in the Committee deliberations, but will be excused before the committee votes. If the matter remains unresolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, it will be referred to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final determination.

4. A student who wishes to appeal a Graduate Faculty recommendation of termination from the graduate program will submit a written appeal to the Graduate Program Director within 30 days of receipt of notification (by certified mail). The appeal will then be discussed by the Graduate Faculty at its next meeting. If the Graduate Faculty reaffirms the original recommendation for termination, the student may request that the matter be referred to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final determination.

5. A student who has a conflict or problem with another student or students in the program may bring that problem to the attention of the graduate faculty for mediation and resolution in the following manner. The student should first discuss the problem with the other student(s) involved if possible, and if it is not resolved satisfactorily, should then contact her/his major advisor. If the matter cannot be resolved to either student’s satisfaction, they should appeal to the Graduate Program Director, who will notify the advisor(s) of the other student(s) involved and try to resolve the issue. The student or students also shall have the right to discuss their issue(s) or concern(s) with a department ombudsperson for possible resolution.  If the student(s) or other parties to the issue are still dissatisfied, they may appeal in writing to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall either consider the matter themselves or constitute an ad hoc Committee of Review to resolve the matter. If the Graduate Program Director or any other member of the Executive Committee is the advisor of any of the students with very specific complaints involved in the conflict, those faculty members will recuse themselves from any decision-making process related to the matter in question. The Committee of Review will be the final level of resolution within the Graduate Program.

6. If the concerns are beyond a single student and faculty and involves more general issues about the program affecting many graduate students within the program, the students should contact an ombsudperson and /or the Graduate Program Director and/ or the Department Chair for further discussion and possible resolution.  If the concerns or issues are not satisfactorily resolved, the students shall approach the Departmental Executive Committee to seek resolution.  If the issues are not fully resolved the students shall have the right to approach in writing the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final determination.   

B. Faculty Appeals 

1. A member of the faculty who believes that s/he has been adversely affected by a voted decision of the Graduate Faculty may submit a complaint to the Graduate Program Director. If the Graduate Program Director cannot resolve the matter to the faculty member’s satisfaction, then s/he may appeal in writing to the Department’s Executive Committee. If no resolution is forthcoming, the matter will be referred to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final determination. 

2. A member of the faculty who believes that s/he has been adversely affected by a voted decision of the Departmental Graduate Program Committee may submit a complaint to the Graduate Program Director. If the Graduate Program Director cannot resolve the matter to the faculty member’s satisfaction, then s/he may appeal to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final determination.

VI. Assessment Of Program Learning Goals

1. The graduate program shall conduct regular reviews of its training efforts and climate for professional development.  The review process shall involve the Graduate Union of Sociology Students (GUSS) but would encourage broad participation by the graduate students and the Graduate Program faculty. The goal of the assessment review is to close the loop in reviewing the specific Learning Objectives, their measurement to determine if actions are required to adjust the Learning Objectives their measurement, or to address other concerns important to the graduate program overall.  Details of the program assessment shall be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.     

VII. Amendments 

A. Amendments to the adopted Bylaws shall be considered at a regular or special meeting of the Graduate Program, provided that the amendments have been circulated at least two weeks prior to the meeting and providing the amendments have been moved by three or more members of the graduate faculty. Those present at the scheduled meeting will vote on amendments. Approval requires a two-thirds majority vote.

B. Amendments must be forwarded to the School of Graduate Studies within thirty days of adoption. 

Amended by the Graduate Faculty in Sociology

Adopted: April 4, 2018; Revised: March 3, 2019

List of Graduate Faculty – Members, Associates, and Affiliates 

MEMBERS - Departmental
Jozsef Borocz
Steven R. Brechin
Ethel Brooks
Sharon Bzostek
Patrick Carr
Karen A. Cerulo
Ali R. Chaudhary
Lee Clarke
Jeanette Covington
Zaire Dinzey-Flores
Brittany Friedman
Judith Gerson
Paul Hirschfield
Joanna Kempner
Lauren J. Krivo
Catherine Lee
Lei Lei
Jacquelyn Litt
Norah MacKendrick
Quan Mai
Paul McLean
Julie Phillips
Patrick A. Roos
Zakia Salime
Hana Shepherd
Randall D. Smith
Kristen W. Springer
Arlene Stein
Eviatar Zerubavel

FULL MEMBERS - Non Departmental
Peter Guarnaccia (Human Ecology)
Naa Oyo Kwate (Human Ecology)
Karen O’Neil (Human Ecology)
Ethan D. Schoolman (Human Ecology)
Rachel Shwom (Human Ecology)

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Melissa Aronczyk (School of Communications and Information)
Emily Bosk (School of Social Work)
Dana Britton (Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations)
Ira Cohen (RU Newark)
Stephen Crystal (School of Social Work)
Nancy DiTomaso (Rutgers Business School)
Stephen Hansell [4 years] Associate Member 2020-2024-2025
Allan V. Horwitz [4 years] Associate Member 2020-2024-2025
Vikki Katz (School of Communication and Information)
Keepa Kumar (Departments of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies)
Jeffrey Lane (School of Communication and Information)
David Mechanic [4 years] 2020-2024-2025}
Dawne Mouzon (Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy)
Lenna Neponmyaschy (School of Social Work)
Patrick A. Roos [4 years] Associate Member - 2021-2025-2026
Sarah Rosenfield [4 years] Associate Member – 2020-2024-2025}
Thomas Rudel, [4 years] Associate member – 2020-2024-2025
Randall D. Smith [4 years] Associate Member 2021-2025-2026
Helene Raskin White [4 years] – 2020-2024-2025}

AFFILIATE MEMBERS
Mary Chayko (School of Communications and Information)