School of Medicine Governance Committees

Section 1: Foundations Phase Committee

Article 1: General Governance

The following Bylaws govern the organization and procedures of the Foundations Phase Committee, a subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee of the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) and are adopted in accordance with the Curriculum Governance Committee Report that was finalized in February 2014 and approved by the Medical School Executive Committee and the Dean.  The Curriculum Committee has reviewed and approved the Foundations Phase Bylaws on March 25, 2016.

Article 2: Authority and Accountability

  1. Authority: The Foundations Phase Committee is delegated authority by the Curriculum Committee and the Vice Dean for Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs and has accountability for assuring delivery and evaluation of the Foundations curriculum that meets UWSOM learning objectives and is equivalent across all WWAMI Foundations campuses.
  2. Accountability: The Foundations Phase Committee reports and provides recommendations to the Curriculum Committee. Once a year, the Foundations Phase Committee will provide a summary of the past year’s activities, issues and resolutions to the Curriculum Committee and the Vice Dean for Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs.

Article 3: Guiding Principles

  1. Governance procedures are consistent with LCME requirements.
  2. Governance procedures incorporate appropriate representation from across the WWAMI region.
  3. Curriculum management allows for an appropriate balance between central oversight and local initiative, innovation, and site optimization.
  4. The governance process encourages continuous improvement of the curriculum.
  5. All UWSOM students have equal access to an equivalent Foundations Phase curriculum designed to achieve the learning objectives of the courses and of the overall medical education program.
  6. Processes leading to decision-making are based on open discussion, transparency, shared governance, and iterative consensus development.

Article 4: Membership

  1. Expectation of members: Although members are elected to ensure broad representation of the UWSOM, members have the responsibility to function as “members of the whole,” working to optimize the curriculum, rather than represent the interests of a particular constituency.
  2. Faculty: The Foundations Phase Committee will consist of up to 15 faculty members in good standing, with half from the WWAMI region:
    1. Seven members will be block representatives
    2. One member will be a member of the Patient Care Phase Committee
    3. One member will be a member of the Themes Committee
    4. Five members will be thread or theme representatives (threads include Foundations of Clinical Medicine, pharmacology, histology, pathology and human form and function—anatomy, imaging and related topics areas. Themes include cultural components of health and medicine, systems components of health and medicine and human interactions in health and medicine)
    5. One member will represent assessment; this individual may be either faculty or staff but should be a member of the Program Evaluation and Assessment Committee
  3. Students: The Foundations Phase Committee will include at least four student representatives in good standing: two students in the Foundations Phase and two students in the Clinical Phases. Half of the student members will be from the WWAMI region (if possible, one from Foundations Phase and one from Patient Care and/or Explore & Focus Phases).
  4. Terms: Faculty committee members will serve a term of three years with the option of serving one additional term. Approximately one third of the committee membership will rotate each year, with rotation to occur in autumn. No person will serve more than six consecutive years (with the exception of the Academic Co-Chair, see Article 5, b.). Student members will serve a two-year term. Graduating students are eligible even if they cannot fulfill the entire two years.
  5. Selection of faculty members: Block, thread and theme faculty representatives will self-nominate. All faculty members must be actively teaching within the curriculum, be a member of the UW Medicine faculty (or, in the case of the assessment representative, a staff member will be acceptable) and be able to attend a majority of committee meetings.For the Foundations Phase Committee, individuals can be block, thread and theme leaders, block site leaders, or block, thread, or theme team members without leadership roles.  The assessment representative will self-nominate from the Program Evaluation and Assessment Committee (PEAC).  The Patient Care Phase representative will self-nominate from the Patient Care Phase Committee.  Whenever possible, the expectation is that each vacant position will receive one nomination from a WWAMI Foundations campus and one nomination from Seattle.

    The office of the Associate Dean for Curriculum will be responsible for issuing requests for self-nominations to the entire cohort of people in appropriate categories at appropriate intervals and times.  Individuals self-nominating will be asked to submit a statement of interest to the Curriculum Committee with a copy to the Department Chair or Regional Dean.  A Nominating Committee (appointed by the Curriculum Committee) will prepare a roster of candidates to be reviewed and approved by a vote of the Curriculum Committee.

    In the event a committee member must step down prior to the completion of their term, the Co-Chairs will issue a request for self-nominations for a candidate in the appropriate category (e.g., students, block representatives, etc.).

  6. Selection of student members: Students may self-nominate. The Nominating Committee may also nominate students to serve on the committee.  The roster of candidates will be reviewed and approved by a vote of the Curriculum Committee.
  7. Faculty or student member resignation or replacement: In the event an elected faculty or student member resigns, the Academic Co-Chair and Executive Co-Chair shall appoint a member from the same category (basic scientist, clinician, WWAMI faculty, student, etc.).  An election to replace the member will take place during the following election cycle.  If the appointed member is elected, this interim period does not count toward the cumulative period of the term.
  8. Possible replacement for absenteeism: Members who miss three or more committee meetings in a six-month period can be dismissed by the Academic Co-Chair and Executive Co-Chair after discussion with the member.

Article 5: Officers

  1. Designation: The Foundations Phase Committee will be Co-Chaired by a committee member (Academic Co-Chair) and the Assistant Dean for Basic Science (Executive Co-Chair). The Academic Co-Chair will be selected from faculty members who have served at least one year by expressed interest of committee members and, in the event of multiple candidates, a vote of the Foundations Phase Committee members.
  2. Terms: Academic Co-Chairs will serve a term of two years with the option of serving one additional term. Academic Co-Chairs may finish their term as officer even if their faculty membership expires.
  3. Duties: The Executive Co-Chair and Academic Co-Chair are expected to work together to set agendas, lead meetings, ensure adequate and appropriate documentation of meetings and decisions, convene task forces and special groups as needed, report recommendations and serve as liaisons to the Curriculum Committee, and oversee the work of appointed committees and subcommittees. The office of the Executive Co-Chair will be responsible for record-keeping associated with the responsibilities of the Co-Chairs and Foundations Phase Committee.

Article 6: Procedures

  1. Meetings
    1. Meetings of the Foundations Phase Committee will be called by the Co-Chairs.
    2. Each committee meeting will be chaired by the Executive Co-Chair, the Academic Co-Chair, or both Co-Chairs, at the discretion of the Co-Chairs. At least one Co-Chair must be present at each meeting.
    3. The Foundations Phase Committee will meet at least monthly for a minimum of nine months of the year.
    4. The Co-Chairs may call special meetings for the purpose of hearing reports, discussing matters of interest, and seeking the committee’s advice.
    5. Associate and assistant deans and other representatives of the dean may attend Foundations Phase Committee as ex-officio members. The Co-Chairs may also invite other members of the faculty, staff, and students to serve as ex-officio members. Ex-officio members will not vote.
    6. The Academic Co-Chair will serve on the Curriculum Committee during their active service as a full voting member.
  2. Parliamentary authority: The conduct of meetings will be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
  3. Voting:
    1. Voting members: Voting members are the faculty and student members, not including the Executive Co-Chair and ex-officio members.
    2. Quorum: The quorum required for meetings will be more than 50 percent of the voting members.
    3. Voting: Motions will be decided by a majority vote of the voting members present (including the Academic Co-Chair but not the Executive Co-Chair).
    4. Tie votes: The vote of the Executive Co-Chair will only be cast in the event of a tie vote of the committee members, including the Academic Co-Chair.

Article 7: Communications, records and approval

  1. The Co-Chairs of the Foundations Phase Committee will be responsible for ensuring administrative staff maintain accurate records of all meetings. A full set of minutes of each meeting of the Foundations Phase Committee will be retained for at least 10 years.  Meeting minutes will be posted on the curriculum governance website within one month of being approved by the committee.
  2. All decisions and recommendations made by the Foundations Phase Committee will be made available for review by the Curriculum Committee. Once ratified, decisions and recommendations will be kept in a permanent, dated log. Non-ratified decisions and recommendations made by the Foundations Committee will also be retained; however, these will be held in a separate category.

Section 2. Standing Phase and Theme Committees and Subcommittees

Definition and Jurisdiction: This committee is responsible for oversight of content and learning objectives for the Foundations Phase, assuring assessment of student performance, and identifying opportunities for continuous curriculum improvement via evaluations of teaching effectiveness and curricular quality.  The committee will assure that the Foundations curriculum is delivered as planned and that there is equivalency of the curriculum across WWAMI Foundations Campuses, including an acceptable range of diversity in contemporary pedagogical methods and other course elements.  The Academic Co-Chair from this committee will serve on the Curriculum Committee as a full voting member.

Section 3: Management of Conflicts

When conflicts occur in the course of management or oversight of the Foundations curriculum, resolution will be attempted through iterative discussion at the committee level. If conflicts cannot be resolved in this way, further advisory input will be sought from the Curriculum Committee and, if needed, the Vice Dean for Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs.  Ultimate authority rests with the Curriculum Committee and the Vice Dean for Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs.

Section 4. Ad hoc Subcommittees

In conducting its business, the Foundations Phase Committee may appoint ad hoc subcommittees, as these may become necessary for transaction of business and supervision of the curriculum, provided the purpose of any such subcommittee does not fall within the jurisdiction of another existing committee. Ad hoc subcommittees may be composed of members of the Foundations Phase Committee or faculty, students and staff at large, or a combination thereof. No ad hoc subcommittee will be appointed for a term longer than two calendar years.