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, 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 UW School of Medicine learning objectives and is equivalent across all WWAMI sites.
  2. Accountability: The Foundations Phase Committee reports to 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 SOM students have equal access to an equivalent Foundations Phase curriculum designed to achieve the learning objectives defined in the curriculum renewal process.
  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 SOM, members have the responsibility to function as “members of the whole,” working to optimize the curriculum, rather than to represent the interests of a particular constituency.
  2. Faculty: The Foundations Phase Committee will consist of up to 15 faculty members in good standing at or above the rank of assistant professor, clinical assistant professor or research assistant professor, with half from WWAMI training sites.
    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 four student representatives who are students in good standing: two students from the Foundations Phase and two students from the Patient Care and Explore and/or Focus Phase. Half of the student members will be from WWAMI sites (if possible, one from Foundations Phase and one from Patient Care and/or Explore and Focus Phase)
  4. Terms: Faculty committee members will serve three-year terms with the option of one additional term. One third of the committee membership will rotate each year, with rotation to occur at the end of the academic calendar year. No person will serve more than six consecutive years. At the founding of the Foundations Phase Committee, faculty terms will be staggered in order to establish the above rotation pattern for subsequent years. Student committee members will serve 12 to 15 months; the dates of service may vary by phase of training.  Foundations Phase students will serve from January 1 to March 1 of the following year, with a three-month overlap of students to achieve continuity of student input.  Patient Care Phase and Explore and Focus Phase students will serve from April 1 to April 1
  5. Selection of faculty members: Block, thread and theme faculty representatives will self-nominate from block, thread and theme groups and teams. 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 the meetings of the committee. For the Foundations Phase Committee, these 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. For all roles, the expectation is for each position to be filled there will be one nomination from a WWAMI site and one from Seattle for each position whenever possible. 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. In the event that a committee member must step down from the Foundations Phase Committee prior to the completion of his/her term, the co-chairs will put out a call for self-nominations for a candidate in the appropriate category (i.e., students, block representatives, etc).

f. Selection of student members: Students may self-nominate. The Nominating Committee may also nominate students to serve on the committee.

g. Faculty or student member resignation or replacement: In the case of resignation of an elected faculty or student member of the Committee, the Academic Co-chair and Executive Co-chair shall appoint a member from the same category (basic scientist, clinician, WWAMI faculty, student).  An election to replace the member will take place during the following election cycle.  If elected, this interim period does not count toward the cumulative period of the term.

h. 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 Associate Dean for Curriculum (Executive Co-Chair). The Academic Co-Chair will be selected from faculty members serving a second term by expressed interest of committee members and, in the event of multiple candidates, a vote of the Foundations Phase Committee members. During the founding year of the committee, the Academic Co-Chair can be any faculty member).
  2. Terms: Academic co-chairs will serve two years with the option of one renewal. It is expected that the past chairperson will remain on the committee for at least one year to facilitate continuity of oversight.
  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, serve as liaison to the Curriculum Committee, oversee or delegate oversight as appropriate the work of appointed committees and subcommittees, and report recommendations from the Foundations Phase Committee to the Curriculum Committee. 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 will 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 to the curriculum 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 his/her 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. All items brought before the Foundations Phase Committee will be decided on by majority vote of voting members present, including the Academic Co-Chair but not the Executive Co-Chair.
    3. Tie votes: The vote of the Executive Co-Chair will be cast only 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 that administrative staff will 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. Minutes of the meetings will be posted on the curriculum governance website within one month of the meeting.
  2. All decisions and recommendations made by the Foundations Phase Committee will be forwarded to the Curriculum Committee for review and ratification. Once ratified, decisions and recommendations will kept in a permanent, dated log and will be transmitted to the Vice Dean for Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs. 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

  1. Definition and Jurisdiction: This committee is responsible for oversight of content and learning objectives for the Foundations Phase, identifying opportunities for continuous curriculum improvement, and assuring evaluation of student performance, 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 sites, including an acceptable range of diversity in contemporary pedagogical methods and other course elements.  The chair from this committee will serve on the Curriculum Committee as a full voting member.  A separate and complementary set of bylaws developed by the Curriculum Committee will address the proceedings of the Foundations Phase Committee.

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 from time to time, 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 and staff at large, or a combination thereof. No ad hoc subcommittee will be appointed for a term longer than two calendar years.

Section 5: Amendments and Other Provisions

Amendments to the Foundations Phase Committee Bylaws will be presented to the Curriculum Committee for review, discussion and a vote.

Approval date: March 25, 2016
Revision: September 10, 2018