School of Medicine Governance Committees

Themes Committee Bylaws

University of Washington School of Medicine

Themes Committee Bylaws

Section 1: Themes Committee

Article 1: General Governance

The following Bylaws govern the organization and procedures of the Themes 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 Themes Committee Bylaws on November 16, 2016.

Article 2: Authority and Accountability

a. Authority: The Themes 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 themes curriculum that meets UW School of Medicine learning objectives and is equivalent across all WWAMI sites.

b. Accountability: The Themes Committee reports to and provides recommendations to the Curriculum Committee. Once a year, the Themes 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 themes 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

a. 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.

b. Faculty: The Themes Committee will consist of up to 20 members in good standing at or above the rank of assistant professor, clinical assistant professor or research assistant professor, with approximately half from WWAMI training sites, as follows:

i. Up to two (2) representatives from each theme group (Social Determinants of Health and Medicine, Systems Components of Health and Medicine, and Human Interactions in Health and Medicine) will serve on the committee (total 3-6 theme representatives).

ii. One representative from the Lifelong Learning Thread (formerly a theme)

iii. Four faculty at large (4) with knowledge of special programs related to themes (e.g. Pathways, RUOP, WRITE, TRUST, service learning)

iv. One member of the Foundations Phase Committee

v. One member of the Explore and Focus Phase Committee

vi. One member of the Program Evaluation and Assessment Committee (this individual may be a staff member)’

vii. Up to six (6) faculty based at regional sites who are responsible for or involved in the themes implementation.

c. Students: The Themes Committee will include two student representatives who are students in good standing: one from the Foundations Curriculum and one from the Explore and Focus portion of the curriculum. These individuals may be self-nominated or selected by the Nominating Committee.

d. 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 calendar year. No person will serve more than six consecutive years. At the founding of the Themes Committee, faculty terms will be staggered in order to establish the above rotation pattern for subsequent years. Student committee members will serve one year terms.

e. Selection of faculty members:  Faculty representatives who qualify for a category may self-nominate. Regional deans may also nominate faculty from the WWAMI region. 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 available to attend a majority of the meetings of the committee.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. In the event that a committee member must step down from the Themes 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,). The roster of candidates will be reviewed and approved by a vote of the Curriculum Committee.

f. Selection of students: Students may self-nominate. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs may also nominate students to serve on the committee

Article 5: Officers

a. Designation: The Themes Committee will be co-chaired by a committee member (Academic Co-chair) and the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives (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 Themes Committee members. During the founding year of the committee, the Academic Co-Chair can be any faculty member).

b. 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.

c. 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 Themes 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 Themes Committee.

Article 6: Procedures

a. Meetings:

i. Meetings of the Themes Committee will be called by the co-chairs.

ii. 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.

iii. The Themes Committee will meet at least six times a year (at least every other month).

iv. 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.

v. Foundations leaders, clerkship administrators, associate and assistant deans and other representatives of the dean may attend the Themes 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.

vi. The Academic Co-Chair will serve on the Curriculum Committee during his/her active service as a full voting member.

b. Parliamentary authority: The conduct of meetings will be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

c. Voting:

i. Voting members: Voting members are the faculty and student members, not including the Executive Co-Chair and ex-officio members.

ii. Quorum: The quorum required for meetings will be more than 50 percent of the voting members. All items brought before the Themes Committee will be decided on by majority vote of voting members present, including the Academic Co-Chair but not the Executive Co-Chair.

iii. 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

a. The co-chairs of the Themes 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 Themes 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.

b. All decisions and recommendations made by the Themes 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 Themes Committee will also be retained; however, these will be held in a separate category.

Section 2: Management of Conflicts

When conflicts occur in the course of management or oversight of the Themes 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 3: Ad hoc Subcommittees

In conducting its business, the Themes 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 Themes 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 4: Amendments and Other Provisions

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

Approval date: November 16, 2016