Authority to establish admission requirements for graduate students

[Advice to Divisional Chair Jeffrey Gibeling 11/14/2000]

The question of the authority to establish admission requirements for graduate students is considered extensively in the legislation that governs the operation of the University.  It is answered in a manner that consistently emphasizes the Senate's authority.

Authorities and powers in University organization all are derived from the Standing Orders of the Regents.  Paragraph (a) of SOR 105.2 (Duties, Powers, and Privileges of the Academic Senate) provides the faculty with broad powers in the areas of admission and curricula; it reads in part:

The Academic Senate, subject to the approval of the Board, shall determine the conditions for admission, for certificates, and for degrees other than honorary degrees.

That general provision is embodied in a variety of ways in several Academic Bylaws.  For instance, ASB 311.C.1 says:

The following shall be considered matters of such general concern as to come within the jurisdiction of the Academic Senate, through the mechanism of the Assembly:
1.  Requirements for admission to undergraduate status and minimum requirements for admission to graduate status.

ASB 180 establishes the Coordinating Committee for Graduate Affairs, and its paragraph B.3 establishes that it is that committee that "Shall recommend to the Assembly minimum standards of admission for graduate students."  ASB 330 requires each Division to establish a divisional Graduate Council.  Paragraph three gives each Council the duty "To set policy and standards for admission to graduate status in accordance with the provisions of Bylaw 311.C."

In the Davis Division DDB 80 governs the operation of the mandated Graduate Council.  Paragraph B.11 reads as follows:

It shall be the duty of the Graduate Council with respect to the Davis campus to set policies and standards for admission to full- and part-time graduate status.

To summarize, it is our opinion that every level of University authority clearly and unambiguously gives the Senate, and specifically the Graduate Council, responsibility for establishing requirements for admission to graduate status.  We believe further that the divisional Graduate Council is the final authority in specific admission cases.