Rules and Procedures

Committee Composition

The Curriculum Committee shall consist of voting members selected as follows:

  • Five (5) Faculty members from clinical departments elected by the Faculty
  • Five (5) Faculty members from preclinical departments elected by the Faculty
  • Five (5) Faculty members appointed by the Dean
  • Four (4) students plus four (4) alternate students, with one (1) from each of the first two years and one (1) each from the third and fourth year (M1, M2 and M3 students shall be elected by their classmates.  M3 students shall serve a two-year term, to represent the M4 students). The only distinction between the student member and the student alternate will be that the student member may vote while the alternate cannot, except in cases where the alternate is attending the meeting in the absence of the member. Corollary to this is that both the member and the alternate may attend Curriculum Committee meetings and participate in its discussions and course reviews.
  • No more than two faculty members may come from any one department.
  • All new members of the committee will receive an orientation to the structure and function of the committee in the first month.

The Dean shall appoint the Chair of the Committee from the Faculty membership of the committee.
Ex-officio members of the committee include the Dean’s staff, members of the Office of Education, and Chairs of the M1, M2 and M3/M4 Subcommittees (see below). Guests are invited as the agenda warrants and with prior approval of the Committee Chair.

Committee Participation
Faculty members may not be represented by alternates. The term of office for Faculty members shall be three (3) years with staggered terms. Faculty may serve a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
Students shall serve one-year terms and may be reelected for a total of four (4) years.

Meeting Schedules and Attendance
The Curriculum Committee shall meet at least eight (8) times during the academic year. The Dean shall be invited to attend at least one meeting.

A quorum shall be eight (8) faculty members plus the Chair or a designated Faculty member of the Committee appointed by the Chair as the presiding official.

A member of a standing committee who is absent for four (4) consecutive meetings or who fails to attend over one-half of the scheduled meetings of the committee within an academic year may be replaced on the recommendation of the committee chair after discussion of the matter with that member and the Dean.

The Curriculum Committee shall develop, review and make policy determinations regarding the curriculum for the M.D. degree and shall recommend these decisions to the faculty and the Dean. Further, the Curriculum Committee shall develop standards for the evaluation of the educational program for Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The Curriculum Committee shall have the responsibility of advising the Faculty in the following areas:

  • Establishment of requirements for the M.D. degree
  • Educational goals and objectives
  • Content and workload of courses
  • Logical sequencing of various segments of the curriculum
  • Methodology of teaching
  • Establishment of an academic calendar
  • Evaluation of courses and the curriculum as a whole.

The Curriculum Committee shall have the responsibility of the following activities with regards to the curriculum:

  • A review of each required course and clerkship, which examines objectives, content and pedagogy, will occur at least once every three years. A scheduled course or clerkship review may be postponed by one year under special circumstances, with approval of the committee. Alternately, a significant change in an existing required course or concerns raised by a member of the Curriculum Committee may prompt a review earlier than originally scheduled. Requests for early review should be made to the Chair.
  • A brief review of any new required course will be conducted at the end of the first year of the course.
  • An overall review of the M1, M2 and M3 curriculum will occur biennially.
  • A review of the curriculum as a whole will occur at the completion of the triennial course review cycle.

In addition:

  • A review of Elective Policies and Guidelines will occur biennially.
  • A review of grading policies and affirmation of consistency in grading procedures across clerkship sites will occur annually.
  • A review of the guidelines for Course/Clerkship Standards and Resources will occur annually.
  • A review of the Curriculum Committee’s Rules and Procedures will occur annually.
  • A review of the Course/Clerkship Summaries will occur annually.

Finally, the Chair of the Curriculum Committee may convene a task force to address larger concerns regarding a course or segment of the curriculum. A task force report would preclude a scheduled review.
The appropriate constituents shall be consulted regarding proposed changes in the curriculum.

Upon the request of three (3) members of the Curriculum Committee, a recommendation of the Committee shall be reported to the Faculty for approval. Acceptance of such recommendations requires ratification by a majority vote of the Executive Council.

There shall be s standing subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee for each section of curriculum charged to plan, schedule and review the curriculum content, calendar, and plans for evaluation of students and to report to the Curriculum Committee concerns and recommendations related to the undergraduate medical curriculum component for which they are responsible.

Curriculum Standing Subcommittees shall meet regularly at least 10 times per year.

Subcommittee chairs shall serve as ex-officio members of the Curriculum Committee.

The Curriculum Standing Subcommittees shall be composed of:

  • M1 Course Directors and Content Experts, voting members including all required course directors and content experts with Dean’s staff and members of the Office of Education serving ex-officio.
  • M2 Course Directors and Content Experts, voting members including all required course directors and content experts with Dean’s staff and members of the Office of Education serving ex-officio
  • M3/M4 Required Clerkship Directors, voting members including all clerkship directors, with Dean’s staff and members of the Office of Education serving ex-officio.

The Student Standing Subcommittees shall be composed of:

  • Student members and student alternate members of the Curriculum Committee from the Piscataway/New Brunswick campus and a dean for Academic Affairs of the Piscataway/New Brunswick campus.

The committees are charged to assist the respective course directors in the annual student evaluation of courses and to promote active student participation in such evaluations, as well as in matters of course and curricular development, presentation and student evaluation, working in collaboration with course representatives and the Office of Education.

The Curriculum Evaluation Subcommittee shall be composed of:

  • Curriculum committee faculty members
  • Curriculum committee student members
  • Ad hoc membership from the general faculty as needed

The Evaluation subcommittee will be led by the Office of Cognitive Skills.   The function of the committee will be to evaluate individual components of the curriculum (courses and clerkships) and also, the curriculum as a whole (blocks, M1 and M2 years, etc). The Subcommittee will report to the Curriculum Committee concerns and recommendations that result from the curriculum evaluations.

All proposed actions and recommendations of the subcommittees must be reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee prior to their implementation.


The Committee will recognize four processes by which a vote may be taken on a matter of business: (1) show of hands; (2) secret paper ballot; (3) mail ballot; and 4) email ballot. Roll call votes will not be permitted. The chair of the committee, with the assistance of the Office of Education will establish protocols and materials for both secret paper and mail ballots so as to ensure accuracy and confidentiality. Absent a specific motion, the show of hands method will be employed.

Any single voting member, elected or appointed, may request that a paper ballot be employed. The results of such a vote will be announced at the same meeting, as quickly as is possible while maintaining accuracy of count and privacy.

Mail ballots will only be used after a majority approval of the committee. Results of such a vote will be announced at the next meeting or after appropriate time to distribute and return ballots has passed and an accurate count has been made, (while a show of hands serves for votes on most issues before the committee, there will certainly be others for which a precise counting mechanism is essential. Additionally, some members may wish to have their votes kept confidential, particularly on issues of controversy, and it is important to respect this wish so as to ensure that voting is a pure matter of conscience).

The chair of the Curriculum Committee may ONLY vote so as to break a tie. There are three circumstances under which the bylaws expressly prohibit the chair of a committee from casting a vote, (except to break a tie, by the Dean in the Faculty meeting or in the Executive Council, and by the chair of the Academic Standing Committee). Some other committees have adopted this rule (e.g. Admissions), placing the chair apart from most decisions by the committee.

© 2013