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How to Become Graduate Faculty

The University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws establish the Graduate Council as the governing body for graduate education at the university. The Graduate Faculty Bylaws define the work of the graduate faculty. They include the following text on the composition of the graduate faculty:

I. Authorization for Graduate Faculty Status

The Graduate Council Bylaws (revised 1/01) define graduate faculty as:

The Graduate Faculty shall consist of those members of the faculty (as faculty are defined in Section 15 of the UNR Bylaws) or adjunct faculty and clinical faculty (as defined in Section 22 of the UNR Bylaws) appointed to it by an instructional department or program. Each instructional department or program shall develop criteria for appointment to the Graduate Faculty and shall place the criteria on file with the program and with the Graduate School. Any subsequent changes in those criteria also should be placed on file with the program and with the Graduate School before they are put into use. Notices of appointment shall be forwarded to the Graduate School. Appointments to the Graduate Faculty shall be based on a capability to contribute to graduate education demonstrated through: (a) receipt of a terminal degree considered appropriate by the department or program, (b) research competence, and (c) ability to teach graduate students. Research competence may be demonstrated by scientific, creative, or other scholarly activities consistent with the department or program. These should include, but are not limited to, refereed national or regional publications, presentations, or other refereed creative accomplishments. Ability to teach graduate students individually or in groups may be demonstrated by peer and/or student evaluation of classroom, laboratory, or clinical instruction, or supervision of research or creative activity.

Members of the faculty who have not been appointed to the Graduate Faculty may, upon approval of the Graduate Dean, be permitted to teach specified graduate courses and serve on graduate advisory-examining committees. However, such persons shall not be permitted to chair graduate advisory-examining committees.

Regular faculty members at UNLV and DRI can be appointed to Graduate Faculty status in the same manner as UNR faculty. UNLV faculty who are accorded Graduate Faculty status are subject to the same rules and have the same rights and privileges as UNR Graduate Faculty except that they have no voting privileges on university-wide matters, though they may have such privileges on specific graduate program matters as outlined in program bylaws, shall not chair student advisory committees, and are not eligible to serve as Graduate School Representative member of advisory committees.

Should departments or programs not establish separate criteria for appointment to the graduate faculty and file those criteria with the Graduate School, the following criteria will be in effect:

II. Graduate Faculty

Graduate Faculty members include:

  1. Tenured and tenure-track faculty, with the appropriate terminal degree.
  2. DRI faculty who have been nominated by a UNR department/program for graduate faculty status,
  3. Clinical and research faculty,
  4. Administrative faculty who have been nominated by a UNR department/program for graduate faculty status, and
  5. Non-UNR individuals who have been approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. To be approved, such individuals need to demonstrate the ability to contribute to the graduate education as defined in section I of this document. To nominate such an individual for approval, the Director of Graduate Studies for the student's department/program must forward a memorandum and the nominee's current CV to the Dean of the Graduate School.

III. Graduate Faculty who are eligible to (a) chair advisory/examining committees and (b) to serve as the second and third "inside" members of advisory-examining committees.

Individuals eligible to chair and serve on advisory/examining committees, in addition to meeting the criteria for graduate faculty could be:

  1. Emeriti faculty for a one year grace period; emeriti faculty will have a one-year grace period during which they will still be officially recognized as the chair of the student's advisory/examining committee and continue to act in that capacity. If the student does not complete the degree during that one-year grace period, a co-chair from the UNR graduate faculty must be added to committee consistent with the guidelines for chairing advisory/examining committees noted above.
  2. Non-continuing UNR/DRI faculty for a one-year grace period; faculty who leave UNR or DRI faculty will have a one -ear grace period during which they will still be officially recognized as the chair of the student's advisory/examining committee and continue to act in that capacity. If the student does not complete the degree during that one-year grace period, a co-chair from the UNR graduate faculty must be added to committee consistent with the guidelines for chairing advisory/examining committees noted above.

Non-UNR/DRI faculty may co-chair a committee with appropriate approval from the Graduate School. To obtain approval, the Director of Graduate Studies for the student's department/program would submit a memorandum of request with documentation, including a current CV, of the individual's ability to contribute to the student's graduate education as defined in section I of this document.

Graduate faculty who are ineligible to chair advisory-examining committees are:

  1. UNLV faculty.
  2. Emeriti faculty past the one year grace period.
  3. Faculty who have left UNR/DRI beyond the one year grace period.
  4. Non UNR-DRI faculty.

On master's level committees, the second member of the committee must hold graduate faculty status in the student's department or graduate program.

For doctoral committees, two faculty members in addition to the chair must hold graduate faculty status in the student's department/program or in an area that is representative of the student's area of specialization.

IV. Graduate Faculty Serving as the "outside" or Graduate School Representative on student advisory-examining committees.

The graduate school representative must be a member of UNR's graduate faculty from outside the home departments or programs of the other committee members, with the exception of Master's degree committees for interdisciplinary graduate programs. For interdisciplinary/interdepartmental programs, all committee members may be members of the interdisciplinary/interdepartmental program's faculty provided the graduate school member holds an academic appointment in a department different from that of the committee chair.

The graduate school representative may be chosen from a related area or may represent a minor area, if a minor is selected by the student. The Graduate School member serves to assure compliance with Graduate School regulations and procedures and to report any deviations from prescribed standards to the Graduate School.

IV. The Role of Members of Graduate Advisory/Examining Committees

The role of the graduate committee is to provide guidance and mentoring to the graduate student with respect to their graduate education. This includes guidance on the selection of courses, i.e. the program of study, guidance on the knowledge requirements for their discipline, i.e. the comprehensive examination, and guidance with respect to the development of their research expertise, i.e. the professional paper, thesis or dissertation. By providing guidance and mentoring, the graduate committee sets forth appropriate academic standards and rigor.

All committee members should be afforded the opportunity to provide guidance as defined above under the role of the graduate committee (program of study, comprehensive examinations, professional paper, thesis/dissertation). The degree of guidance on these matters from the graduate school representative may vary depending on how closely the graduate school representative is allied to the student's area of specialization. However, the graduate school representative is always charged to represent the Graduate School as a participant in the student's academic endeavors.

VI. Periodic Review

To ensure that members of graduate faculty continue to meet the criteria for graduate faculty status as outlined in section I above, the Graduate School shall direct the respective graduate programs to: (1) update their list of graduate faculty members annually and (2) review the standing of their graduate faculty members regularly and recommend whether each member should continue or not continue as graduate faculty.

VII. Administrative Requirements

To ensure that correct and up-to-date information is available for all Graduate Faculty members, the following administrative requirements must be followed.

  1. Graduate Program Director or Department Chair will submit a memorandum to Dr. David Zeh, Dean (either thru campus mail or email zehd@unr.edu) requesting the faculty member be listed as a graduate faculty member for that department or program.
  2. The following information must be included on the memo or in the email.
    1. Name
    2. Program
    3. Email address
    4. Mail stop
    5. Phone #

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