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:
Graduate Program Director/Department Chairs: Nominate a faculty member for Graduate Faculty status
Graduate Faculty Bylaws
I. Authorization for Graduate Faculty status
The Graduate Council Bylaws define graduate faculty as:
The Graduate Faculty shall consist of those members of the faculty (as faculty are defined in Section 2.3.2 of the University's Bylaws) or adjunct faculty and clinical faculty (as defined in Section 2.3.6 of the University's 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 University faculty. UNLV faculty who are accorded Graduate Faculty status are subject to the same rules and have the same rights and privileges as University 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:
- Tenured and tenure-track faculty, with the appropriate terminal degree.
- DRI faculty who have been nominated by a University department/program for graduate faculty status,
- Clinical and research faculty,
- Administrative faculty and/or University Med faculty who have been nominated by a University department/program for graduate faculty status, and
- Non-NSHE 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 complete an online nomination form and upload the nominee’s current CV for review and approval by 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:
- 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 University graduate faculty must be added to committee consistent with the guidelines for chairing advisory/examining committees noted above.
- Non-continuing University/DRI faculty for a one-year grace period; faculty who leave the University or DRI 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 University graduate faculty must be added to committee consistent with the guidelines for chairing advisory/examining committees noted above.
Non-University/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:
- UNLV faculty.
- Emeriti faculty past the one-year grace period.
- Faculty who have left the University/DRI beyond the one-year grace period.
- Non-University-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 University or DRI member of the graduate faculty from outside the home departments or programs of the other committee members, with the exception of interdisciplinary graduate programs. In case of interdisciplinary graduate programs, the Graduate School Representative cannot have a primary appointment in the same department (or other appropriate major unit) as the student's committee chair.
The Graduate School Representative protects the interests of the student, the advisory committee, and the Graduate School. The Graduate School Representative should also act as an "unbiased person" to whom the Dean may turn for judgment and counsel. The primary responsibility of the Graduate School Representative is that of an observer. Consequently, the Representative should be invited to participate in both the preliminary and final oral examinations, but should never take a dominant role in the exams.
The Representative should:
- Sign the form without comment
- Sign the form and note any specific comments, or
- Sign the form and note that a letter to the Graduate School Dean will follow (with copies to the Committee)
The Representative may wish to comment on:
- the appropriateness of the committee
- the adequacy of the Plan of Study
- the appropriateness of the examination questions and procedures
- the quality of the student's performance; and/or
- reservations about the thesis or dissertation
IV. The role of members of Graduate Advisory/Examining Committees
The Graduate School Representative must be a University or DRI member of the graduate faculty from outside the home departments or programs of the other committee members, with the exception of interdisciplinary graduate programs. In case of interdisciplinary graduate programs, the Graduate School Representative cannot have a primary appointment in the same department (or other appropriate major unit) as the student's committee chair. In addition, graduate program directors in interdisciplinary graduate programs cannot serve as the Graduate School Representative for students in their program.
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.
- Graduate Program Director or Department Chair will complete the online nomination form requesting the faculty member be listed as a graduate faculty member for that department or program.
- The following information must be submitted using the online form:
- Email address
- Mail stop
- Phone #