- Authority and Responsibilities
- Criteria for Membership
- Procedures for Appointment
- Procedure of Appeal
- Graduate and Supervisory Committees
Authority and Responsibilities
The authority and responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty shall include adoption of attendance rules, determination of requirements for graduation in all Graduate College programs, recommendations of candidates therefore, developing research and extension programs, discipline of students for conduct solely affecting the College, and providing to the Board of Regents recommended admission requirements, courses of study, and other relevant material for meeting statutory requirements.
The Graduate Faculty may vote on any matter presented to the Graduate Faculty, including the election of the Graduate Council for their specific campus. They may also hold any elected office in the Graduate College. Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses, serve on final examining committees, and serve on supervisory committees. Graduate Programs may have additional written criteria, approved by the campus Dean for Graduate Studies, for participation on doctoral (Ph. D., Ed.D., etc.) supervisory committees. Graduate Faculty have the additional responsibility of voting on certain nominations of Graduate Faculty in their department/school or interdepartmental area program. Graduate Faculty status is not required to teach graduate courses that are solely part of a Post-Baccalaureate Professional Credential or when a specific graduate-level course has learning outcomes, deemed by the applicable Program and confirmed by the campus' Dean of Graduate Studies, to primarily focus on educating students in the practice of a given profession or discipline
- Upon the recommendation of the departmental/school or interdepartmental Graduate Committee retired Graduate Faculty who have been appointed to emeritus status may retain the rights and privileges associated with their status as Graduate Faculty. These rights and privileges include permission to teach graduate courses, to serve as members of graduate programs, or to co-chair the supervisory committees of doctoral students with a resident Graduate Faculty member. Emeriti faculty must be reappointed to the Graduate Faculty every four years by the departmental school Graduate Committee and approved by the departmental school Chair or Head and by the respective campus Dean for Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska. Any compensation decision continues to reside with the department/school.
Graduate Faculty Associate
- Graduate Faculty Associates may teach graduate courses, direct masters theses, serve on or chair masters examining committees, and serve on doctoral supervisory committees. Associate status is primarily designed to provide an opportunity for faculty to contribute towards the education of graduate students in their discipline, while they simultaneously develop the credentials to become eligible for Graduate Faculty status. In addition, Associate status is appropriate for faculty whose professional background or assigned instructional responsibilities are such that their contribution towards graduate education is highly valued, but they are otherwise not likely to seek or be eligible for Graduate Faculty status.
- Graduate Faculty Associate status may be granted upon recommendation of the Graduate Faculty affiliated with a specific department or interdepartmental area and with approval by the campus Dean for Graduate Studies. Graduate Faculty Associates may teach graduate courses, direct masters theses, serve on or chair masters examining committees, and serve on doctoral supervisory committees Graduate Faculty Associate status is granted for a specific initial term, not to exceed a period of four years from the start of the staff member's faculty appointment or their proposed involvement in a specific graduate program. Associate appointments may be renewed for additional terms(s) of four years each after obtaining a new recommendation of the Graduate Faculty affiliated with a specific department or interdepartmental area and with the approval by the campus Dean for Graduate Studies.
- Any waivers or extensions to these provisions must be approved by both the campus Dean of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate College
Upon recommendation of the departmental/school or interdepartmental
Graduate Committee, Adjunct Faculty previously holding Graduate Faculty status while employed by the University of Nebraska, may retain certain rights and privileges intended to aid in successful degree completion of University of Nebraska students previously under their formal mentorship. Adjunct Faculty, not previously employed by the University of Nebraska or former employees no longer holding Graduate Faculty status, must be considered for Graduate Faculty status as per Section D.2, on the following page.
- Adjunct Faculty with Graduate Faculty status may teach graduate courses, serve as members of graduate programs, and co-chair the supervisory committees of doctoral students with a resident Graduate Faculty member. Adjunct Faculty have no campus wide or Graduate College voting privileges outside their supervisory committee work
- All Adjunct faculty with Graduate Faculty status must be reappointed to the Graduate Faculty every four years by the departmental school Graduate Committee and approved by the departmental school Chair or Head and by the respective campus Dean for Graduate Studies
- Any compensation decision continues to reside with the department/school.
Graduate Lecturers are non-tenure track faculty who are nominated and appointed to serve in a limited capacity. Graduate Lecturers may teach graduate courses, serve as academic advisors, and supervise students in graduate-level courses related to professional training such as clinical, field experience, practicum, internship and laboratory courses.
Procedure for Requesting Graduate Lecturers
- Eligible faculty members must hold the terminal degree normally accepted for academic employment in the discipline OR have achieved some extraordinary accomplishments as determined by the graduate committee of the nominee’s department.
- Nominee must have completed at least two years of work experience relevant to the discipline to be taught. This may include teaching, research, clinical or other professional experience.
Using the request form for graduate lecturers, the recommendation must be endorsed by both the departmental graduate committee and the department chair/head. Submit the following to the Dean of Graduate Education for approval: (1) The nomination form with signatures, (2) the nominee’s curriculum vitae, and (3) a memo from Graduate Committee Chair explaining the reasons for the nomination.
SOURCE: Graduate Council Minutes (September 8, 1982; January 17, 2019)
Criteria for Membership
A faculty member nominated for appointment as a Graduate Faculty member must meet the following minimum requirements
- Hold the rank of Senior Lecturer (or instructor at UNMC), Assistant Professor or above;
- Hold the terminal degree normally accepted for academic employment in the discipline or its clear equivalent as determined by the Graduate Committee of the nominee's department/school or interdepartmental area;
- Be actively involved in scholarly activity and or graduate teaching as part of their regular duties; and have demonstrated clear evidence of continuing research/creative activity and potential in the discipline. Such research/creative activity should be of o quality that would be recognized nationally within the discipline and may include the creation of new knowledge or innovative application of existing knowledge.
Procedures for Appointment
Appointment as Graduate Faculty without Application
New faculty in departments/schools with graduate degrees. All new University of Nebraska faculty members who meet the required criteria and are to be appointed to specific term, health professions or continuous appointments in academic departments/schools that house a graduate degree granting program (masters, doctoral, or both) will automatically be appointed as Graduate Faculty. No application process will be required. All new faculty in this category will be appointed as Graduate Faculty in their letter of appointment at the time of hire, contingent upon the approval of the campus Dean for Graduate Studies
Faculty Who Must Apply to be Designated Graduate Faculty
Faculty in departments/schools not granting graduate degrees. With the exception of new faculty appointed as Graduate Faculty without application under Section D. 1, all current University of Nebraska faculty members in academic departments/schools that currently do not house a graduate degree granting program (masters, doctoral, or both) must apply to be appointed as Graduate Faculty. Individuals with Faculty Practice, Faculty Research, or Special Appointments [including senior lecturer, instructor (at UNMC) and adjunct faculty]. All University of Nebraska faculty members on Special Appointment, Faculty Practice Appointment, or Faculty Research Appointment in any academic department/school (whether it houses a graduate degree program or not) must apply to be appointed as Graduate Faculty.
Process for Applying to Become Graduate Faculty
- Eligible faculty members will utilize the following process to apply for status as Graduate Faculty (see Appendix 2 of Graduate College Bylaws and Policies):
- Submit an application form and vita to the chair of the Graduate Committee in the relevant department/school or interdepartmental program.
- All Graduate Faculty in the relevant department/school will vote on the application. A two-thirds majority of these Graduate Faculty must support the nomination in order for it to be forwarded to the campus-level Dean for Graduate Studies. The chair of the Graduate Committee will write a letter interpreting the department/school vote (i.e., explaining the reasons for supporting the nomination), and then forward the file to the nominee's department chair for endorsement and certification to the campus Dean for Graduate Studies.
- For faculty in departments/schools without graduate programs, or for interdepartmental and/or intercampus programs, or in departments/ schools with graduate programs with fewer than six Graduate Faculty, a six-person review committee of Graduate Faculty will be appointed by the campus Dean for Graduate Studies. The chair of the committee will write a letter to the campus graduate studies dean(s) explaining the reasons for supporting the nomination. A two-thirds or greater majority of the committee must support the nomination. In the case of interdepartmental and/ or intercampus graduate programs, the director of the program will recommend members to the campus Dean(s) for Graduate Studies.
- The campus Dean for Graduate Studies will then review the nomination, and either approve or defer it. If approved, the nomination is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate College.
- The Dean of the Graduate College will then review the nomination and either approve or defer the nomination. If approved, the Dean formally appoints the faculty member to Graduate Faculty status.
If there is no graduate program in a particular discipline on a given campus, or if the number of Graduate Faculty in a particular discipline is fewer than six, a person in that discipline on that campus may be nominated for Graduate Faculty status by any Graduate Faculty member in that discipline or a related discipline on that campus or another campus. Such nominations must be recommended by either two-thirds vote of the Graduate Faculty of the corresponding department/school on another campus, or by two-thirds vote of a special ad hoc committee of six Graduate Faculty that shall.
- include all the Graduate Faculty in the nominee's department/school or interdepartmental area, with the remainder being Graduate Faculty from the same campus or similar departments/schools or interdepartmental areas from the same campus; and
- be appointed by the campus Dean for Graduate Studies from names submitted by the nominator.
- In all cases, nominations for Graduate Faculty shall be submitted from the groups indicated above to the campus Dean for Graduate Studies for approval. If the campus Dean approves a nomination, it shall be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate College for approval.
Procedure of Appeal
- Any nominee, or nominator only with the written permission of the nominee, who believes that their nomination has not been properly acted upon by the departmental/school or interdepartmental and or intercampus Graduate Committee, or the chairperson thereof, or departmental chairperson/school director, or college dean, may appeal to the campus Dean for Graduate Studies, who may wish to refer the appeal to the campus Graduate Council for advice. A nominee, or nominator only with the written permission of the nominee, who believes that their nomination has not been properly acted upon by a campus Dean for Graduate Studies may appeal to the Dean. The nominee, or nominator only with the written permission of the nominee, may at their discretion discuss the nomination under appeal with either the campus Dean for Graduate Studies or the Dean. In the event that such a meeting is scheduled, both the nominee and the nominator may attend.
- The Executive Graduate Council shall serve an appellate function when a nominee, or nominator only with the written permission of the nominee, believes that their nomination has been improperly deferred by the Dean. If the Executive Graduate Council upholds the deferment, that decision shall be final. If the Executive Graduate Council recommends that the Dean's previous decision to defer be reversed, the nomination shall be returned to the Dean with a recommendation that it be approved. If the Dean does not approve it, the nomination and all accompanying documents shall be forwarded to the President for final disposition. Decisions on appeals forwarded by Council approval must be made within twenty (20) working days.
- The nominee, or nominator only with the written permission of the nominee, must file any appeal of any deferral of their nomination within twenty (20) working days after notification of such deferral.
- Only data that accompanied the original nomination may be considered at any level of an appeal.
- Even though a particular nomination is under appeal, a new nomination containing additional information may be submitted to the campus Dean for Graduate Studies at any time without prejudicing the appeal. The appeal will then be held in abeyance during the period that the new nomination is being considered by the campus Dean.
Graduate and Supervisory Committees
Each department/school or interdepartmental/ intercampus area offering major work leading to the master or doctoral degree shall have a Graduate Committee consisting of not fewer than three Graduate Faculty, one of whom shall serve as chairperson of the Committee.
All Graduate Committees must have at least a two-thirds majority of Graduate Faculty on the Committee and its chairperson must be a member of the Graduate Faculty. For graduate programs involving only one department/school, membership on the Graduate Committee shall be recommended by the Graduate Faculty of the department/school through its departmental chairperson/school director, for approval and appointment by the campus Dean. For graduate programs involving more than one department/school and or campus, membership on the Graduate Committee shall be recommended by the participating Graduate Faculty of the participating departments/schools through the chairperson of the interdepartmental/intercampus area committee, or, if no such committee exists, through the chairpersons of the participating departments/schools, for approval and appointment by the campus Dean(s). Graduate Committees are responsible for the general supervision of graduate work in their departments/schools, and/or interdepartmental intercampus areas.
Graduate Committee Chairs act as the liaison between their Graduate Committees and the Dean for Graduate Studies. Within their purview, the Committee Chair Is charged with ensuring fair and consistent compliance with all Graduate College, and campus policies that govern graduate education from recommending admission through awarding of credentials. The Committee Chair coordinates the oversight of all graduate degrees, majors, specializations, minors, and certificate programs to ensure that every graduate student and member of the graduate faculty Is held to the highest standards of academic Integrity
For each student who has been accepted by a departmental/school or interdepartmental/intercampus area for doctoral studies there shall be a Supervisory Committee, of at least four members, all of whom shall be Graduate Faculty. Additional members may be appointed to the Committee, either being non Graduate Faculty or Graduate Faculty. Graduate Faculty have voting privileges, while non-Graduate Faculty do not. Membership on Supervisory Committees shall be recommended by the departmental school or interdepartmental intercampus Graduate Committee for approval and appointment by the campus Dean(s). Graduate programs may have additional written criteria, approved by the campus Dean for Graduate Studies, for participation on doctoral supervisory committees. The minor, or related fields, if applicable, shall be represented on the Committee. The Committee shall approve the student's program of studies, monitor the student's academic and research or creative activity progress, approve the dissertation subject, prepare, give, and evaluate the comprehensive and final examinations, and approve the dissertation.
Special Committee Members
Students may request the appointment of a faculty member from another institution outside the University of Nebraska system to serve on their supervisory committee. These external “special” members must hold a terminal degree appropriate to the discipline and have academic accomplishments comparable to the criteria for Graduate Faculty. Special Members are appointed as voting members of the supervisory committee and must be willing to participate in the student’s doctoral program in a manner consistent with this role. The Special Member may serve as one of the two appointed readers; but may not serve as committee chair, co-chair, or outside representative.
Procedure for Requesting Special Committee Members
Special Members are appointed on an individual student committee basis; a separate nomination must be submitted for each supervisory committee on which a Special Member intends to serve. In addition, only one Special Member may serve on each supervisory committee, and the committee must include a minimum of four members of the Graduate Faculty.
Using the request form for special members, the nomination must be endorsed by both the supervisory committee chair and the departmental graduate committee chair. Submit the following to the Dean of Graduate Education for approval: (1) The nomination form with signatures and (2) the nominee’s curriculum vitae.
SOURCE: Graduate Council Minutes (September 28, 1995; February 12, 2009)
- The Graduate Faculty as a whole shall be called into special session by a majority vote of the Executive Graduate Council, or by a petition signed by any 100 members of the Graduate Faculty The quorum for meetings of the Graduate Faculty shall be ten percent of the voting membership of the Graduate Faculty. Provided a quorum is in attendance, all actions taken at such meetings under the category of new business, or agenda items supported by a majority, but less than a two-thirds majority of those present at such meetings, must be submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate College on a mail or electronic ballot. Any agenda item ratified by a two-thirds majority shall be policy and shall not be sent to the Graduate Faculty on a mail or electronic ballot, unless specifically requested by a majority of those present at the meeting.
- Ten members of the Graduate Faculty may petition to place items on the agenda for meetings of the Faculty of the Graduate College, if such items are presented in writing to the Dean of the Graduate College at least t three weeks prior to the meeting. Items to be voted on must be submitted as written motions with proper supporting material. If substantial amendments to the written motions are made at the meeting, they shall be considered as new business and shall be submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate College on a mail or electronic ballot. In the absence of a quorum, the agenda items of the proposed meeting of the Graduate Faculty shall be referred to the Executive Graduate Council for consideration.
- There shall be an alphabetical master list, by campus, of Graduate Faculty available at meetings of the Graduate Faculty for sign-in purposes. The Dean shall appoint a parliamentarian, and Robert's Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for Graduate Faculty meetings. Actions taken by the Graduate Faculty as a whole, either at a duly called meeting of the Graduate Faculty or by a two-thirds majority of those voting by mail or electronic ballot, shall supersede any action taken by the Executive Graduate Council.
Policy History: Amendments approved by the Executive Graduate Council April 25, 2018, October 26, 2022; approved by a vote of the University of Nebraska Graduate Faculty on May 18, 2018, November 18, 2022; and presented to the Board of Regents on June 28, 2018, December 2, 2022.