Graduate Faculty Membership

2160.1 Purpose

The Graduate Faculty, the body primarily responsible for graduate study, is composed of faculty members whose experience and record of scholarship qualify them to offer graduate-level instruction. The Graduate Faculty's purpose is to encourage and contribute to the advancement of knowledge and/or professional practice through instruction, supervision, and research of the highest quality.  Eligibility criteria for Graduate Faculty status emphasize the totality of a Graduate Faculty member's instructional, advising, and professional responsibilities as well as explicit scholarship criteria.

2160.2 Definitions of Graduate Faculty Membership Categories

Graduate faculty status may be granted in one of four possible categories:

Regular Graduate Faculty:  This status is granted to fully affiliated, tenure track and/or tenured faculty who have a permanent affiliation with Wright State University and who have the privilege to participate fully in the conduct, content, and governance of graduate programs.  This status is granted and reviewed by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee of the Faculty Senate according to this policy.

Associate Graduate Faculty:  This status is granted to highly qualified persons who participate in graduate education by teaching and/or serving on committees, but who will not otherwise exercise the prerogatives of regular graduate faculty.  This status is granted and reviewed by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee of the Faculty Senate according to this policy.  Associate Graduate Faculty may be approved for one or more of the following privileges:  to teach any graduate courses in discipline, teach only specific graduate courses, or serve on or co-chair, with regular graduate faculty members, thesis and doctoral committees.  A record of the specific privileges granted an Associate Graduate Faculty member will be kept on record with the Graduate School and published at http://www.wright.edu/graduate-school/academics/graduate-faculty

Provisional Graduate Faculty:  This is a temporary status to be used when a new fully affiliated faculty member joins the university and needs to act as a graduate faculty member while the processes of granting Regular Graduate Faculty status are under way, or while a provision of hire (e.g., defending an already completed dissertation, etc.) is being completed.  It is expected that persons in this status will ultimately be eligible for Regular Faculty Status after no more than three semesters.

Temporary Graduate Faculty:  This is a temporary status to be used when a unit needs to fill an immediate and unanticipated need for teaching in a graduate program and there is not sufficient time for the nomination to pass through the senate’s formal approval process.  Temporary Graduate Faculty may be approved only to teach specific courses, teach courses in a discipline, or serve (but not chair) degree committees.  It would be expected that persons in this status would be found eligible for and granted Associate Faculty Status within three semesters of appointment to temporary status.

2160.3 Eligibility Criteria and Terms of Membership

In order to be appointed to the Regular Graduate Faculty, a candidate must have all of (a) (b) (c), and (d) below:

  1. an appropriate terminal degree for graduate instruction in the field;
     
  2. a demonstrated involvement in graduate instruction through teaching and, where applicable, graduate student supervision;
     
  3. a current (within the past seven years) and relevant record of scholarly or creative accomplishment through metrics such as research, publications, professional activities, and/or creative work (as appropriate to the field). Approved criteria documents will be maintained by the Graduate School and made available for public inspection at all times via standard Internet (web) interfaces. The Graduate Faculty Membership Committee will use faculty-approved, discipline-specific, criteria in all cases where they exist. The Graduate Faculty Membership Committee will use HLC criteria in cases where a program has not yet filed an approved criteria document;
     
  4. rank of assistant professor or above in a degree-granting academic unit at Wright State University.

Regular Graduate Faculty status is granted for a period of seven years from the date of latest demonstrated satisfaction of all of the above criteria. Individual programs may specify a shorter period of regular graduate faculty status via the criteria mechanism defined in (c) above.

If a person may not, or chooses not to, be appointed to the Regular Graduate Faculty, that person may be granted Associate Graduate Faculty Status.  In order to be appointed to the Associate Graduate Faculty, a candidate must:

  1. satisfy criteria (a), (b), and (c) in the first paragraph of this section (2160.2)

    OR
     
  2. satisfy criteria specific to the relevant discipline or course(s) as previously approved by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee.  Approved criteria documents will be maintained by the Graduate School and made available for public inspection at all times via standard Internet (web) interfaces.  The Graduate Faculty Membership committee will use faculty-approved, discipline-specific, criteria in all cases where they exist.  The Graduate Faculty membership committee will use HLC criteria in cases where a program has not yet filed an approved criteria document.

Associate Graduate Faculty status is granted for a period of seven years from the date of latest demonstrated satisfaction of the relevant criteria.  Individual programs may specify a shorter period of regular graduate faculty status via the criteria mechanism defined in (c) above.

If a program has an immediate and unexpected need for graduate instruction, the program may request that a candidate be appointed to Temporary Graduate Faculty Status.  In order to be granted Temporary Graduate Faculty Status, the nominator must complete all of (1), (2), and (3) below:

  1. Provide an offer letter that clearly states exactly the privileges to be extended (e.g. course or courses at or above the 5xxx level the candidate will teach, participation in a thesis or dissertation committee, etc.)
     
  2. Provide justification that the person would be reasonably expected to satisfy the requirements of Associate Graduate Faculty status as defined by these policies and by any relevant program-specific criteria documents approved by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee.
     
  3. Provide a mentorship plan to support the newly appointed temporary graduate faculty member in those cases where the candidate has no prior experience instructing at the graduate level.

Temporary Graduate Faculty status is granted for a period of up to three semesters (non-renewable) by approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Individuals who have served or are serving as temporary Graduate Faculty may be nominated for Associate Graduate Faculty status and it is expected they would be fully eligible for such nomination.

Newly hired assistant, associate, or full professors may be granted Provisional Graduate Faculty Status if it is expected that the candidate will fully satisfy the requirements of Regular Graduate Faculty Status after the expiration of an amount of time sufficient to satisfy any provisional conditions of hire (e.g., final defense of an already completed dissertation or any other provisions that may have been negotiated) OR if graduate status is required before completion of the full vetting process.  Provisional Graduate Faculty Status may be granted for up to three academic semesters, but in no case more than the number of semesters it would take for the appropriate faculty senate committees to meet and fully consider the case for regular membership.

2160.4 Functions and Privileges of the Graduate Faculty

Regular Graduate Faculty members may perform all of the following roles:

  1. teach graduate courses (i.e., at or above the 5000-level) in the discipline(s) for which they qualify,
     
  2. serve as members of thesis or dissertation committees
     
  3. serve as members of Faculty Senate Graduate Committees
     
  4. serve as chairs of Faculty Senate Graduate committees
     
  5. supervise master's theses or doctoral dissertations,

Associate Graduate Faculty members may be approved for one or more of the following roles:

  1. teach a specifically approved collection of graduate courses which could range from a single course to all courses in a discipline (i.e., at or above the 5000-level)
     
  2. serve as members of thesis or dissertation committees
     
  3. serve as co-directors/co-supervisors of theses or dissertations in conjunction with a member of the regular Graduate Faculty.  Associate Graduate Faculty may not serve as sole or primary directors of theses or dissertations.

The specific roles for which an Associate Graduate Faculty member may be approved shall be recorded in the Graduate School, and the assignment of those roles shall be governed by this policy and any applicable program-specific standards approved under the terms of this policy.

Temporary Graduate Faculty members may teach specific graduate courses for which they have been approved.  They may serve on graduate thesis or dissertation committees as governed by this policy and any program specific criteria developed under this policy.

Provisional Graduate Faculty possess all privileges of regular graduate faculty except the privilege to serve as sole chair of thesis or dissertation committees.  Provisional graduate faculty may co-chair such committees with a member of the regular graduate faculty and may become the sole chair at such time as the member’s status is upgraded to Regular Graduate Faculty.

2160.5 Procedure for Nomination to Graduate Faculty Membership

Regular Graduate Faculty and Associate Graduate Faculty Membership

  1. The appropriate department chair, program director, or Department or Program Faculty Committee completes the Graduate Faculty Nomination form with supporting documentation http://www.wright.edu/graduate-school/academics/graduate-school-faculty .  The packet is provided to the appropriate regular graduate faculty subject matter experts, as defined by the appropriate faculty governance body of the department or academic unit hosting the graduate program in which the candidate will work.  This body will review the nomination packet and provide a recommendation based either upon criteria (a) through (c) or upon criteria as approved by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee under the terms of this policy.  In all cases, but especially in cases based upon tested experience criteria, the faculty subject matter experts must demonstrate that the candidate meets relevant criteria.
  2. The appropriate department chair, program director, or Department or Program Faculty Committee completes the Graduate Faculty Nomination form with supporting documentation and recommendations generated via item (a) immediately above and forwards the packet to the college/school dean and the Dean of the Graduate School.
     
  3. The Dean of the Graduate School reviews the nomination. If the dean concurs with the subject matter committee's recommendation for regular or associate membership, the dean shall approve the nomination and record the candidate in the list of graduate faculty.  If the dean does not readily concur with the subject matter committee's recommendation, the dean may either a) request additional information from the subject matter committee, or b) forward the packet to the Graduate Faculty Membership committee for further adjudication.  The Graduate Faculty Membership committee will make a recommendation regarding the candidate's status.  If any party to the process disagrees with the final decision, that party may present a rebuttal and request for reconsideration to the Faculty Senate via the standard mechanisms for introducing senate business as defined by the Faculty Constitution.
     
  4. Nominations that do not meet the primary criteria (as specified in 2160.3) are forwarded, along with all necessary explanatory and supporting material, to the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee, which sends approved nominations to the Dean of the Graduate School for concurring signature and recording in the list of Graduate Faculty, and reports approved nominations to the Faculty Senate.  In cases of disagreement between the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee, the Faculty Senate will serve as the final arbiter (see item C above).  If a nomination is ultimately declined, the Graduate School will send a letter of explanation to the nominator.
     
  5. The Graduate School will send written notification of the action taken by the Committee or the Dean to the faculty member concerned.  A copy of the notification will also be sent to the department chair and the dean who submitted the request.
     
  6. All documents pertaining to the nomination are kept on file in the Graduate School.
     
  7. At the request of the Dean of the Graduate School, a Graduate Faculty member may be required to submit a current curriculum vita or other updated information, subsequent to his/her admission to the Graduate Faculty.
     
  8. The Dean of the Graduate School may grant Provisional Graduate Faculty status to newly hired professorial faculty for up to three academic terms, provided they satisfy all relevant criteria but (a) final completion of the relevant terminal degree, and/or (b) previous experience teaching and/or supervising graduate students.  This Provisional status permits newly hired professorial faculty to teach appropriate graduate courses and to serve on (but not to direct) thesis or dissertation committees. Provisional status automatically expires at the end of the period for which it was granted.  Departments wishing to nominate faculty for continuing regular Graduate Faculty membership should submit those nominations during the term of provisional membership.