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tennessee technological university

College of Graduate Studies

Appointment and Qualifications of Graduate Faculty


Status Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Responsibilities Term*

FULL


-full-time faculty member or academic administrator holding faculty rank;

-rank of assistant professor or higher

-tenured or tenure-track

-holds an earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate discipline from an appropriately accredited institution;

-achieved an appropriate level of scholarship or creative activity and erudition characterized by peer reviewed publications, conference publications, recitals, exhibitions, externally funded research grants;

-demonstrated (by institutional involvement) commitment to the academic community, the University, his or her students, and academic discipline

-criteria for reappointment are based on evidence of continued pattern of scholarly or creative activity of the quality expected for initial membership.

-may serve as a student’s academic advisor for the Doctor of Philosophy degree;

-may teach graduate courses for Master’s, Specialist, and Doctoral degrees
6 Years

ASSOCIATE

-full-time faculty member who is not eligible for full membership

-holds at least a master’s degree or equivalent;

-demonstrated competence to carry out the departmental needs for graduate teaching, advisement, or research

-may serve as a student’s academic advisor for Master’s and Specialist degrees

-may teach graduate courses for Master’s and Specialist degrees

-may serve as a student’s academic advisor and/or teach for Doctoral degree if they hold a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree
3 Years

ADJUNCT

-part-time faculty who are employed for graduate teaching, advisement, or research

-holds at least a master’s degree or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate discipline from an appropriately accredited institution;

-if master’s degree or equivalent must also possess appropriate experience in profession

-may serve as a committee member for Master’s and Specialist degrees;

-may teach graduate courses for Master’s and Specialist degrees

-may teach graduate courses for Doctoral degree if they hold a doctorate or equivalent degree
2
Years

* Eligibility for renewal is based on a review of credentials during the years of their appointment period listed.

All appointments to memberships on the graduate faculty are made by the President based upon recommendations submitted by departmental chairpersons with suitable endorsement from the dean of the college, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The appropriate forms may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies website.

Applications for Membership:

Responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty

A faculty member appointed to full membership on the graduate faculty serves also as a member of the faculty of an academic department and college. As a member of the graduate faculty, the appointee may be asked to serve as a teacher of a graduate course, as a teacher of a readings or special problems course, as a director of some phase of development of the research facilities of the University, as a member of the Graduate School Executive Committee, or as a member of a graduate student’s advisory committee, including serving as the student’s academic and/or research advisor. (If appropriately qualified, a faculty member may serve as both academic and research advisor.) The graduate faculty member who serves as the student’s academic advisor shall chair or co-chair the advisory committee and must hold faculty rank in the department in which the student is majoring. A student’s research advisor may hold faculty rank in a department other than that in which the student is majoring but must have research capability in a discipline closely related to a discipline associated with the student’s department. For a doctoral student, the academic advisor shall be an experienced faculty member with demonstrated ability to effectively mentor both students and faculty; the research advisor must have demonstrated significant research capability and be experienced in directing independent study. A graduate student’s academic and/or research advisor must be reviewed and approved by the student’s departmental chairperson, the dean of the college, and the Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

A faculty member may not direct independent study/research courses taken by a student who is a relative of the faculty member and may not be a member of a relative’s graduate advisory committee. For the purposes of this policy, “relative” means a parent, foster parent, parent-in-law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member who resides in the same household.

At the discretion of the departmental chairperson, responsibilities of an associate member may be any of those normally given to a full member of the graduate faculty, except serving on the Graduate School Executive Committee, or serving as a doctoral-level academic or research advisor. Serving as a master’s-level academic and/or research advisor must be reviewed and approved by the student’s departmental chairperson, the dean of the college, and the Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

A teacher of any course for which students receive graduate credit must be a member of the graduate faculty. The teacher has the normal responsibilities appropriate to the course. When students are enrolled in undergraduate classes (4000/5000) for graduate credit, the faculty member has the responsibility of making appropriate additional assignments to ensure students receive proper value from the courses. A general description of the extra work required of students taking a 4000/5000 level course for graduate credit must be included in the description of the course approved by the Graduate School Executive Committee. Teachers of undergraduate courses are provided class rolls that show the names of those students seeking graduate credit for work in their classes. Each teacher is also responsible for seeing that the students in graduate classes have sufficient prerequisites to permit the subject matter to be presented and discussed without hindrance.

Responsibilities of Departmental Chairperson

The chairperson of any department offering a graduate degree may act in any capacity open to a graduate faculty member and has certain administrative responsibilities pertaining to the graduate program. The chairperson is responsible for reviewing applications of prospective graduate students and making recommendations as to acceptance and status of applicants; acting as the advisor (or for designating one) for each student’s first registration period; and nominating qualified faculty members for appointment to the graduate faculty. The departmental chairperson also provides direction and coordination in supporting departmental faculty members in the development of research projects and in the appropriate utilization of facilities.

Organization and Appointment of Advisory Committee

The advisory committee may be appointed during the student’s first term but no later than the term in which 15 credits of course work are to be completed. The student, in consultation with the departmental chairperson, will determine a minimum of three (3) (four [4] in the doctoral program in Education; five [5] in the doctoral programs in Engineering and Environmental Sciences) suitable graduate faculty members who are willing to serve as voting members of the committee. Members shall represent each of the areas in which the student expects to study, with two (2) members having background in the major area. Each area in which the student presents as many as six (6) credits should be represented by one (1) member. At least one (1) member of the advisory committee should have adequate background and research interests in the area in which the student has proposed a research objective. After selection of the committee and the student’s determination that the committee members are available to serve, the selection is submitted to the dean of the college and the Director of Graduate Studies for approval and appointment.

Changes to the advisory committee must be requested by the student and approved by the departmental chairperson, the dean of the college, and the Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, with the latter making the subsequent appointments to complete the committee. Except in unusual circumstances such as extended campus leave, change of teaching fields, or inappropriate advisement loads, a faculty member enjoys the prerogative of accepting or relinquishing an appointment on a student’s advisory committee.

The organization and appointment of advisory committees to supervise graduate study for the doctorate shall be the same, generally, as in a master’s program, except that the advisory committee shall consist of at least five (5) members of the Graduate Faculty. Changes in a doctoral advisory committee also require the approval of the departmental chairperson, the dean of the college, as well as the Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

A faculty member may not direct independent study/research courses taken by a student who is a relative of the faculty member and may not be a member of a relative’s graduate advisory committee. For the purposes of this policy, “relative” means a parent, foster parent, parent-in- law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member who resides in the same household.

Professionals who are not employed by the University may serve as a Consultant on a graduate student’s committee after approval by the regular committee members. Consultants are allowed to participate in all committee meetings, oral examinations, and theses defenses. However, they are not allowed to vote on any aspect of the graduate students’ academic program.

In some cases, it is desirable that non-university personnel become voting members of graduate committees. These individuals must have earned a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate discipline and completed all procedures necessary to be appointed as an Adjunct Member of the graduate faculty. Only one (1) such member can serve on an individual student’s committee, and this member may not serve as academic or research advisor.

Each member of a graduate student’s advisory committee is expected (1) to review the student’s proposed plan of study and to approve it or make recommendations to improve it; (2) to consider the student’s application for candidacy including both the proposed plan of study and the research proposal and, with other members of the committee, to approve, approve with change, or disapprove the program; (3) to review the student’s thesis (if one is required) prior to the comprehensive examination; and (4) to assist in the conduct of an examination to insure that the student has at least a satisfactory knowledge of the subject matter covered in the program of study and that the thesis (when required) is of suitable caliber and presents a valid investigation properly completed. The minimum required majority for all actions of the advisory committee at the master’s and specialist levels is three (3) positive votes, or three-fourths of the committee members eligible to vote. At the doctoral level, four-fifths is required as the minimum for programs in Engineering and Environmental Sciences; a unanimous vote is required for the program in Exceptional Learning.

Responsibilities of Thesis Advisor

The chairperson of an advisory committee assists the student in the selection of a course of study and works with the student in choosing a suitable thesis topic. The chairperson is expected to furnish appropriate assistance and encouragement when excessive difficulties arise in the investigation of the problem. At the request of the student, the chairperson schedules the comprehensive examination and is responsible for its administration and conduct, as well as the reporting of the examination results to the Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The chairperson is responsible for assisting the student in ensuring the thesis is error-free in regards to format, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and content thereby meeting the standards of excellence expected by the advisory committee, department, and the Graduate College. Only grades of SP and NP shall be used to indicate a student’s progress in thesis or dissertation credit.

Faculty Advisory Statement

The faculty and staff at TTU are committed to the lifelong learning of students and thus providing an environment for learning that fosters the highest academic conduct. To this end, TTU and its faculty reserve the right to use electronic means to detect and help prevent the inappropriate use of intellectual property. Student agrees and understands that by taking this course, his or her work may be subject to originality check through Turnitin, and student thereby grants any necessary copyright permission required to do so. Personally identifiable information (such as student name, social security number, student i.d. number, etc.) should NOT be included in the work submitted to TurnItIn. This work will be encoded and stored in the TurnItIn database where it will also be used for originality checks on other works submitted by the student or anyone else using the system. The faculty may require that the students submit their work through TurnItIn or questionable text may be submitted by the faculty for the student. The terms that apply to TTU’s use of the TurnItIn service are described on the Turnitin.com website.