Graduate Faculty Membership | School of Communication Studies Handbook | Kent State University

Graduate Faculty Membership

This statement of policy pertains to graduate faculty membership procedures in the School of Communication Studies and is based upon policies and procedures approved by the Research and Graduate Studies Council and Dean of Research and Graduate Studies (see Addendum A). This statement of policy acknowledges that the nature of the School's graduate programs is communication theory and research. Our mission is to educate graduate students who are knowledgeable about and skilled in researching human symbolic interaction.

1.   Membership and Procedures for Constituting the Graduate Faculty Committee

In accordance with the Graduate Faculty Membership Procedures (see below), the School of Communication Studies shall form a Graduate Faculty Committee, selected by and from those members who currently possess graduate faculty membership and who have been approved to direct doctoral dissertations.

     a.  The Graduate Faculty Committee shall be composed of at least three faculty members of the Graduate Studies Committee.

     b.  The Graduate Faculty Committee will formulate and update the criteria used in determining the graduate faculty status of each member of the unit. Having gained approval of the School Director and the Dean of the College, these criteria will be used to determine the graduate faculty status of each member in the School of Communication Studies.

     c.  The Director of the School and graduate unit, in consultation with the Graduate Faculty Committee, will recommend to the Dean of the College the appropriate graduate faculty status for those members of the unit. Votes upon faculty status require a majority of the GFC for recommendation for graduate faculty membership. When a member of the committee is considered, that member will be absent, and the vote required will be a majority, or the Director's recommendation in the case of abstentions that result in a non-majority vote.

     d.  If a faculty member feels an error in judgment has been made, s/he may request reconsideration of the Dean, and may further appeal to the Provost, as prescribed in the  Research and Graduate Studies Graduate Faculty Membership Procedures Policy.

2.  Roles and Responsibilities

     a.  Graduate Faculty membership shall be assigned to faculty members with appropriate educational background who are currently engaged in scholarly research and professional involvement. All graduate faculty members are eligible to vote in meetings of the whole graduate faculty, to teach graduate classes, and to serve on master's committees.

     b.  Besides approval of Temporary Graduate Faculty Members who may meet a specific or limited need of the graduate program for a restricted time, the School of Communication Studies will approve faculty as full members of the Graduate Faculty in one of four levels of membership as prescribed by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies:

          i.  Master's Level 1 : May teach graduate courses, serve on master's committees, and, with School approval, may co-direct masters' theses.

          ii.  Master's Level 2:  May do the above and, with School approval, may direct masters' theses.

          iii. Doctoral Level 3:   May do the above, serve on doctoral committees, and, with School approval, may co-direct doctoral dissertations.

          iv. Doctoral Level 4:   May do the above and, with School approval, may direct doctoral dissertations. 

3.   Criteria for Graduate Faculty Membership Faculty must meet the following criteria to be appointed as full members of the Graduate Faculty at one of four levels:

     a.  Master's Level 1:  (i.) Possess the doctoral degree. (ii.) Demonstrate the potential for good teaching, advising, and research direction at the graduate level. (iii.) Demonstrate scholarly activity resulting in refereed publications and other public dissemination of knowledge that merits professional recognition (e.g., publishing books and chapters). (iv.)  Demonstrate a record of involvement in the profession (e.g., professional association membership and participation, professional meeting attendance and paper presentation, scholarly publication editing or refereeing).

     b.  Master's Level 2:  (i.) Meet all criteria for Level 1. (ii.) Demonstrate good teaching, advising, and research direction at the master's level. (iii.) Demonstrate current scholarly activity by having published in the past 5 years in refereed scholarly journals or have accomplished an   equivalent degree of scholarship (e.g., publishing scholarly books and chapters). (iv.)  Demonstrate current professional involvement within the past 5 years.

     c.  Doctoral Level 3:   (i.) Meet all criteria for Level 2. (ii.) Demonstrate a significant record of graduate teaching, advising, and research direction including experience in directing master’s students’ research. (iii.) Demonstrate significant scholarly activity by having published in the past 5 years several scholarly articles in quality refereed journals or the equivalent thereof (e.g., publishing scholarly books and chapters). (iv.) Demonstrate a significant record of professional involvement.

     d.  Doctoral Level 4: 

          i.  Meet all criteria for Level 3.

          ii.  Demonstrate a significant record of research direction including experience in directing or co-directing doctoral student research.

          iii.  Demonstrate a current and continual record of significant and independent refereed research and publication in major scholarly journals in the field of Communication or the equivalent thereof (e.g., publishing scholarly books and chapters).

          iv.  Demonstrate a continual record of significant professional involvement.

In addition, individuals must meet the following criteria to be appointed as Temporary Members of the Graduate Faculty: (a.) Possess the appropriate graduate degree to work with masters or doctoral students. (b.) Demonstrate the ability or potential for research advisement at the appropriate graduate level. (c.) Demonstrate expertise in a given subject area through research, writings, and/or professional involvement.

4.  Criteria for Temporary Graduate Faculty Membership

This status shall be assigned to a faculty member whose participation in the graduate program is desired by the graduate department for a limited period or for a limited objective. Normally, this status should be assigned for purposes of appropriate instruction of a graduate course for a semester or appropriate service on a graduate examination committee, a thesis committee, or a dissertation committee. Upon the completion of the temporary assignment, the status of Temporary Graduate Faculty member is withdrawn.

5.  Additional Graduate Faculty Involvement

Faculty members may have their graduate faculty status changed to include approvals for additional graduate faculty involvement at any time that an appropriate recommendation is made and approval granted, according to the approved process.

6.  Graduate Faculty Status Review

The graduate faculty status of the members of the graduate unit should be reviewed periodically by the unit's Graduate Faculty Committee. This periodic review will take place every 5 years. Also, graduate faculty members who have been approved for directing doctoral dissertations will have that option reviewed every 5 years.   Recommendations resulting from a review of Graduate Faculty status will be forwarded according to the process contained in section V.A.

Reducing responsibilities of graduate faculty membership normally occurs as the result of periodic review or for cause. If changes are recommended to be deleted through the process of periodic review, then the graduate faculty member in question may be granted a probationary period to address his or her professional record. At the end of the probationary period (which usually will be from 1 to 2 years), the Dean of the College will receive a recommendation from the Graduate Faculty Committee of the School with respect to that person's Graduate Faculty status. It is the ultimate responsibility of the Dean, in appropriate consultation with the School Director and Graduate Faculty Committee, to make decisions as to the appropriate graduate faculty status of the faculty.

7.  Graduate Faculty Membership Procedures

(Note:  The section below was “Addendum A” in the 6/22/2011 version of the School Handbook).

 

     a.  Each department/school shall form a Graduate Faculty Committee selected by and composed of those members who currently possess Graduate Faculty membership and who have been approved to direct masters theses and serve on doctoral committees. In graduate units offering the doctoral degree, the members of the Committee must also have been approved to direct doctoral dissertations.

          i.   The Graduate Faculty Committee will formulate and update the set of criteria to be used for determining the graduate faculty status of each member of the unit. This set of criteria will    be forwarded to the Chair of the graduate unit for that person's approval. Having gained the approval of the Chair, the set of criteria will be recommended to the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for use by that graduate unit in determining graduate faculty status. Upon receiving the approval of the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, this set of criteria will then be used by the graduate unit.

          ii. The Chair of the graduate unit, in consultation with the Graduate Faculty Committee, will recommend to the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies the appropriate graduate faculty status for those members of the unit being recommended for inclusion on the graduate faculty (using the set of criteria formulated and approved in section A).  The Dean of Research and Graduate Studies may either accept or reject each recommendation (with the advice of the Graduate Faculty Committee of Research and Graduate Studies Council when appropriate). If the faculty member feels an error has been made in the judgment of his or her graduate faculty status by the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, then reconsideration may be requested of the Graduate Dean. Failing to reach appropriate resolution between the faculty member and the Dean, the faculty member may appeal the decision to the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The decision of the Provost is final and may not be appealed.

     b.  The following shall be used in making recommendations for graduate faculty membership:

          i.   Graduate Faculty Member: This status shall be assigned to those members with appropriate educational backgrounds who have produced scholarly research or creative activity of sufficient quality to merit professional recognition and who are effective in providing the appropriate training of graduate students (or have the potential for providing such training).

A Graduate Faculty member is eligible to teach graduate courses and to serve on masters' committees.

The following may be recommended for a Graduate Faculty Member and will depend upon the scholarly and creative record of the member:

                (a)  A Graduate Faculty member may be approved to direct master's theses, serve on doctoral committees and co-direct doctoral dissertations (with a member who is approved to direct doctoral dissertations).

                (b)  A Graduate Faculty member may be approved to direct doctoral dissertations. This approval is based upon a record of current scholarly research or creative activity of sufficient quality of merit professional recognition to ensure the timeliness of dissertation topic and research direction.

          ii.  Temporary Graduate Faculty Member:  This status shall be assigned to a faculty member whose participation in the graduate program is desired by the graduate department for a limited period or for a limited objective. Normally, this status should be assigned to lead to the appropriate instruction of a graduate course for a semester or appropriate service on a graduate examination committee, a thesis committee, or a dissertation committee. Upon the completion of the temporary assignment, the status of Temporary Graduate Faculty Member is withdrawn.

     c.  The assignment of Graduate Faculty members to teach graduate courses, serve on master's or doctoral committees, direct master's theses, direct doctoral dissertations, and to otherwise   conduct the affairs of the graduate program of a unit, remains the prerogative and responsibility of the Chair of the graduate unit according to customary procedures and consultation.

     d.  Faculty members may have their graduate faculty status changed to include approvals for additional graduate faculty involvement (items II. A. 1. and II.A. 2.) at any time that an appropriate recommendation is made and approval granted, according to the process contained in section I.B.

     e.  The graduate faculty status of the members of the graduate unit may be reviewed periodically by the unit of its Graduate Faculty Committee (such periodic review being initiated no more frequently than every five years). A Graduate Faculty member who has been approved for directing doctoral dissertations, will have that option reviewed every five years. Announcement of a periodic review shall be made by the graduate unit at least one year in advance of the review and in consultation with the Graduate Dean. Recommendation resulting from a review of graduate faculty status will be forwarded according to the process contained in section I.B.

Removing options of graduate faculty membership normally occur as the result of periodic review or for cause. If options are recommended to be deleted through the process of periodic review then the Graduate Faculty Member in question may be granted a probationary period in order to address his or her professional record. At the end of the probationary period (which usually will be from one to two years), the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies will receive a recommendation from the Graduate Faculty Committee of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies with respect to that person's graduate faculty status. It is the responsibility of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies to make decisions as to the appropriate graduate faculty status of the faculty.

Approved by Graduate College Council, May 7, 1986