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University Guidelines for Graduate Faculty Membership

The Graduate Faculty

Appointment to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Graduate Faculty recognizes significant scholarly and/or professional accomplishments and the ability to work constructively with graduate students. It confers upon a faculty member the authority to direct theses and dissertations, to serve on advisory committees for graduate students, and the right to participate in the governance of graduate education at the departmental, college, and university levels. Also, only members of the Graduate Faculty may serve as a departmental Graduate Coordinator.

All faculty members, including academic deans, department heads, and directors, who wish to be a member of the Graduate Faculty must apply. Faculty who have completed a terminal degree within the previous three years are typically awarded an initial appointment at a level in accordance with that defined in the individual college’s criteria. The level of Graduate Faculty membership required of Graduate Coordinators is also left to the discretion of individual colleges and departments.

Appointments to the Graduate Faculty are made by the Graduate Council, in consultation with the academic colleges, in accordance with the following policy and procedures.

Level One
Level One status is available to all faculty members who hold a terminal degree and demonstrate evidence of scholarly and/or professional engagement. Holding Level One status qualifies individuals to direct master’s theses and to serve on master’s and doctoral committees.

Level Two
Level Two status qualifies individuals to direct both dissertations and theses and to serve on both master’s and doctoral committees. The primary criterion for Level Two membership is a consistent record of scholarly activities evidenced by peer-reviewed publications in strong professional journals, conference proceedings, and other venues commonly recognized by the academic community. 

Recognizing that the nature of scholarly activities varies among academic disciplines and the recognized peer review process of the work that constitutes sufficient research activity to qualify a faculty member to mentor a graduate student, eligibility for membership on the Graduate Faculty is further defined by specific criteria developed by each academic college and approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The academic colleges may formulate these criteria in any manner they choose as long as the criteria are consistent with the University guidelines established here by the Graduate Council and approved by the Provost/Vice-President of Academic Affairs. The criteria of any academic college may be more stringent than the University guidelines, but it may not offer a term of appointment that is in conflict with the University guidelines. All college criteria and these University guidelines for graduate faculty membership shall be reviewed by the involved entities at least once every five years.     

The term of appointment to the Graduate Faculty is five years. The Graduate Council may, in unusual circumstances and at its discretion, make an emergency appointment for a shorter term; likewise, the Dean of the Graduate School may grant an emergency one-semester appointment to the Graduate Faculty at his or her discretion. Any current chair or member of a thesis or dissertation committee who no longer holds the appropriate membership level during the time he or serves on that committee shall be allowed to continue to chair or to serve on the committee for two years following his or her change in membership status. Any member of the Graduate Faculty on University-approved leave, including sick leave, may request an extension of his or her appointment equivalent to the time of their official University leave.

Each college, guided by its own Graduate Faculty membership criteria, will conduct three independent and concurrent reviews—by a College Peer Review Committee, the Department Head, and the Academic Dean—of each application and provides a recommendation for appointment to the Graduate School for each.  Each College Peer Review Committee shall include a member of the Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership from the affiliated college to serve as an ex-officio member. The three college entities are responsible for submitting their independent recommendations for every application to the Dean of the Graduate School in a timely manner that is consistent with the deadlines established by the Graduate School. The Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership will review applications and recommendations for appointment to the Graduate Faculty only when any one of these aforementioned academic college entities (1) recommends denial of membership to the Graduate Faculty, (2) recommends appointment at a different level than applied for by the faculty member, and/or (3) offers recommendations that are inconsistent in any way or absent.

Application Procedures

To apply, the applicant must complete the Application for Appointment to the Graduate Faculty on the Graduate School website and upload the required shortened curriculum vitae (and any supplemental materials) by the appropriate deadline. 

The Graduate Council has mandated that a shortened curriculum vitae covering only the most recent five years accompany each Application for Appointment to the Graduate Faculty. This document is to be separate from one’s regular curriculum vitae.  Publications must be referenced in formal bibliographic style in reverse chronological order; also, refereed publications must be clearly identified as such. The Graduate Council further mandated precision and fidelity in the matter of authorship; that is, all authors of a publication shall be listed in the manner appearing on the title page or by-line.

1. For Level One membership, documentation of scholarly and/or professional engagement must be highlighted.
2. For Level Two membership, scholarly and/or professional publications should be listed separately from conference presentations and grant proposals. The applicant may add additional supplemental materials including, for example, a cover letter to call attention to information that may help those involved in the review process and/or copies of publications and grants.

The process for review of an application is as follows:

A.  Following the application deadline, applications, shortened CVs, and any supporting materials are routed by the Graduate School through three concurrent and independent review processes.

1. Applications are reviewed by the appropriate Department Head who then submits recommendations with narratives supporting those recommendations to the Graduate School.
2. Applications are reviewed by the appropriate Academic Dean who then submits recommendations with narratives supporting those recommendations to the Graduate School.
3. Applications are reviewed by the appropriate College Peer Review Committee; the chair of this committee then forwards recommendations with narratives supporting those recommendations to the Graduate School (with a copy of these recommendations being sent at this time to the appropriate Academic Dean).

B. Upon receipt of recommendations and the related narratives from the three academic college review entities (the College Peer Review Committee, the Department Head, and the Academic Dean), the Dean of the Graduate School and the chairperson of the Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership shall perform an administrative review of all applications along with the college recommendations; they shall forward applications that require review as specified above to the Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership for review. Those applications that do not require review by the Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership shall be submitted directly to the Graduate Council for final University approval.

C. The Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership shall assess these applications and all three recommendations from the academic college and then submit its recommendations for appointment to the Graduate Council on all applications considered. The Graduate Council shall then make a final decision, although subject to appeal, on the basis of these recommendations for appointment to the Graduate Faculty.

D. At all levels of review, a recommendation for appointment at a different level than applied for by the applicant may be made.

E. If a faculty member's application for Graduate Faculty membership is not approved, the Graduate Council will provide explanation of the basis for its decision to the Dean of the Graduate School. In the case of a denial of an application, the applicant shall be provided with a brief description of the reason for the denial.

F. The Dean of the Graduate School and the Chair of the Graduate Council will jointly provide the decision in writing to all applicants in a timely fashion.

G. After the recommendations of the Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership are submitted to the Graduate Council and the faculty member is notified of the decision, the applicant for graduate membership or the academic college may appeal the decision advanced by the Committee on Graduate Faculty Membership. This appeal will be heard by the Graduate Council with appropriate input from all involved parties and the full application file available for review. The appeal decision by the Graduate Council will be submitted to the Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs for final University approval.

Policy revised by the Graduate Council on May 13, 2014, October 14, 2014 and December 16, 2014; approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (December 19, 2014).
Policy revised by the Graduate Council on March 10, 2015; revised per Provost’s recommendations on June 24, 2015; approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (July 6, 2015).
Policy revised by the Graduate Council on March 8, 2016; approved by the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs (March 30, 2016) and the President (April 8, 2016).