Chapter 5: The Graduate Faculty

Admission to the Graduate Faculty
Doctoral Certification
Duties and Responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty
Special Graduate Faculty Memberships
Courses Taught by Non-Graduate Faculty

A. Admission to the Graduate Facutly

A.1 Procedure

The purpose of the Graduate Faculty is to conduct the graduate degree programs of the University. The nomination of members must be initiated by the candidate's department head and recommended by two-thirds of all eligible Graduate Faculty in the program, who are responsible for identifying qualified candidates whose service is needed in the graduate program. In Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, nominations must be initiated by the candidate's program chairperson and recommended by more than half of all eligible Graduate Faculty of the program.

A.2 Procedures for Tenured Faculty and Faculty in the Probationary Period for a Tenured Position

The Graduate Faculty assumes that the University's procedures for tenuring faculty members and appointing new faculty to tenure-earning positions are sufficient to identify qualified members of the Graduate Faculty. In the case of an already-tenured faculty member holding the terminal degree, or a faculty member in the probationary period for a tenured faculty position who holds the terminal degree, nominations are sent to the Dean of the Graduate School by the head of the nominee's department or the chairperson of the nominee's program. In every case, the Graduate Faculty of the department or program must submit a written evaluation of the candidate, including the number of faculty at the nominating session, the number eligible to vote, the number of votes in favor, the number opposed, and the role in the graduate program to be pursued by the nominee. A copy of the nominee's curriculum vita should accompany the nomination. The Dean of the Graduate School will appoint the candidate to the Graduate Faculty.

A.3 Procedures for Other Candidates

For candidates other than those covered in section A.2, the procedures outlined below will be followed. Nominations are sent to the Graduate School in duplicate on Graduate Faculty nomination forms that must be endorsed by the head of the nominee's department or the chairperson of the nominee's program. Supplemental information may be submitted, including information requested by the Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee. In every case, the Graduate Faculty of the department or program must submit a written evaluation of the candidate, including the number of faculty at the nominating session, the number eligible to vote, the number of votes in favor, the number opposed, and the role in the graduate program to be pursued by the nominee.

The Graduate School submits the nomination to the Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee, which may request clarification, additional information, or consultation. The committee returns the nomination to the Graduate School with its recommendation. If the committee, by majority vote, recommends approval, the nomination is forwarded to the Graduate Council, whose subsequent action is reported by the Dean of the Graduate School to the department head or program chairperson and to the nominee. If the committee does not recommend approval, the chairperson of the committee notifies in writing the submitting department head or program chairperson of the reasons for rejection of the nomination.

If the department or program does not agree with the decision of the Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee, the head or chairperson has the right to appeal in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School requesting that the item be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the committee and that the department head or program chairperson be allowed to discuss the decision with the committee.

A.4 Evaluation Criteria

The granting of Graduate Faculty membership by the Graduate Council is based on the candidate's having demonstrated independence in scholarship, research, or creative work; a high degree of expertise; and the ability to make significant contributions to the body of knowledge in his or her discipline. The following criteria do not guarantee admission to the Graduate Faculty, but they do form the basis for consideration:

1. A nominee must have earned the terminal degree recognized within the field of specialization. In fields in which more than one type of degree may be considered terminal or in which ambiguities exist, the departmental or program graduate faculty must address themselves specifically and in detail to this criterion as they assess the candidate's qualifications.

In the exceptional case of a candidate who does not hold a terminal degree but who is recommended by the department graduate faculty because of an outstanding national reputation in his or her field, the departmental graduate faculty must provide a particularly careful justification.

2. In fields in which research is expected, the nominee must have published at least one research article in a refereed journal. The appropriate committee is responsible for ascertaining that the nominee is a major contributor to and a principal author of the article; that the paper represents a substantial original contribution to the discipline; and that the referees apply standards accepted by the discipline.

Research, as used in these criteria, means critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical applications of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws (Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd edn, unabridged).

3. In lieu of publication in a refereed journal, there must be material evidence of research or other creative acts performances, exhibitions, published creative writings, patents that represent a comparable achievement within the nominee's field.

A candidate whose most recently published scholarly or creative work is more than five years old will normally not be considered. If the departmental or program graduate faculty judges that work done more than five years prior to nomination is of sufficient significance to justify admission to the graduate faculty, a request for an exception shall be made.

Administrative experience is inadmissible as justification for membership on the Graduate Faculty.

A.5 Effect of Employment Change

A member of the Graduate Faculty who leaves the employ of Kansas State University ceases to be a member of the Graduate Faculty but may continue as a member of a master's or doctoral committee for up to one year. A faculty member rehired by Kansas State University must be renominated for Graduate Faculty membership as a new faculty member. Exceptions may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School when sufficient justification is presented. (For rules governing the participation of emeritus faculty, see section 5.D.4.)

B. Doctoral Certification

In order to serve as the major professor for doctoral students, a Graduate Faculty member must also be certified. Doctoral certification can be sought when a faculty member is nominated for membership on the graduate faculty or at any subsequent time. Academic units that offer only a terminal master's degree may participate in certification at their discretion.

B.1 Certification Procedure

To apply for doctoral certification, graduate faculty members must provide appropriate evidence of their ability to conduct high quality graduate training at the doctoral level. The Dean of the Graduate School will communicate to academic units the types of evidence that might be included. In turn, academic units will inform the Dean of the Graduate School of their criteria and standards for doctoral certification. The Dean of the Graduate School, in consultation with the Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee, may ask for clarification or re-examination of the criteria and standards.

The scope, composition, and form of the evidence submitted in support of a nominee for certification is to be determined by the applicant in consultation with the chair/head and graduate faculty of the academic unit. Such evidence should include a statement from the applicant describing professional activities that show creativity, command of the subject, and scholarship.

As the initial step towards doctoral certification, the candidate must be recommended by a two-thirds majority vote of all the certified graduate faculty members of his or her academic unit. The chair/head of the academic unit will inform each faculty member of the outcome of the vote and forward those applications that were approved by majority vote, along with the supporting documentation, to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will forward material submitted for certification to the Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee.

In considering an application for doctoral certification, members of the committees will base their decisions on the adherence of the academic unit to its established criteria and standards for doctoral certification. The committee may also ask for further documentation or explanation on individual applications. If the committee, by majority vote, recommends approval, the recommendation is forwarded to the Graduate Council through the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean then informs the chair/head of the academic unit and the nominee, in writing, about the Council's subsequent action. If the committee does not recommend approval, the chairperson writes to the chair/head of the submitting academic unit and to the Dean of the Graduate School and explains the reasons for rejection of the application.

A person who is denied doctoral certification may seek certification at any time. An applicant may also withdraw from consideration at any time. An applicant whose academic unit has voted not to recommend him or her for certification may appeal that decision to the appropriate Graduate Council Academic Affairs Committee.

B.2 Listings of Certified Faculty

At the start of each academic year, the Dean of the Graduate School will provide heads of academic units with a list of the certified faculty in their graduate programs.

C. Duties and Responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty

Regular faculty (i.e., those with full or part-time appointments at professorial or instructor ranks) who are admitted to the Graduate Faculty may vote in elections, participate in Graduate Faculty meetings, and sit on the Graduate Council. They may serve on advisory, supervisory, and examining committees for master's degrees and doctorates; serve as major professors for master's candidates; and teach courses for graduate credit in the field of specialization as assigned by the department head; and, if certified, serve as major professors for doctoral candidates.

The Graduate Faculty maintains the broad framework for all graduate study. Within this framework, the graduate faculties of departmental and interdepartmental programs stipulate programmatic requirements for individual programs of study. Although considerable latitude is permitted, minimum requirements for admissions, courses, languages, research, and other matters are established under the authority of the Graduate Faculty.

C.1 New Graduate Faculty

It is the responsibility of the graduate faculty members in a department or program to ensure that a new graduate faculty member is provided with any necessary assistance so that the quality of his or her supervision of graduate degree candidates meets appropriate standards.

C.2 Special Duties for Program Heads

Department heads and chairpersons of interdepartmental programs must review applications for admission, programs of study, and other documents to determine that all program requirements are met. Department heads and chairpersons have the additional responsibility of giving leadership in developing programs and in reviewing ongoing graduate work.

C.3 Exceptions for Non-Graduate Faculty

With the approval of the Graduate Council, faculty other than Graduate Faculty may also teach graduate courses. In unusual cases, with the approval of the Graduate Council, scholars of exceptional attainment who do not hold a terminal degree may be permitted to serve as major professors for candidates seeking graduate degrees.

D. Special Graduate Faculty Memberships

Persons may be appointed to the graduate faculty under the following special circumstances:

D.1 Faculty from Other Regent's Institutions

Anyone holding graduate faculty membership in any of the other five Regents' institutions and having a terminal degree may be awarded full Graduate Faculty status at Kansas State University upon presentation to the Dean of the Graduate School of evidence of research activity within the past five years.

D.2 Faculty From Other Institutions

In the case of a proposed joint program between Kansas State University and an institution other than the five Regents' institutions, the Graduate School shall review that institution's requirements for graduate faculty membership and extend reciprocity if the requirements are at least as stringent as those at Kansas State University. An individual wishing to teach graduate courses or to serve on supervisory committees, but not as a major professor, may be extended limited graduate faculty status if he or she is a member of the graduate faculty of any college or university.

Anyone else seeking limited or full Graduate Faculty status at Kansas State University shall present his or her credentials for review.

D.3 Adjunct Professors

An adjunct faculty member is one who contributes to the University's educational efforts through a courtesy appointment without regular compensation. Individuals may become adjunct members of the faculty by a process defined in the University Handbook. Departments or graduate programs may deem it advantageous to include adjunct faculty as members of their graduate faculties, and may nominate adjunct faculty to be considered for admission to the Graduate Faculty according to procedures outlined elsewhere in the Graduate Handbook.

D.4 Emeritus Faculty

Upon recommendation of their department heads, retired members of the Graduate Faculty who have been actively engaged in directing graduate students and in conducting scholarship, research, or creative activities may be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School for service on graduate supervisory committees or as co-major advisors of graduate students. The Dean of the Graduate School may also appoint such faculty members to other assignments in service to the Graduate School. Such activities and assignments will generally reflect an expressed interest of the faculty member and will under normal circumstances be without pay, although compensation is not precluded.

D.5. Graduate Faculty Associate

The purpose of the Graduate Faculty Associate membership category is to permit limited Graduate Faculty membership to exceptional individuals for teaching and/or supervisory committee membership. A Graduate Faculty Associate possesses specialized training, experience, or certification required for specific teaching or committee service. Appointment to Graduate Faculty Associate is for a term of three (3) years. At the end of the term, the faculty member may be re-nominated. There is no limit to the number of terms to which a faculty member may be appointed.

Nomination to Graduate Faculty Associate must be initiated by the appropriate department, division, program, or equivalent unit, which must provide documentation for a combination of substantial professional expertise, publications or other scholarly contributions to the discipline, advanced training, degrees, certification, or recognized status in the relevant field. It is incumbent upon the administrative unit to describe the teaching and/or supervisory activities of the candidate and provide a rationale regarding the qualifications of the candidate to make significant and necessary contributions to the program. If the candidate is nominated for the purpose of teaching, the nominating unit is expected to provide a list of courses that the candidate will teach, along with detailed justification as to the qualifications the candidate has for teaching those courses. If the candidate is nominated for committee service, detailed justification as to the qualifications the candidate has for serving on the committee(s) must be included. In the event the activities of the individual change within the unit, a new nomination process must be initiated. Nomination guidelines should follow the general procedure described in Chapter 5.A.3 of the Graduate Handbook, and limitations as delineated in Chapter 5.D.6 apply.

D.6 Supervisory Committee Restrictions

A graduate supervisory committee may include one or more persons who is not a regular member of the Graduate Faculty so long as a Master's Supervisory Committee includes at least two, and a Doctoral Supervisory Committee includes at least three regular members of the Graduate Faculty and one of the regular graduate faculty members must act as the sole or co-major professor for the committee. In the case of doctoral committees, the major or co-major professor must be certified to direct dissertations.

E. Courses Taught by Non-Graduate Faculty

All graduate courses (600-level and above) shall be taught by members of the Graduate Faculty except as follows:

1. Upon certification by a department head that no member of the Graduate Faculty in that department is available to teach certain graduate courses, a faculty member who does not belong to the Graduate Faculty but who has the appropriate terminal degree, or qualifications considered to be equivalent, may teach those courses in a specific program area for no more than three one-year terms. Such persons shall be recommended by the majority of the department's graduate faculty and approved by both Graduate Academic Affairs Committee and the Graduate Council on the basis of evidence documenting their capability in the specific program area.

2. If time is insufficient for the foregoing procedure, the Dean of the Graduate School may approve faculty other than Graduate Faculty, upon the recommendation of their department heads, to teach graduate courses for a maximum of one semester. All such actions must be reported at the next meeting of the Graduate Council, together with an account of all similar prior actions for the persons involved.