Graduate Faculty

The graduate faculty consists of the university president, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, the dean of the Graduate School, deans of the academic colleges, dean of the Honors College, dean of the libraries, and regular faculty members nominated and approved for graduate faculty status.

Graduate faculty develop curricula, teach graduate courses, guide student research, mentor graduate students, participate in the governance of graduate education, and determine criteria for graduate faculty membership.

Remaining current in one’s discipline is a special responsibility of faculty who teach at the graduate level. In particular, research, scholarship, creative activities and performance serve as models for graduate students. What constitutes a program of original work varies considerably from discipline to discipline. Quantity is not the sole criterion, and may not even be a major criterion. However, periodic evidence that one’s work has undergone independent peer review and is part of an ongoing scholarly agenda is expected. In some disciplines, graduate faculty are also expected to generate external funding through grants and contracts to support their research and scholarly activities as well as to support graduate students.

There are two categories of graduate faculty membership at Wichita State University. Candidates for graduate faculty membership must meet all department-specific criteria and the following university-specified eligibility criteria. All nominations for graduate faculty status must originate from a Wichita State University academic department. Nomination forms for initial appointment and renewal of appointment of graduate faculty status are available on the Graduate School webpage.

A summary of university-specified eligibility requirements, and duties and responsibilities for each category of graduate faculty status is provided below. A detailed description is provided in Section 5.12 of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the university (follow the link to WSU’s Policies and Procedures Manual).

Graduate Faculty

Eligibility:

  • Possess the terminal degree in the discipline or its equivalent in training and/or experience (documentation is required when equivalency is claimed from a combination of training and experience)
  • Be tenured or tenure-track WSU faculty with assistant professor or higher rank or meet established criteria for the academic unit

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Teach graduate courses
  • Serve on master's and doctoral committees
  • Chair capstone (project, thesis and dissertation) committees
  • Mentor graduate students

Duration of membership in category:

  • Ongoing till separation from the university

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

Eligibility:

  • Meet a demonstrated departmental need
  • Have earned a graduate degree or be qualified by education and/or professional achievement

Possible duties and responsibilities:

  • Teach graduate courses
  • Serve on and chair master’s thesis and terminal committees for practice doctorates
  • Serve on PhD dissertation committees
  • Other duties as appropriate

Duration of membership in category:

  • Appointment length suggested by chair of the department and approved by the dean of the Graduate School
  • Membership may be renewed through the submission of a nomination form by the academic department recommending the appointment, which should document successful performance in the preceding term

Granting of Graduate Faculty Privileges

Research productivity, scholarship, and creative activities are best evaluated by graduate faculty at the departmental/college level. The Graduate School and Graduate Council provide oversight and due process for faculty seeking grievances in this matter, but the units are best equipped to make informed decisions regarding graduate faculty membership. Based on the rigorous process used to hire, review and promote faculty, all members of the tenure-track faculty are eligible for regular graduate faculty standing. The procedure below is to be used to identify nontenure track graduate faculty members.

Each graduate program, either individually or collectively by department and/or college, can establish regular graduate faculty criteria for nontenure track faculty. These criteria must be approved at the department, college and Graduate Council levels, and should be updated at least every five years.

Departmental/College Level

Faculty who seek graduate faculty status for the first time are responsible for submitting a completed nomination form along with pertinent supporting information/documents to the department chair. The department chair will forward the candidate’s material to the Departmental/College Graduate Faculty Status Committee (see below) for consideration. After the appropriate faculty status committee has reviewed, it will submit its recommendation to the chair who will send the nomination form (with supporting information/documents) to the academic dean with his/her own recommendation and signature.

Each department and/or college should have a committee (minimum of three members) composed of graduate faculty. Using the Graduate School’s graduate faculty categories as a guideline, the college or department committee will submit criteria for each graduate faculty category to the graduate dean for approval. In order to stay current, departments/colleges will re-evaluate the criteria and submit them to the Graduate School every five years. The committee will also assess faculty who seek to have graduate faculty status (including re-appointment). A positive recommendation is defined by a simple majority vote, after which the nomination and supporting information are forwarded to their respective department chair or college dean. Faculty (including departmental chairs) whose material is under consideration cannot serve or vote on the departmental/college committee during consideration of the candidate’s material.

The college dean has the right to request from the departmental/college committee additional justification in regard to the committee’s vote or candidate’s material. In the case of a positive vote by the college dean, the completed nomination form and supporting information/documents are forwarded to the Graduate School.

Graduate Dean and Graduate Council Level

The graduate dean has the responsibility to evaluate and approve the departmental/college committee’s criteria for each graduate faculty status. In cases where the graduate dean has disagreement with criteria established by the departmental/college committee, the graduate dean may return the criteria to the departmental/college committee for revision or further justification, and may also ask the Graduate Council for their recommendation.

The Graduate School will maintain records of current graduate faculty, including their status category and date of term completion (if applicable). The Graduate School will notify graduate faculty members (and their respective department chairs) whose terms will expire in a timely manner. Review/renewal would then occur at the departmental/college level by the end of the fall semester. In addition, the Graduate School will notify the chairs to nominate newly hired faculty if they wish them to have graduate faculty status.

Once the nomination form is received by the Graduate School, the Graduate School dean may elect to confirm or deny the requested graduate faculty status. The Graduate School dean may also forward the candidate’s material to the Graduate Council for further discussion and recommendation. The Graduate School dean informs the faculty member and department chair of the final decision made regarding the granting of status.

Faculty Due Process

Each level of review should occur in a timely manner. When a negative recommendation is made (at any recommendation level), the denied recommendation form (which includes the justification for denial) is returned to the candidate (including the candidate’s materials), and a copy of the denied recommendation form is forwarded to bodies who previously granted approval.

Recommendations at all levels are based on a judgment of whether the faculty member meets the criteria set by the particular department or college. Faculty who receive a negative decision from the departmental or college committee, college dean, or Graduate School dean may petition the Graduate School dean to have their material reviewed by the Graduate Council. As part of their petition, faculty may elect to write a rebuttal to the vote justification of the departmental/college committee, college dean or Graduate School dean, and may include additional material in support of their grievance.

Revocation or Loss of Status or Suspension of Privileges

Conditions Under Which Changes in Membership Status or Loss of Privileges May Take Place

Membership status may be terminated or changed when an affiliate graduate faculty member no longer meets the eligibility requirements, or the affiliate graduate faculty member does not renew his/her membership. Nonrenewal of status, other than in cases of revocation or suspension of privileges may be appealed to the Graduate Council and the Graduate Council's disposition of appeal is final. Membership of either status may be revoked or privileges may be suspended in certain extreme cases, such as those of professional incompetence as a graduate faculty member, academic dishonesty, scholarly/scientific/creative misconduct, or gross failure to fulfill duties related to graduate faculty membership.

Procedure for Status Revocation or Suspension of Privileges

Revocation of status or suspension of privileges of a graduate faculty member may only result from Graduate Council action following a complaint lodged with the graduate dean in writing, and only if the complaint includes appropriate documentation as evidence of cause for removal of status or suspension of privileges. The complaint will be investigated by a faculty committee formed by the Graduate Council (comprising at least three regular graduate faculty members). If further action on the complaint is deemed appropriate by the investigating committee, the Graduate Council will make the final decision about the action to be taken. The accused graduate faculty member will have the right to a hearing before the investigating committee and the Graduate Council.

A complete listing of graduate faculty is available on the Graduate School web page and in the Graduate School office. Students are advised to consult this list when selecting faculty advisors for theses and dissertations.