Vision Statement for Distance Education
Graduate Council Members 2015-16
Graduate Faculty Listing
Membership in the Graduate Faculty
Criteria for Membership
Evidence of Appropriate Degree
Evidence of On-going Scholarly and Professional Work
Documented Committment to Graduate Education
Commitment to Professional and Ethical Behavior at all Times
Processes of Designation, Continuation, and Appeal
Process of Continuation
Process of Appeal
The mission of The Graduate School is to provide rigorous advanced instruction, applied research opportunities, financial support, and other support services for graduate students. The Graduate School upholds high program and academic standards in serving the needs of the region, state, and nation. The Graduate School also takes into account the increasing availability of information and the resultant creation of knowledge made possible by advances in technology.
The vision of graduate distance education is to provide high-quality courses and services so that students may access learning opportunities through the use of appropriate technology and alternative methods of delivery.
The Graduate Council is responsible for providing and periodically revising basic educational philosophy for graduate programs, for ensuring the maintenance of high standards in the graduate programs offered and for proposing and recommending to the Faculty Senate new graduate programs. The Graduate Council reviews new courses to be offered for graduate credit as well as other changes in the content of individual graduate programs. The Graduate Council is responsible for ensuring that general admission policies as established by the Board of Trustees and specific policies approved for individual graduate programs are maintained. The Graduate Council hears graduate students’ appeals of grades and petition decisions made at the program level. The Graduate Council reports its curriculum and standards actions to the Faculty Senate executive committee.
Each graduate degree program shall have one representative who is a voting member of Graduate Council.
Members of Graduate Council serve two-year terms. One-half of the Council is appointed by the respective program at the conclusion of the spring semester in odd-numbered years for a term of office beginning the following fall semester. The other half of the Council is appointed in even-numbered years. Members may be reappointed with no term limit.
Ex officio: The dean of The Graduate School, the dean of the Library, the dean of Lifelong Learning, the Registrar, and the Graduate Student Association president.
Administrative support for Graduate Council is provided by the Graduate School.
In support of continuing high quality graduate education at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and in recognition of accreditation standards, the following policy for a Graduate Faculty has been adopted.
In terms consistent with the mission of the University, this policy defines a Graduate Faculty, describes the criteria for membership in the Graduate Faculty, and describes the process by which individual selection is made.
There are three categories of membership in the Graduate Faculty at UTC: Full, Associate, and Special. Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses and undertake other responsibilities, as described below.
Full members of the Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses; direct theses, dissertations, and doctoral projects; and serve on thesis, dissertation, and doctoral project committees. They are eligible for election to the Graduate Council. Membership in this category is provided for individuals who are full-time tenured, tenure-track, or research or clinical faculty. Full membership is a five year appointment and a faculty may be reappointment by reapplying for membership.
Associate members of the Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses, serve on thesis and dissertation committees, and are eligible for election to the Graduate Council, but are not eligible to direct theses and dissertations. Membership in this category is provided for individuals who do not meet all the criteria for full membership but are full-time tenured, tenure-track or research or clinical faculty. Associate membership is a five year appointment and a faculty may be reappointment by reapplying for membership.
Special members may teach specific graduate courses or serve on specific thesis and dissertation committees. Special membership status of the Graduate Faculty may be granted to visiting or adjunct faculty of the University or individuals working in business, industry, or the government who have special academic expertise or professional experience and who demonstrate competence in a particular course of instruction or field of study but who otherwise do not meet all the criteria for associate or full membership. Individuals appointed to special membership are not eligible for election to Graduate Council. Special membership is limited to a three year appointment and may be renewed if necessary.
The criteria for membership in the Graduate Faculty are designed to advance the specific programs of the University, and it is expected that participating graduate programs, the Graduate Council, and the Graduate School will periodically review the selection criteria.
For full members of the Graduate Faculty in doctoral or master’s programs: an earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline. The degree should have been awarded by a regionally accredited institution or its international equivalent. Associate members of the Graduate Faculty and special members who will teach graduate courses must have a graduate degree.
1. Graduate Faculty must have maintained active and recent scholarship in fields of expertise. While research and scholarly production may be defined differently in each discipline or academic competence, the following guidelines are relevant:
a. The activity involves a studious inquiry or examination.
b. The results of scholarship and other professional production are peer-reviewed, depending upon the mode of scholarly production. For example, in the performing arts, there may be a provision for formal, public, peer evaluation. In other disciplines there may be a provision for peer evaluation of products such as archival or published research, presentations before professional societies, licensure and certification, or significant consulting activity. Classified or “sensitive but unclassified” efforts will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
3. Evidence for commitment to graduate education may have been demonstrated at this University or at another institution by activities such as the following:
- teaching graduate classes
- conducting scholarly activity
- directing internships, projects, theses, and dissertations
- serving on committees for projects, theses, and dissertations
- serving on Graduate Council, if elected
- serving on Graduate Council committees, if designated
- advising graduate students
- serving as a graduate program coordinator
- developing graduate programs and courses
- participating in graduate recruitment activities
- developing research facilities
Demonstration of a commitment to graduate education by new members of the faculty in the first year of hiring may be determined in the employment or hiring interview.
All graduate faculty are expected to abide by the same behavioral standards as the entire university faculty and/or discipline-specific behavioral standards, such as those required for program accreditation or accepted practice. The university’s standards can be found within Section 5 of the university’s faculty handbook (click here to go directly to this section). (Addition approved by Graduate Council spring 2013)
IMPORTANT: The following is the sequential order that must be followed for Graduate Faculty appointment as a full or associate member. Any application not using the prescribed application form and C.V. form will be returned. (See appointment to special membership for exception to this requirement.)
1. Full and associate membership appointment process:
a. The faculty member will initiate the nomination/application process in his/her academic department / instructional unit with an application submitted to the department head. The application packet will include 1) the application form, 2) an abbreviated curriculum vita following the prescribed format and 3) documentation that the applicant meets SACS requirements to teach at the graduate level.
b. The department head will route the application packet through an approved departmental review and recommendation process. For example a departmental Rank, Tenure, and Reappointment Committee could serve this function. If a departmental committee is not available for review then a college level committee can serve this role. Departments must have written guidelines that conform to the Criteria for Membership. The departmental guidelines must be approved by a majority of the departmental graduate faculty and the academic dean of the college.
c. The recommendation of the departmental committee will be forwarded to the department head who, along with his/her recommendation, will submit under his/her signature the application packet to the dean of the college.
d. The recommendation of the academic dean, along with the application packet will be forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School. The final decision to grant a Graduate Faculty appointment will reside with the Dean of the Graduate School, whose decision will be based on the relevant departmental and/or college guidelines and the information provided by the applicant.
NOTE: In some cases—typically in an instance of trans-disciplinary research and teaching and in inter-disciplinary research and teaching where there may be no single departmental discipline to advocate the appointment—the Dean of the College or the Dean of the Graduate School may initiate the process. He or she will submit the case for approval by the graduate faculties of the program(s) concerned with the projected research and teaching, after which the normal process will be followed.
In the case of interdisciplinary programs or college-based programs, as opposed to department-based graduate program structures, case-by-case modifications to the above appointment process steps may be made as appropriate and as approved by the relevant department faculty, department heads, college dean(s), and the Dean of the Graduate School.
2. Special membership appointment process:
The applicant must provide a completed application form and an abbreviated curriculum vita or resume specifically addressing his/her expertise to the department head in the program where the appointment will reside. The department head must provide a letter of justification for the requested Special membership request, the application packet, and his/her recommendation to the academic dean of the college. All of these materials along with the recommendation of the dean shall be forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School. The final decision to grant Special Graduate Faculty status will reside with the Dean of the Graduate School.
Process of Continuation
Upon completion of a Graduate Faculty term, a faculty member’s status will be reviewed for reappointment to the Graduate Faculty, in accordance with the relevant approved department and college guidelines.
1. The process of continuation varies somewhat according to the three categories of membership.
a. For faculty holding Full Membership, credentials are reviewed at the time of initial appointment and every five years thereafter through a reapplication process.
b. Faculty holding Associate Membership, status is reviewed every five years for continuation as an associate member or for acceptance as a full member. At the request of an associate member, his or her status may be reviewed for acceptance as a full member at any time when a change in circumstances warrants such change in designation. This process requires a reapplication process.
c. For faculty holding Special Membership, appointments will be reviewed after three years and may be renewable at the request of the appointing department.
All re-appointments require department head and academic dean signatures.
2. Individuals not meeting the credentials and/or behavioral standards outlined in the Criteria for Membership section of this document and as defined by a specific graduate program may have their graduate faculty status revoked on the recommendation of the department head and college dean. (Additional approved by Graduate Council spring 2013)
Process of Appeal
If a faculty member’s application for membership in the Graduate Faculty is not approved in the normal process described above, or if it is approved for a category other than the one sought, a written appeal may be made to the next approval level in the process. For example if the department head does not approve a nomination, the applicant may appeal to the academic dean of the college. Applications that are not approved by the Dean of the Graduate School may appeal to the Provost and to the Chancellor.
For list of Graduate Faculty Members, please go to: