Date: May 16, 2001
Approved: Dennis Nielsen
Revised: April 30, 2003
Approved: David C. Danahar
Revised: April 2014
Approved: Connie J. Gores
Date Effective: August 1, 2014
Southwest Minnesota State University
Graduate Faculty Status
Duties for Graduate Faculty
- To be eligible to teach graduate courses a faculty member has to obtain a graduate faculty status. Status could be conferred retroactively in cases of emergency or other extenuating circumstances.
- Show active involvement in the graduate program activities.
- Provide opportunities for challenging and rigorous learning for courses or projects.
- Provide regular feedback to students on their progress in learning for courses or projects.
- Be an advocate for graduate students during the project development and completion.
- Work with students on a regular basis during the work on the project.
- Be guided by a high standard of professionalism in interactions with graduate students involved in the teaching/learning, mentorship, and professional development process.
- There are two levels of graduate status: full and associate. Applications are processed through the Graduate Council
Who Can Apply
Candidates include probationary, tenure-track, fixed-term, adjunct, or Adult Education (AE) faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University faculty. Potential graduate faculty referred by a department needing or proposing a graduate course may also apply for graduate faculty status. Home departments, graduate programs, and the Graduate Council will make recommendation(s) to the administration on the graduate faculty appointments.
Full Member of the Graduate Faculty
Full members of the SMSU graduate faculty shall hold a doctoral degree, or another degree nationally recognized as the terminal degree in that discipline. In addition to academic preparation, full members of the graduate faculty shall demonstrate a record of ongoing scholarly activity. Full members of the graduate faculty may teach any level of graduate courses, may be advisors of graduate students, chair student examining committees, and direct theses or alternate plan papers.
Associate Member of Graduate Faculty
Associate members of the SMSU graduate faculty shall have a masters/specialist degree in the area taught from a nationally recognized institution; whereas, adjunct faculty must possess a terminal degree in the area taught from a nationally recognized institution. Associate status may be established based on a special expertise in a particular course within the degree program. Such special expertise shall be documented and accompanied with a letter of support from the department chair. Associate members of the graduate faculty may serve on student examining committees in their area of specialization by virtue of academic and professional training or experience.
AE Associate Member of Graduate Faculty
AE Associate members of the SMSU graduate faculty shall have at least a masters/specialist degree in the area taught from a nationally recognized institution. Associate status may be established based on a special expertise in a particular course. Such special expertise shall be documented and accompanied with a letter of support from the department chair.
Note: In addition, AE Associate members must follow the AE Policies and Procedures.
Who Can Apply
Candidates may include probationary, tenure track, fixed term, adjunct or adult education (AE) faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University.
Process for Obtaining Full and Associate Membership in the Graduate Faculty
- Candidates complete the Graduate Faculty Application found on the Academic Deans' webpage.
- The “Graduate Faculty Application” is submitted to the faculty member’s Department for recommendation. The Graduate Faculty Application and recommendation is then submitted in a timely manner to the Department in which the appropriate Graduate Program is located, if different from the faculty member’s D/AU. For adjunct/fixed term/AE faculty proposed to teach in a Graduate Program the Graduate Faculty Application will be submitted to the discipline area in which the course is listed (only if different from the Graduate Program) for a recommendation to the Graduate Program. All recommendations are shared with the faculty member.
- If the faculty member’s Department chooses not to make a recommendation, this decision must be conveyed in a timely manner to the Department in which the appropriate Graduate Program is located, if different from the faculty member’s Department. The decision is shared with the faculty member.
- The D/AU in which the appropriate Graduate Program is located then submits in a timely manner the Graduate Faculty Application and all recommendations to the Graduate Council for review. If the Department in which the appropriate Graduate Program is located chooses not to make a recommendation, this information, along with the faculty member’s application shall be submitted to the Graduate Council.
- The Graduate Council then develops a recommendation with regard to inclusion in the “Graduate Faculty” and shares this recommendation with the faculty member.
- A faculty member who does not receive a positive recommendation from either faculty member’s Department or the Graduate Program may appeal to the Graduate Council. The appeal would require a personal interview with the committee. Prior to the interview, the chair of the Graduate Council would request an explanation of action taken by the applicant’s Department and, if necessary, the Department in which the appropriate Graduate Program is located and distribute the explanation(s) to the committee and the applicant. After the interview and further deliberation the committee shall make a final recommendation and share it with the faculty member.
- The Graduate Council shall then forward the names and all recommendations of faculty members who have received the committee’s positive recommendation for inclusion in the Graduate Faculty to the Dean of Graduate Studies for acceptance or denial of Graduate Faculty status.
- In the case of denial, the faculty member may appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies for a meeting with the Chair of the Graduate Council and the Dean of Graduate Studies to discuss the denial. Following the meeting the Dean of Graduate Studies shall issue a final decision with regard to the Graduate Faculty status.
A faculty member who already has graduate faculty status by meeting the standards of the original SMSU Graduate Faculty policy is not required to renew that status but may choose to apply for renewal based on the new policy. New applications for Graduate Faculty status may be submitted at any time. Each department is responsible for submitting changes in Graduate Faculty status each catalog year. Submitted and approved applications will be kept by the Chair of the Graduate Council.