Governance of the Graduate School and Committee Procedures

The Faculty Committee on the Graduate School

The Faculty Committee on the Graduate School is comprised of representatives from all degree-granting graduate departments and programs, with 42 academic departments and programs that admit students to the University currently represented.  Meetings of the Faculty Committee are scheduled regularly during the fall and spring semesters.  These meetings are informally called “DGS meetings,” because it is the directors of graduate studies (DGSs) from the 42 departments and programs who are invited to attend.  The meetings are chaired by the dean of the Graduate School, who regularly asks staff of the Graduate School and invited guests to attend and update the Committee about matters relevant to graduate education.  The Committee advises the dean of the Graduate School and serves as the governance and oversight body for changes to Graduate School requirements, policies, or practices that require faculty approval.  The Committee, as a whole or through its subcommittees, may also make recommendations to the full faculty of the University, as necessary.  Matters that are approved by a subcommittee and require additional approval are normally sent either to the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School or to the full faculty at a University-wide faculty meeting, but not both.  The DGSs serve as the voting member of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School and fill roles as voting members on its subcommittees.  A DGS who is unable to attend a meeting of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School may send another faculty member from that DGS's department or program, in order to ensure representation and to vote on matters.  Administrative staff of the Graduate School and graduate program administrators from the academic departments and programs may attend meetings of the Committee as nonvoting members.  The Faculty Committee on the Graduate School is advised by four subcommittees that carry out much of its regular work: Policy, Curriculum, Fellowship, and Student Life and Discipline.  Members of the Curriculum, Fellowship, and Student Life and Discipline Subcommittees are appointed by the dean of the Graduate School.  Members of the Policy Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School are elected in the spring for the following year.

Policy Subcommittee

The Policy Subcommittee has eight members, two DGSs from each division, and discusses and makes recommendations on policy issues.  It is chaired by the dean of the Graduate School.  The deputy dean serves as secretary.  Typically proposals for new graduate programs are reviewed by the Policy Subcommittee, as are requirements and policies that pertain to all graduate students across existing programs.  Major exceptions to requirements and policies are also reviewed by the Policy Subcommittee.  The Policy Subcommittee may be used as a venue for discussion of proposals and of changes to processes overseen by the dean that affect all graduate students.  

Curriculum Subcommittee

The Curriculum Subcommittee has four members, one DGS from each division, and recommends approval of permanent  and permanent topics courses at the graduate level, as well as the deactivation of permanent and permanent topics courses.  (One-time-only courses may be approved by the deputy dean, without full approval of the Curriculum Subcommittee.)  The deputy dean chairs the Subcommittee.  This Subcommittee is also convened as a review body if an existing department or program has proposed significant changes to its own curriculum or requirements, provided that those changes do not conflict with Graduate School-wide requirements.  In such cases, endorsement by the Subcommittee for changes to an existing program’s curriculum or requirements is sufficient for implementation of the changes.

Fellowships Subcommittee

The Fellowships Subcommittee has eight members, two DGSs from each division, and evaluates applications for certain competitive external fellowships (including foreign study grants, such as the Fulbright).  It also reviews and recommends to the dean the recipients of the Honorific Fellowships.  It is chaired by the dean of the Graduate School, although much of its work around external fellowships is overseen by the deputy dean. 

Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline

The Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline has four members, one DGS from each division, and may be convened to review and make recommendations to the dean on student life issues, as well as on serious academic or behavioral disciplinary matters, except matters relating to sexual misconduct, which have their own separate processes overseen by the Title IX Office.  (For rules and procedures of the Subcommittee when it is called upon to adjudicate disciplinary matters and make recommendations to the dean on outcomes, see Rights, Rules, Resonsibilities, Section 2.6 – “The Graduate School.”)  The Subcommittee is chaired by the dean of the Graduate School.  The deputy dean or an associate or assistant dean serves as secretary for individual meetings or cases.