Stephen F. Austin State University

Graduate Faculty Membership

Membership on the graduate faculty is required for those faculty who are active in at least one of the areas of responsibility for graduate education at SFA. These responsibilities include teaching graduate courses in the area of one's expertise; directing theses and dissertations, as well as serving on thesis and dissertation advisory committees; serving on the University Graduate Council; and serving on the University Research Council. A member of the graduate faculty is appointed for a five-year term by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs upon the recommendation of the department chair, academic dean, University Graduate Council, and Dean of the Graduate School.

Responsibilities of Membership on the Graduate Faculty

Membership on the Graduate Faculty at all levels carries responsibilities as well as privileges. All members are expected to: maintain an active program of scholarship and remain current in the literature, methodologies, and techniques of their respective disciplines; contribute to the establishment of appropriate standards for admission and retention of qualified students into the graduate programs of the University; contribute to the establishment of appropriate criteria for conferring graduate degrees; contribute to the development of quality curricula; promote the highest standards of student scholarship; and contribute to the establishment and maintenance of an environment of learning and achievement among graduate faculty and students.

Types of Membership, Criteria for Selection, and Privileges

  1. Regular member
    1. Criteria for Selection:
      1. Terminal degree
      2. Appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor or above
      3. Appropriate level of professional or scholarly/creative activities in discipline (as evidenced by some of the following: consultancies, performances, published and unpublished work, work presented at professional meetings, grant applications, faculty development, serving as an officer in a professional society, graduate courses taught, theses directed, etc.)
    2. Privileges:
      1. Serving a five-year term subject to review in the fifth year
      2. Teaching graduate courses in the member's area of expertise
      3. Directing theses and dissertations, serving on thesis and dissertation committees, and comprehensive examination committees, in the member's area of expertise, as appropriate.
      4. Eligible to serve on the Graduate Council
      5. Eligible to serve on the Research council
  2. Limited Member
    1. Criteria for Selection:
      1. Terminal degree or achievement of professional accomplishment of an unusually high order, or the attainment of professional expertise by virtue of training and experience.
      2. Appointment at the rank of lecturer or adjunct faculty
    2. Privileges:
      1. Serving a five-year term subject to review in the fifth year
      2. Teaching graduate courses in the member's area of expertise
      3. Serving as a member of a thesis or dissertation committees and comprehensive exam committees
  3. Affiliate member (To be used for persons with limited affiliation with SFASU or under special circumstance)
    1. Criteria for Selection:
      1. Terminal degree or the equivalent* in the person's principal area of expertise
      2. Or achievement of professional accomplishment of an unusually high order, or the attainment or professional expertise by virtue of training or experience, that is otherwise unavailable in the graduate faculty of the applicant's department
      3. Five years of experience in the area of expertise or service on a thesis or dissertation committee or on a comprehensive examination committee.
    2. Privileges:
      1. Serving a five-year term subject to review the fifth year
      2. Serving as a member of a thesis of dissertation advisory committee
      3. Participating in the evaluation of a student's credentials for a graduate degree, including serving on a comprehensive examination committee.
  4. Emeritus Member
    1. Criteria for Selection:
      1. Graduate faculty membership at time of retirement from SFASU
      2. Appointment to emeritus faculty status
    2. Privileges:
      1. Serving an unspecified term subject to review only as requested by the Dean of the Graduate School
      2. Performing duties as specified by the department chair and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. For example, teaching graduate courses in the member's area of expertise or serving on thesis and dissertation advisory committees and comprehensive examination committees.Termination and Non-Renewal of Membership Non-reappointment to the graduate faculty may be for any of the following reasons:
  5. Termination and Non-Renewal of Membership
    Non-reappointment to the graduate faculty may be for any of the following reasons:
    1. Omission of supporting evidence for review
    2. Lack of maintaining appropriate levels of professional or scholarly/creative activities in one's discipline; or
    3. Inactivity in graduate education
*Note: In exceptional circumstances, special training in recognized institutions (such as conservatories or research institutes) or the attainment of nationally recognized licenses/certificates may be judged to satisfy the requirement for advanced degrees. Extensive practical experience in activities related directly to one's faculty appointment and resulting in wide recognition at the regional and/or national levels may also satisfy the requirement for advanced degrees.

Graduate Faculty Review Process

Membership on the graduate faculty is required for those faculty members who are active in at least one of the areas of responsibility for graduate education at SFASU. These responsibilities include teaching graduate courses in the member's area of expertise; directing exhibitions, theses and dissertations, as well as serving on exhibition, thesis and dissertation advisory committees; serving on the University Graduate Council; and serving on the University Research Council. A member of the graduate faculty is appointed initially for a five-year term by the Vice President for Academic Affairs upon the recommendation of the academic unit head, academic dean, and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Membership on the graduate faculty carries with it the responsibility for active participation in the graduate program and for maintaining the highest possible level of professional competence in the member's discipline. As a means of maintaining high standards, the university requires regular members to undergo a review of their performance every five years, respectively, starting from the date of their initial appointment or reappointment. The review procedure will be initiated by the Dean of the Graduate School, who will ask each faculty member scheduled for review to prepare and present information pertinent to the review (see Graduate Faculty Membership Application form). First appointments will be initiated by the academic unit and must include similar information.

The academic unit head, academic dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School will, in order, review the material and make recommendations to the Provost and Vice president for Academic Affairs, who will make the decision on renewal.

Each faculty member reviewed shall be evaluated by all members of one's academic department holding regular (full or associate) status on the graduate faculty. The evaluation shall be with regard to one's contribution to graduate education at SFASU, professional and scholarly/creative activities, and the programmatic needs of the department. Recommendation should then be forwarded to the academic unit head that the candidate be reappointed for a full term on the graduate faculty, or be removed from the graduate faculty.

When a recommendation for non-reappointment is made, a faculty member may file an appeal. An appeal of a decision to remove a person from graduate faculty status must be filed within thirty days of notice of the decision to remove the faculty member and should follow the policy 7.25, http://www.sfasu.edu/policies/faculty-disagreements.pdf.

Non-reappointment to the graduate faculty may be for any of the following reasons:

1. Omission of supporting evidence for review
2. Lack of maintaining appropriate levels of professional or scholarly/creative activities in one's discipline; or
3. Inactivity in graduate education

Graduate Faculty Membership Application and Renewal Form

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Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017