The Graduate Council is composed of 10 elected and appointed graduate faculty members, providing each college with at least one faculty representative on the council, and includes one graduate student as an active member representing a constituency of the graduate student body. Additionally, there are three appointed ex officio members, including the registrar, the director of the Steen Library and a representative of the Faculty Senate. The council constitutes the primary advisory body for graduate education at the university and makes recommendations on all aspects of graduate education throughout the university. These faculty members represent not only their individual departments and colleges but also serve as important contacts and sources of information for both faculty and graduate students. Members of the council serve a three-year term.
The Graduate Council serves as an advisory body for graduate education at SFA. The council makes recommendations concerning:
- Policies and procedures relative to graduate student admission and programs;
- Membership on the graduate faculty;
- Graduate curriculum including new programs and substantive changes;
- Graduate theses, exhibitions, performances, and dissertations;
- Graduate student appeals; and
- Other matters pertaining to graduate education as requested by the dean of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the vice president for Academic Affairs, or the president of the university.
The Graduate Council shall consist of six (6) elected and three (3) appointed members of the graduate faculty. Each college shall elect one representative from the regular members of the graduate faculty in that college. Three members shall be appointed by the dean of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, subject to the principle of proportionate representation from each college on the basis of regular members of the graduate faculty in the respective colleges, and subject further to the approval of the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Both elected and appointed members of the council shall serve three-year terms. The terms shall be staggered in order to ensure that only one third of the terms expire each year. Should there be over- representation of any one term year, an adjustment will be made through the designation of two-year term elections. Should such an adjustment be necessary, the membership will be surveyed to identify those members whose term will be adjusted. Upon the expiration of a term, the council member is ineligible for re-election or reappointment for three years.
A vacancy on the council shall be filled by election or appointment, whichever is applicable to the position vacated. Should a vacancy occur at such a time when the unfilled portion of a member's term is one academic year or less, the chair of the Graduate Council may appoint a regular member of the graduate faculty from the appropriate college to fill the partial term. Under these circumstances, the person appointed to fill the partial term shall be eligible for re-election or reappointment.
The registrar, the director of libraries, a representative of the faculty senate, and a graduate student shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the council. Other ex-officio, non-voting members may be appointed to the council as determined by the dean of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, with the approval of the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
The chair of the Graduate Council shall be the dean of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The chair shall prepare the agenda and preside over the meetings of the council, establish ad-hoc committees, and appoint the membership of the council committees. He or she shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of all committees.
The secretary shall be the program coordinator of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The secretary shall have no voting privileges unless he or she is a member of the council.
Regular meetings of the Graduate Council shall be held on the fourth Thursday of each month or as otherwise determined by the chair. Members of the council shall be notified at least one week prior to a meeting.
Attendance at all meetings is the duty of the committee members. A committee member may designate a proxy to attend the meeting in the case of unavoidable absence. Proxies will be voting members of the meetings they attend.
All meetings of the council shall be conducted in accordance with parliamentary procedure specified in Robert's Rules of Order.
A simple majority of the nine voting members of the council shall be considered a quorum for the purposes of conducting business. No action of the council shall be considered valid unless it is conducted at a meeting at which a quorum is present. If a quorum is not present, the meeting shall be adjourned and a new meeting scheduled.
All matters before the council, except the amendment of by-laws, shall be decided by a simple majority vote of members present.
Matters before the council shall be submitted for a first reading at a regular meeting of the council prior to action being taken. Action may be taken at the next meeting of the council.
The standing committees of the Graduate Council shall be as follows:
- Academic Affairs Committee
- Faculty Affairs Committee
- Student Affairs Committee
The chair of the Graduate Council shall appoint the chair of the Faculty Affairs, Student Affairs and Academic Affairs committees and membership of each standing committee.
The chair of the Graduate Council shall appoint ad-hoc committees as necessary in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the Council. (Chairs of all ad-hoc committees shall be voting or ex- officio members of the council, but any member of the graduate faculty is eligible to be appointed to such committees.) Ad-hoc committees shall cease to exist once a final report has been submitted to the council.
The names of the chairs and members of committees must be announced to the council before committees may conduct business.
Amendment of Bylaws
The Graduate Council by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the council by a two-thirds vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting, and with the subsequent approval of the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
- Lorenzo Smith, acting dean, Office of Research and Graduate Studies
- Blake Buehler, graduate student representative (2024)
- Candis Carraway, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture (2025)
- Arye Chakravartty, Department of History; Faculty Senate (2024)
- Wilma Cordova, College of Liberal and Applied Arts (2024)
- Neal Cox, Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts (2024)
- Mickey Diez, registrar, Office of the Registrar
- Micki Gunter, program director, Office of Research and Graduate Studies
- Jonathan Helmke, director, Steen Library
- Rachel Jumper, James I. Perkins College of Education (2025)
- Neal Nghia Nguyen, James I. Perkins College of Education (2026)
- Kefa Onchoke, College of Sciences and Mathematics (2025)
- Jason Reese, Nelson Rusche College of Business (2026)
- Carmen Montana Schalk, College of Sciences and Mathematics (2025)
- Daniel Unger, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture (2024)