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POLICY LIBRARY
POLICY
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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY

Appointments to Graduate Examination Committees

Policy Contents
Effective Date: February 2011
Last Update: February 2011
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Policy Contact:
CONSULTED WITH: Faculty Senate, UMD Graduate Council, UMD Administration Office

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

This policy governs appointments to the following graduate examination committees:

  • Master’s Final Examination Committees
  • Doctoral Preliminary Oral Examination Committees
  • Doctoral Final Oral Examination Committees

Collegiate deans or their designated representatives at the collegiate level must review the final graduate examination committee list for approval and record all graduate examination committee assignments.

I. Eligibility to Serve on Master’s Final Examination Committees

  1. Any University of Minnesota (University) tenured or tenure-track faculty member who holds an earned doctorate or designated equivalent in an appropriate field from an accredited institution may serve in any role on master’s final examination committees, including advisor.
  2. i. Other University faculty (including adjunct faculty) or staff who hold an earned doctorate or designated equivalent in an appropriate field from an accredited institution but who do not hold a tenured or tenure-track appointment may serve on master’s final examination committees, including serving as advisor.
    ii. All such appointments must be reviewed individually at the collegiate level according to a review process and criteria specified by the collegiate unit.
  3. Emeritus faculty and tenured or non-tenured faculty who have left the University may continue with master’s final examination committee assignments that were active at the time of their departure, including serving as advisor, if the faculty member and the student both agree to the continuation in writing.
  4. Experts outside of the University, whether or not they hold faculty appointments elsewhere, may serve on master’s final examination committees in any role except as advisor.  All such appointments must be reviewed individually at the collegiate level according to a review process and criteria specified by the collegiate unit.
  5. Individuals having a nonacademic relationship with the candidate may not serve on that candidate’s master’s final examination committee, as it would create a conflict of interest.  
  6. Individuals working toward a graduate degree at the University (including faculty working toward an additional degree) may not serve on a master’s final examination committee unless an exception has been granted by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education.
  7. Collegiate deans or their designated representatives must review for approval all assignments as advisor.

II. Eligibility to Serve on Doctoral Preliminary Oral Examination Committees

  1. Any University tenured or tenure-track faculty member who holds an earned doctorate or designated equivalent in an appropriate field from an accredited institution may serve in any role on doctoral preliminary oral examination committees, including advisor.
  2. Other University faculty (including adjunct faculty) or staff who hold an earned doctorate or designated equivalent in an appropriate field from an accredited institution may serve on doctoral preliminary oral examination committees. All such appointments must be reviewed individually at the collegiate level according to a review process and criteria specified by the collegiate unit.
  3. Only University faculty members (including adjunct faculty) may serve as advisors.  Collegiate deans or their designated representatives must review for approval all assignments as advisor.
  4. Emeritus faculty and tenured or non-tenured faculty who have left the University may continue with doctoral preliminary oral examination committee assignments that were active at the time of their departure, including serving as advisor, if the faculty member and the student both agree to the continuation in writing.
  5. Experts outside of the University, with or without faculty appointments elsewhere, may serve on doctoral preliminary oral examination committees.  All such appointments must be reviewed individually at the collegiate level according to a review process and criteria specified by the collegiate unit.
  6. Individuals having a nonacademic relationship with the candidate may not serve on that candidate’s doctoral preliminary oral examination committee, as it creates a conflict of interest.
  7. Individuals working toward a graduate degree at the University (including faculty working toward an additional degree) may not serve on a doctoral preliminary oral examination committee unless an exception has been granted by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education.

III. Eligibility to Serve on Doctoral Final Oral Examination Committees

  1. Any University tenured or tenure-track faculty member who holds an earned doctorate or designated equivalent in an appropriate field from an accredited institution may serve in any role on doctoral final oral examination committees, including advisor.
  2. The chair of the doctoral final oral examination committee may not be the candidate’s advisor or co-advisor. Collegiate deans or their designated representatives must review for approval all assignments as chair of the doctoral final oral examination committee.
  3. Every doctoral final oral examination committee must include at least two tenure-track or tenured University faculty members who hold earned doctorates or designated equivalents in appropriate fields from an accredited institution.  At least one of the faculty members must be tenured. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  4. Other University faculty (including adjunct faculty) or staff who hold an earned doctorate or designated equivalent in an appropriate field from an accredited institution may serve on doctoral final oral examination committees. All such appointments must be reviewed individually at the collegiate level according to a review process and criteria specified by the collegiate unit.
  5. Only University faculty members (including adjunct faculty) may serve as advisors. Collegiate deans or their designated representatives must review for approval all assignments as advisor.
  6. Emeritus faculty and tenured or non-tenured faculty who have left the University may continue with doctoral final oral examination committee assignments that were active at the time of their departure, including serving as advisor, if the faculty member and the student both agree to the continuation in writing.
  7. Experts outside of the University, with or without faculty appointments elsewhere, may serve on doctoral final oral examination committees in any role except as advisor or chair.  All such appointments must be reviewed individually at the collegiate level according to a review process and criteria specified by the collegiate unit.
  8. Individuals having a nonacademic relationship with the candidate may not serve on that candidate’s doctoral final oral examination committee, as it creates a conflict of interest.
  9. Individuals working toward a graduate degree at the University (including faculty working toward an additional degree) may not serve on a doctoral final oral examination committee unless an exception has been granted by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education.

IV.  Exceptions

Collegiate deans or their designated representatives at the collegiate level may authorize assignments to master’s and doctoral committees that do not fully conform to policy statements Ia, Ibi, Ic, lla, IIb, llc, lld,, IIla, IIId, IIle, and IIlf. An exception request, as well as the decision to grant it or deny it, must be in writing.

V.  Documentation

Each college must have a set of publicly available standards, processes, and forms for appointments to all roles on graduate examining committees, with special attention to requirements for advisors and for chairs of the doctoral final oral examination committee.

VI.  Local Policies

Collegiate units may develop more specific local policies so long as they conform to the policy statements listed above.

REASON FOR POLICY

To ensure quality, consistency, and fairness in standards and practices for final examinations of master’s candidates and preliminary and final examinations of doctoral candidates.

PROCEDURES

There are no procedures related to this policy.

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

There are no forms associated with this policy.

APPENDICES

There are no appendices associated with this policy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Primary Contact(s)
612-625-6977
612-625-6532

DEFINITIONS

Designated equivalent
A terminal post-baccalaureate degree qualifying the recipient to teach at the university level in his or her field. Example: MFA.
Nonacademic relationship
A personal relationship OR a financial relationship not connected with the student's academic program.

RESPONSIBILITIES

There are no specific responsibilities associated with this policy.

RELATED INFORMATION

There is no related information associated with this policy.

HISTORY

Effective:
February 2011

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Last modified on September 2, 2014