The main responsibilities of the members of the Graduate Faculty are to teach graduate students effectively, to do scholarly research and creative work of high quality, and to direct the research of graduate students. Listed below are the categories of Graduate Faculty at UNC Charlotte and the criteria indicative of the ability to fulfill these several responsibilities. Criteria for appointment and reappointment to the Graduate Faculty are developed by the Graduate Faculty of the academic departments of the University in accordance with the general criteria of the Graduate School. The criteria are then recommended to the Graduate Council. In approving these recommended criteria, the Graduate Council must insure that overall standards of scholarship, teaching, and professional activities be met.
All Graduate Faculty Criteria submitted to Graduate Council and the Graduate School must specify the unit's requirements for membership as either:
- Regular Graduate Faculty or
- Associate Graduate Faculty.
Procedures for Appointment
- On the basis of the approved criteria, the academic department will initiate the appointment process by use of a systematic review and evaluation process. Nominations for appointment or reappointment must be addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School and include a clear and convincing narrative describing how the nominee meets the criteria and should be accompanied by a vita, which clearly indicates professional achievements since the last term of appointment.
- Normally, the initial appointment to Graduate Faculty will be for three years. Subsequently, an eligible faculty member desiring a Graduate Faculty membership may be reappointed to a five-year membership by the Dean of the Graduate School upon nomination by the appropriate department.
- In order to maintain the Graduate Faculty as a viable body, individual membership is reviewed periodically. Membership on the Graduate Faculty can be terminated by the Dean of the Graduate School if a faculty member fails to meet the minimum criteria for membership.
- Normally appointments end on June 30 and begin July 1. Each spring the Graduate School will send notification to the academic departments listing those members of the Graduate Faculty whose term expires at the end of the year.
Graduate Faculty Nomination Process
The graduate faculty nomination process is electronic. College Deans, department chairs and their proxies have access to the eGFA (electronic Graduate Faculty Appointment). Download instructions for eGFA.
Categories of Membership On the Graduate Faculty
I. Regular Graduate Faculty Membership
(Approved by Graduate Council on December 4, 2007)
All full-time faculty members holding academic rank of Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor, who meet the qualifications established by their departmental faculty and approved by the UNC Charlotte Graduate Council, shall be eligible for membership in the Graduate Faculty.
Regular members of the Graduate Faculty may serve on the Graduate Council, vote in their colleges for members of the Graduate Council, vote on amendments to the Bylaws of the Graduate Faculty, and participate in graduate instruction, chair or serve on graduate student committees, and fully engage in all graduate matters within their colleges and the University.
Normally, the initial appointment to Regular Graduate Faculty will be for three years. Subsequently, the Dean of the Graduate School upon nomination may reappoint an eligible faculty member desiring a Graduate Faculty membership to a five-year membership by the appropriate department. Initial appointment of junior faculty members to the graduate faculty can be based on the potential for significant accomplishment.
II. Associate Graduate Faculty Membership
(approved by the Graduate Council on December 4, 2007)
Note: Associate Graduate Faculty combines several previously existing categories of non-regular Graduate Faculty including adjunct, ad hoc, and Professional Affiliate. Tenured or tenure-track UNC Charlotte faculty are not eligible for Associate membership to the Graduate Faculty.
Associate Graduate Faculty:
- provide instructional service in University.
- can be professionals who are exemplary practitioners in discipline; may participate as content experts in grad student research programs for advance practice.
- can carry titles of instructor, lecturer, assistant, associate or professor.
- are not eligible to serve as thesis or dissertation advisors, program advisors or chair comprehensive committees.
- should have their terminal degree awarded in their field, or demonstrated equivalent education or experience. Unit criteria must specify, clearly and unequivocally, the terminal degree for the field. Note: Department Chairs and/or Graduate Coordinators/Directors of Graduate Programs seeking Associate Graduate Faculty Status for faculty who do not hold the specified terminal degree for their field must follow the procedure specified on the Academic Affairs website: "Exceptions to the Criteria for Accreditation of the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools". This form should be used to justify why a faculty member lacking formal academic preparation should be allowed to teach.
- may be appointed for up to three years. Appointments are renewable.
Criteria for Membership to the Graduate Faculty
All members of the Graduate Faculty should hold the appropriate terminal degree for their academic discipline or demonstrated equivalent education or experience. Unit criteria must specify, clearly and unequivocally, the terminal degree for the field.
Note: Department Chairs and/or Graduate Coordinators/Directors of Graduate Programs seeking Graduate Faculty Status for faculty who do not hold the specified terminal degree for their field must follow the procedure specified on the Academic Affairs website: "Exceptions to the Criteria for Accreditation of the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools". This form should be used to justify why a faculty member lacking formal academic preparation should be allowed to teach.
B. Professional Development
Primary Criteria for Regular Graduate Faculty Appointment:
- Faculty member must show evidence of past and current, regular and consistent creative or scholarly contributions that is widely disseminated in peer reviewed contexts in professionally recognized venues. Departments must provide examples of acceptable or recommended venues.
- The outcome of creative/scholarly contribution must be evidenced by some form of dissemination, most commonly achieved by exhibition, publication or presentation in professional peer reviewed venues.
- Units must be specific concerning the criteria used to evaluate Graduate Faculty and the relative weight given to each.
- Departments must define what level of scholarly contribution is sufficient, however, it is critical that there be a consistent record of publication in recognized professional outlets such as peer reviewed journals, full-length manuscripts by a recognized press or other contributions specified by the department.
- Faculty may also engage in supplemental appropriate professional activities. These could include but should not be limited to: presentation at professional conferences, symposia and meetings, adjudication of scholarly and/or creative work for professional presentation, consulting, holding office in a professional society or organization germane to the discipline. Supplemental activities in lieu of documented record of scholarly and/or creative research would not qualify a faculty member for Regular Graduate Faculty status.
All members of the Graduate Faculty must have been actively involved in graduate education since their last review. Department criteria must specify the minimum level of teaching activity necessary to maintain a regular appointment to Graduate Faculty. These must include, but are not limited to:
- demonstrated potential to direct masters or doctoral candidates successfully. Evidence of effectiveness must, at a minimum, include the number of students directed since the last review and their time-to-degrees.
- effective teaching of graduate courses may be appraised using class or peer evaluations. A self assessment by the Graduate Faculty member could also be useful.
- planning and directing of programs of graduate students and the direction of theses and dissertations, as well as serving on graduate student committees.
- effectiveness and quality of mentoring
Initial appointments to the graduate faculty will not require this evidence of teaching performance, but evidence from previous institutions may be used in support of initial appointments if available.
Without necessarily resorting to numeric formulas, the criteria should give a person from outside the discipline a clear idea of the relative weights given to various criteria within each category. Are graduate student committees more important to the discipline than are courses? Are refereed journals more significant than other publications? What experience might substitute for a terminal degree?
In judging the fitness of an applicant for the Regular Graduate Faculty, no single criterion should be used. The primary consideration is whether the faculty member is now an active and productive scholar and effective teacher at the graduate level.