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Doctoral Faculty Membership

Doctoral faculty membership is required to chair doctoral examination or dissertation committees. Membership is granted for a specific department/program; thus, it is possible to have doctoral faculty status in more than one department or program.
Doctoral faculty membership is department dependent and must be renewed every 5 years.
Doctoral faculty nominations originate in individual departments or programs. Refer to the departmental/program policies for criteria and procedures necessary to initiate the nomination process.

General Policies on Doctoral Faculty Membership

The nominee must possess an earned doctorate. Exceptions may be made for cases in which the candidate has demonstrated the equivalent of a doctorate in professional achievement. Petitions for substitution of professional achievement shall require approval by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies, as designated by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Senate.
During the past 5 years the nominee should have published books, edited chapters, and/or articles in refereed journals that have national reputations; or shown other evidence of scholarly and/or creative activity no less than that established by departmental/program standards. The nominee’s recent participation in directing theses and dissertations, serving on graduate student thesis or dissertation committees, graduate teaching, and other scholarly activities are important considerations.


(Approved by the Graduate Faculty Senate – March 18, 2003)

Doctoral Faculty Nomination & Reappointment Procedures

Based on the “Criteria for Doctoral Faculty Membership” established by the Intercampus Doctoral Council in 1974 and affirmed by the Graduate Faculty Senate in 2002, there is a formal certification procedure for membership in or reappointment to the MU’s doctoral faculty.

Initial Membership: Departmental or program doctoral faculty vote on recommendations for initial membership in the doctoral faculty. These recommendations are subsequently reviewed for conformance to departmental/program standards for doctoral faculty by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies. This review will result in either a recommendation for approval or postponement until requirements are met. In cases where postponement is recommended, the Graduate Faculty Senate Executive Committee will be asked to assist in the review.

Faculty From Departments Without Doctoral Degree Programs: Faculty from departments/units that do not award doctoral degrees can attain doctoral faculty status by petitioning for affiliation with a doctoral degree granting program in a related discipline. Doctoral faculty from the affiliated program will provide the nomination for initial membership and serve as the reviewing body for renewal. In the event that affiliation with an appropriate doctoral degree granting department cannot be made, the Graduate Faculty Senate Executive Committee will serve as the nominating and renewal entity.

Transfer of Doctoral Faculty Status: Doctoral faculty members transferring from any department or campus within the University of Missouri System to the MU campus shall retain and be accorded the full status of their current doctoral faculty appointments.

Procedure

The following information should be provided in the order listed for initial membership or reappointment consideration.

  1. A copy of the approved department/program doctoral faculty criteria. The criteria should include when they were  last revised/approved. Faculty should take this opportunity to review criteria for necessary updates or revisions.
  2. A signed cover letter from the department/program chair/director of graduate studies indicating the departmental/program decision. The letter should also briefly and specifically detail how the nominee meets the departmental/program doctoral faculty criteria. Please note any special circumstances necessary for proper review, such as those regarding the nomination of faculty new to MU.
  3. A current curriculum vitae for the nominee in a format that clearly delineates the faculty member’s achievements, with respect to the department/program doctoral faculty criteria. Ensure that contributions to or participation in graduate education, as required by departmental/program criteria, are specifically noted in the documentation.
  4. Send the requested documents electronically to Anita Cowan in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Renewal of Doctoral Faculty Status

  1. If departmental/program criteria have changed since the last doctoral faculty appointment, renewal decisions will be based upon the most recent criteria established for new doctoral faculty nominees.
  2. All persons seeking renewal will be required to submit a summary of relevant activities in the format required by the department/program.
  3. Activity summaries will be reviewed and endorsed or rejected by the doctoral faculty in the department/program for which renewal is sought.
  4. Procedures for renewal:
    1. Notification to departments or programs of faculty to be reviewed/renewed by the Office of Graduate Studies (notification is typically sent to departments/programs each November);
    2. Completion of the summary of activities by the faculty member to be renewed;
    3. Review and recommendation by doctoral faculty in the department/program;
    4. Submission of the recommendation to Anita Cowan in the Office of Graduate Studies for consideration by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies. In the event of a negative decision, an appeal, or a recommendation that does not appear to be consistent with the stated guidelines for the department/program, the nominees’s file will be sent to the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Senate for review and disposition;
    5. The Office of Graduate Studies notifies the chair/director/director of graduate studies and nominee of the decision.

Checklist

  • Dated copy of approved doctoral faculty criteria
  • Signed cover letter indicating decision and detailing how the nominee meets criteria
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae for the nominee highlighting the departmental criteria

Doctoral Faculty Criteria

New or updated doctoral faculty criteria must be approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies, as designated by the Graduate Faculty Senate.

Creating & Updating Criteria for Doctoral Faculty

All departmental/program doctoral faculty criteria must meet the minimum threshold established in 1974 by the Intercampus Doctoral Council in the General Policies on Doctoral Faculty Membership. It must also conform to the current Graduate Faculty Senate policy, updated in 2003. Below are essential elements and items to consider when creating or changing departmental/unit doctoral faculty criteria.

After department/program faculty vote of to approve criteria, send an electronic copy for consideration by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies to Anita Cowan.

Essential Elements of the Document

  • Spell out the nomination/renewal procedures to include:
    • Required submission of a summary of relevant activities
    • Process for how recommendations are made by vote of the departmental doctoral faculty
      • Vote: simple majority, two-thirds, unanimous, etc.
  • Include appeal process in event of negative decision at departmental/program level
  • Include appeal process in the event of a negative decision at the Office of Graduate Studies level
    • Typical wording – “In the event of an appeal of a negative decision, the Graduate Faculty Senate Executive Committee will adjudicate the matter.”
  • List the criteria to include:
    • Same or different for initial versus renewal appointments
    • Review period (i.e., previous 5 years, unless initial nomination is for a faculty member who has been at MU fewer than 5 years)
    • Membership on the graduate faculty required
    • Earned degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Musical Arts, or equivalent in degree required
      • Note: Petitions for substitution of professional achievement require approval by the Graduate Faculty Senate Executive Committee or its designee.
    • Applicant shall have published books, edited chapters, and/or articles in refereed journals that have national reputations; or shown other evidence of scholarly and/or creative activity. – must give examples of scholarship that are acceptable
    • Participation in directing theses and dissertations, graduate teaching, serving on thesis and/or dissertation commitees – must give examples of participation in graduate education that are acceptable

Special Considerations for Adjunct/Affiliated Faculty or Interdisciplinary Programs

Typically, all nominations for doctoral faculty are reviewed by the department/unit in which the faculty member has an appointment. However, because of the unique nature of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work, departments/units have the option of accepting the doctoral faculty status that a faculty member has obtained in their home department. This alleviates the burden of multiple reviews, on both the reviewing unit and candidate, who has multiple affiliations. Suggested wording is as follows:

  • “In accordance with the Graduate Faculty Senate policy, faculty formally associated with the “Department/Unit Name” that are already appointed members of the doctoral faculty in their home departments are not required to be re-reviewed. Instead, the “Department/Unit Name” will notify the Office of Graduate Studies about all newly affiliated doctoral faculty for records purposes.”