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Graduate Faculty membership is required to teach graduate-level courses (University of Missouri Graduate Faculty and Board of Curators, 1921).
Particular types of graduate faculty membership are required to chair master’s thesis committees, to vote on graduate education issues brought to the faculty by the Graduate Faculty Senate, and to serve as a member on doctoral examination and dissertation committees.

Graduate instructors must possess a relevant academic degree and hold a degree at least one level above the level of instruction, except in programs for terminal degrees or when equivalent experience is established. Graduate Faculty Status is required to teach a graduate or cross-level course at the University of Missouri. Graduate students do not qualify for Graduate Faculty membership.  There are three types of graduate faculty:

Graduate Faculty Status “A”

Those with Graduate Faculty Status “A” may serve on and chair master’s committees and may serve on or co-chair doctoral committees. “A” status faculty must meet the definition of faculty as outlined by the University of Missouri Faculty Bylaws and are granted voting rights in regard to and may serve on the Graduate Faculty Senate. “A” status does not require renewal.

Those with Status A must be full-time faculty members at the University of Missouri as defined by the faculty bylaws.  Status A is what might be considered the “traditional” type of graduate membership. Both full-time tenure track and non-tenure track faculty could qualify for Status A.

Graduate Faculty Status “B”

Those with “B” Status may also serve on and chair master’s committees and may serve on and/or co-chair doctoral committees. However, because they do not meet the definition of faculty as outlined by the University of Missouri Faculty Bylaws, they are not granted voting rights in regard to and may not serve on the Graduate Faculty Senate, but may vote at the program level if the program so desires. “B” status does not require renewal.

Status B is an offshoot of Status A.  In terms of rights, the only difference between Statuses A and B is the faculty member’s ability to vote on campus issues.  If the academic program is giving someone B status, the program is wanting that person to play an integral role in their graduate program and giving that person a permanent membership to their graduate faculty for the time that person is a faculty member at another university.  To that end, Status B should be bestowed upon someone who emulates the experiences and qualifications of a Status A faculty member; however, the Status B faculty member is not a full-time faculty member at the University of Missouri, but is one at a different university. Many programs would likely not use Status B unless there is some type of formalized agreement with a faculty member or program at a different university (e.g., faculty member from another university with a courtesy appointment working with a multi-institution degree program).

Retired faculty members can retain graduate membership with the recommendation of the department or program.  Faculty members who retire will be moved from Status A to Status B for five years from the date of their retirement so they can finish any commitments to students’ committees they were chairing while still on the MU faculty. Those faculty members also qualify for doctoral faculty status during that time. Once the five years are complete or upon degree completion of all student committees, retired faculty should use Status C.  Programs can petition to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies for an extension (one-year extension at a time) for the purpose of finishing commitments to chair a student’s committee. In all cases, the retired faculty member must have been the student’s committee chair prior to retirement.

Graduate Faculty Status “C”

Those with “C” status represents those who do not posses an appropriate terminal degree (as designated by a graduate degree program) and/or for those where it is appropriate for limited interaction with a graduate degree program. Those with “C” status can serve on master’s and doctoral committees and teach appropriate graduate-level courses in accordance with Graduate Faculty Senate policy. Those with “C” status must be reappointed every 2 years. They are not granted voting rights in regard to and may not serve on the Graduate Faculty Senate, but may vote at the program level if the program so desires.

Status C is what was formerly the “affiliate” status and it can be used in vastly different cases or ways. Again, if someone is a graduate student currently, they may not have any type of graduate faculty status.  

Status C is appropriate for retired faculty because engagement with the department is in a temporary or limited nature (understanding that for some faculty, “temporary” could mean several years).  As noted above, Status B is granted to retired faculty for five years past retirement to complete any chairing commitments to current student. Status C limits the sole chairing of committees, but Status C faculty can co-chair with a faculty member having the appropriate status (A, B, doctoral).

Status C could also be used to give someone without a terminal degree (yet has relevant knowledge and experiences that could be important to a graduate course or student’s committee) a way to engage in graduate education in a limited fashion (e.g., teach a specific class or to serve as a member of one or more graduate students’ committee).

Finally, Status C gives someone with a terminal degree, but does not meet the definition of MU faculty (postdoctoral fellow, part-time adjuncts) the opportunity to engage in graduate education, but in a limited fashion. Again, Status A and B comes with some permanence to their status.

Graduate Faculty Nomination & Renewal Procedures

Nomination Procedure

There is a formal application process for Graduate Faculty membership. The Director of Graduate Studies or Department Chair/Director should include the following information in an email to Anita Cowan ():

  • A letter (submitted as a PDF) including the following:
    • Name of the faculty member to be nominated
    • Type of membership being sought (A, B, or C)
    • Highest degree earned, including institution
    • Current appointment at MU (or elsewhere for B and C types)
    • Brief rationale for membership type requested (consider including previous graduate teaching and advising)
      • any special circumstances, if applicable
  • A current curriculum vitae (PDF preferred)

Renewal Procedure (Membership “C” Only)

The only membership type (among A, B, C) requiring renewal is membership “C.”  Assuming the circumstances (e.g., position, types of graduate teaching/advising) have not changed, an email sent to Anita Cowan () from the DGS or Department Chair/Director requesting the renewal with a note that the circumstances have not changed will be sufficient for renewal of membership “C.” If there is a change in the circumstances, the email should clarify what the graduate faculty “C” member will be doing differently or why the circumstances are different.