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. An academic unit/program that offers graduate degrees or certificates must request graduate status for a faculty member. Graduate students do not qualify for graduate faculty membership within their academic unit or program. 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.
In rare cases, Status A can be revoked on request of the unit/program that granted the status, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
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 and departing faculty members can retain graduate membership with the recommendation of the department or program. These faculty must request Status B or C status prior to their departure. The academic unit/program will evaluate the request and recommend continuing graduate status (B or C) or terminate the faculty member’s status. Faculty members can retain Status B for five years from the date of their retirement or departure 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 and departed faculty should use Status C. Programs can petition to the Dean of the Graduate School 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. Only retired or departed faculty from MU are eligible for doctoral status while holding Status B.
If the request for graduate status for a retired or departing faculty member is denied by the department, the former faculty member can request an appeal from the Dean of the Graduate School, who will contact the Graduate Faculty Senate to consider the appeal.
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 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 who are no longer advising students 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 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.
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).
Unless a program requests a faculty member from another university within the UM System to hold Status B, those faculty are automatically granted Status C upon request of a MU graduate program or department. A CV is not required for consideration. Those faculty would be considered internal committee members of the department requesting Status C.
Graduate Faculty Nomination & Renewal Procedures
There is a formal application process for Graduate Faculty membership. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Department Chair/Director should include the following information:
- Name of the faculty member to be nominated
- Employee ID number of nominated faculty member (if applicable)
- Professorial title (if applicable, e.g., assistant professor, associate research professor)
- Primary academic home department (if applicable)
- University or organization, if not MU
- Nominee’s email address
- Type of membership being sought (A, B, or C)
- Department/program in which status is being sought
- A current curriculum vitae (PDF preferred)
Renewal Procedure (Membership “C” Only)
Renewals follow the same process as a new nomination (see above), and is only necessary for Graduate Faculty Status C.
If a department/program has 5 or more submissions (new nominations and/or renewals) at one time, they can contact Anita Cowan (email@example.com) for a spreadsheet to enter the necessary information for consideration.