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Graduate Faculty

POLICY SOURCE: Graduate Policies - 04 Other Graduate Policies POLICY NO: 2979
SUPERCEDES: 2647
TITLE: Graduate Faculty SUBMITTED BY: Liz Fox
DATE: Jun 23, 2008 APPROVED BY: Liz Fox

Effective Date Jun 23, 2008

Graduate Faculty

(Graduate Policy 4.1)

The graduate faculty of Florida Tech is the source for members of graduate student committees, thesis/design project/doctoral research project and dissertation advisors, and members of the Graduate Council and related committees. The graduate faculty will establish separate levels for master’s student advising and doctoral student advising.

Membership (Rev. 07/08/99)

(Graduate Policy 4.1.1)

  • The dean of the graduate school; deans of the College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Aeronautics, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business and College of Psychology and Liberal Arts; and heads of academic units offering graduate programs who are ex officio members.
  • Others eligible for appointment are faculty members and those especially qualified by academic or professional achievement in their field.
  • Professors emeriti who were members of the graduate faculty at the time of their retirement remain full members of the graduate faculty.

Appointment Policy 

(Graduate Policy 4.1.2)

Appointments to the graduate faculty at both master’s and doctoral levels may be made by the dean of the graduate school without Graduate Council review provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The individual’s faculty appointment is full-time (other than visiting) at the rank of assistant professor or higher
  • The individual has an earned terminal degree in his or her teaching field
  • The appointment is recommended by the individual's academic unit head

Final approval at the doctoral level will require a determination by the dean of the graduate school that the individual is experienced in directing independent study. All other appointments require action by the Graduate Council. Such appointments include:

  • Adjunct faculty
  • Full-time faculty in academic units that do not offer graduate programs
  • Assistant and associate professors without terminal degrees
  • Non-academic professorial ranks
  • Visiting faculty

In all cases, nominations are submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs, including faculty résumés that are available there for review by all members of the Graduate Council.

Nominations that require Graduate Council action will be considered at the next meeting of the council. Appointment to the master’s level will require a simple majority of the Graduate Council members present. Appointment to the doctoral level will require two-thirds majority of all Graduate Council members present. Appointments will be based on documented scholarly achievement.

At five-year intervals on or about March 1 following their initial Graduate Faculty appointment, each full-time member of the graduate faculty will reaffirm that they have shown significant activity in one of the three following areas, “significant” being defined below:

  • Teaching at the graduate level/service on committees: One graduate course (excluding seminars, directed study, etc.) or one master's committee per year, or one doctoral committee every two years.
  • Supervision of thesis/design project/doctoral research project and dissertation: One master’s committee chaired every two years or one doctoral committee chaired every three years.
  • Scholarly or professional activity: An average of one paper per year in a peer-reviewed journal or other evidence of such activity (books or monographs).

Faculty members may be asked to provide information to support their review. Doctoral-level graduate faculty must provide evidence of significant activity as stated above in “Scholarly or professional activity.”

Individuals who do not show significant activity will be notified that their graduate faculty appointment will be continued for one additional year and that continuation beyond that time will require specific action by the Graduate Council.

Adjunct faculty members will be appointed for three-year terms to be reviewed for continuation by the Graduate Council at the end of each three-year period. Other appointments of individuals who are not full-time academic faculty members will be for three years or the duration of their affiliation with Florida Tech, whichever is shorter.

Thesis/Design Project/Doctoral Research Project and Dissertation Advisers

(Graduate Policy 4.1.3)

All members of the graduate faculty are authorized to supervise master’s theses and to serve on master’s final program examination committees (including thesis/design project defenses) and dissertation committees. To supervise doctoral research projects and dissertations, a doctoral-level appointment to the graduate faculty is necessary. The dean of the appropriate college may approve exceptions if requested by the academic unit head.

Only a member of the graduate faculty may supervise a master’s thesis/design project, and only a member who has been appointed to the doctoral-level graduate faculty may supervise a doctoral research project or dissertation. In certain cases, and with the approval of the dean of the appropriate college, previously non-appointed individuals may serve as an extra member on a master's thesis, design project, or doctoral research project and dissertation committee.

It shall be the responsibility of the Office of Graduate Programs to maintain an up-to-date listing of the graduate faculty and to notify faculty members of any change in status.

For interdisciplinary programs, where the title “academic unit head” appears in graduate policies, it shall be construed to mean the interdisciplinary “program chair.” Additionally, in the case of an “outside member” for an examination committee, that member must not be a faculty member of the interdisciplinary program and where practical, must be from an academic unit other than the academic units involved in the interdisciplinary program.

Instructors of Graduate Courses

(Graduate Policy 4.1.4)

Graduate-level courses are those carrying a numerical designation beginning with 5 (for master’s level) or 6 (for doctoral level), e.g., CSE 5999 or CSE 6999.

Each faculty member teaching courses at the graduate level must hold the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or related discipline.

Others, such as adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, or faculty without a terminal degree, may be authorized to teach on recommendation of the academic unit head and approval of the dean of the appropriate college prior to the start of classes they are to teach.

All faculty teaching at the doctoral level must hold the earned doctorate.