Mar 20, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Faculty

Appointment and Qualifications of Graduate Faculty

Status Minimum Eligibility Criteria Responsibilities

Term *


-full-time faculty member, emeriti, senior affiliate faculty or academic administrator holding faculty rank;

-rank of assistant professor or higher

-tenured or tenure-track

-Meets criteria for Associate Membership

-criteria for reappointment are based on evidence of continued pattern of scholarly or creative activity of the quality expected for initial membership.

-may serve as a student’s academic advisor for the Doctor of Philosophy degree;

-may teach graduate courses for Master’s, Specialist, and Doctoral degrees
6 Years


-full-time faculty member who is not eligible for full membership

-holds an earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate discipline from an appropriately accredited institution;

-demonstrated competence to carry out the departmental needs for graduate teaching, advisement, or research

-may serve as a student’s academic advisor for Master’s and Specialist degrees

-may teach graduate courses for Master’s, Specialist, and doctoral degrees

3 Years


-part-time faculty who are employed for graduate teaching, advisement, or research

-holds an earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate discipline from an appropriately accredited institution;

-demonstrated competence to carry out the departmental needs for graduate teaching, advisement, or research

-may serve as a committee member for Master’s and Specialist degrees;

-may teach graduate courses for Master’s, Specialist, and doctoral degrees

3 Years


-full or part-time faculty who participate in directing educational experiences in a clinical/professional setting where the faculty member practices

-holds at least a master’s degree and professional certification in an appropriate discipline from an appropriately accredited institution/agency/association and relevant experience in the field of study -may only teach clinical or practicum designated courses 3 Years

* Eligibility for renewal is based on a review of credentials during the years of their appointment period listed.

All appointments to memberships on the graduate faculty are made by the President based upon recommendations submitted by departmental chairpersons with suitable endorsement from the dean of the college, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The appropriate forms may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies website.

It is also possible for a member of the Graduate Faculty to have their Graduate Faculty status revoked by the dean of their college or school, or the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, outside the periodic review process.  Revocation may occur for egregious acts or when a Graduate Faculty member fails to fulfill the responsibilities of a member of the Graduate Faculty to teach graduate student(s) effectively, in a civil, professionally appropriate manner; to do scholarly research and creative work of high quality or remain active in the practive of the profession; to adhere to university policies related to graduate programs; and to direct the research/professional development of graduate student(s) so that they progress toward graduation in a timely manner appropriate to the field.  If Graduate Faculty status is revoked, the faculty member has the right to make an appeal against the decision to the Provost.  This appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the Dean of the College Studies providing notification of the removal of Graduate Faculty status.  The Provost is the final arbiter of the decision to revoke Graduate Faculty status.


Responsibilities of the Graduate Faculty

An instructor of any course for which students receive graduate credit must be a member of the graduate faculty. When students are enrolled in undergraduate classes (4000/5000) for graduate credit, the faculty member has the responsibility of making appropriate additional assignments to ensure students receive proper value from the courses. A general description of the extra work required of students taking a 4000/5000 level course for graduate credit must be included in the description of the course approved by the Graduate School Studies Executive Committee. Instructors of undergraduate courses are provided class rolls that show the names of those students seeking graduate credit for work in their classes.

A faculty member may not direct independent study/research courses taken by a student who is a relative of the faculty member and may not be a member of a relative’s graduate advisory committee. For the purposes of this policy, “relative” means a parent, foster parent, parent-in-law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member who resides in the same household.

Responsibilities of Departmental Chairperson

Primary responsibility for determining that a faculty member meets the above requirements rests with the departmental chairperson and those faculty members in the department who are members of the graduate faculty; with oversight being provided by the dean of the college, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Service as a graduate student’s academic and/or research advisor must be reviewed and approved by the student’s departmental chairperson, the dean of the college, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.  At the discretion of the departmental chairperson, responsibilities of an associate member may be any of those normally given to a full member of the graduate faculty, except service on the Graduate Studies Executive Committee, or serving as a doctoral-level academic or research advisor.

The chairperson of any department offering a graduate degree may act in any capacity open to a graduate faculty member and has certain administrative responsibilities pertaining to the graduate program. The chairperson will oversee the process of reviewing applications of prospective graduate students including working with faculty in the department to develop admission criteria and an application review process; and nominating qualified faculty members for appointment to the graduate faculty. The departmental chairperson also provides direction and coordination in supporting departmental faculty members in the development of research projects and in the appropriate utilization of facilities.

Organization and Appointment of Advisory Committee

The advisory committee may be appointed during the student’s first term but no later than the term in which 15 credits of course work are to be completed. The student, in consultation with the departmental chairperson or academic advisor, will determine a minimum of three (3) in the Master’s and Specialist in Education, four (4) in the doctoral program in Education; five (5) in the doctoral programs in Engineering and Environmental Sciences, suitable graduate faculty members who are willing to serve as voting members of the committee. Degree programs with a capstone course will have oversight of a pre-assigned Program Coordinator/Director/Chairperson. Members shall represent each of the areas in which the student expects to study, with two (2) members having background in the major area. Each area in which the student presents as many as six (6) credits should be represented by one (1) member. At least one (1) member of the advisory committee should have adequate background and research interests in the area in which the student has proposed a research objective.


Role Eligibility Criteria Responsibilities

-experienced faculty member;

-demonstrated ability to effectively mentor students

-may serve as a student’s academic advisor;

-shall chair or co-chair the student’s advisory committee

-demonstrated significant research capability;

-experienced in directing independent study;

-may hold rank in a department other than that in which the student is majoring

-research capability in a discipline closely related to a discipline associated with the student’s department
-may serve as a student’ academic advisor for Master’s and Specialist degrees

Changes to the advisory committee must be requested by the student and approved by the departmental chairperson, the dean of the college, and the  Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Except in unusual circumstances such as extended campus leave, change of teaching fields, or inappropriate advisement loads, a faculty member enjoys the prerogative of accepting or relinquishing an appointment on a student’s advisory committee.

Non-university professionals may become voting members of graduate committees as consultants.  These consultants must have earned a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate discipline and completed all procedures necessary to be appointed as an Adjunct Member of the graduate faculty.  Only one (1) such member may serve on an individual student’s committee, and this member may not serve as academic or research advisor.  Consultants not meeting the above requirements may serve on the committee but do not have voting privileges.

Each member of a graduate student’s advisory committee is expected (1) to review the student’s proposed plan of study and to approve it or make recommendations to improve it; (2) to consider the student’s application for candidacy including both the proposed plan of study and the research proposal and, with other members of the committee, to approve, approve with change, or disapprove the program; (3) to review the student’s thesis (if one is required) prior to the comprehensive examination; and (4) to assist in the conduct of an examination to insure that the student has at least a satisfactory knowledge of the subject matter covered in the program of study and that the thesis (when required) is of suitable caliber and presents a valid investigation properly completed. The minimum required majority for all actions of the advisory committee at the master’s and specialist levels is three (3) positive votes, or three-fourths of the committee members eligible to vote. At the doctoral level, four-fifths is required as the minimum for programs in Engineering and Environmental Sciences; a unanimous vote is required for the program in Exceptional Learning.

Responsibilities of Thesis Advisor

The chairperson of an advisory committee assists the student in the selection of a course of study and works with the student in choosing a suitable thesis topic. The chairperson is expected to furnish appropriate assistance and encouragement when excessive difficulties arise in the investigation of the problem. At the request of the student, the chairperson schedules the comprehensive examination and is responsible for its administration and conduct, as well as the reporting of the examination results to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The chairperson is responsible for assisting the student in ensuring the thesis is error-free in regards to format, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and content thereby meeting the standards of excellence expected by the advisory committee, department, and the College of Graduate Studies. Only grades of SP and NP shall be used to indicate a student’s progress in thesis or dissertation credit.

Turnitin Use Guidelines & Self-Study Materials

Turnitin is software that Tennessee Tech University provides to faculty to evaluate student work for originality, online grading, and peer review. This resource has been made available to the graduate school faculty and offers an excellent mechanism for educationing students about the nature of academic integrity, as well as the mechanics of proper citation of sources.

Before you begin using Turnitin we strongly recommend that you go through a brief set of self-study training materials available through iLearn. Also, please familiarize yourself with the current TTU Student Academic Misconduct Policy 217.