GUIDELINES FOR ROLES AND RESPONSIBIILITIES
Selection of a Graduate Advisory Committee Chairperson and Members of the Graduate Advisory Committee
Selection of a committee chairperson should be by mutual agreement between the student and the potential chair with the approval of the department Graduate Committee following discussion and agreement on the following:
- Nature and subject of proposed research.
- The extent to which the chairperson will support a proposed research project in space, equipment and facilities.
- The expectation of the chairperson for the student's academic performance and timeline for completion of the proposed research or internship.
The student, after consulting with the chairperson, the Graduate Program Coordinator, the Department Head, and faculty members involved should select his/her graduate advisory committee. For students electing the internship option, the internship supervisor should serve as a member of the advisory committee. The role of the Graduate Program Coordinator and Department Head are that of ex-officio, non-voting members on graduate advisory committees when the Graduate Program Coordinator and Department Head are not otherwise members of the committee.
If the student desires to replace a committee or to replace a committee member, he/she must consult with the chairperson and the chairperson will, in turn, consult with the committee member. If this meeting does not result in a satisfactory resolution, a meeting with all parties concerned and the Graduate Program Coordinator and, if necessary, the Department Head will be convened.
If the student desires to replace the chairperson, he/she must consult with the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the Coordinator will, in turn, consult with the chairperson and committee members. If this meeting does not result in a satisfactory resolution, a meeting with all parties concerned and, if necessary, the Department Head will be convened.
Role of the Graduate Advisory Committee
The role of the advisory committee is one of advisement and evaluation relative to the graduate student's mastery of topics in the field of environmental science. Consequently, the advisory committee functions as a visible and integral part of the student's program from its inception to its completion. Moreover, advisory committees will provide consistency within the program by regularly meeting with the student, by keeping the Graduate Program Coordinator and Department Head informed of the student's progress and of any problems that may arise.
Responsibilities of the Graduate Advisory Committee
The graduate advisory helps the graduate students set up a program of study. Early in the student's first semester of graduate work the student will meet with the advisory committee to develop his or her program of study. The program of study should be tailored to meet any perceived deficiencies in the student's knowledge of basic environmental science and to provide the student with depth in his/her specific area of interest. In doing this, the committee should use recommendations from the departmental Graduate Program Committee placed in placed in the student's file at the time of his/her admission, the student's undergraduate record, and the student's professional goals.
- Written approval of the program of study must be given by each member of the committee, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the Head of the department.
- The Program of Study must be filed in the Biological and Environmental Sciences Department Office before the student will be allowed to register for the second semester.
- Determine if the student has met general prerequisites for the graduate program and, if not, determine which additional courses the student must take to make up the deficiency.
- Monitor the student's progress towards the degree. The advisory committee will meet with the student on a regular basis to assess his/her progress, provide continued guidance on coursework and evaluate performance to date.
- Recommend the student for admission to candidacy. A student may be admitted to candidacy after the completion of 9 semester hours of graduate credit and before completion of more than 18 hours. A student must be admitted to candidacy before he/she will be permitted to undertake the research, internship, or thesis options.
- Administer and evaluate the oral defense of the finished research, internship and thesis.
- Direct research and advise the student on his/her research, internship, and thesis. This includes approval of proposed project, consultation in the conduct of the project and writing of the individual research report, internship report and thesis. Students electing the internship option must file an Internship Agreement Form in the Biological and Environmental Sciences Department Office. These students also must provide monthly progress reports to the department, signed by their supervisor within the sponsoring agency.
Role of the Graduate Student
- Meet all deadline dates and regulations associated with registration, award applications and graduation requirements as specified in the graduate calendar and/or at the Graduate Studies Division and/or the Department.
- Select a topic of research or internship acceptable to his/her advisor. The student must produce a thesis or major paper or internship report(s) which is essentially his/her own work, and which meets the university and department standards for style and quality, reflecting a capacity for independent scholarship in hi/her area of study.
- Conform to basic principles of academic integrity and professionalism; in particular, to acknowledge assistance, material, and/or data provided by other scholars, including fellow students or technicians.
- Recognize that the advisor and members of the graduate advisory committee have a spectrum of educational and research obligations which may interfere with immediate responses to the graduate student.
- Give serious consideration to, and respond to the advice and criticisms provided by his/her advisor or members of his/her advisory committee.
- Know the department and university regulations and standards for academic performance to which a thesis or major research paper or internship report(s) is required to perform.
- Maintain regular communications with his/her advisor (or designate), meet with the advisory committee once each semester to review his/her progress, and keep the advisor informed of where he/she be contacted.
- In cases where the student's research comprises a component of the advisor's program, and joint publication is envisaged, prepare and submit to his/her advisor, the thesis or research material in draft publishable from and the records of raw data, for preparation of manuscript for publication.
Role of the Department Head
The Department Head will help in a number of areas. These may include identifying resources for student's financial support, allocating space for graduate students, ensuring that a reasonable range of courses is made available, overseeing the appointing of advisors and the graduate advisory committees, making arrangements for appointment of graduate teaching assistants and dealing with teaching assistant problems, and other general items.
Role of the Graduate Program Coordinator
- The Graduate Program Coordinator is appointed by the Department Head to oversee the graduate program in the Biological and Environmental Sciences Department. There is a close working relationship between the Head, the Program Coordinator, and the Assistant Provost of the Graduate Studies Division.
- The Graduate Program Coordinator is a link between the faculty members and their graduate students. Any questions pertaining to the graduate program should be addressed to the Graduate Program Coordinator.
- The Graduate Program Coordinator is responsible for the overall operation of the program. This includes acceptance of students, awarding of teaching assistantships, appointment of supervisory and examining committees, appointment of the external members for the thesis, course offerings, and general problem solving. In many of these activities, the Coordinator is assisted by the departmental Graduate Committee.
Role of the Office Staff
- Secretarial Service. Secretarial services provided to graduate students will be only those specified by your advisor.
- Facsimile. A FAX machine is located in the department office (215 Holt). Our FAX number is 423-425-2285. Instructions for sending a FAX are posted near the facsimile machine. Do not ask the secretaries to send a FAX. If you have problems, you may request assistance from the secretaries.
- Mail. The graduate student mail is delivered once each day to Holt 109. Please check your mailboxes daily.
- Registration. Pre-registration sign-up sheets will be posted on each faculty advisor's door for each fall and spring semester