Dissertation Committee Eligibility Requirements

The Dissertation Committee is comprised of four members: the Chair, the Methodologist, and two additional committee members. The Chair and at least one additional member must be Learning and Leadership core faculty and possess full graduate faculty status.

It is the responsibility of the Chair to guide the candidate in the selection of the remainder of the committee. The Methodologist is typically a member of the LEAD faculty and must possess “Full Membership” graduate faculty status.  Additionally, every committee member must hold a minimum of “Special” graduate faculty status at UTC. Relevance and expertise regarding the Dissertation topic and methodology is the rationale for selection of all members; the committee should include faculty whom the committee Chair and candidate believe can make substantive contributions to the candidate’s Dissertation. When appropriate, the Chair is encouraged to invite a committee member from an academic unit outside the Learning and Leadership Program. All members of the Dissertation committee agree to utilize the Dissertation course space, hosted on the university’s Learning Management System (LMS) UTC Learn. All communication, draft submission, and feedback are accomplished via the Dissertation course space.

The Program Director/Advisor and Dean of the Graduate School shall approve the membership of the Dissertation Committee. Any questions regarding eligibility of committee members should be directed to the Program Director/Advisor.

Special Graduate Faculty Status

At the candidate’s request, the Program Director/Advisor may petition the Graduate Dean to allow a person who is not a member of the regular faculty and who, because of relevant professional experience and academic training, should be eligible to serve on the Dissertation committee as an External Reviewer. Such a person will receive temporary and honorific status as a “Special” member of the graduate faculty while serving on the candidate’s committee. In general, a terminal degree is required for “Special” graduate faculty status. Any questions should be directed to the Program Director/Advisor.

Applying for Special Graduate Faculty Status

All members of the Dissertation Committee must hold graduate faculty status at UTC. If a proposed committee member does not currently hold graduate faculty status at UTC, s/he will need to apply for special graduate faculty status. The candidate should work with his/her committee member to secure the following items:

  • Graduate Faculty Application (with digital signature)

  • Complete copy of CV (or resume)

The Graduate Faculty Application form can be found on the Graduate School website (link: Faculty Forms). UTC graduate programs have adopted an electronic filing and approval process. Therefore, hard copy application materials submitted by U.S. Postal Service or FAX cannot be accepted. The applicant's Complete CV/resume and digitally signed Graduate Faculty Application should be emailed to the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu) for approval and submission to the Graduate School. Instructions for Digital Signature are available upon request.

Filing the Dissertation Committee Appointment Form

Once the candidate and the Chair have agreed to the members of the Dissertation Committee, the Chair will notify the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu) to circulate the Graduate Committee Appointment Form to the committee members and candidate for digital signatures. Once the committee members and candidate have digitally signed the form, it will be submitted to the Program Director/Advisor for approval and submission to the Graduate School.