Guidelines for Membership in the Graduate Faculty

Tenured/Tenure Track faculty

The Graduate Faculty shall include all full- time tenured and tenure-track Vanderbilt University faculty members with primary appointments in departments or programs offering the M.A., M.S., and/or Ph.D. degrees. Those tenured or tenure-track faculty having secondary appointments in departments offering the M.A., M.S., and/or Ph.D. degrees shall also be considered Graduate Faculty members.

Other faculty

Appointment of other faculty members to the Graduate Faculty can occur upon the recommendation by the faculty member's department and with the approval by the Graduate School. Such appointment would require a majority vote by the Graduate Faculty of the department/program, plus the recommendation of the chair and approval by the Graduate School. Such appointments are restricted to full-time faculty members with the rank of assistant professor or above, with a primary or secondary appointment in programs offering the M.A., M.S., and/or Ph.D. degree. Faculty members appointed to the Graduate Faculty in this manner have all the privileges of Graduate Faculty, including supervising graduate students' research.

Limited participation

Other faculty can be assigned some duties normally reserved for Graduate Faculty on the recommendation of the Chair and/or the Director of Graduate Studies of the department and with the approval of the Graduate School. The duties assigned must be specified in the appointment request submitted to the Graduate School. Ordinarily, these duties will be specific and time-limited, e.g. membership on a Ph.D. committee or teaching a graduate-level class/seminar in a particular semester. On occasion, these duties within a program or department may be specified without a specific time limit, e.g. standard graduate teaching duties or membership on any Ph.D. committee in the program. Such faculty will not be permitted to direct theses or dissertations.

Courtesy appointment

Faculty members, or others carrying out research or scholarship outside universities, may also be appointed to serve on a specific student's PhD committee without being considered for Graduate Faculty status, e.g., a faculty member from outside of Vanderbilt, a faculty member from a professional school such as Law or Medicine, or a scientist working in a national laboratory, with the approvals of the Director of Graduate Studies or Chair of the student's department and of the Graduate School. The request to appoint someone in this manner must be accompanied by short letter of justification explaining what expertise this person brings to the student's committee, along with a copy of the faculty member's curriculum vitae.