The programs of graduate studies are offered by the University through its colleges of arts and sciences, business, education and human sciences, and nursing under the direction of the deans of the colleges and the overall administration, coordination, and supervision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, according to policies, procedures, and programs established by the Graduate Council and approved by the President and the Board of Trustees.
The Graduate Council is composed of the following: two graduate faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences; two graduate faculty from the College of Business; two graduate faculty from the College of Education and Human Sciences; two graduate faculty from the Anderson College of Nursing; and four graduate student representatives, one each from the College of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and Nursing. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost or designee, the Director of Graduate Studies, all deans, the Registrar, the Dean of Library and Educational Technology Services, the Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies, and the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will serve as ex-officio members of the Council.
The Graduate Council reviews graduate issues, graduate faculty applications, etc., on a continuous basis; recommends policies, procedures, regulations, programs, and courses for graduate studies; serves as a board of appeal on graduate matters; annually nominates and selects representatives from the Graduate Faculty to the Graduate Council; and communicates its deliberations and findings to the President, and after discussion with the President, to the university community.
The Graduate Faculty is composed of the President of the University, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Library Director, the deans and associate deans of colleges offering courses for graduate credit, the chairs of departments offering graduate 500-700 level courses, and other graduate teaching faculty appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost on the recommendation of the Graduate Council.
Policies for selection to the graduate faculty are as follows:
- The prospective graduate faculty member should possess the terminal degree in the field of teaching.
- Persons not holding the terminal degree but having special expertise may be considered for graduate faculty status with proper justification for a five-year period. Graduate faculty standing in this category will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester of the fifth year.
- Faculty selected for graduate faculty status should, in addition to holding the terminal degree in field, possess credentials showing research, publications, or scholarly presentations; membership and activity in professional societies; or a performance record in relation to the performing arts. Obviously, faculty may not show extensive credentials in all of these areas as criteria for selection but should show sufficient evidence in one or more of the areas to qualify them for the graduate faculty designation. College of Education and Human Sciences intern/practicum supervisors are exempt from this regulation provided they have a terminal degree and meet all requirements set forth by the appropriate accreditation agency and/or the Alabama State Department of Education.
- Faculty who are designated as graduate faculty should be involved in the regular teaching of graduate classes.
- Graduate faculty standing should be endorsed by the department chair and college dean before being submitted to the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council will recommend which names should be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost for designation as Graduate Faculty.
- New full-time faculty who possess the terminal degree in the field of teaching and who have been assigned to teach one or more graduate courses will be awarded graduate faculty status for a one-year probationary period. To continue graduate faculty status, the faculty member must submit an application and be approved for continued graduate faculty standing.
Separate syllabi for undergraduate and graduate courses must be established to better show the differences between undergraduate and graduate requirements for these courses. In addition, it is the responsibility of the respective dean to monitor this requirement for separate syllabi. In order to serve as a member of the Graduate Faculty, faculty must conform to this requirement of separate course requirements between undergraduate and graduate students.