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Graduate Faculty Policy

A. Graduate Faculty

Recognizing that faculty roles are many and varied, the Department of English will identify faculty members who are active in the delivery of educational programming at the graduate level as members of the Graduate Faculty. A key aspect of graduate education is the longstanding tradition that a graduate student's academic program, and in particular the scholarship or research giving rise to the graduate student's dissertation will normally be guided by a committee of faculty members. Membership in the Graduate Faculty is required for, and confers the privilege of teaching graduate seminars and independent studies, serving on the graduate committee, and serving as chair, co-chair, or member of graduate students' committees within the faculty member's home department/unit. It also confers the responsibility for being willing to serve as an external member on the supervisory committees of graduate students in other departments, or as a representative for the Minor Area of study.

Qualifications for Membership in the Graduate Faculty

Members of the Graduate Faculty are entrusted with upholding the research and advanced practical training mission of the university. There are two principal criteria for any faculty member seeking membership in the Graduate Faculty:

  • Doctorate or highest earned terminal degree from an accredited institution in the faculty member's discipline or equivalent professional experience.
  • Demonstration of active citizenship in a scholarly field, such that the faculty member can effectively mentor graduate students in publication, doctoral project composition, and/or job searches. Evidence of citizenship includes, but is not limited to:

·         An active research agenda as indicated by the publication of scholarly books, articles in refereed journals and edited collections, or contracts received from appropriate presses; conference presentations and panel organization at appropriate professional venues; in the case of early career researchers, the recent completion of a dissertation.

·         Recognition of research contributions by awards, prizes, and fellowships.

·         Editorial work, such as serving on the editorial boards of scholarly journals and university presses, the editing of scholarly books, and the professional reviewing of manuscripts for scholarly journals and presses.

·         Participation in the profession via the organization of conferences and other significant service work for professional organizations. 

·         Significant involvement in the initiation, organization, and execution of public humanities projects.

·         Prior supervision of student research or service as a major professor/advisor or committee member for theses and dissertation

Responsibilities and Rights of the Graduate Faculty

Only members of the Graduate Faculty can:

·         Serve as director or second reader on doctoral project committees

·         Teach 600-800 level courses (with the exception of E688, which is always taught by the Director of Composition regardless of that person's status as Graduate Faculty).


Graduate Faculty members are expected to:


·         Serve as members of the department's Graduate Committee

·         Serve on Qualifying Exam committees and in other student service roles according to program needs

·         Teach "required" courses in the graduate program in response to department needs

·           Be available to mentor graduate students and to compose recommendation letters for students they have agreed to work with, except in situations in which the faculty member cannot in good faith provide a positive recommendation for the student. In such exceptional situations, the faculty member should communicate their decision to the student as soon as possible


V. Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of the Graduate Faculty


On initial implementation in 2018-2019, everyone who has taught a graduate course in the previous three years and/or who has been scheduled to teach by the DGS in the next two years will be appointed to the Graduate Faculty. When new hires are made, the graduate committee will, in consultation with the Chair, evaluate the new faculty member's portfolio and, if appropriate, appoint them to the Graduate Faculty. Once an academic year, by Dec. 1st, faculty not currently designated as Graduate Faculty may apply to the graduate committee for consideration. Faculty in this position should establish a consistent record of scholarly citizenship over a period of three years.


To address short-term departmental needs such as the staffing of independent studies, the DGS and graduate committee may also elect a faculty member to the Graduate Faculty in a temporary capacity, as a Member by Special Appointment.


All Graduate Faculty will have their membership reassessed during periodic reviews, and the graduate committee will consider the assessment of the F.R.C. committee and the Chair in reappointing faculty to the Graduate Faculty.


VI. Removal/ Revocation Graduate Faculty Status

A member of the Graduate Faculty may have their Graduate Faculty status removed under the following circumstances:

·         If in the assessment of the graduate committee they have ceased to function as an active citizen in a scholarly field during a periodic review period.

·         If they commit egregious acts or fail to fulfill the responsibilities of a member of the Graduate Faculty to teach graduate student(s) effectively, in a civil, professionally appropriate manner, 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. Failure to teach graduate students effectively and/or to direct the research and professional development of graduate student(s) also includes, but is not limited to, abuse of power, intimidation and harassment, and violation of work place violence policies. 

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  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361