ORGANIZATION OF GRADUATE STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Objectives
Definitions
Structure

OBJECTIVES

The first objective is to place the responsibility for planning and operating graduate programs in the schools and faculties which offer such programs. This arrangement will put the graduate student and his or her program under the immediate supervision of the teaching staff and administrative officers of his or her field of study.

The second objective is to provide a means of establishing and maintaining basic standards and requirements for graduate work throughout the University. It is believed that the advanced degree programs developed and administered by the various schools and faculties, though differing in details, should conform to certain fundamental principles of good practice.

The third objective is to create effective channels of communication within the graduate community and thus to ensure that all segments of the University are represented in the policy making process.

DEFINITIONS

Graduate programs: all programs of study leading to a master's degree, an advanced doctoral degree (e.g. PhD, EdD, DPH), or a graduate certificate.

Advanced degrees: all master's and doctoral degrees awarded upon completion of graduate degree programs as defined above.

Schools: academic units of the University headed by deans, having their own teaching staffs, and offering instructional programs leading to degrees.

Interschool programs: programs of graduate instruction and research offered cooperatively by Graduate Faculty members from two or more of the academic units defined above.

Graduate Faculty: members of the various schools who have been recognized and approved as qualified: (1) to teach courses carrying graduate credit, (2) to serve on examining committees for advanced degrees, and (3) to advise graduate students and direct their research.

Graduate student: a student who is enrolled in a graduate program as defined above.

STRUCTURE

I. Administration of Graduate Programs

A. Although the University Council on Graduate Study, acting for the Graduate Faculty, establishes minimum standards for graduate work throughout the University (III.B.1), the immediate responsibility for developing and administering graduate programs is assigned to the deans and Graduate Faculty members of the schools. This responsibility applies both to the traditional MA, MS, and PhD programs and to programs leading to advanced professional degrees. Specifically, the deans and Graduate Faculty members shall be responsible in their areas for graduate admission standards and requirements and the admission of graduate students; for advanced certificate and degree requirements; for selecting and maintaining a distinguished graduate faculty; and for recommending the awarding of advanced certificates and degrees.

B. The Provost shall have responsibility for the general supervision of graduate programs throughout the University, giving leadership to the deans and faculties in maintaining high standards of graduate instruction and research.

C. The Provost or a Vice Provost as may be designated shall serve as the administrative officer of the Graduate Faculty (see V.B.).

 

II. The Graduate Faculty

Members of the graduate faculty have been recognized and approved as qualified to teach courses carrying graduate credit, to serve on examining committees for advanced degrees, and to advise graduate students and direct their research.

A. Membership in the Graduate Faculty shall be of two classes, "Regular" and "Adjunct." Regular membership shall be recommended for full-time faculty members or part-time, tenure stream members of the University faculty who are approved to direct graduate study and research at all levels. Adjunct membership shall be recommended for persons whose primary responsibility is outside the University but who hold a part-time faculty appointment and are approved to direct graduate study and research at all levels. Only Regular members shall be eligible for election to the University Council on Graduate Study, and only Regular members may cast votes in such elections.

B. Members shall be appointed to the Graduate Faculty by the Provost. When a person is recommended for initial appointment to a faculty position, the dean who makes the recommendation will indicate whether, on the basis of an appraisal by a departmental or other appropriate faculty group, the individual should be given Graduate Faculty status. A recommendation for Graduate Faculty membership will carry the implication that the prospective appointee is judged to be: (1) competent in graduate instruction and the supervision of student research and (2) active in advancing knowledge through his or her own research. If approved for Graduate Faculty status, a full-time appointee will become a "Regular" member. A highly qualified part-time appointee whose main employment is outside the University will become an "Adjunct" member. The official contract letter from the Provost to the new faculty member will specify the class of Graduate Faculty membership, if any, that has been awarded.

C. Members shall perform the following functions:

1. Provide instruction, conduct examinations, and direct student research in graduate programs; and

2. Serve on faculty committees and councils charged with the development of graduate programs and policies.

D. Prior to Council's taking final action, all legislation must be sent to the deans and the chairs of schools' graduate councils, who will distribute it to appropriate councils and to Graduate Faculty and forward comments back to Council. All members of the Graduate Council shall receive from the chair of the University Council on Graduate Study an annual report of actions taken by Council. On the recommendation of the Council or the Provost or on receipt by the Provost of a request signed by 30 Regular members of the Graduate Faculty, legislation approved by Council which reflects a major change in policy shall be submitted for approval by a mail ballot to all members of the Graduate Faculty. If the proposed legislation is approved by a majority of the members responding within a 30-day period following the mailing of ballots, it will be considered to be approved for recommendation to the Chancellor.

E. All members shall be given notice of meetings of the University Council on Graduate Study through the University Times or other appropriate announcements. They shall be entitled to attend such meetings and to speak, but shall not be permitted to vote unless they are members of the Council.

 

III. The University Council on Graduate Study

A. Membership

1. Provost,

2. Vice Provosts as designated by the Provost, and

3. Twenty-one Regular members of the Graduate Faculty, distributed according to a formula based on the number of Regular Graduate Faculty members in the several schools of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (one representative for each 100 members and/or fraction of 100). The representation is as follows:

Faculty representatives shall be selected, and their terms of office determined, in accordance with procedures established for this purpose within their respective schools. No representative shall serve for more than four consecutive years, except when a school chooses to designate a representative by reason of the official role of that individual in relation to graduate study within that school.

4. A maximum of six graduate students shall be chosen as representatives in accordance with procedures established for that purpose by the Graduate and Professional Student Association. Academic units which are not directly represented by a student with voting rights on the University Council on Graduate Study may choose one student observer to attend Council meetings with the privilege of speaking but not voting.

B. Functions

1. To develop basic standards, regulations, and policies applicable to all fields for graduate instruction and research;

2. To transmit to the Chancellor legislation originating in the Council after such legislation has been reviewed by the subordinate faculty councils or committees (see IV.A.), and has been submitted to the Graduate Faculty, or has been approved by a majority of those members responding by a mail ballot (see II.D.);

3. To review, evaluate, and make recommendations to the Chancellor concerning proposals for new postbaccalaureate degree and certificate programs throughout the University after such proposals have had prior review and approval by the faculty councils or committees in which the proposals originated, or in the case of interschool proposals, by the councils or committees of all the areas involved (see IV.A., B.);

4. To keep informed regarding the quality of graduate work throughout the University by receiving annual reports from the faculty councils and committees on the current status of all graduate degree and certificate programs within their respective areas, and, when necessary, to conduct its own review of such programs; and

5. To identify and promote creative new approaches to graduate education, whether in defining fields of study, program structure, course content, behavioral objectives, research goals, or other aspects.

C. Procedures

1. The Council shall hold eight monthly meetings during the academic year. Additional special meetings may be called by the Provost or a designated Vice Provost.

2. The Council may appoint ad hoc committees from its own membership or from the Graduate Faculty as a whole to review proposals for new postbaccalaureate degree programs, to evaluate existing programs, or to make such other studies as the Council considers desirable. Each such committee shall include at most two graduate student representatives. The committees may also, at the option of the Council, make use of consultants from outside the University. When formed to evaluate new programs which require substantial library holdings, or computer usage, the review committees shall include one or more representatives of the University Libraries or Computing and Information Services.

3. Prior to Council's taking final action, all legislation must be sent to the deans and chairs of schools' graduate councils, who will distribute it to appropriate councils and to Graduate Faculty and forward comments back to Council.

4. All decisions made by the Council shall be communicated to the faculty, students, and administrative officers of the University.

IV. Faculty Councils and Committees on Graduate Study

A. Faculty councils and committees on graduate study in the various schools shall be responsible for standards and requirements in their respective areas and for reporting on programs and policies to the University Council on Graduate Study.

B. Committees may be formed to supervise interdepartmental and interschool graduate programs. If an interdepartmental program is established within a particular school, the committee in charge of that program will perform those functions normally performed by a department. If the program has broader scope than that of a single school, the committee structure and administrative relationships will be those agreed upon by the cooperating units. Graduate programs will be reviewed by the University Council on Graduate Study and by the Provost.

 C. The basic standards, regulations, and policies approved by the University Council on Graduate Study shall be regarded as minimal standards by the various councils, committees, and faculties.

V. Functions of Administrative Officers in Relation to Graduate Study

A.Deans of Schools

  1. Provide leadership in the development of programs, standards, policies, and facilities for graduate instruction and research in their areas;
  2. Administer the operation of graduate programs in their areas, including admissions, student counseling, record keeping, enforcement of requirements, and recommendation of candidates for advanced degrees; and
  3. Select and maintain a Graduate Faculty of the first quality and encourage the professional growth of its members.

B. Provost or a Vice Provost as Designated

  1. Serves as administrative officer of the Graduate Faculty and Chair of the University Council on Graduate Study;
  2. Represents the central administration in developing, reviewing, and evaluating graduate programs throughout the University;
  3. Reviews the adequacy of the structure for graduate instruction and research and identifies opportunities for improving the structure;
  4. Observes and reports the extent to which the several faculties are complying with the Graduate Faculty's standards for graduate study;
  5. Encourages the development of graduate programs which involved interschool collaboration;
  6. If a designee, advises the Provost regarding appointments to the Graduate Faculty;
  7. Administers graduate fellowship programs which cannot be assigned to specific schools;
  8. Serves as liaison officer between the University and the various professional organizations and other agencies which are concerned with graduate work on the national level;
  9. Keeps informed of developments in graduate education and postdoctoral study at other graduate institutions;
  10. Fosters research and innovation related to graduate study; and
  11. Sees that bulletins, catalogues, and other materials describing the University's graduate programs are published and distributed.

C. Provost

  1. Represents the Chancellor in developing, reviewing, and evaluating graduate programs throughout the University;
  2. Cooperates with deans and department chairs in maintaining a graduate faculty of superior competence, approves appointments to the Graduate Faculty as recommended by the deans, and observes the quality of graduate instruction and research within the several schools; and
  3. Serves as a member of the University Council on Graduate Study.

D. Chancellor

  1. As chief administrative officer, reviews proposals of the University Council on Graduate Study and is responsible for final decisions regarding the structure of graduate instruction and research;
  2. Recommends University Council on Graduate Study proposals for new degrees to the Board of Trustees for final action; and
  3. Confers graduate degrees recommended by the Graduate Faculty of the several schools and approved by the Board of Trustees.

VI. Amendments

Amendments to this plan of organization may be proposed by the University Council on Graduate Study, by joint action of two or more of the faculty councils or committees, or by petition of 50 Regular members of the Graduate Faculty drawn from two or more schools. A proposed amendment shall be regarded as new legislation and shall be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section II.D.


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