4.5 Faculty Appointments for Graduate Students


Section 4.3, Faculty Handbook – Minimum Qualifications for Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty Titles
Section 4.4, Faculty Handbook – Minimum Qualifications for Research Faculty Titles
Section 5.3.1, Faculty Handbook – Degree Candidates


On occasion, there are good reasons to want to employ well-qualified graduate students in faculty appointments (Research Associate, or Teaching Faculty), or conversely allow existing faculty to pursue additional degrees.  Appointees, who are graduate students currently enrolled in good academic standing, must go through the full appointment process and meet all requirements specified in the Faculty Handbook.  In the case of appointing graduate students to a faculty position, however, the requirement for advertising the position can be waived by the Provost.

Section 5.3.1 of the Faculty Handbook prohibits persons from holding any faculty appointment in the same department in which they are pursuing their degree. It allows, however, the Dean of Graduate Studies to waive this requirement in special cases.  Following are the minimum guidelines that must be fulfilled in order for such a waiver to be considered:

  1. The graduate student must have completed the basic course work and minimum number of credit hours required for the degree and have an approved Admission to Candidacy form on file in the Graduate Office.
  2. The department head or division director must certify that the graduate student has the appropriate knowledge and/or experience that make her or him well suited to the position.
  3. The graduate student’s faculty responsibilities must be limited to the specific purpose of the assignment (e.g. work on a research project, teaching a course, etc.).  The graduate student may not vote on matters of departmental policies and operations or otherwise participate in decisions that normally are the purview of the full-time, permanent faculty.
  4. The full-time, permanent faculty in the department must support the appointment and certify that it will not cause a conflict of interest when they give the graduate student grades in their own courses or vote on the student’s performance on the comprehensive exam or thesis defense.
  5. The rate of compensation must be at least what the student would have received as a Graduate Research Assistant or Graduate Teaching Assistant for substantially the same time commitment.

Graduate students who are given faculty appointments under these conditions will have dual status as both faculty and students.  Their responsibilities and privileges as faculty will be limited as indicated above.  They will continue to have the same responsibilities and privileges as other students in their category, and their work assignment must allow them to continue to make significant progress toward their degree.

Last Revision:

December 20, 2019