Graduate Faculty Policy

Adopted 04/02/2018

This document outlines the rights, privileges and procedures for awarding and revoking
Graduate Faculty status in the Odum School of Ecology (OSE).

A. Brief summary of rights and eligibility per Graduate School policy:

  1. Graduate faculty status is required to:
    • Serve as the major professor (advisor) for MS or PhD students;
    • Teach 8000-9000 level classes;
    • Serve on Graduate Council;
    • Vote for members of Graduate Council;
    • Vote for appointment/reappointment to or removal from the OSE graduate
      faculty
  2. To be eligible for graduate faculty status, one must:
    • Possess the highest or terminal degree in one’s discipline;
    • Demonstrate proficiency in conducting scholarly research; and
    • Demonstrate proficiency in supervising scholarly research and/or teaching at
      the graduate level.
  3. Full-time and part-time faculty can be awarded graduate faculty status, as can
    adjunct faculty, per UGA policies.

B. OSE procedures for awarding graduate faculty status

  1. Graduate faculty awarded by the OSE will apply to all degree programs within the School.
  2. All new appointments take effect immediately or at the start of employment; reappointments to the graduate faculty will begin on the first day of the next academic year.
  3. A vote to initially award graduate faculty status will coincide with, or be included in, votes on motions for hiring decisions.
  4. Graduate faculty status will be awarded in 6-year terms. Appointments that begin mid-cycle will be up for renewal on a 6-year schedule that counts the first full academic year of service as year 1.
  5. Only faculty with a portion of their appointment in OSE and holding graduate faculty status are eligible to vote on appointments to the graduate faculty in OSE.
  6. New requests from faculty not holding an appointment in the Odum school will be evaluated according to the timeline (B.7).
  7. Graduate faculty will be notified by January 15 of the year in which their appointment expires. Those wishing to be appointed or reappointed to the graduate faculty must provide a current CV and succinct summary (<1 page document) of their activities and achievements relevant to criteria (A.2) by April 1. The summary and CV will be made available for review by April 15, and a vote (by OSE Graduate Faculty) on appointment or reappointment will occur at the May faculty meeting. The Assistant to the Dean of OSE (hereafter the Dean) will be responsible for keeping records of appointments, notifying faculty of term expirations, and distributing electronic documentation.
  8. Faculty who become emeritus will retain graduate faculty status until all current students for whom they serve as advisor or committee member (at the time of retirement) leave the program.

C. OSE criteria for initial appointment to the graduate faculty

  1. A terminal degree in relevant discipline, or suitable professional experience; and
  2. Demonstrated ability to conduct original research in ecology or related discipline, including a record of publishing peer reviewed papers in relevant journals; and at least one of C.3 or C.4:
  3. Demonstrated ability, or perceived potential, to successfully advise, mentor, and supervise graduate students (e.g., student degree completion, service on graduate committees, student publications);
  4. Demonstrated ability, or perceived potential, to effectively instruct graduate level classes (e.g., evaluations by peers, students, and objective evaluators).

D. Privileges of OSE graduate faculty.

Graduate Faculty Status confers privileges related to both teaching and research supervision. The privileges related to teaching are conferred automatically. Privileges related to graduate research supervision rely on the ability of a faculty member to acquire and maintain the resources to support and facilitate a student’s research program over the duration of the student’s tenure (e.g., by providing access to laboratory space and funding, fostering their intellectual growth in the field of ecology). As such, graduate faculty who have long-term, state-funded appointments with a portion of their EFT devoted to research, are eligible for sole supervisory privileges. Specifics are provided below.

  1. All OSE graduate faculty are eligible to teach 8000-9000 level classes.
  2. OSE graduate faculty are eligible to serve on MS and PhD committees.
  3. Those with adjunct faculty appointments in OSE and graduate faculty status in OSE can co-advise graduate students.
  4. Those with courtesy faculty appointments in OSE and graduate faculty status awarded by another unit at UGA can serve as the sole advisor to graduate students.
  5. OSE Research Scientists (whose salary is provided by state funds, with expectation of continued funding) can serve as the sole advisor to graduate students.
  6. OSE Research Scientists (whose salary is provided by grants) can co-advise graduate students. Research Scientists holding graduate faculty status and who demonstrate long-term, ongoing activities can request sole advisement privileges, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  7. Those with PSO appointments in OSE can co-advise graduate students. PSO faculty holding graduate faculty status and who demonstrate ongoing research activities can request sole advisement privileges, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  8. OSE lecturers can co-advise graduate students. Lecturers holding graduate faculty status and who demonstrate evidence of ongoing research activities can request sole advisement privileges, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  9. OSE tenure-track faculty with graduate faculty status can serve as the sole advisor for graduate students.
  10. A PhD in ecology or a related discipline, or demonstrated ecological expertise, is required to serve as the sole advisor for MS and PhD students. At least one coadvisor must hold a PhD in ecology or a related discipline, or have demonstrated ecological expertise.
  11. Members of the graduate faculty holding other types of appointments (research faculty, public service and outreach, adjunct, or lecturer) in OSE who do not have sole advising privileges can only co-advise MS and PhD graduate students with a tenure-track faculty member with a portion of his or her appointment assigned to OSE.
  12. Tenure-track faculty with a portion of his or her appointment in OSE can serve as the OSE representative to the graduate council and can vote for OSE representatives to serve on the graduate council.

E. Appealing decisions to not award graduate faculty status

  1. Individuals who are not awarded graduate faculty status upon their initial request may re-apply the following year, acknowledging and addressing the initial decision to not award graduate faculty status.
  2. If the OSE graduate faculty do not vote to reappoint a tenure-track faculty member to the graduate faculty, the applicant will have the opportunity to formally appeal the decision.
  3. Appeals must be submitted to the Dean of OSE by June 1 articulating the basis for the appeal. The Dean will reply to the appeal in writing by July 1 after reviewing the application and appeal letter, either reiterating the initial decision and the basis for it, or supporting the appeal. If the Dean supports the appeal, the eligible OSE graduate faculty (see B.5) will review the initial application, the appeal letter, and the Dean’s response, and vote again on graduate faculty status at the September faculty meeting. If the Dean does not support the appeal, or it the faculty vote to not award faculty status a second time, the applicant may appeal the final school level decision to the Graduate School, providing all documents and records associated with the school-level deliberation.

F. Revocation of graduate faculty status

A member of the Graduate Faculty of the Odum School of Ecology may have their Graduate Faculty status removed if they fail to meet any or all of the expectations outlined above, as assessed during the periodic review process. Procedures for the periodic review of Graduate Faculty are in Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of the Graduate Faculty section of the policy document referred to above.

It is also possible for a member of the Graduate Faculty to have their Graduate Faculty status revoked by the Dean of the Odum School, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Provost, or the President outside the periodic review process. Revocation may occur for egregious acts or when a faculty member fails to fulfill the responsibilities of a member of the Graduate Faculty to teach graduate student(s) effectively, in a civil, professionally appropriate manner, to do scholarly research and creative work of high quality or remain active in the practice of the profession, 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.

  1. When a graduate student or faculty member has a complaint about the performance or behavior of a faculty member directly related to their responsibilities as a Graduate Faculty member, the first course of action should be to try to resolve the complaint directly with the faculty member.
  2. If the student/faculty member is unable to resolve the complaint with the Graduate Faculty member, or does not feel safe or free from retaliation, then an oral or written complaint should be delivered to the OSE Dean or the OSE graduate coordinator.
  3. The Dean and/or graduate coordinator must investigate the complaint and work with the student/faculty member making the complaint (complainant) and the Graduate Faculty member.
  4. The Dean and/or graduate coordinator must provide a written summary to the complainant and to the Graduate Faculty member against whom the complaint was made of the outcome of their investigation of the complaint and of the recommendations made to resolve the issue. A copy of this letter will be placed in the personnel file of the Graduate Faculty member.
  5. If the complainant(s), the faculty member, the graduate coordinator or the Dean are not satisfied with the resolutions provided by the Dean and/or the graduate coordinator, then they can make a written request to the Dean and/or graduate coordinator for the formation of a committee to investigate the complaint. A committee consisting of three Graduate Faculty members (at least one of whom must be from outside the unit) must be appointed in response to this request.
  6. The appointed committee must convene to review the complaint and to meet with all affected parties and provide a written assessment to the Dean and graduate coordinator with recommendations for necessary action. A copy of this letter will also be provided to the complainant and the Graduate Faculty member against whom the complaint has been made, and a copy will be placed in the personnel file of the Graduate Faculty member.
  7. In response to the recommendation from the committee, the Dean and/or graduate coordinator may initiate procedures for re-evaluation of the Graduate Faculty status of the faculty member against whom the complaint has been made.
  8. Graduate Faculty in OSE will review and vote on the Graduate Faculty status of the faculty member and shall follow Appointment and Reappointment procedures for recommendation to the Graduate Faculty including consideration of all documentation associated with the recommendation.
  9. The outcome of the Graduate Faculty vote together with a letter from the graduate coordinator and all documentation associated with the recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean.
  10. The Dean will forward this information together with a letter of recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School.
  11. The Dean of the Graduate School will forward the information or review to the Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council. The committee will provide a recommendation to the dean, who will render a decision and notify all parties as to the resolution of the matter. If the decision results in revocation of Graduate Faculty status, then the dean will work with the academic unit to develop a plan of action that will allow the faculty member to reapply for Graduate Faculty status.
  12. If Graduate Faculty status is revoked, the faculty member has the right to make an appeal against the decision to the Provost. This appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the dean of the Graduate School providing notification of the removal of Graduate Faculty status. The Provost is the final arbiter of the decision to revoke Graduate Faculty status.

Graduate Faculty status will be immediately revoked for any faculty member found in violation of UGA’s non-discrimination, anti-harassment regulations, or workplace violence. See embedded links for UGA policy regarding these matters.

All investigations into complaints against Graduate Faculty will be dealt with expeditiously. Normally, there should be no more than 30 days between the presentation of the complaint and resolution of a complaint or, if necessary, a vote by the Graduate Faculty in OSE on the Graduate Faculty status of the faculty member against whom the complaint was made. If efforts are ongoing to informally resolve the complaint, the unit head and/or graduate coordinator may extend the time for formal review of the complaint.

Both the faculty member and the complainant have the right to seek the advice of an attorney, but attorneys are not authorized to participate in the dispute resolution process.

Students and faculty members who, in good faith, report what they believe to be a valid complaint, or who cooperate in any investigation, will not be subjected to retaliation. Any student or faculty member who believes he or she has been the victim of retaliation for making a complaint or cooperating in an investigation should immediately contact the Dean and/or graduate coordinator. Any person found to have retaliated against a person who has cooperated in an investigation will be in violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.