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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Members Appointed to the Graduate Faculty

The training of future scholars and professional leaders in graduate programs enhances the intellectual vitality and reputation of a university. To offer a quality graduate program, the faculty-individually and as a group--must be active scholars in their discipline or profession.

Graduate programs nominate individuals to the University’s Graduate Faculty in one of the three categories: regular graduate faculty, associated graduate faculty, or special graduate faculty. The nomination, including an up-to-date curriculum vita, should be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies. If there are concerns or questions about the categories, these should be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Decisions regarding appointments will be made by the Dean and a subcommittee of Graduate Faculty Council.

Graduate Faculty status is required to:

  • serve as an advisor or regular member of a graduate advisory or examination committee;
  • teach a graduate course;
  • serve as a member of Graduate Faculty Council (ex-officio members excluded);
  • serve as a Graduate Officer/Program Director or equivalent position

Persons nominated for Regular and Associated Graduate Faculty Status should, at a minimum, be active researchers with activities such as:

  • regularly publishing articles in refereed journals, books or chapters in books, or conference proceedings that are read and reviewed by academic and professional peers;
  • producing technical reports for agencies on the completion of contract research;
  • regularly presenting invited or submitted papers at scholarly conferences or professional meetings attended by colleagues in the field of expertise;
  • where creative practice is involved, showing evidence of disseminated activity relevant to the specific field of graduate study (e.g., performance, composition, exhibitions);
  • editing a journal or serving as a reviewer for journals or granting agencies;
  • applying for, and being awarded, internal and external peer-reviewed grants and contracts;
  • advising graduate students to the successful completion of a thesis/research project;
  • serving as internal and external members on graduate students’ committees;
  • serving on graduate advisory committees.

Persons nominated for Special Graduate Faculty status should have special knowledge, expertise or professional experience such as:

  • senior standing, appointment or affiliation of significant duration (normally 5 years) in a professional organization, industry, government body or context directly related to the academic program;
  • significant training and/or experience in the subject matter or context of the academic program.

Faculties or departments may devise additional criteria to be met (to be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies). In the event that a Faculty or department determines a member is not (or is no longer) eligible for Graduate Faculty, that decision must be communicated in writing to the faculty member and to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, with explanation. A faculty member wishing to appeal this decision may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, with evidence, and that appeal will be considered a subcommittee of Graduate Faculty Council.

Procedures for Appointment

The Chairperson (or equivalent) (i.e., Social Work, Music and the Seminary), will submit to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies the candidate’s CV along with the completed nomination form. A subcommittee of Graduate Faculty Council will meet to review submissions when the current appointment expires, or once per month (as necessary). Faculty appointed by the committee will be placed on a list of Graduate Faculty which is filed in the University Graduate Office and in the Department and Faculty office.

If the Committee does not accept a recommendation, the Department Chairperson/Dean may request reconsideration within 10 days. The Chairperson/Dean will be invited to provide additional information and to meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies who may elect to support or overturn the decision.

Note: Individuals who are registered students at Laurier or elsewhere are ineligible to serve in any capacity on an advisory committee. Individuals who hold a Contract Academic Staff (CAS) position under Article 13.5.2 to teach a graduate-level course will be required to hold Special Graduate Faculty status. 

Regular Graduate Faculty

Regular Graduate Faculty should be current tenured or tenure stream faculty members at Wilfrid Laurier University. Normally, Regular Graduate Faculty are expected to hold a PhD or the most senior degree in their particular area of expertise. Exceptions to this guideline must be accompanied by justification outlining the nature and extent of the experience that equips the nominee for Regular Graduate Faculty status. Individuals nominated to Regular Graduate Faculty may be involved with all aspects of graduate education including advising and examining students and teaching graduate courses. Departments and programs are expected to provide support for newly appointed faculty to the University, especially individuals who do not possess previous experience advising students. It is strongly advised that programs require newly appointed faculty to serve as co-advisors linked with a more experienced faculty member in the early part of their career. The duration of an appointment to this category will normally correspond to the OCGS periodic appraisal cycle for the program with which the candidate is affiliated.

Associated Graduate Faculty

Associated Graduate Faculty are not current members of the tenured stream faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University. They may be contractually limited, retired, in research positions or members of graduate faculty from other institutions. In most cases, Associated Graduate Faculty are expected to hold a senior research degree in their particular areas of expertise. They should also have a research track record and some experience working on graduate advisory committees. Associated Graduate Faculty are permitted to work on advisory committees, examine students and teach graduate courses. They are also able to co-advise students, but may not serve as sole advisor. If an Associated Graduate Faculty member is a co-advisor, the other co-advisor must be a member of the Regular Graduate Faculty. The duration of an appointment in this category is normally between one and four years, or for the duration of the advisory committee to which the member has been appointed.

Special Graduate Faculty

This category is intended for individuals who have some research or specialized knowledge or experience which is deemed to be an important addition to the graduate program. The roles and responsibilities of the nominee must be defined at the time of nomination and each revision of the roles and responsibilities must be submitted for approval. Although senior academic qualification and experience is desirable for Special Graduate Faculty, this is not essential. Special Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses and serve on advisory and examination committees, but may not serve as advisor or co-advisor. The duration of an appointment in this category will not exceed two years.