Appendix - G: Graduate Faculty Membership & Associate Membership
G.1 Graduate Faculty Full Membership
Membership on the graduate faculty is granted to an individual who holds a tenure track appointment with the academic rank of assistant professor or above at Iowa State University.
Eligibility to serve as a member of the graduate faculty is concomitant with the recording of a tenure-track faculty member’s hire in the Provost’s Office. Tenure track faculty members are expected to participate in an orientation sponsored by the Graduate College and are added to the roster of graduate faculty promptly thereafter.
The graduate faculty also includes the president, the provost, vice provosts and associate provosts, the Dean of the Graduate College, deans and associate deans of the other colleges, the dean of library services, and the directors and associate directors of research institutes.
Individuals pursuing a graduate degree at Iowa State University are not eligible for Graduate Faculty membership.
Associate Faculty members may be eligible for full Graduate Faculty membership under specific circumstances defined below. (See Appendix G.1.1)
Rights and Responsibilities
A full member of the graduate faculty can teach at the graduate level (currently indicated as 500 and 600 level courses). For graduate faculty membership in other majors (including interdepartmental majors), faculty members need to apply for appointment using the approach established by the other programs’ governance document. A full member of the graduate faculty may be the chair of a program of study committee (and therefore serve as the major supervisor of the student) for the degree level (doctoral or master's level) up to and including the highest degree level they achieved. A full member with a master's level degree can co-chair a Ph.D. committee as long as the other co-chair is a full member with a doctoral level degree. A full member of the graduate faculty can serve as a member on any program of study committee. A full member of the graduate faculty is eligible to serve as Director of Graduate Education for Master's and Doctoral Programs and Director of Certificate Studies in Graduate Certificate programs.
G.1.1. Term Faculty Requesting Full Graduate Faculty Membership
An Associate Graduate Faculty member who has a term faculty appointment and who has served as such for a period of approximately five or more years may, in rare circumstances, be eligible for nomination as a full member of the Graduate Faculty. Such a candidate will have an outstanding history of graduate student advising, research, and be an active participant in their program's curriculum. Such an application must have the full support of the departmental chair, the DOGE, and the program's graduate faculty members.
Procedure for Membership
All of the processes to be followed for a nomination will be those for a regular renewal, with the exception of the following. First, a nomination letter should contain a much greater level of justification. In effect, the nomination for Full Membership status, if approved, would confer the privileges of a tenured research faculty with respect to graduate education, and the letter should demonstrate a perspective mindful of that privilege and detail significant past accomplishments in the applicant's history within the graduate program considering them for full membership. Second, the nomination must also include a letter of support from the nominating unit's Promotion and Tenure Committee, or an equivalent thereof. Third, after review of the application by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee, if the nomination for Full membership is satisfactory to the committee, the nomination will be subject to consideration and a full vote of the Graduate Council, by regular Council procedures. Both or either the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee of the Graduate Council may request additional supplements, edits, or other changes to the nomination as they deem necessary to ensure rigor of the nomination process.
G.2. Graduate Faculty Associate Membership
Any full member of the graduate faculty may nominate a non-tenure track faculty member for graduate faculty associate membership. Non-ISU employees may also be nominated for associate graduate faculty membership so that they may serve as members of a POSC or teach graduate courses (see Associate Membership Nomination Form). Associate members of the graduate faculty must have demonstrated competence for pursuing creative work by completing a research doctorate or the highest degree appropriate to the discipline from an accredited or internationally recognized institution. See section 6.2.3 for guidance on committee composition and membership.
In rare circumstances, individuals without the defined degree requirement may be eligible for graduate faculty associate membership when they have a demonstrated record of impactful creative work to establish equivalent tested experience (See Appendix G.5).
Individuals pursuing a graduate degree at Iowa State University, and postdoctoral associates at Iowa State or elsewhere, are not eligible for graduate faculty associate membership.
Procedure for Membership
Nominations for graduate faculty associate membership may be made for consideration by the Graduate College at any time of the year. Every nomination consists of the form Nomination for Graduate Faculty Associate Membership (available under the group header “Nomination for Graduate Faculty” on the Graduate College website at https://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/faculty-and-staff/forms/), a current curriculum vita of the nominee documenting evidence of the required equivalent degree, and a letter of support for the nominee from the director of graduate education of the major. This letter should detail how the candidate’s expertise will be of benefit so that the justification for the requested activities is clear, explain how the candidate is expected to contribute to the program and in what capacity, and highlight past contributions for the candidate with respect to graduate education, if applicable. A vote of graduate faculty in the major is required (ISU faculty only). The DOGE is responsible for ensuring that all members of the graduate faculty in the major (rosters are available from the Graduate College) are invited to vote to support or not support the nomination by secret ballot. A simple majority of those who cast a ballot will be considered affirmative. The nomination form will include the results of this vote (affirmative or not affirmative, no numbers). A nomination for associate membership can be declined by the nominee.
Following the above steps, the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee (appointed by the Graduate Council) will review applications for graduate faculty associate membership and make a recommendation to the Graduate College for a final decision. Following approval, faculty members are encouraged to participate in an orientation sponsored by the Graduate College.
Associate membership is granted for a five-year term, but will terminate at the end of the faculty rank appointment. After completion of a 5-year term, associate members are eligible for a 10-year associate member appointment. The process is identical to the first appointment, with the addition of a review of activities related to graduate education in the previous term appointment.
Rights and Responsibilities
Associate membership is granted for specific activities that should be requested explicitly. Possible activities are teaching graduate (500 and 600 level) courses, serving on program of study committees of master’s and Ph.D. students, and other activities that are relevant to the program for which the faculty member has been nominated. For ISU employees, these activities must be consistent with the faculty member’s Position Responsibility Statement. Depending on the highest degree held by an associate member, they may co-chair a master’s or doctoral program of study committee if a full member of the graduate faculty serves as a co-chair. To serve as co-chair, an associate graduate faculty member must comply with ISU's Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy, Procedures, and applicable management plan. A member of the graduate faculty whose highest degree is a master’s may not co-chair doctoral committees. An associate member may individually chair a POS committee for master’s programs not requiring a thesis. An associate member of the graduate faculty is eligible to serve as Director of Graduate Education of only coursework-only master’s programs and Director of Certificate Studies in graduate certificate programs. Non-ISU associate graduate faculty members cannot individually chair a POS committee, nor may they serve as DOGE.
G.3 Nonmembers of the Graduate Faculty
G.3.1 Graduate Lecturer
A graduate lecturer must hold current faculty status at Iowa State University and have obtained at least a master’s degree. In rare circumstances, individuals without the defined degree requirement may be eligible for Graduate Lecturer appointment when they have a demonstrated record of impactful creative work to establish equivalent experience (See Appendix G.5).
Individuals pursuing a graduate degree at Iowa State University are not eligible for Graduate Lecturer status in that same area of study.
Procedure for Appointment
A request for a staff member to be designated a graduate lecturer should be initiated by the department chair and submitted to the Dean of the Graduate College after approval by the respective college dean. These requests should be supported by evidence of the individual’s academic qualifications (i.e., curriculum vitae), the name(s) of the graduate course(s) to be taught, and a justification for the request.
The Dean of the Graduate College may appoint a graduate lecturer for a period of up to five years. Requests for reappointment should be directed to the Graduate College. Appropriate evidence of continuing need should accompany these requests, along with course(s) to be taught, and justification for the request. Requests are reviewed and approved by the Dean of the Graduate College. Graduate lectureship is not intended as a mechanism for staffing graduate courses for prolonged periods of time.
Although not a member of the graduate faculty, a graduate lecturer is permitted to teach specified courses at the graduate level. Since a graduate lecturer does not supervise students working toward advanced degrees, they cannot serve as an official member of a POS Committee.
G.4 Degree Equivalence (Doctoral or Master's)
G.4.1 Ph.D. Degrees
The research doctorate is the highest earned academic degree. A Ph.D. is always awarded for independent research at a professional level in either academic disciplines or professional fields. Regardless of the entry point, doctoral studies involve several stages of academic work. These may include the completion of preliminary course, seminar, and laboratory studies and/or the passing of a battery of written/oral examinations. The Ph.D. student selects an academic adviser and a subject for the dissertation, is assigned a dissertation committee, and designs their research (some educators call the doctoral thesis a dissertation to distinguish it from lesser theses). The dissertation committee consists usually of 3-5 faculty members in the student's research field, including the adviser.
G.4.2 Independent research
Conducting the research and writing the dissertation usually require one to several years depending upon the topic selected and the research work necessary to prepare the dissertation. In defending their dissertation, the Ph.D. candidate must establish mastery of the subject matter, explain and justify their research findings, and answer all questions put by the committee. A successful defense is required before the Ph.D. is granted.
G.4.3 Degrees equivalent to the Ph.D.
It is recognized that there are some other doctoral titles that enjoy the same status and represent variants of the Ph.D. in certain fields. All of them have similar content requirements. The term used by the U.S. Department of Education is Doctor's degree-research/scholarship and defined as a Ph.D. or other doctor's degree that requires advanced work beyond the master's level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research, or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include Ed.D., D.M.A., D.B.A., D.Sc., D.A., or D.M, and others, as designated by the awarding institution. Potential applicants for term graduate faculty status are invited to consult the following web-pages for useful references on degrees that will be considered equivalent to the Ph.D.:
- List of research doctorate titles awarded in the United States that enjoy the same status and represent variants of the Ph.D. within certain fields are listed by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17306/data/taba1.pdf
- The list of research doctorate titles awarded in the European Union that enjoy the same status and represent variants of the Ph.D. within certain fields are listed by the "Examinations, qualifications and titles - Second edition, Volume 1, European glossary on education": http://bookshop.europa.eu/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/EU-Bookshop-Site/en_GB/-/EUR/ViewPublication-Start?PublicationKey=EC3212292 (table in Part II of .pdf document) catalogue number: EC-32-12-292-EN-N
- Applicants with research doctoral degrees from other countries should document that they have conducted graduate research and had equivalent training as discussed above i.e. independent research, completion of preliminary course, seminar, and laboratory studies and/or the passing of a battery of written/oral examinations, and defense of a dissertation to a committee of faculty members in the student's research field.
G.4.4 Doctor’s degrees: Professional Practice
The classification "doctor's degree - professional practice" has been used for "[a] doctor's degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice." These are professional degrees in various fields of professional practice and not graduate research degrees. Several degree titles in such fields include the term "Doctor", but they are neither research doctorates nor equivalent to the Ph.D. Some examples of U.S. professional degrees are listed.
- Chiropractic (D.C., D.C.M.)
- Dentistry (D.D.S., D.M.D.)
- Law (LL.B., J.D.)
- Medicine (M.B., M.D.)
- Optometry (O.D.)
- Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
- Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
- Podiatry (D.P.M., D.P., Pod.D.)
- Theology (M.Div, M.H.L., B.D., Ordination)
- Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M., V.M.D.)
G.4.5 Research Master's
A research master's student should have a substantial component of research work that resulted in a thesis or dissertation (i.e., > 1 /3 of required credits awarded for research work). The terms Master of Science and Master of Arts are commonly used to denote a research master’s degree, but can also be used to describe a professional master's degree. Similarly, Master of “Field of Study” may also be a research master's degree. If clarification is needed, it is suggested that the thesis topic or publication titles be submitted for clarification as evidence of the research component of the master's training.
G.4.6 Professional Master's
Many master's degrees are professional master's degrees (PSM) which are generally a science plus (+) curricula. PSM programs often consist of two years of coursework along with a professional experiential component that includes business, communications, and/or regulatory affairs. Close cooperation with employers, as well as an internship in a business or public sector enterprise, is often included in the program. Over 1000 PSM programs are available. Examples of degree names are below. However, the terms Master of Science and Master of Arts can be used to refer to a research or professional master’s degree. Similarly, Master of “Field of Study” may also be a research master’s degree.
- Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)
- Master of Public Health (M.P.H)
- MBS (Master of Business and Science)
- MPS (Master of Professional Science)
- Master of Field of Study (e.g. Master of Bioscience, Master of Biotechnology)
G.5 Equivalent experience
Confirming equivalent experience for the appointment requires “tested experience in that it includes a breadth and depth of experience outside the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member would be teaching” (from page 4 in the HLC report entitled “Using Tested Experience as a Basis for Determining Minimally Qualified Faculty,” Higher Learning Commission, March 2016). Tested experience used as equivalence for the credentials should be established for specific disciplines. A record of impactful leadership in developing research, scholarship, and achievement consistent with the program should be required.
Examples of tested experience
Directed a research program and generated creative and scholarly works that were favorably reviewed by peers in the major area/discipline (books, art, journal articles, patents).
Developed curricula in successful graduate programs.
Hold a demonstrated record of directing students in graduate programs.➤