Graduate Committee Chair Resource Guide

Role of the Graduate Chair

As the Graduate Committee Chair, you are responsible for:

  • Assuring fair and consistent compliance with all Graduate College and UNL policies that govern graduate education.
  • Overseeing all graduate degrees, majors, specializations, minors and certificate programs in your unit.
  • Facilitating the agenda and deliberations of the graduate committee and assisting them to create graduate programs in which exemplary students are held to high expectations.
  • Helping colleagues design cutting edge curriculum, examinations and research requirements, and assist them in providing attentive mentoring for all graduate students.
  • Assuring that every graduate student is held to the highest standards of academic integrity. 
  • Overseeing student appeals.

By recommending you for this position of academic leadership, your colleagues have asked you to foster the rigor and sophistication of graduate education in your program. It's essential that you collaborate with your department chair or head and your dean to accomplish this important mission.

The entire Graduate Studies staff is prepared to assist you in every aspect of your new role.

Graduate Faculty and Administration

Graduate Faculty Status

Full graduate faculty status is usually reserved for tenure-line faculty. Associate graduate faculty status is available for non-tenure line faculty and adjuncts. Graduate Lecturer status permits the teaching of specific graduate courses.

The Graduate Faculty page provides forms and policies for nominating persons for Graduate Faculty, Graduate Faculty Associate, or Graduate Lecturer. Faculty listed on our Graduate Program Summaries have Graduate Faculty status and are eligible to serve on committees. If you have questions or updates, contact Lisa Cordonier.

Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is the campus level graduate faculty governing body and is composed of eight graduate faculty and two graduate students. This body and the graduate program committees provide governance of graduate programs. Current Graduate Council members and meeting minutes are available on the Graduate Council page. If you have questions about Graduate Council, contact Dr. Debra Hope or Lisa Cordonier.

Programs and Curriculum

New Graduate Degrees, Majors, Specializations or Certificates

Procedures for creating new degrees or majors are found on the Academic Planning Committee website. Forms for new specializations and certificates are on the Curriculum and Program Resources page. For information about creating or modifying graduate programs, contact Dr. Debra Hope.

Graduate Curriculum Review

Dr. Eva Bachman can assist with questions about new or revised graduate courses. Visit the Curriculum and Program Resources page for a summary of forms and procedures.

New Students

Graduate Recruitment

Our recruitment staff is led by Assistant Dean Alisha Hanshaw. The recruitment team is ready to help with web design, direct email campaigns to prospective students, campus visits, developing departmental recruitment plans, specialized recruitment for underrepresented students, and brainstorming ways to help you in enrolling your top students.

Graduate Admissions

Our graduate admissions staff evaluate academic credentials and test scores, send active application materials to graduate admission committees, admit students to the Graduate College, and assist applicants and staff throughout the application process.

Graduate Admissions can also provide basic information about various scholarships held by international applicants, such as Fulbright, China Scholarship Council, and others.

Current Students

Forms and Deadlines

Writeable and savable versions of all master's and doctoral forms are available on the Degrees page. You or your students can access a list showing deadlines along with forms (in the order in which they are needed).

Master's Programs Coordinator

If you have questions about master's degree programs and procedures, Terri Eastin is available to assist.

Doctoral Programs Coordinator

If you have questions pertaining to doctoral degree programs and procedures, Kelsey Sims will assist you.

Graduate Registrar

Questions about student registration should be directed to Eva Bachman, who serves as Graduate Registrar. Policies concerning graduate registration are found in the Graduate Catalog.

Probation, Termination and Appeals

Before placing a student on probation or recommending the termination of their graduate degree program, please familiarize yourself with the Probation and Termination Policy and contact Dr. Debra Hope to ensure a good understanding of the policies and procedures that govern these actions.

Funding and Training for Students

Fellowship Specialist

Caroline Knuth oversees our internal fellowship competitions. She is available to advise students on searches for external fellowships. Fellowship information is available.

Assistantship Policies

The Office of Graduate Studies provides guidelines for hiring graduate students on assistantships, which are reviewed annually and updated as needed. The Funding page provides assistantship guidelines that contains information about minimum pay, benefits and employment requirements, in addition to sample offer letters for graduate assistants; NU's General Counsel strongly recommends the use of these sample offer letters. Information and policies about assistantships can be found also in the Graduate Catalog. Questions about assistantship policies should be directed to Caroline Knuth.

Training Grant Assistance

Graduate Studies can provide a wide range of expertise and assistance in the pre- and post-award phases of training grants. We help with proposal language concerning recruitment, funding, education and retention programs, and professional development activities such as TA development, ethics, writing and presenting skills, job search support, etc. For more information contact Dr. Debra Hope.

Awards and Development

Graduate Studies Recognition Awards for Students and Faculty

Each fall, the Office of Graduate Studies holds competitions for outstanding masters' theses and doctoral dissertations, outstanding graduate research and teaching assistants, and faculty excellence in graduate mentoring. Access nomination materials and lists of past recipients via the Folsom and Graduate Studies Awards page.

Graduate Student Development

Our office offers a variety of professional development activities, including the Campus-Wide Workshops for Graduate Teaching Assistants, the Institute for International Teaching Assistants, and the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program. The Teaching Documentation Program (TDP) helps graduate students teach better, now and in the future, and prepares them for the job search process by helping them document their teaching development efforts. We can provide customized instructional and professional development workshops based on department needs and interests. This effort is led by Dr. Jennifer Wood; the programs are described in the Professional Development section of the site.

Assistance for Postdocs and Postdoc Supervisors

Postdoctoral Studies serves as a centralized professional and career development resource for both postdocs and their faculty supervisors. Dr. Jennifer Wood is Associate Dean for Professional Development.