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Responsibilities and Accountability for Graduate Programs

Guiding Principles

  • Establish or reinforce the following direct line of reporting and accountability for all graduate program activities:
    Students & Faculty=>GPD=>Chair Department/School=>Dean=>Provost
    (In the case of interdisciplinary programs, program directors report to their respective Dean(s) who report to the Provost.)
  • Provost and staff of Academic Affairs are responsible to the President and BOV for compliance with the policies and reporting requirements of the University, external agencies and accrediting bodies and for the assessment of progress made to achieving University Strategic Plan and objectives.
  • Deans are directly responsible and accountable for the Provost for enforcement of policies, performing audits, data collection and managmenet, periodic and annual reports, assessments of quality, productivity and viability, and the marketing and recruitment of graduate programs in the College.


  • Establish University stratgeic priorities, goals, and objectives for graduate programs, including distance learning graduate programs.
  • Make critical descisions regarding resource allocations and performance expectations of gradaute programs--health insurance, housing, etc. in conjection with the Dean.
  • Establish University policies and practices that govern the conduct of all aspects of graduate education and administration.
  • Monitor the quality and productivity of all graduate programs, on and off campus and determine their compliance with compliance with policies and requirements established by the University and external agencies.
  • Provide oversight on management, policies and accountablity of graduate student support.
  • Oversee the development and provide guidance for University-level interdisciplinary programs in conjunction with the Dean(s).
  • Mediate and render final decisions on graduate student and faculty grievances, grade appeals, and alleged misconduct and violations of University Code of Ethics in accourdance with due process procedures.
  • Oversee the negotation and provide a recomendation to the President to the President for final approval of University-level commitments to MOUs, consortia, joint programs and other academic activities.
  • Update and publish the University Graduate Catalog.
  • Oversee and provide support for the training and evaluation of Graduate Teaching Assistants.

The Colleges are responsible for the administration and monitoring of graduate programs. This function includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Annual self-study and periodic external evaluations of graduate programs and departments.
  • Assure compliance with all University, State and Federal laws, guidelines and policies and with the requirements of accreditation/acrediting agencies.
  • Certify faculty for graduate instructions.
  • Monitor and assess the impact and effectiveness of graduate student financial support on student success, completion and resesarch productivity.
  • Work with the Offices of Financial Aid and Payroll to award all student assistantships, fellowships, and tuition support.
  • Track and annually review student academic progress - minimum enrollment or registration requirements, minimum GPA, attaining critical benchmarks, time-to-degree, etc.
  • Appoint and approve graduate faculty and student committees - thesis and dissertation, guidance, etc.
  • Counsel, resolve and take corrective action in cases of graduate student grievances, grade appeals, allegations of misconduct or unethical behaviors.
  • Develop and administer new graduate programs.
  • Provide certification for Licensures and Certificates and graduate degree completion.
  • Train and evaluate Graduate Teaching Assistants within each of the departments/schools.
  • Provide Provost with an annual update of the quality, productivity and viability of each graduate program, with a through review once every 5 years in accordance with University policy.
  • Provide Provost with demonstration and justification of impact of graduate student financial support on student outcomes and success.
  • Appointment and review of graduate faculty.
  • Assurance of compliance with all associated University, State and Federal laws, guidelines and policies (in conjunction with Academic Affairs).
  • Professional development - trends in graduate and post-graduate education, best practices, networking, student mentoring, and career development.
  • Enhancement of research and scholarship.
  • Meeting SCHEV, SACS and specialized accreditation standards and policies (in conjunction with Academic Affairs).
  • Ensure that the administration of graduate programs conforms to University and College policies.
  • Provide an orientation to the department for incoming graduate students at least annually.
  • Provide the Dean with an annual evaluation of the quality, productivity and viability of each graduate program.
  • Meditate and take corrective actions on grievances and problems between faculty, GPDs, students and allied administrative units.
  • Provide the Dean with strategic plan and a 4 year plan for graduate programs within the department that includes a budget, faculty workloads, student financial support, and target outcomes.
  • Design and provide a mentoring program for graduate students.
  • Program Marketing and Recruitment - for example, plan, initiate and maintain contact with prospects, prepare the content of promotional materials and maintain program website.
  • Admission to Program - including coordinate application review, oversight of admissions decisions, maintain communication with admitted students, determine financial aid offers to candiddates, establish program capacity, manage enrollment, and conduct student orientation.
  • Advising and Problem Resolution - mentor and advise students, establish student plans of study, coordinate thesis and dissertaion schedules, handle student requests for exemptions and waivers, and certify students for graduation.
  • Curriculum and Program Assessment - maintain student progress and completion data, collect graduate student productivity
  • Program Policies and Manual - maintain the program manual and disseminate student guidelines.

Additional responsibilities may be assigned by the department chair with appropriate levels of support.

Approved by the Provost's Council - May 11, 2010
Approved by the Provost - May, 11, 2010