Graduate Faculty Bylaws

The following are the bylaws of the Graduate Faculty, approved on May 3, 2016 by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty:

The Duke University Graduate Faculty is composed of full and term members, who together advise graduate students and serve on their milestone examination committees. Membership is contingent upon adherence to the Duke Community Standard. Full Graduate Faculty membership is of an unlimited duration as long as a full-time Duke faculty appointment is active and responsibilities are met. These include the following:

  • Appropriate oversight and assistance to all students on whose committee a member serves.
  • Attentive advisory support of all students for whom a Graduate Faculty member serves as supervisor, chair or primary advisor.
  • Active engagement in development and delivery of the graduate program.

Full Graduate Faculty membership confers the following privileges:

  • To chair graduate master’s or doctoral committees in the departments or units in which one serves as a full member.
  • To act as the primary advisor of a doctoral candidate or supervisor of graduate student’s dissertation research.
  • To participate in designing degree requirements for departments or programs in which she/he is a member.

Term membership on the Graduate Faculty is for a defined period of service on student milestone committee(s), and may or may not involve an ongoing advisory role in a student’s research on whose committee a term member may serve. A Graduate Faculty appointment is not necessary to act as instructor to a graduate student in a course.

Qualifications for Graduate Faculty Membership

Nominal prerequisites for admission to the Graduate Faculty as a full member include possession of a terminal degree in the relevant discipline, and a current faculty appointment at Duke University. In addition, the candidate must have a tenure track faculty appointment at Duke, or another regular-rank, full-time Duke faculty appointment and the experience and distinction of current full Graduate Faculty in the nominating unit. Nominating departments may set additional requirements if they choose or, in special cases, request that the Dean waive one of these prerequisites (as in the case of joint degree programs with other universities, or programs at Duke Kunshan University). Only departments with approved graduate degrees are eligible to nominate members of their own primary or secondary faculty as full members of the Graduate Faculty. In rare exceptions made by the Dean, non-departmental doctoral degree programs can nominate for full faculty membership, but only in the case of programs that have the financial resources to support students for a minimum of five years. Secondary faculty may chair committees only if approved to do so by the primary, full Graduate Faculty of the host department.

Term membership for service on a student milestone committee requires a degree that is at least the same level for which the student is a degree candidate (e.g., a doctoral degree for a doctoral committee). Term faculty members must have demonstrable scholarly or research expertise in the broad field of the degree candidate on whose committee the term member would serve. Term members may be nominated by any academic unit with an approved Graduate School degree program, for service on its milestone committees. Candidates may be appointed for a renewable limited term of up to five years. Duke faculty who are term members and experienced in graduate education, with service on four or more previous milestone committees at Duke, may be nominated by the program’s DGS to chair master’s examination committees. Term members may chair dissertation committees only in the case of joint doctoral programs with other universities, and only when explicitly approved to do so by the responsible academic deans of both universities.