Graduate Faculty Appointments

Graduate Faculty

Faculty hired into tenure-leading positions are automatically granted Graduate Faculty status.  Staff or faculty hired in non-tenure leading positions may be nominated for Graduate Faculty Status.

Graduate Faculty may vote on any matter presented to the graduate faculty, including the election of the Graduate Council for their specific campus. They may also hold any elected office in the Graduate College. Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses, serve on final examining committees, and serve on supervisory committees. Graduate Faculty have the additional responsibility of voting on certain nominations of graduate faculty in their department/school or interdepartmental program.

 Non-tenure line faculty members nominated for Graduate Faculty status must

  • hold the rank of Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor or equivalent or above;
  • hold the terminal degree normally accepted for academic employment in the discipline or its clear equivalent as determined by the Graduate Committee of the nominee’s department/school or interdepartmental area;
  • have demonstrated clear evidence of continuing scholarly activity at the national level and potential beyond teaching; and
  • be actively involved in scholarly/creative activity and/or graduate teaching as part of his or her regular duties.

After obtaining a majority vote of the entire graduate faculty, the nominating department completes the nomination and submits the form to Graduate Studies.  The form includes the following signatures:

  1. Nominee
  2. Nominator
  3. Graduate Committee Chair
  4. Department Chair
  5. Appropriate College Dean

The signed form is submitted by Graduate Studies to UNL’s Central Administration for consideration.

Graduate faculty appointments exist through the length of the faculty member’s appointment with the University.

Graduate Faculty Associates

Graduate Faculty Associates may teach graduate courses, direct masters theses, serve on or chair masters degree examining committees, and serve on, but not chair or co-chair, doctoral supervisory committees.

Nominations must be recommended with a majority approval of the appropriate departmental or interdepartmental area graduate committee and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. 

To be nominated by their program’s Graduate Committee, the staff member must meet the following requirements

  • have the terminal degree; and
  • the rank of Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor of Practice, Research Assistant Professor, or corresponding adjunct faculty rank or Adjunct Assistant Professor or above.

Graduate Faculty Associate status is effective only for the approved period (up to four years), but may be renewed upon request.

Graduate Faculty Associates do not have a vote on the Graduate Faculty, nor can they hold any elected office in the Graduate College.

Graduate Courtesy Members

The UNL graduate faculty welcomes associations with faculty members from other institutions who might contribute unique expertise to our doctoral programs. These external experts, who must hold a doctoral degree appropriate to the discipline and have academic accomplishments comparable to the criteria for UNL Graduate Faculty, are eligible for appointment as “courtesy” members of doctoral supervisory committees.

Courtesy faculty  

  • are appointed as voting members of the supervisory committee and must be willing to participate in the student’s doctoral program in a manner consistent with this role;
  • may serve as one of the two appointed readers;
  • may not serve as committee chair, co-chair, or outside representative; and
  • are not granted as a blanket status and must be approved separately for each supervisory committee upon which the individual is nominated to serve.

Only one courtesy member may serve on each supervisory committee, and the committee must include a minimum of four members of the University of Nebraska Graduate Faculty.

Appointment of a courtesy member is accomplished by the submission of the “Courtesy Committee Member” form signed by the supervisory committee chair and graduate committee chair. A current CV from the courtesy member should be submitted with this form (the CV may be emailed to

Graduate Lecturers

The departmental chair/head may recommend the approval of a lecturer for a graduate level course. Such approval is needed for a staff member who does not qualify as a graduate member or graduate associate, but

  • holds the terminal degree normally accepted for employment in the discipline; or
  • has achieved some extraordinary accomplishments as determined by the Graduate Committee of the nominating department.

The lecturer appointment is only valid for the semester for which it was approved.

The Request for Approval of Graduate Lecturer form should be submitted with the proposed lecturer’s vita to the Graduate Studies Office.


Graduate faculty who have been appointed to emeritus status may retain the rights and privileges associated with their membership on the Graduate Faculty. These rights and privileges includes permission to

  • teach graduate courses;
  • serve as members of graduate programs; and
  • co-chair the supervisory committees of doctoral students with a resident member of the Graduate Faculty.

Emeritus status is granted by the faculty member’s program at the time of their retirement from the University.