Graduate Committee Chair Resource Guide

Basics

Role of the Graduate Chair

As the Graduate Committee Chair, you are responsible for:
  • Assuring fair and consistent compliance with all Graduate College policies and for overseeing student appeals.
  • 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.

By offering you 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.

Chalk

UNL Graduate Bulletin

The Graduate Bulletin describes all graduate policies and programs. The current Bulletin and archived versions of previous Bulletins are available online. Jane Schneider oversees the process for updating and editing the Bulletin.

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 UNL 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. Most 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 Eva Bachman.

UNL 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 at UNL. Current Graduate Council members and meeting minutes are available on the Graduate Faculty page. If you have questions about Graduate Council, contact Dean of Graduate Studies Lance Pérez or Jane Schneider.

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, please contact Dr. Laurie Bellows.

Graduate Curriculum Review

Jane Schneider 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 Director Justina Clark. The recruitment team is ready to help with web design, Talisma (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. Use the Graduate Student Recruitment site section to explore the many ways the recruitment team can assist you.

Graduate Admissions

Our graduate admissions staff is led by Assistant Director Jason Cruise. Jason and his staff maintain the online application and the associated NuView database, 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 Advising page. You or your students can access a list showing deadlines along with forms (in the order in which they are needed) via Forms and Deadlines.

Master's Specialist

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

Doctoral Specialist

If you have questions pertaining to doctoral degree programs and procedures, Eva Bachman will assist you.

Graduate Registrar

Questions about student registration should be directed to Jane Schneider, who serves as Graduate Registrar. Policies concerning graduate registration are found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Probation, Termination and Appeals

Before placing a student on probation or recommending the termination of their graduate degree program, please contact Dr. Laurie Bellows. She can help you understand the policies and procedures that govern these actions. A summary of these policies is in the Graduate Bulletin.

Funding and Training for Students

Fellowship Specialist

Jane Schneider oversees our internal fellowship competitions. She is available to advise students on searches for external fellowships. Fellowship information is available for the faculty/staff perspective (including offer letter templates) and the student perspective.

Assistantship Policies

The Office of Graduate Studies provides guidelines for hiring graduate students on assistantships, which are reviewed annually and updated as needed. The Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships document contains information about minimum pay, benefits and employment requirements. The Funding page provides sample offer letters for graduate assistantships; NU's General Counsel strongly recommends use of this wording. Information and policies about assistantships can be found also in the Graduate Bulletin. Questions about assistantship policies should be directed to Jane Schneider.

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. Laurie Bellows.

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. Laurie Bellows; the programs are described in the Current Student section of the site.

Assistance for Postdocs and Postdoc Supervisors

The Office of Postdoctoral Studies serves as a centralized professional and career development resource for both postdocs and their faculty supervisors. Dr. Richard Lombardo is Director of Postdoctoral Studies.