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Fort Hays State University
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Phone: (785) 628-4241
Fax: (785) 628-4157

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Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 2 -- Academic Affairs


Section One - Introduction
Section Two - Organization of the Graduate School
Section Three - Rules of Procedure and Bylaws
Section Four - Amendment

Section One - Introduction

Purpose and Functions of the Graduate School

1. The Graduate School is the central agency for organizing and supervising the graduate instructional program of the University and for developing that program toward the highest level of excellence.

2. The Graduate School is also the central agency for facilitating, encouraging, and coordinating the research effort of the University and for developing that effort toward the highest level of excellence.

3. The Graduate School has a primary concern with meshing graduate instruction and research into mutually-supporting programs and also with integrating both programs into the total effort of the University.

4. There are two interdisciplinary graduate programs offered through the Graduate School. These are the Master of Liberal Studies and the Master of Professional Studies programs, which are housed in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, respectively.

Relation of the Graduate School to Other Agencies of the University

1. The Graduate School serves all colleges of FHSU.

2. The Dean of the Graduate School has responsibility for coordinating, encouraging, and stimulating graduate and research programs in the other academic units of the University.

Section Two - Organization of the Graduate School

1. The Graduate Faculty

a. Graduate Faculty membership:

Graduate faculty status shall be automatically given to faculty members who meet Higher Learning Commission (HLC) standards, as determined by the appropriate program or department. Department chairs are responsible for notifying the Graduate School of new hires or changes to faculty status (e.g., a faculty member earns the terminal degree).

b. Privileges & Responsibilities:

Graduate faculty shall be allowed to: provide graduate level instruction, serve as chairs of graduate committees and thesis/field study committees, develop or re-develop courses numbered 600-999, and advise graduate students according to established Graduate School procedures. Advising duties shall include, but not be limited to: timely admissions recommendations, filing programs of study, approval of course schedules, supervision of graduate assistants, knowledge of university policies and procedures regarding graduate education, candidacy, disciplinary and career advisement, design and coordination of comprehensive examinations, and thesis/field study/catalog submission.  Attendance at Graduate School commencement-related activities is expected.

Individuals who do not hold graduate faculty status may perform some advising tasks, if their credentials warrant hire in a professional advisor position.  Approval shall be given by the graduate dean in accordance with the nature of the professional appointment.

2. The Graduate Council

a. Composition

The Dean of the Graduate School shall call upon departments responsible for each the following 22 programs/standing committees to elect one representative:

  • DNP
  • EdS in Advanced Professional Studies
  • EdS in School Psychology
  • MFA
  • MS in Communication
  • MA in English
  • MS in Geosciences
  • MA in History
  • MLS
  • MPS
  • MS in Psychology
  • MBA
  • MS in Counseling
  • MSE
  • MS in Educational Administration
  • MS in Instructional Technology
  • MS in Special Education
  • MS in Biology
  • MS in Health & Human Performance
  • MSN
  • MS in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Scholarship Environment Committee

The official listing of graduate programs will be updated in April of each academic year. Only recognized official degree programs will be represented on the Council; concentrations within existing degrees will not be recognized by the Council.

A meeting quorum shall be met by a simple majority. Council members are required to attend or send a qualified graduate faculty member proxy if they must be absent.

Graduate Council meetings are open to all levels of graduate faculty membership to attend as ex officio non-voting members.

b. Term of Office

  • Graduate Council members shall be appointed to three-year terms with the exception that, for the initial appointment of the Council, six (6) members will be appointed to 1-year terms, six (6) for 2-year terms, and six (6) for 3-year terms. These initial term lengths shall be determined by lot.
  • Department chairs and academic deans may serve as council members.
  • Terms of office shall begin at the start of the fall semester.
  • A member shall be eligible to serve multiple terms of appointment.
  • A person serving part of a term as a replacement shall be eligible for appointment to an immediately following term.
  • If a vacancy on the Graduate Council occurs between regularly scheduled appointments, the graduate dean shall call upon the department chair for a nomination to fill the seat until the next election.

c. Powers and Functions of the Graduate Council

i. The Graduate Council shall act as a representative for all graduate faculty members. Recommendations from the Graduate Council shall be brought forward to the Provost by the graduate dean. In a similar manner, the Dean of the Graduate School shall bring recommendations from other campus entities to the Graduate Council for consideration.

ii. Graduate Council members are expected to serve as effective representatives to their individual programs by communicating on a regular basis with their department chair/program director and department. Proposals related to graduate education from departments/programs may be brought to the Graduate Council for consideration by any graduate faculty member.

iii. The Graduate Council will serve as the reviewing entity for all proposals for new graduate-level courses numbered 600 or above.

iv. The Graduate Council will serve as the reviewing entity for all proposals for new graduate degree programs or substantive changes within existing graduate degree programs. Authority to grant approval to new concentrations within existing graduate degree programs shall be given to the Dean of the Graduate School with the expectation that diligent reporting on such concentrations be provided to the Graduate Council.

v. The Graduate Council will serve as the reviewing entity for the election of graduate faculty members.

vi. Members of the Graduate Council may be called upon by the graduate dean to serve on specific tasks related to the continuous quality improvement of graduate education or research. This may include, but not be limited to, service upon academic appeal committees.

3. Other Committees

a. The Graduate Council shall be empowered to establish and terminate its own committees and subcommittees, both standing and ad hoc.

b. Departments may appoint committees to oversee the operations of their graduate degree programs. Departments may fulfill the operational requirements of the Graduate School in a manner of their choice. However, one individual on a 12-month appointment must be designated as the primary contact with whom the graduate dean and Graduate School staff shall conduct business related to admissions, graduate assistantships, student advising assignments, maintaining student records, filing programs of study, and candidacy forms. These individuals shall be empowered by departmental graduate committees to act as their representative to the Graduate School. Individuals assigned to fulfill these duties shall be excellent communicators, possess excellent organizational skills, shall be able to make timely decisions, and be committed to graduate education. Committee membership shall be made up of graduate faculty membership in any of the categories of membership described above.

4. The Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects (OSSP)

The Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects (OSSP) is the administrative office within the Graduate School responsible for external grant facilitation and research administration. The Director is responsible for external grant and research agreements, pre-award assistance for faculty and staff, administration of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), coordination of the Institutional Animal Care and Use committee (IACUC), in addition to policy development and oversight of these activities. The Director administers the university's undergraduate research program, and internal grants programs supporting research and scholarly activities. The Director is also responsible for coordinating the annual campus Scholarly and Creative Activities Day event.


Section Three - Rules of Procedure and Bylaws

Rules of Procedure and Bylaws for the Graduate Faculty

1. Calling of Meetings

a. The graduate dean shall call meetings of the graduate faculty.

b. The graduate faculty will meet on call but normally at least once each year.

c. Meetings may be called at the request of the Graduate Council, the graduate dean, the provost, the president, or upon petition by 10 percent of the membership of the graduate faculty.

2. Agenda & Minutes for Meetings

a. The agenda for any graduate faculty meeting shall be set by the graduate dean.

b. The agenda and minutes for any graduate faculty meeting will be circulated to all members of the graduate faculty.


Section Four - Amendment

Any change of the policy-making or administrative structure herein described is subject to approval by the graduate faculty and requisite administrative approval.

1. Such a proposed amendment may be initiated by the Graduate Council, the graduate dean, the provost, the president, or by petition of 10 percent of the graduate faculty.

2. Proper notice of the contemplated change must be given and adequate opportunity for expression of opinion must be provided in an open meeting. The proposed amendment must be approved by two-thirds of those graduate faculty members who respond in a mail ballot or by a number equal to one-half of the total membership of the graduate faculty, which number are present and voting at a graduate faculty meeting.


Revision approved by Graduate Council (02-17-10).
Approved by Graduate Faculty (44-10) by mail ballot: (04-02-10)
Approved by Provost/Chief Academic Officer (04-28-10).
Amendment approved by Graduate Council (3-11-15).
Amendment approved by Graduate Council (9-13-17).
Amendment approved by Graduate Council (2-07-18).
Amendment approved by Graduate Council (3-07-18).

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