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Responsibilities of a Doctoral Committee Chairperson

In addition to the critical, but somewhat intangible, duties of serving as a doctoral student’s major professor (i.e., advising, serving as a role model, stimulating scholarly research, evaluating and mentoring), there are technical requirements and paperwork that must be completed by the doctoral advisor to meet Graduate School policies. For your convenience these are listed below in checklist form. Information on how to complete each step is available in the Graduate Catalog, the department Graduate Coordinator or department chair. You may also contact the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in 125 Norman, 273-4116

  1. After agreeing to serve as chair, help student select committee members. File Supervisory Committee form.
  2. In cooperation with committee, develop planned program to be approved by Graduate Coordinator and and placed in student file. (Typically a full committee meeting is held to approve the program prior to submitting it to the Graduate Coordinator).
  3. Write transfer-of-credit petition letter, if necessary, during first semester you are chair. (See Graduate Coordinator if assistance is needed).
  4. Prepare student’s qualifying examination with committee input. Arrange for room for written and oral portions. Preside at oral exam.
  5. Submit Admission-to-Candidacy form. (Observe deadlines if student is registered for 7980 or 7979 credits.)
  6. Preside at student’s proposal meeting (and subsequent meetings to discuss dissertation progress).
  7. Assist student in preparation of protocol for Institutional Review Board approval of proposed research and inform department chair when approval is received.
  8. Inform student of need to submit dissertation proposal along withnotification of IRB approval to Office of Graduate Studies and Research (125 Norman).
  9. After admission to candidacy, send annual progress evaluation letters. *
  10. One semester before the student intends to graduate, check on committee; are all members still available? If not, submit Change-of Supervisory-Committee form.
  11. Remind student of deadline dates for application for graduation, dissertation/thesis submission, and minimum enrollment requirements in semester of graduation.
  12. After committee members agree that dissertation/thesis is ready for submission, prepare letter of transmittal to submit dissertation to Office of Graduate Studies (125 NRN) and the Graduate School Editorial Office. Advertise date of defense as required by department. **
  13. Reserve room, notify committee, and preside at oral examination, obtain signatures for Final Examination form, and signature pages upon committee approval.
  14. Review defended dissertation/thesis to check that all required changes (including those required by the Graduate School) were made before signing final copy as chair.
  15. Escort doctoral candidate at graduation if he/she attends ceremony (or arrange for a substitute).

*–not necessary in Counselor Education.

**–For thesis, defense is held prior to submission.