Why do I need Graduate Faculty Status?
All faculty teaching courses at the graduate level (numbered 5000 or above) are required to have graduate faculty status. According to the VSU Statutes, "the Graduate Faculty consists of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, academic deans, and those members of the General Faculty with the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor, who have been appointed to the graduate faculty." Thus, faculty members not currently members of the Graduate Faculty who are assigned to teach graduate-level courses must apply for appointment to the Graduate Faculty before the start of the term in which they are scheduled to teach.
According to the VSU Faculty Handbook,
VSU’s regional accrediting association (SACS) suggests that the Graduate Faculty be differentiated from the General Faculty in some fashion. As VSU continues to develop as a regional university, the importance of graduate programs will increase. Through the model of shared governance, the Graduate Faculty will continue to play a significant role in developing and monitoring graduate programs. Hence, the criteria for membership on the Graduate Faculty are directly related to VSU’s mission statement and Statutes; accrediting associations are also concerned with the institution’s graduate faculty criteria; norms of shared governance require that appropriate faculty have a voice in shaping the nature and types of graduate programs available in the institution. . . .
In its 2008 Principles of Accreditation, SAC-COC indicates that graduate programs are to be distinguished from undergraduate programs:
3.6.1 The institution’s post-baccalaureate professional degree programs, master’s and doctoral degree programs, are progressively more advanced in academic content than its undergraduate programs. (Post-baccalaureate program rigor)
3.6.2 The institution structures its graduate curricula (1) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (2) to ensure
ongoing student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. (Graduate curriculum)
VSU's Graduate School has established criteria for membership on the Graduate Faculty, and there are four categories of membership: Full, Associate, Temporary, and Temporary Clinical. Definitions of and requirements for each category, along with application information and deadlines, are available via the Graduate School's website.