Graduate Studies Representative on Doctoral Exam Committees
To define the conditions required of a Graduate Faculty member to serve as the Graduate Studies Representative on a doctoral student examination committee.
Doctoral student oral examinations include the doctoral comprehensive oral exam and the doctoral final oral exam and require that one (1) member of the examination committee serve as the Graduate Studies Representative.
The Graduate Studies Representative must be a member of the Graduate Faculty appointed to a department other than the aspirant's major department and authorized to serve on doctoral exams. A faculty member who holds a dual appointment is considered a member of both units and may not serve as the Graduate Studies Representative for either unit.
A faculty member from a different department with a courtesy appointment in the student’s department may serve as either the Graduate Studies Representative or in fulfillment of the committee majority pursuant to the Doctoral Student Oral Exam Committee Composition policy, but cannot serve in both roles at the same time.
The role of the Graduate Studies Representative is designed to assure the appropriate standard of fairness, professionalism, judgment, and skill are applied throughout the examination process for the benefit of the institution and in the best interest of the student. As an independent participant observer, this member should have no personal or professional duality or conflict of interest with other members of the committee or with the student that would prevent the representative from the unbiased fulfillment of these responsibilities.
The Graduate Studies Representative must participate for the duration of the examination. Participation may be a physical pressence or via video-conferencing technology. The exam may not begin until the Graduate Studies Representative is present, and if the Graduate Studies Representative leaves, the exam may not continue. No proceedings held without the Graduate Studies Representative may influence the student's milestone outcome. No proceedings held without the Graduate Studies Representative may influence the student's milestone outcome.
The Graduate Studies Representative is a voting member of the committee and has full rights to participate in the examination. In the case of any unsatisfactory or irregular aspects of the exam or violation of Graduate Studies policy, the Graduate Studies Representative shall provide a written report to the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies for consideration of further action.
Before the examination, it is the responsibility of the Graduate Division of the school or College to provide a list of responsibilities to the Graduate Studies Representative prior to each examination. These responsibilities include verification of the following:
- The examination was conducted in compliance with the policies and by-laws of Graduate Studies and the program’s Graduate Division.
- The doctoral final oral examination was held in a manner that was free and open to the public.
- The representative was accorded full participatory rights in the examination.
- The representative was accorded full voting rights as a member of the committee.
- The examination was free from irregularities or unfairness to the student.
- The examination was free from irregularities or unfairness among faculty members.
- The examination, if repeated, occurred at least the appropriate minimum interval after the last unsuccessful attempt, as determined by the department.
Requests for exceptions must be made via the Progress to Degree system and address the extraordinary circumstances that have resulted in the request. All such requests are subject to review by the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty.
Office of Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
09/21/2023: Corrected typos.
09/05/2023: Updated language to clarify that only the doctoral final oral examination is required to be free and open to the public.
08/10/2023: Removed requirement that Graduate Studies Representative be physically present; clarified status of dual appointments and Graduate Studies Representative; clarified the responsibility of the Graduate Division to notify Graduate Studies Representative of responsibilities; and made minor edits and updates.
07/13/2020: Changed link from Dean's Letter to the Graduate Studies Representatives to Vice Provost's Letter to the Graduate Studies Representatives.
07/02/2019: Technical edit to clarify that the exam attendance rules must be observed for the full duration of the exam. The Graduate Studies Representative must be physically present throughout.
08/09/2018: Updated link to the Dean's Letter to the Graduate Studies Representatives.
06/08/2018: Technical edits for consistency with update to Doctoral Degree Oral Comprehensive Exams policy.
07/08/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
12/03/2015: Technical edits.
10/01/2014: Graduate Studies made minor edits to the list of responsibilities of the Graduate Studies representative.
09/25/2014: Fixed broken links and made minor updates to formatting.
09/24/2014: This policy that specifically applies to the Graduate Studies representative on doctoral exam committees was developed from the preceding policy titled: Graduate Student Oral Exam Committee Composition. The Graduate Studies representative was formerly referred to as the “Outside committee member”. Prior to final approval by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, this policy was reviewed and endorsed by the academic deans and associate deans, directors of graduate study, school personnel, the Executive Committee of Graduate Faculty, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
03/01/2012: The Office of the Provost approved Graduate Student Oral Exam Committee Composition policy.