Role of the Dean’s Representative
The Dean’s Representative (DR) is a full member of the doctoral committee. The DR must be appointed to the committee at the time the general examination is scheduled, and must receive all scheduling requests and materials pertaining to the general examination and the dissertation final examination in the same timely manner as the rest of the committee members.
Although adherence to policy is the concern of all graduate committee members, it is the special responsibility of the Dean's Representative to represent the Graduate School and the university to ensure that all policies and procedures of the Graduate School and the department are followed and to see that the final milestones in the doctoral program—the general examination and the dissertation defense—take place in an orderly, transparent, and equitable manner. Serving as a Dean's Representative is a basic responsibility of all Graduate Faculty as members of the university-wide academic community.
Although it is possible that the DR may be knowledgeable and take an active role in the student’s dissertation project, that is by no means a requirement. The DR attends the general examination (oral) and the final examination/dissertation defense, each of which averages two hours. Reading the dissertation is a choice for the DR, not a requirement.
We anticipate the DR responding to a brief survey in future, but the DR is welcome at any time to contact the Dean of the Graduate School (whether by telephone, letter, email or a visit) with comments, concerns, or suggestions.
For an overview of "Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree," please see the Graduate Catalog.
Responsibilities of the Dean's Representative
It is the DR’s responsibility to:
- Assure that all the committee members are present before starting.
- Confirm that the remote participation policy is followed. To wit, no more than one committee member may remotely participate, and this remote participation must have been approved in writing by the Graduate Dean.
- Assure that there is a completed dissertation that has been circulated to all committee members at least two weeks in advance.
- Assure that the pass/fail/retest policy is followed.
- Report if the student and/or the DR are not treated respectfully.
- Serve whenever possible at both the examination and dissertation meetings for purposes of continuity.
If any of the first five conditions are not met, the DR is authorized to cancel or reschedule the examination. In the event that the DR is unable to attend a milestone exam, it is her/his responsibility to inform the chair of the committee and the Graduate School as soon as possible so that a replacement can be found in a timely manner.
Each unit will apportion responsibility for communicating and complying with Graduate School DR policy according to its internal procedural documents. (Some units allocate responsibility to the director, some to the chair of the committee, some to the student.) It is the unit’s responsibility (with respect to the DR) to:
- Consult and inform the DR in a timely manner of dates, times, and schedule changes.
- See that milestone results for the general exam and dissertation are conveyed to the DR and to all committee members in a timely manner.
- See that all necessary paperwork is available for the committee to sign.