Requesting Concurrent Faculty/Student Status

Faculty members (including Pro Tem, Career Non-Tenure Track, and Tenure-Track faculty as defined by the University and the United Academics Collective Bargaining Agreement) may not pursue an advanced degree in the department in which they hold an appointment. To pursue a degree in another department, they must petition to the dean of the Graduate School for approval to hold Concurrent Faculty/Graduate Student status.  

Officers of Administration who wish to be graduate students in their own or other departments must also petition for concurrent Staff/Graduate Student status.

This policy is established in the effort to prevent conflicts of interest that may result when a faculty or staff member is responsible for administering some aspect of graduate education while also being a graduate student.

Petitions to be granted Concurrent Faculty or Staff/Graduate Student status are reviewed by the dean of the Graduate School.  The petition must be submitted and approved before any currently appointed faculty or Officer of Administration begins a graduate degree program and before any graduate student may be appointed to a faculty or Officer of Administration position. 

Each petition must consist of three parts:

Part 1.  The student shall submit a letter requesting approval for concurrent faculty/graduate student status that includes the following information:

      (a) A description of the place of employment, position, appointment level, FTE, dates of appointment, and name of supervisor.

      (b) The academic unit in which the student is studying and a description of what requirements remain to be completed for the graduate degree the student is pursuing.

Part 2.  The academic department shall submit a letter responding to the following: 

      (a) Does this petitioner sit on any faculty department committees as a result of their faculty or staff appointment? 

      (b) Is the petitioner involved in any decisions pertaining to academic programs or curriculum in the department as a result of this appointment? 

      (c) Does the academic department have any objection to this faculty or staff appointment?

      (d) Who is the student's academic advisor and /or committee chair and, if applicable, who are the members of the student's committee?

      (e)  Is there any overlap between faculty in the academic department and the hiring department?

In addition, the request for concurrent faculty or staff/student status will include the planned program of study for the student along with a statement regarding the effect, if any, the faculty/staff position will have on the petitioner’s ability to maintain satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree.

Part 3.  The hiring department shall submit a letter which affirms that the employment duties must not in any way present a conflict of interest between the petitioner’s status as a student and their status as a faculty member or officer of administration in the department. The letter will also address the following points:

(a)    The rationale for offering this position as an academic position rather than a Graduate Employee position.

(b)   An accurate detailed description of the duties which will be performed by the petitioner (please include a copy of the official job description).

(c)    A description of how the petitioner’s job duties will bring the student into contact with instructional faculty.

(d)   A description of how the petitioner’s job duties will bring the student into contact with graduate students.

These letters should be addressed to Janet Woodruff-Borden, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, for consideration.  The letters should be sent to the Graduate School or emailed to Marcia Walker (

Revised 14 August 2015: Temporary policy under review by the Graduate Council

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