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Certification of Faculty for Graduate Instruction

  1. Regular Graduate Certification

    Each full-time and part-time faculty member who receive a regular five-year certification to teach courses at the master's or specialist degree level must normally hold the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or a related discipline. In unusual cases, faculty members who do not have the terminal degree will be certified for graduate-level teaching if they have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative activity, or professional experience. Evidence of competence, experience or academic credentials that the exceptional faculty member can add to the class other than the doctorate in the discipline must be justified by the department chair for employment of such faculty. At the end of the approval period, a review is made by the appropriate department and college graduate committee for renewal of the certification for graduate instruction.

    In addition, candidates for regular five-year certification must meet at least one of the following
    criteria:

    1. Has published at least one referred journal article (print which is considered disciplinebased research or on-line), more than one book chapter, or one book published by a reputable press during the last five years, or

    2. Has demonstrated significant recent professional experience that provides unique information pertinent to a course beyond what a full-time faculty member can provide.

  2. Regular Doctoral Certification

    Doctoral certification enables faculty members to participate in all phases of graduate education including the chairing of doctoral dissertation committees and instruction at the 800-level. Faculty must be certified for "graduate instruction" by the College in accordance with guidelines in the ODU Faculty Handbook. Under no circumstances should an individual without a terminal degree serve on a dissertation committee. The following criteria for certification should be considered minimal; it is expected that most applicants shall exceed them.

    Dissertation Committee service requirements for full-time ODU faculty:

    1. Faculty must be approved for graduate status by the College in accordance with guidelines in the faculty handbook. All committee members must hold a terminal degree in their field.

    2. During the previous five year, faculty must show evidence of continued scholarly productivity through a minimum of two published articles in nationally recognized peer reviewed journals or one scholarly book published by a reputable publishing house[1]. Up to two research reports for grants of which the faculty member was the principal investigator may be substituted for up to two referred journal or for a scholarly book.

    Chair of doctoral dissertation committee requirements for full-time ODU faculty:

    1. Chairs of committees must be approved for graduate status by the College in accordance with guidelines in the faculty handbook. All committee members must hold a terminal degree in their field.

    2. Chairs must show evidence of continued scholarly productivity through a minimum of three published articles in nationally recognized peer-reviewed journals, or one scholarly book published by a reputable publishing house, or substantial funded research within the most recent five year period. Up to three research reports for grants of which the chair was the principal investigator may be substituted for up to two referred journal or for a scholarly book.

    3. Chairs of committees must be a full-time faculty member in the Darden College of Education or a faculty administrator whose appointment is in the college. All exceptions must be approved by the Dean.

    [1] University press, national‐level commercial publications, national not‐for‐profit foundations or organization publications meet these criteria. Vanity or self‐published books do not meet these criteria.

  3. Provisional Doctoral Certification (Three Years)

    A chair or director may request provisional doctoral certification for a faculty member to serve on a dissertation committee or as dissertation chair, if he/she has held a terminal degree for less than four years and his/her specialty is deemed to be essential to a given doctoral or other terminal degree program.

  4. Provisional Certification (Three Years)

    Any faculty member who has held a terminal degree for less than three years, or who has returned to teaching and research from an assignment for which at least half the responsibility was administrative, can be given a provisional regular graduate certification for a period not to exceed three years.

  5. Non-University Membership

    Committee membership may be extended to scholars outside of ODU, if they have specialized knowledge of the dissertation's subject matter and if they meet the criteria for the College's Ph.D.-level certification. Voting privileges can be provided such specialists upon the recommendation of the chair and approval of the graduate program director and the college dean. Adjunct faculty members who are certified for graduate instruction may be appointed as voting members of the committee upon the recommendation of the director of the dissertation committee and approval of the graduate program director and the college dean.

  6. Certification Procedures

    The following procedure should be used in the certification of faculty for graduate instruction.

    1. The chair of each department should determine the department's need for graduate instructors.

    2. The department chair is responsible for submitting the credentials (as specified below) of the candidates for graduate instruction to the chair of the College Graduate Committee.

    3. The College Graduate Committee will review the candidate's credentials and send a recommendation to the Dean of the College concerning the certification of each candidate for graduate instruction.

  7. Materials to be submitted when seeking graduate certification

    1. The university form 18 for graduate certification.

    2. A current curriculum vitae for the candidate. Each article that is not refereed should have an asterisk preceding the listing.

    3. A statement of support from the department chair or director in the candidate's department or program where the candidate will teach supporting the candidate's application.

  8. Exceptions and Termination

    Exceptions to this policy, (e.g., duration of certification, qualifications) require approval of the appropriate department chair, the college graduate committee, and the dean of the college. Exceptions will be granted only in clearly extraordinary circumstances. Failure to maintain the required level of productive, creative scholarly or professional activity and satisfactory teaching performance will result in termination of the faculty's certification for graduate instruction.

  9. Appeals Process for a Graduate Certification Decision

    If the faculty member disagrees with the committee's decision, he/she may appeal the decision directly to the dean of the College. To initiate the process, the faculty member must resubmit all certification materials, along with a cover letter that justifies his/her case. The dean shall reach his/her decision within one month of the appeal. The dean's decision is final.

    Implemented March 25, 1998
    Revised December 7, 1999
    Approved December 21, 1999
    Revised September 14, 2000
    Policy Committee approval September 28, 2000
    Revised March 4, 2009
    Approved April 21, 2009
    Revised November 4, 2009
    Approved December 2, 2009
    Revised, June10, 2010
    Approved, June 30, 2010