Faculty Appointment

Members of the graduate faculty at UNC Charlotte have distinguished themselves both as teachers and as leaders - in the lecture hall and through their research. Graduate Program Directors (GPDs) take on an added role in the administration of the graduate program(s) in their department.

Graduate Faculty Appointment

Members of the graduate faculty are appointed by departmental leadership and usually serve a five-year term. Graduate faculty are selected based on their demonstrated ability to teach graduate students effectively, complete high-quality creative work and conduct scholarly research and direct the research of graduate students. College Deans and department chairs nominate candidates for graduate faculty. For more information, visit Graduate Faculty Nomination.

Membership Types and Definitions

Regular Members

Regular members of the graduate faculty are tenured or tenure-track faculty on the campus of UNC Charlotte. They can perform a variety of responsibilities such as teaching graduate-level courses, serving on theses and dissertation committees, and with appropriate experience, may hold the position of a committee chair, lead advisor and Graduate Faculty Representative on committees. Only Regular members may serve on the Graduate Council, vote in their colleges for members of the Graduate Council and vote on amendments to the Graduate Faculty Bylaws.

Associate Members

Associate members are all other faculty not eligible for tenure. Examples are Lecturers, Visiting Professors, Clinical Professors, Research Associates, etc. Associate members with appropriate degrees may teach graduate-level courses and serve on theses and dissertation committees. In certain circumstances, Associate Graduate Faculty may be permitted to chair theses or dissertation committees upon prior permission by the Dean of the Graduate School in consultation with the program.

Emeritus Members

Emeritus status is an honor and a mark of distinction granted to fully retired faculty members and some Senior Academic or Administrative Officers whose service has been characterized by high professional achievement and who have given sustained, outstanding service to the University. The individual holds an appointment in the professional faculty ranks with permanent tenure at UNC Charlotte or holds a Special Faculty Appointment that has been held for a period of no fewer than ten consecutive years. In June 2018, this policy extended the availability of emeritus status to nontenure track faculty members with ten or more years of service. Emeritus members can participate in the same capacity as allowed by their former membership.

As a best practice, Regular members of the Graduate Faculty should teach and mentor graduate students so, as a general rule, graduate students should not teach other graduate students. Exceptions to this practice might include a long-time Lecturer who is an Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty and has just enrolled in a doctoral program. This person would be eligible to retain Graduate Faculty status while he or she pursues an advanced degree. However, a student with a master's degree and industry experience who enrolls in a doctoral program would not be eligible for Associate Graduate Faculty status since their primary role is that of a student.

Administrative Appointment to the Graduate Faculty

Any full-time Senior Academic and Administrative Officer holding the academic rank of Professor, or Associate Professor, who is actively engaged in the administration of graduate education, may be granted an administrative appointment to the Graduate Faculty by the Dean of the Graduate School. Recommendations for such an appointment may be made to the Dean of the Graduate School at any time. The recommendation should include a rationale for the appointment and a copy of the individual’s current CV.
Such appointees are not eligible to serve on the Graduate Council, vote in elections for the Graduate Council or on amendments to the By-Laws of the Graduate Faculty. Although not expected, they may teach graduate-level courses or serve on student committees but may not direct a thesis or dissertation unless they also hold a Regular Graduate Faculty appointment. The term of appointment is indefinite for as long as the appointee holds the administrative position.

Faculty Affiliates

Interdisciplinary programs frequently engage faculty from other departments to teach and mentor students in a particular area of expertise. Departments or programs should have an internal process for determining the criteria faculty must meet in order to become affiliated with their program.

Faculty Affiliates must hold a current appointment as a regular member of the graduate faculty. And as such, Faculty Affiliates may serve as chair or co-chair for graduate student committees when requested by the program. Additionally, in order for the Graduate School to recognize faculty as Affiliates of a program, they must be listed on the program website or included as part of the program faculty in the catalog.


Graduate Program Directors (GPDs) are responsible for the administration of the graduate program(s) in their department and serve as the primary point of contact with the Graduate School. GPDs are selected by their academic department or program from among tenured or tenure-track graduate faculty. News, information, advising tools and detailed responsibilities for GPDs can be found at GPDNet.

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