1.6 Graduate Student Evaluation Meeting

Each year before the end of Spring Semester there will be a faculty meeting to discuss the progress of graduate students and provide a ranking of the students for reappointment as GTAs. Shortly before the meeting, Advisors of individual students will meet with them to gather information that the student deems relevant to the determination of his or her standing in the Department. At the meeting, which will be chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies, each student's performance and progress in the program will be discussed in detail. Based on this discussion, each student will be placed into one of the following three categories:

Category 1. Students who are in good standing.

Category 2. Students who are not in good standing.

Category 3. Students who are not in good standing and who will be advised to leave the program at the end of the current academic year.

This evaluation will be "holistic" in that it will involve an attempt to assess and weigh all relevant aspects of a student's performance in the program - including special circumstances brought to the Advisor's attention at the individual Advisory conference preceding the meeting - rather than depending on a mechanical application of set criteria. Nonetheless, students can expect that the following factors will be the principal ones used to evaluate their progress in the program:

  1. Performance in graduate courses in the Department and, when appropriate, in graduate courses in other Departments.
  2. Performance on the Candidacy Examination and the Dissertation Prospectus Examination.
  3. Timeliness with which courses and exams are taken.
  4. Absence of unexplained or overdue Incompletes.
  5. Satisfactory progress in fulfilling the course-number and distribution requirement, as judged by the Graduate Committee.
  6. Dissertation progress, for post-Candidacy students, as evaluated by the Advisor and committee members.
  7. Teaching abilities and performance.
  8. Overall philosophical abilities, as evaluated by teachers and other faculty with relevant information.

An attempt will be made by the faculty to reach consensus before placing a student into one of the three categories. If there is no consensus, a vote will be taken to determine the category into which the student will be placed. In this vote each faculty member present at the meeting will indicate the category into which he or she wishes the student to be placed. If, as a result, a majority of those present and voting vote to place a student into the same category, that is the category into which the student will be placed. If no category receives a majority of the votes, the student will be placed in Category 2.

Students placed in Category 3 will not be eligible for GTAs at the end of the current year.

Students placed in Category 2 will be eligible for reappointment, but offers of reappointment will only be tendered after the Department Chair, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Admissions, has determined how many offers can be made consistent with the recruitment of an incoming class of graduate students of appropriate size.

Students placed in Category 1 will be eligible for reappointment, consistent with the Graduate School requirements for total years of support, and will be offered reappointment as soon as is appropriate under normal circumstances. Yet since it may happen that there be circumstances under which it will not be possible to recruit an incoming class of suitable size without withholding support from at least some Category 1 students, offers of reappointment to students in this category will be made only after the Chair has determined how many such offers can be made in a given year. For this reason, and also because Category 2 students cannot all be tendered offers of reappointment simultaneously, the faculty will, after the work described above, rank all Category 2 students ordinarily, and, in addition, may identify a subset of Category 1 students whose offers will be contingent on availability of offers after the size of the incoming class has been determined. In those cases in which the student has a deficiency that is not sufficient for removal from Category 1, reappointment may be for less than a year with continued support contingent upon correcting the deficiency.

The results of the discussion described above will be communicated to the student as soon as possible following the meeting. The student's rank, status for renewal of financial support, and any outstanding deficiencies will be communicated to the student by the Director of Graduate Studies. Other comments and recommendations will be communicated to the student by the student's Advisor in a meeting to be scheduled immediately after the faculty meeting described above.

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