Committee Development Guidelines
A faculty committee will advise, guide and mentor a graduate student through his or her thesis, professional project or dissertation. The student is provided some autonomy to select his or her committee members. With proper notification, a student can choose to change committee members at his or her discretion.
Selecting Committee Members
When Selecting Committee Members, a Student Should:
- Select faculty who can assist in developing the thesis, professional project or dissertation. Faculty expertise in a research area or professional subject will benefit the student and the outcomes.
- Select faculty who get along with each other. A committee chair can assist with this process.
- Select faculty with whom the student knows and respects. Class is where students can learn about faculty work expectations and cooperation.
- Select a chair who is engaged and interested in the student’s work.
- Consider faculty with different expertise. For a dissertation, for instance, we strongly recommend considering a theory expert, a methods expert and perhaps a data expert.
- Ask about availability. If the work is going to occur during the summer, will faculty members be available? A student needs to know beforehand.
- Choose wisely. Students should vet faculty before asking them to serve on the committee.
Guidelines for Committee Members
The three-member thesis committee will consist of one (1) chair and two (2) additional members. The chair must be a tenure-track faculty member of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. All committee members must be members of the graduate faculty authorized to serve on master's examinations. The majority of committee members must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. As long as the majority requirement is met, additional committee members may be, but need not be, members of the candidate’s department or program.
The five-member dissertation committee consists of one (1) chair and four (4) additional members. The chair must be a tenured, graduate faculty member of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Each committee must include a Graduate Studies Representative. The Graduate Studies Representative must be a member of KU’s graduate faculty who is authorized to serve on doctoral committees by a KU department or school other than the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The remaining committee members can be a blend of tenured or tenure-track faculty from inside and outside the School, but a majority of committee members must be tenured or tenure-track faculty within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For committee members from outside the School, a CV or resume is to be submitted to the School’s Graduate Studies Office. All committee members should be members of the KU’s graduate faculty authorized to serve on doctoral exams. As long as these conditions are met, the committee may include more than five members. The School’s Graduate Studies Office can offer guidance on which faculty members qualify for inclusion. The committee chair will address conflicts among students and faculty committee members. The chair is the liaison between the student and the committee, and expected to guide the student to a successful defense.
(Adopted Fall 2015; Revised Spring 2021)