Composition of Doctoral Committees

The Dean of the Graduate College shall appoint voting members of doctoral committees, upon recommendation of the executive officer of the student’s unit. Upon unit request, the Dean may also appoint non-voting members of doctoral committees, such as an external reader, a faculty member who is on leave off campus, or others who have made a significant contribution to the dissertation but who cannot be present at the examination.

  1. The committee shall consist of a minimum of four voting members, three of whom must be members of the graduate faculty of the UIUC and two of whom must be tenured. One voting member must come from outside the department.
  2. The chair of the committee must be a member of the graduate faculty and a tenure track faculty of the School of Social Work; this includes a member on leave or on zero-time appointment. Committee chairs are typically tenured and/or have had experience directing dissertation research in the past.  A faculty member who resigns or retires from the University is automatically terminated from membership in the graduate faculty unless the unit asks that the faculty member continue for a specific period of time. Emeriti faculty who have been awarded continuing membership on the graduate faculty may chair committees. Co-chairs and co-directors of research may be appointed.
  3. A person who is not a member of the graduate faculty, but who is especially qualified to participate in an examination, may be appointed a voting member of the committee. A brief description of qualifications should be stated on the Request for Appointment of Doctoral Examination Committee. The Graduate College does not defray expenses for committee members to be present at the examination.
  4. All members of a committee need not be present in person at an examination. However, the committee chair, student, and at least one additional voting member of the committee must be physically present for the entire duration of all oral components of the prelim and final examinations. If the committee has more than one chair, all chairs must be physically present; in these cases, no additional voting member is required to be physically present. If not present, committee members must participate in the examination via an appropriate electronic communication technology. Preliminary and final examination committees need not have the same membership or chair.