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Procedure for requesting persons who are not regular MSU faculty to serve on guidance committees

Approval is required for persons who are not regular MSU faculty to serve on graduate student guidance committees and very few persons who are not regular MSU faculty have blanket approval to serve on guidance committees. The details of the graduate school approval process can be found at: https://grad.msu.edu/non-regular-faculty-committees.The information below is how the process is implemented in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Please follow these instructions carefully and strictly. Note that there are special approval processes for faculty and staff who recently left MSU and for blanket committee approvals (in general approval must be requested for each committee separately).

  • If a student would like to ask a person who is not a regular MSU faculty to serve on their guidance committees, they or the Chair of the Guidance Committee should first contact the Graduate Program Director to confirm that the person is likely eligible. If you are not sure whether a person is a regular faculty member or not, you can also check with the Graduate Program Director, and they can also make sure that the committee still meets the membership requirements stipulated by the Graduate School and the Department. 
  • After confirmation that a person is likely eligible to serve and assuming that that person is willing to serve, the Chair of the Guidance Committee should reach out to the prospective committee member and request the following items. If the person is requested to serve as chair of the guidance committee, the Graduate Program Director will request this information from that person). 
    • A CV - it must include recent relevant scholarship or projects and any service on other graduate committees, teaching graduate courses, or otherwise mentoring graduate students. A publication list is also required.
    • A signed letter from the prospective committee member that states the following (it is best to list each of these items as a specific bullet in the letter).
      • What they understand their role on the committee to be,
      • They agree to serve in this role,
      • They have received and agree to follow MSU's Guidelines for Graduate Student Mentoring and Advising (link provided at: https://grad.msu.edu/non-regular-faculty-committees)
      • Within the past 24 months, they have received/completed and agree to follow the information contained in MSU's Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) training materials (links provided at: https://grad.msu.edu/non-regular-faculty-committees - there are two versions, one for people with a MSU NetID and one for people who don't).
  • In addition to the above, the Chair of the Guidance Committee should provide the following information to the Graduate Program Director:
    • Name, Affiliation(s), Position Title(s), and Email of committee member
    • Whether the committee member is paid by MSU
    • The requested committee role (member or chair)
    • A list of the Names, Graduate Degree(s), and Academic Units (or Organizational Affiliations, if not from MSU) of all members of the proposed new committee. Note who is/are the chairperson(s). You must specify an MSU co-chair if the requested member is not (or no longer) with MSU.
    • Description of what specific expertise the new committee member will provide and why this expertise is not available from a regular MSU faculty member. It is important to be sufficiently specific in the answer. A general answer stating that the person has relevant expertise is not sufficient - it has to be explained why this expertise is not available from a regular MSU faculty member - examples are: a mentoring relationship, methods expertise, content expertise, community access and experience, and others.
    • If the student is pursuing a dual major, please indicate the other unit (department, college)
  • the Graduate Program Director will submit the form. After submission of the form, it is automatically routed to all relevant Graduate Program Directors, and if approved to the College and Graduate School. The student will get messages by email and in Teams (if you use it) about the progress. If you receive a message that the approval was denied, please contact the Graduate Program Director. If denial happens immediately after submission, there was likely a formatting problem with the form.  

Please contact the Graduate Program Director if you have any questions.