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Graduate Program Director Checklist

Depending on the size and organization of a department or graduate program, Graduate Program Directors (GPDs) may have any or all of these responsibilities.

Ensure that the program has:
  • Transparent and coherent recruitment and admission processes that support program mission and goals.
  • Clear and consistent processes for assistantship appointments and renewals, including principles that guide the determination of pay steps and performance expectations and evaluations;  assistantship policies and guidelines are available in the Assistantship Management Guide
  • Standards for student records management
  • Advising and mentoring resources for faculty; some resources are available on the Graduate School's mentoring website 

Manage program compliance with SCHEV-approved curriculum:

  • Oversee or review and revise program details in the Graduate Catalog by annual deadline
  • Review and revise student handbook and/or equivalent web content to ensure its consistency with approved program curriculum
  • Assess the effectiveness of the program and promote data-informed decision making about necessary updates
  • Oversee curriculum revision and approval through governance

Oversee students’ progress, including completion of annual progress reports and proper scheduling and completion of exams:

  • Provide advising and mentoring resources and guidance
  • Sign academic request forms (e.g. course withdrawals; leave of absence; SSDE; etc)
  • Sign off on prelim and final exam requests
  • When the annual progress review establishes that a student is making UNSATISFACTORY progress, create a remedial plan with action items and deadlines in collaboration with the student’s committee and the student. Send the remedial plan to the Graduate School with the annual progress report
  • Mediate disagreements 
  • Manage student complaints, including referral up the chain as needed; engage the Graduate Ombudsperson as needed

Create and maintain a culture of respect and inclusion that supports student well-being and success, using mentoring and anti-bullying resources as needed

Represent the department/program at the college level and in the Graduate School:

  • Attend GPD meetings and training opportunities offered by the Graduate School
  • Stay abreast of academic policy and procedural changes communicated by the Graduate School
  • Share updates with program faculty and students  
  • Represent program interests at the college level, including advocacy for assistantship funding and administrative staffing consistent with department/program goals

Support program faculty:

  • Mentor new faculty
  • Share Graduate School resources and best practice recommendations

Manage student and faculty annual award nomination process:

Obtain access, as needed, to systems that support and document your decision-making. Depending on the size and structure of your program, some of these systems might be accessed by the graduate coordinator only, or by the GPD, or both:

  • Assistantship contracts
  • Banner - Student Records
  • Communication tools:
    • GPD listserv
    • Graduate Coordinators (GC) listserv
    • Assistantship Management Group
    • GLC Weekly listserv 
    • Dean’s periodic update
  • Electronic Signature Approval System (exam scheduling and ETD submission)
  • Graduate Catalog content management
  • Slate - graduate application and admission management
  • University Data Commons

See details, including information about access request, at