Graduate Faculty Council

The Syracuse University Graduate Faculty Council is comprised of appointed faculty members from each school and college, focused on strengthening graduate education. The Council, in collaboration with the Graduate School Dean, is charged with developing strategic initiatives to advance and support graduate student excellence and diversity and inclusion goals. The members are responsible for promoting best practices for graduate student mentoring and graduate program oversight and consider updates to Graduate School policies and procedures.

Council members are faculty members selected based on a nomination process in each school and college. Each is required to provide evidence of excellence in graduate level teaching and mentoring. Final approval for appointment to the council requires approval by the faculty member’s department chair, school or college dean and the dean of the Graduate School. Council members serve a three-year term.

Graduate Faculty Council members serve on working groups, focused on key issues and initiatives throughout the academic year.

Brice A. Nordquist College of Arts and SciencesHumanities - Writing Program Associate Professor
Nancy Totah College of Arts and SciencesSTEM - Chemistry
Associate Professor
Brian Lonsway School of ArchitectureArchitecture
Department Chair, Associate Professor
Seth Jolly Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public AffairsPolitical Science
Associate Professor
Biao Chen College of Engineering and Computer ScienceElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
Shalabh Chandra Maroo College of Engineering and Computer ScienceMechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Associate Professor
Rashmi Gangamma Falk College of Sport and Human DynamicsMarriage and Family Therapy Associate Professor
Steven B. Sawyer School of Information StudiesInformation Studies
Arlene S. Kanter College of LawLaw Professor
Melissa Chessher Newhouse School of Public Communications Public Communications
Interim Department Chair, Associate Professor
Tiffany A. Koszalka School of Education Instructional Technology
Dawit Negussey College of Engineering and Computer ScienceCivil and Environmental Engineering Professor
TBDMartin J. Whitman School of Management
TBDMaxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Peppie Calvar College of Visual and Performing ArtsSchool of Music Associate Professor
Peter A. VanableGraduate SchoolDean
Gabrielle Chapman Graduate SchoolAssociate Dean
Amy Sloane-GarrisGraduate SchoolExecutive Director, Strategic Initiatives
Tracy M. Balduzzi Graduate SchoolAssociate Director, Strategic Initiatives

2020-21 Working Groups and Focus

Working Group 1: Graduate Programs: Best Practices

Members: Seth Jolly (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), Brice Nordquist (College of Arts and Sciences), Nancy Totah (College of Arts and Sciences), Biao Chen (College of Engineering and Computer Science)

This working group is charged with (a) providing a brief synthesis of best practices for structuring graduate program requirements, student feedback and appeal mechanisms, and policies for establishing probationary and/or termination status from a graduate program; (b) establishing a rubric of key content domains for graduate program handbooks; and (c) recommending a plan for dissemination of key findings and, over time, improving graduate program practices.

Working Group 2: Graduate Faculty Initiatives

Members: Shalabh Maroo (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Steve Sawyer (School of Information Studies), Tiffany Koszalka (School of Education)

The working group is charged with (a) articulating university expectations for graduate faculty mentoring; (b) providing recommendations for an approach to orienting new faculty and providing ongoing professional development to gradate faculty regarding university expectations and best practices for faculty mentoring; (c) providing recommendations regarding establishment of graduate faculty appointments to affirm faculty eligibility for graduate level mentoring, instruction, and service on student thesis and dissertation committees; and (d) provide recommendations on establishment of a system for crediting graduate mentoring as part of faculty teaching load.

 Working Group 3: Graduate Funding and Policies

Members: TBD (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), Rashmi Gangamma (David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics), TBD (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)

The working group is charged with (a) articulated a set of roles and responsibilities that warrant classification of a student as a teaching assistant, (b) providing policy recommendations concerning the use of PTI appointments, hourly employment, and awarding of tuition credits for graduate students engaged in teaching related work and (c) identifying potential modifications or improvements.

Working Group 4: Supporting Graduate Level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals

Members: Melissa Chessher (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications), Dawit Negussey (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Arlene Kanter (College of Law), Brian Lonsway (School of Architecture)

This working group is charged with developing a proposal for one or more pilot initiatives to support DEI-related goals in relation to graduate education at Syracuse University. There is urgency to the work of developing and eventually implementing focused, high quality initiatives that advance one or more DEI-related goals for graduate students, as arguably much of the University’s current work in this space focuses on undergraduates. An idea that is particularly promising is the development of affinity support groups for under-represented graduate students. Other areas of focus could include work to identify and implement one or more strategies for promoting equitable access to mental health support and care for graduate students; initiatives to promote wholistic admissions practices; and work to promote more effective strategies for recruiting graduate students from under-represented backgrounds.