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Faculty By-Laws


July 2020

The Graduate Faculty

Educational policy for ESGP is set by the graduate faculty in Environmental Science, an interdisciplinary body of scholars across several academic units throughout the university. 

The Graduate Studies Committee

Administrative responsibility for academic aspects of the operation of the program rests with the Graduate Studies Committee with the assistance of the Graduate Program Coordinator.  These responsibilities come from the Graduate Council and by the graduate faculty in Environmental Science.

The Graduate Studies Committee is comprised of six voting faculty members, including the Chair, one voting graduate student and one alternate graduate student.  The alternate graduate student member will only vote if the regular graduate student member is absent.

Faculty members are elected or appointed for three‑year terms.  Terms begin on Aug 15.  The Chair is elected by the GSC committee from among its faculty members, serves for one year, and may be reelected for a maximum of 2 years total.  Election or appointment of a chair will take place before Aug 15 (the first GSC meeting of the academic year).

Elections to replace faculty members whose terms have expired are held during the Spring Semester each year. The ESGP Director will seek nominations from the ESGP graduate faculty. The goal should be to maintain GSC member representation from the major ESGP participating Colleges.  A statement must accompany nominations from the nominee that s/he is willing to serve.  If there two or more nominees for a GSC seat, an electronic ballot will be distributed to all members of the ESGP graduate faculty. The nominees receiving the largest number of votes for the GSC seat will be elected.  If only one nomination is received to fill a GSC member seat, the Director will appoint the faculty member to the GSC. 

Openings on the GSC at other times are to be filled by appointment by the Director of the ESGP. The interim appointee will complete the term of the vacated position, which will then be filled by a regular election or appointment.

The ESGP Student Association will conduct an election for ESGP graduate student seats on the GSC (e.g., regular and alternating).  Graduate student members serve one‑year terms beginning Aug 15 and may be reappointed for one additional year. 

A quorum exists when at least four voting members or alternates of the GSC are present.

Duties of the Graduate Studies Committee

In addition to those duties specified in the Graduate School Handbook, the Graduate Studies Committee:

  • Establishes admission and program policy, standards and procedures;
  • Screens applications for admission to the master's and doctoral programs, and make final determinations on admission;
  • Helps to identify potential graduate advisors for all applicants accepted for admission, if needed;
  • Nominates candidates for fellowships for appointment in the ESGP;
  • Establishes rules and guidelines for masters and doctoral programs of study;
  • Monitors students’ progress toward their degrees, via the ESGP annual review process each spring semester; consults with advisors where problems are identified, and make recommendations for probation or dismissal for failure to meet conditions or when "reasonable" progress is not being made;
  • Responds to graduate student grievances;
  • Develops standards for graduate faculty membership categories and nominate qualified faculty members to the Graduate School.

Graduate Program Handbook

It is the responsibility of the GSC chair to maintain a Graduate Program Handbook for the ESGP.  This handbook lists rules and practices by which the ESGP is to be managed.  The GSC will update the Graduate Program Handbook to conform to changes in the Graduate School Handbook or other university policies and can make recommendations and additions for the purpose of clarification at any time without consultation with the faculty.  A current copy will be kept on the ESGP web site.



The graduate faculty in the ESGP will carry out the functions outlined in the Graduate School Handbook, be responsible for following the guidelines in the ESGP Handbook, and recommend and vote as necessary on substantial changes in the policies, rules, and procedures.

Eligibility for Membership

The graduate faculty in the ESGP includes members of the university graduate faculty whose skills and educational qualifications could be supportive of the ESGP.  Graduate faculty appointments will be consistent with  “Graduate Faculty Categories: SECTION 12.1 of the Graduate School Handbook.”

Faculty in the ESGP will be assigned Categories M and P by the GSC. Faculty members may be nominated for Category P membership in accordance with the current Graduate School policy if they already have a Category P appointment in a non-interdisciplinary graduate program. 

A list of current graduate faculty members is maintained in the ESGP office and is available from the Chair of the GSC, the Director of the ESGP, and on the ESGP web site.  This list shall be used to determine eligibility to vote at any called meeting of the graduate faculty.

Nomination to Graduate Faculty

Regular members of the university faculty wishing to be appointed to the graduate faculty in the ESGP must submit a formal written request to the Director of the ESGP, accompanied by a current vita, a letter of support from the administrative head of their academic unit, and a statement of purpose.  This material will be evaluated by the GSC, which will decide on the disposition of the pending appointment.  In cases where the nominee is qualified for Category P status, the chair will submit a nomination for Category P status to the Graduate School.  In cases where the nominee is qualified for Category M status, the chair will submit a nomination for Category M status to the Graduate School.

Requirements and Review of Faculty Members

Some requirements listed here are in addition to those listed in the Graduate School Handbook.  Criteria for and privileges associated with appointment in each category are:

Graduate faculty in the ESGP will have their appointments reviewed for continuation on a regular basis according to determine if they continue to meet the criteria of active faculty.  The requirement to remain an active faculty member in ESGP is meeting a minimum of one of the following four criteria:

  • Serve as Chair of an ESGP graduate student committee in the last 5-years
  • Serve on the ESGP Graduate Studies Committee in the last 5-years
  • Teach an ESGP Core Course in the last academic year AND serve as a committee member for an ESGP student in the last 5-years

Emeritus Faculty

Emeritus faculty who held Category M or P appointments at the time of their retirement may only continue to advise graduate students and serve on graduate committees on which they were active at the time of retirement.

Affiliated Scientists

Environmental scientists and other professionals from outside Ohio State University may participate in the ESGP through its Affiliated Scientist Program.  Affiliated Scientists appointed directly to ESGP by the GSC may participate in the ESGP seminar program, student recruitment activities, and social events.  In addition, directly appointed Affiliated Scientists are eligible to be appointed as additional members of the M.S. and Ph.D. advisory committees of ESGP students, subject to the recommendation of the ESGP Graduate Studies Chair and approval of The Graduate School. They are only permitted to serve as additional to the number required by The Graduate School. The student must petition the GSC and the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis for inclusion of affiliated scientists and those outside of OSU to serve on their committees.

Graduate Faculty Meetings

Meetings of the graduate faculty will be called from time to time to amend this document and to carry out such business, as may need the faculty's attention.  The Director of the ESGP will chair meetings of the graduate faculty.

When appropriate, the graduate faculty may also conduct its business by e-mail ballot.  Graduate student participation in graduate faculty meetings is encouraged.