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Section 2: Administration of Graduate Program

2.0 Administration of Graduate Education - Introduction

Graduate education and its governance are shared responsibilities. The most visible activity of graduate education is the intellectual interaction of faculty and students involved in learning and devoted to advancing knowledge in their fields. Supporting these endeavors are academic leaders in departments, colleges, and central university positions who are committed to providing an atmosphere in which graduate education and research can flourish. Faculty, students, and administrators working together, dedicated to the ideals of scholarship and high standards that characterize graduate education, share the responsibility for ensuring the quality of graduate programs and research.

2.1 Graduate School

The Graduate School at The Ohio State University is comprised of university faculty (the Graduate Faculty) authorized to give graduate instruction, a representative advisory body (Graduate Council), and the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School, and administrative staff.

Section 1 of the Graduate School Handbook provides information about the administrative structure of graduate education at The Ohio State University. Nothing in the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) Handbook of Policies and Procedures will be interpreted as replacing or superseding regulations set forth in the Graduate School Handbook.

2.2 The Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee

The Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee oversees and administers its graduate degree programs and is the liaison between the Graduate School and the Graduate Faculty members in the graduate program. 

A quorum exists when at least six (6) voting members of the committee are present. The Director (or Co-Directors), each Graduate Faculty committee member, and the student representatives have one collective vote. The Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee will strive to maintain communication with the faculty and students on issues pertaining to program content, development, and reviews. Continuous re-evaluation of program requirements, curriculum, and administrative structure is deemed important especially for our discipline, which rapidly changes.

2.2.1 Membership

Only Graduate Faculty members and graduate students in the graduate program are eligible to serve on the Graduate Studies Committee. Current Graduate Studies Committee Members.

The Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee is comprised of: 

  • A Director (or Co-Directors)
  • At least 5-7 Graduate Faculty members
  • And two graduate student representatives (post-candidacy)

2.2.2 Selection

Graduate Faculty Committee Members - Candidates must have Graduate Faculty P status and must be Mentoring or Participating Faculty of NGP and be in good standing with the NGP. Candidates must also have served as primary mentor to a graduate student for at least one year. Nominations are solicited by email from the full Neuroscience Graduate Faculty membership. Candidates may nominate themselves. After the nominations are received and confirmed, the list of nominees will be placed on the ballot and disseminated to the full faculty membership. Election of Graduate Faculty committee members will be held via email. Voting faculty will be required to rank all the candidates in order of preference. For each ballot, the top-ranked candidate will be assigned a score of one, the second ranked candidate a score of two, etc. The scores from all the ballots will be summed for each candidate and the candidate(s) with the lowest aggregate scores will be elected. The number of candidates elected will depend on the number of vacancies. Election of Graduate Faculty committee members will take place annually as vacancies arise. The terms of the Graduate Faculty committee members will be staggered so that two or three positions become vacant each year. Graduate Faculty committee members serve a term of four years and the term is renewable.  

Director - Candidates must have Graduate Faculty P status and must be Mentoring or Participating Faculty of NGP. Candidates for the position of Director may be members of the NGP committee, but this is not a pre-requisite. Nominations for the Director are solicited from the full Neuroscience Graduate Faculty membership, however, the election is held by the graduate studies committee. With the approval of the graduate studies committee, the Director may wish to appoint a Co-Director from among the Graduate Faculty committee members. The Co-Director will share leadership responsibilities and chair meetings in the absence of the Director, or two Director candidates may choose to “run” for the office as Co-Directors. This shared leadership approach may be especially appropriate if the Co-Directors represent different sub-disciplines within neuroscience. Election of a Director (or Co-Directors) will take place every three years. The Director (or Co-Directors) serves a term of three years which is renewable and may be overlapping.  

Student Representatives - Candidates must be post-candidacy. Nominations are solicited via email each Spring Semester by the existing student representatives. Candidates may nominate themselves. Voting will be held by email and ballots will be distributed to all NGP students before the end of spring semester. Student representative elections are held annually. The student representatives serve a term of two years.

All newly elected members of the Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee begin their terms on July 1.

2.2.3 Responsibilities

Director (or Co-Directors): In addition to those duties specified in Section 14 of the Graduate School Handbook, the Director/Co-Directors will:

  • call and chair all Neuroscience Graduate Studies committee meetings as needed;
  • appoint other sub-committees, such as a recruitment sub-committee, as needed;
  • appoint one NGP faculty member to serve as a First Year Advisor to all new students until those students have selected a permanent advisor. This member will also serve as an advocate/ombudsperson for all students;
  • represent the NGP at various college, university, national, and international forums;
  • investigate funding opportunities (grants, fellowships, etc.);
  • coordinate student and minority student recruitment efforts with the assistance of the chair of the recruitment subcommittee;
  • supervise the Program Administrator who oversees the daily operations of the NGP office;
  • authorize purchases of equipment, resources for teaching, and travel expenditures.

In addition to those duties specified in Section 14 of the Graduate School Handbook, the Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee will:

  • develop and evaluate the NGP curriculum;
  • establish program policies, standards, and procedures;
  • screen applications for admission to the program and make final determinations on admission;
  • nominate candidates for fellowships;
  • approve programs of study (as to general program requirements) for students in the program;
  • conduct annual student reviews;
  • receive and act on petitions from graduate students;
  • hear and respond to graduate student grievances;
  • approve applications for faculty membership in the NGP;
  • conduct a review of all NGP faculty every five (5) years and make decisions concerning continuing membership;
  • conduct any other program business that may arise, as assigned by the director

Student representatives shall attend all committee meetings and are encouraged to contribute to the committee’s discussions and deliberations.  It will be the responsibility of student representatives to disseminate information from the meetings and to raise issues on behalf of the students.