Revised Yeates School of Graduate Studies Membership Policy
YSGS Council Approved, March 2013, Senate Approved, April 2013
The policy contains the criteria and process governing membership in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS). The main objective of this policy is to ensure that supervisor qualifications are consistent with standards necessary to provide high quality graduate student experience. Membership signifies commitment to: scholarship, research and creative (SRC) activities, productive supervisor/student relationships, and excellence in graduate education.
There are three categories of membership in YSGS. Depending on the membership category, a graduate faculty member may have different privileges and duties. YSGS membership is:
- Strongly recommended, but may not be required in some programs, to teach graduate level courses;
- Not a right of employment; and,
- Separate and distinct from appointment to a Ryerson Faculty position.
This category is open to RFA members who meet the membership criteria established by the graduate program they wish to be affiliated with and are recommended by the Graduate Program Director to the Dean of YSGS. YSGS members may serve as:
- The sole/principal supervisor of a doctoral dissertation, a master’s thesis or a major research paper or project;
- A member of a comprehensive/candidacy examination committee, and perform all associated duties;
- A member of a thesis/dissertation supervisory committee;
- Chair of a final thesis/dissertation oral examination; and
- A voting member of a thesis/dissertation oral examination committee.
This category is open to qualified personnel who are employed by, or affiliated with, Ryerson University but are not members of the RFA. Eligibility for membership in this category may include: research scientists, research associates, postdoctoral fellows, adjunct professors, and visiting professors, who are actively engaged in SRC activities and who meet the criteria established by the graduate program with which they are to be affiliated. Upon recommendation of the Graduate Program Director and approval by the Dean of YSGS, an associate member’s responsibilities are typically limited to serving as:
- A co-supervisor of a master’s thesis, or the primary/sole supervisor of a major research paper or project,
- A co-supervisor of a doctoral dissertation provided that he/she holds a terminal degree at the doctoral level,
- A member of comprehensive/candidacy examination committee and he/she may perform all associated duties,
- A member of thesis/dissertation supervisory committee,
- A voting member of a final thesis/dissertation oral examination committee.
Details about the privileges and duties of associate member’s shall be outlined in the letter of appointment, which will be sent by the Dean of YSGS. Associate YSGS membership is limited to a period of 3 years and may, upon reapplication, be approved for extension.
This category is open to retired full members of YSGS who continue to meet the membership criteria established by the program with which they are affiliated, and who remain active (e.g., supervision, examination committees). These members will have the same privileges as full YSGS members. Upon recommendation by the relevant Graduate Program Director and approval of the Dean of YSGS, an emeritus member may be appointed for a renewable 3-year period.
A Program Membership Committee (PMC) shall be established and structured as per the needs of each graduate program (e.g., a PMC at the Faculty or Departmental level), and governed according to by-laws determined by the Graduate Program Council. Typically, the PMC will be chaired by the Graduate Program Director.
On an annual basis, the Graduate Program Director shall send the names of the PMC and an updated list of YSGS membership to the Dean of YSGS. Each PMC shall establish program-specific criteria for YSGS membership and supervisory responsibilities, which must be consistent with the YSGS requirements, and approved by the Dean of YSGS.
The PMC shall review its membership applications and submit its recommendations to the Dean of YSGS for final approval.
The mandate of the Program Membership Committee is to:
- develop program-specific criteria and procedures for YSGS membership and forward them to the Dean of YSGS for approval;
- review membership applications at the program level in light of the rationale established for membership, and to submit its recommendations to the Dean of YSGS; and
- review the YSGS membership list on an annual basis and submit it to the Dean of YSGS.
- An applicant to any YSGS membership category shall submit his/her CV along with a cover letter detailing the planned contributions to the program director of the relevant graduate program. For membership renewal, the cover letter also must detail the applicant’s past contributions to the graduate program.
- The Graduate Program Director will then forward the application package (CV and cover letter) to the PMC for review. A decision on whether to formally recommend the applicant for YSGS membership and the category of appointment will be determined by a simple majority of PMC votes.
- The Graduate Program Director will send in hard copy, the application package PLUS a letter of recommendation detailing the rationale for the recommendation to the Dean of YSGS. The Dean of YSGS will make the final decision and communicate this in writing to the Graduate Program Director.
- YSGS membership is concurrent with the member’s appointment at Ryerson University.
- A faculty member, who no longer belongs to the RFA, will have his/her YSGS membership expire automatically. If he/she wishes to become a member of YSGS while no longer part of the RFA, he/she will need to formally apply as an Associate YSGS member.
- A YSGS member who wishes to supervise or co-supervise students in a degree program outside his/her home program/department/Faculty, can do so with the approval of the Graduate Program Director and PMC of the respective program of interest.
- Rights and obligations accompany YSGS membership. It is important that YSGS members understand their rights and obligations as outlined by YSGS.
- A YSGS member who fails to meet the membership requirements, including failure to fulfil his/her supervisory responsibility as outlined in the YSGS guidelines on graduate supervision, University policy (e.g., civility), and violation of the code of ethics, may have his/her YSGS membership suspended or revoked. Such a faculty member has the right to appeal this decision through the YSGS membership appeal mechanism.
- An applicant to YSGS membership whose application was not approved can appeal the decision through the YSGS membership appeal mechanism.