Graduate Student Representation
Positions for graduate students are available on several department committees. Committee service gives students a chance to represent other students, to influence policy, and to participate in department decisions. Student representatives are elected by appropriate student groups in the spring.
First-Year Writing Committee
The duties of the First-Year Writing Committee include coordinating the first-year writing courses‚ policies, curricula, and requirements. In addition, the Committee will work in conjunction with the Professional Writing and Creative Writing Committees to insure a coordinated writing program within the Department. Recommendations by the Committee involving program or policy changes that will require approval by the College Curriculum Committee and/or the University Core Curriculum Committee will first be taken to a vote of the Department.
The First-Year Writing Committee is chaired by the Director of the First-Year Writing Program and is composed of four elected faculty members: one professor of any rank and three instructors; in addition, at his or her discretion, the Department Chair may appoint one additional faculty member of any rank to the Committee for a one-year term. The Associate Director of the First-Year Writing Program, the Assistant Director of the First-Year Writing Program, and the Director of the Writing Center must serve ex-officio. A second-year GTA will be elected to a one-year term; the electorate for this position will consist of all GTAs.
The duties of the Graduate Committee are to establish the requirements for the M.A. degree in English (i.e., curriculum, policies, and procedures); to choose among the faculty's course proposals and to assign courses to a given semester; to make decisions regarding graduate admissions and GTA positions; to select the graduate-student winners of awards for teaching and writing; to advise students and, if asked, to serve as second readers for theses and independent studies. For issues pertaining to the Graduate Program, only the graduate faculty (full-time tenured and tenure-track members of the professoriate) will vote.
The Graduate Committee, chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies (appointed by the Department Chair), is composed of five faculty of professorial rank, at least two of whom are from the tenured associate and full ranks. Four members are elected; the electorate consists of all full-time tenure-track and tenured members of the professoriate. One member is appointed by the Department Chair. Two graduate students, elected by their peers, serve as advisory, non-voting members of the Committee. The MFA students elect one representative, and the MA students elect the other. The Graduate Program Staff person serves as a non-voting, ex officio member.
The Diversity Committee suggests and supports ways of implementing both the Department's diversity plans and University-wide diversity initiatives, which generally concern issues of race, class, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin. The Committee focuses on four main areas in order to foster diversity in the Department and its programs: (1) recruitment (to increase and maintain diversity of our faculty and students); (2) curriculum (to imbue our courses with topics, texts, and perspectives that encourage diversity); (3) advisement and mentorship (to guide and motivate faculty and students to succeed in their respective endeavors); and (4) climate (to foster interaction, respect, and amity among students and faculty alike).
The Diversity Committee is composed of eight people: a chair (appointed by the Department Chair); four faculty members, one of whom must be a full professor and another of whom must be an instructor); a graduate and an undergraduate student representative, both of whom are appointed by the committee chair in consultation with the Committee; and a Staff member (appointed by the Department Chair).