Every graduate program has a graduate advisor. The graduate advisor is a tenure-track faculty member—nominated by the department chair and appointed by the Graduate Dean—who acts on behalf of the Graduate Council. The graduate advisor counsels enrolled students; leads recruitment and admission selection efforts; guides decision-making concerning fellowship nominations and allocations for academic appointments.
Graduate advisors provide an important nexus between the Graduate Division and students. They ensure that departmental norms, expectations, and requirements are clearly communicated to students. Fostering efforts to provide a supportive and enriching climate for students in the department, graduate advisors encourage student involvement in departmental matters as appropriate, including service on committees open to graduate student representation.
Departments should regard graduate students as junior colleagues and mentor them accordingly. Departments are encouraged to use meetings, departmental handbooks, and email as effective means of communication with students. Graduate advisors should lead departmental initiatives directed toward the professional preparation of students, including offering classes that promote effective teaching. All departments should ensure that their students are well prepared to assume the responsibilities associated with teaching undergraduates, which can be achieved through courses and/or workshops.
The graduate advisor's original signature is the only departmental signature, other than the department chair's, recognized as official on graduate forms and petitions. The graduate advisor is asked to advise students on continuous full-time enrollment and to monitor degree progress. The graduate advisor is asked to evaluate all petitions which may include requests to change degree objectives, add or drop courses, waive or substitute requirements, take leaves of absence, and reinstate to graduate standing. The Graduate Dean depends on the graduate advisor's experience and recommendations when making decisions about student matters.
An advising system in which faculty meet with students, examine transcripts, discuss research interests, and suggest a course work study plan is most effective. When the graduate advisor signs any form, the Graduate Deans assume that the recommended action has been carefully reviewed and, in the graduate advisor's judgment, represents the best interests of the University and the student. Departments rely heavily on graduate program assistants for information, but ultimately, faculty must be responsible for academic advising.
Graduate students depend upon the graduate advisor for advice and cannot act without the original signature on a number of forms. Departments are strongly encouraged to clearly identify the graduate advisor on their departmental homepage. It is essential that the graduate advisor keep regular office hours and be available for consultation during the quarter, particularly near registration deadlines and at the beginning and end of quarters.