II. The Graduate Community

The Graduate Council

As authorized by Bylaw 330 of the University of California Academic Senate and Bylaw 13.21 of the Santa Cruz Division, the Graduate Council, a standing faculty committee of the Santa Cruz Academic Senate, coordinates graduate study on the Santa Cruz campus. It is composed of the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies who serves as an ex officio member, ten additional voting faculty members, a library representative, three representatives from the Graduate Students Association Graduate Student Association (GSA), and one representative from the Postdoctoral Scholars Association. The Council reviews all proposals for new degrees and programs and sets policies and standards for admission to graduate status. The Council establishes policy for the administration of graduate programs, approves changes in degree requirements, oversees the satisfaction of University requirements for candidates seeking advanced degrees, and sets policies concerning graduate student support. The Council further establishes policies regarding satisfactory academic progress, graduate student course loads, part-time study, and leaves of absence. The Graduate Council is also responsible for approving proposed graduate courses. The Council may establish general policies, consistent with the regulations of the Senate, with respect to units of academic credit and grading options. The individual departments direct their programs on the basis of the policies established by the Graduate Council.

The Graduate Division

The Graduate Division is the administrative arm of the Graduate Council and is led by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. The Graduate Division oversees Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention; Academic Services; Financial Support and Academic Appointments; Communications and Relations; Admissions and Information Services; and Administrative Services. Diversity and Recruitment facilitates the recruitment of highly qualified and diverse student applicants, and provides support services, events, and programs for the advancement of graduate students. Academic Services centrally coordinates application and admissions procedures, monitors and encourages the successful progress toward degree completion, enforces academic standards, responds to student problems, processes student petitions, assists students, and coordinates peer-led programming designed to facilitate academic progress. Financial Support administers fellowship programs and certifies student eligibility for graduate student academic appointments. Communications and Relations oversees publications both for on-campus and off-campus audiences, and has senate authority for postdoctoral appointments and issues including length of service, compensation issues, and health insurance. Admissions and Information Services provides technology support functions for graduate student and staff services and for the admissions process. Administrative Services assists the Deans in a range of activities, maintains the dean’s calendar, and is the contact person for arranging appointments with the dean. The Graduate Division also sponsors quarterly programs for graduate students, including workshops on topics such as grant proposal development, academic and professional development, and career planning.

The Graduate Representative

The Graduate Representative is a faculty member who acts on behalf of the department in all matters of graduate education. The Graduate Representative counsels enrolled students, leads recruitment and admission selection efforts, and guides decision-making concerning fellowship nominations and allocations for academic appointments. Graduate Representatives provide an important nexus between the Graduate Division and students. They ensure that departmental norms, expectations, and requirements are clearly communicated to students, foster efforts to provide a supportive and enriching climate for students in the department, and 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 e-mail as effective means of communication with graduate students. Graduate Representatives should lead department 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. This preparation can be achieved through courses and/or workshops that train graduate students how to teach and assist undergraduates in the discipline, and through written materials to communicate the department’s expectations and objectives to TAs in training. The Graduate Representative is asked to encourage continuous full-time enrollment by students, advise on advancement to candidacy, and evaluate petitions to change majors, add or drop courses, waive or substitute requirements, take leaves of absence, etc. The Graduate Dean depends on the Graduate Representative’s experience and recommendations when making decisions about student matters. An advising system in which faculty sit down with students, examine transcripts, discuss research interests, and suggest coursework is most effective. When the Graduate Representative signs any form, the Deans assume that the recommended action has been carefully reviewed and, in the Graduate Representative’s judgment, represents the best interests of UCSC and the student. Departments rely heavily on Graduate Program Staff for information, but ultimately faculty must be responsible for academic advising. Graduate students depend upon the Graduate Representative for advice and cannot act without the official signature on a number of forms. Departments are strongly encouraged to clearly identify the Graduate Representative on their department homepage. It is essential that the Graduate Representative keep regular office hours and be available for consultation during the quarter, particularly near registration deadlines.

The Graduate Program Staff

Every graduate program should have a staff member who works in the capacity as the Graduate Program Staff. This person is responsible for administrative advising of graduate students. This person works with the Graduate Representative, within the academic department, to ensure students are receiving clear and timely advising on administrative processes, reminds students about registration and fellowship deadlines, manages requisite administrative records on behalf of the department and its graduate students, and stays abreast of requirements from the Graduate Division and the University. The Graduate Division relies on the Graduate Program Staff to disseminate vital information to graduate students concerning policy changes, fellowship and grantopportunities, and workshops and events.

The Graduate Student Association

All UCSC graduate students are members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA). Your quarterly fees include a $14.50 college fee, which in the case of graduate students, supports the GSA. The GSA is recognized by both the UC Systemwide and local campus administrations as the voice of the Santa Cruz graduate student community. The GSA serves the collective interests of the graduate students by promoting cooperation among the students of the various departments at UCSC, by representing their concerns to the UCSC faculty, administration, and staff, and by providing services to the graduate student body which are more effectively addressed as a group. In addition, the GSA holds social events during the academic year and makes available small travel grants for graduate students attending conferences at which they will be presenting a paper, or traveling on thesis-related research. Questions on the travel grant program can be addressed to gsatravel @cats.ucsc.edu>. The GSA Council consists of one voting member from each graduate department. The Representatives are elected by the graduate students in some departments, and are volunteers in others. The Representatives represent the views of their departments to the council and advise the Executive Council on campus issues. The Executive Council recommends graduate students for appointments to University committees and speaks to the administration on graduate student issues. Each year the Council elects a President, an External and an Internal Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The GSA is a member of the University of California Student Association (UCSA). The UCSA is a coalition of the eighteen student governments on the ten UC campuses (one graduate and one undergraduate from each campus). Each government sends one voting member to serve on the UCSA Board of Directors, which then serves as the student voice to the UC Office of the President and the UC Regents. It also maintains a staff in Sacramento. You are invited to attend GSA Council meetings, either as the official Departmental Representative or just as an interested party. Many of the Representative positions are open at the beginning of Fall quarter. GSA meetings occur on the first and third Thursday of every month from 6-8pm in the graduate student commons. For more information about the GSA, specific meetings or events please see our website athttp://www2.ucsc.edu/gsa/ or call us at 831-459-3142.