This page contains an overview of graduate faculty appointment information. Please review the Graduate School rules for detailed information.
Appointments to the graduate faculty are based on standards developed by the Graduate Faculty Appointments Committee (GFAC), the Graduate Council and approved by the dean. Appointment to the graduate faculty is a privilege extended to those who have a faculty appointment either at UC Denver, an affiliated institution (such as National Jewish Health; The Children’s Hospital; University Hospital; Denver Health, and the Veteran’s Administration), an affiliated program, or an accredited college or university.
Graduate faculty appointments can also be offered to individuals who qualify either through their research and scholarship, mentoring or teaching ability, and who demonstrate a commitment to graduate education and students.
An appointment to the faculty of the Graduate School is required to serve as either the mentor or primary advisor of a student, to serve on a thesis or examination committee or to serve as a program or course director. A graduate faculty appointment is required to designate the overall grade for a graduate-level course. An appointment to the Graduate School faculty is NOT required in order to be a "guest lecturer" in a graduate-level course.
Nominations for membership to the graduate faculty are initiated by the program directors (or departmental chairs) of the graduate programs in which the faculty member will serve. Any UC Denver faculty member may request to be nominated by a graduate program director (or departmental chair).
All appointments to either the regular or special graduate faculty must be reviewed by the GFAC. The material required for a new or a renewal appointment includes:
- A nomination form indicating the type of appointment and signed by the nominating director/chair;
- A letter of support from the program director that confirms the faculty member's commitment to graduate-level education and specifies how he/she meets the criteria for a regular or special appointment current biosketch in a format accepted by the GFAC (see pages 2-3 of the graduate faculty appointment form);
- An additional page showing prior teaching and mentoring at the graduate level (may include courses taught or directed, graduate committee service, and direct student mentorship) or a statement of commitment from newly appointed faculty
- A nomination for regular faculty appointment in certain PhD programs will require additional information on the nominee’s ability to support a graduate student. See below under "Regular Appointments" for more information.)
New applications must be submitted well in advance of anticipated teaching, research supervision, and student examinations. Appointments will not be approved retroactively to cover those activities. Incomplete nominations or nominations submitted on old forms will be returned.
Appointment as a regular member of the graduate faculty is a privilege extended to those who qualify through their research, teaching and mentoring/advising ability, and demonstrated commitment to graduate education. Regular membership is limited to full-time faculty members of UC Denver or its affiliated institutions who hold the rank of assistant professor and above.
In addition to these basic requirements, the faculty member must present evidence of strong commitment to graduate student education in the form of ongoing or anticipated involvement in at least two of the following activities:
- Direct thesis research as mentor.
- Teaching graduate level course(s) as the director (or co-director).
- Serve on graduate student examination and/or thesis committees.
Although two or more of the above assignments is necessary for a regular appointment, evidence of commitment to graduate level education also may be reflected in such complementary activities as supervision of laboratory rotations, graduate student advising, graduate curriculum development, and graduate program administration. These contributions can strengthen the application of one whose involvement in the three areas listed above is minimal.
In addition, nominations for a regular graduate faculty appointment in PhD programs that provide full support for their students, the faculty applicant must also provide proof of ability to support a graduate student in his or her laboratory. This proof may consist of continuing NIH-type funding as shown in the biosketch. For assistant professors, or other faculty who do not hold NIH-type funding, a letter of support from the chair (or division head, where appropriate) of the department in which the faculty member holds his/her primary appointment can be provided in lieu of grant support. This letter must indicate that commitment of the department (or division) to provide full support for a graduate student in the laboratory of the faculty applicant during the period in which the faculty member does not have funds to support the student.
Regular members of the graduate faculty vote on issues that are before the graduate faculty of the university.
Term of Appointment
Initial appointments are typically for four years and should take into account the nominee’s faculty appointment in their respective department/school or college. Subsequent appointments can be made for up to five years.
Faculty members at any level and from any accredited university or college can be nominated by a graduate program for a new or continuing special appointment if they present evidence of research and scholarly activity and they are or will be assigned to direct graduate courses or sit on examination and thesis/dissertation committees. Individuals who conduct research and/or demonstrate scholarly activity, but do not hold a faculty appointment, must first obtain an appointment from one of the schools at the University of Colorado Denver campuses.
Please note: A special faculty member cannot serve as the chair of a PhD exam or dissertation committee (although they can be a member) and cannot be the primary mentor or advisor of a PhD student. A special faculty member needs the approval of both the program director and dean to chair an exam or a master’s thesis committee or to serve as the primary mentor of a student enrolled in a master’s program. Special faculty cannot vote on issues requiring approval by the graduate faculty.
Term of Appointment
The initial period of appointment normally will be for up to four years and shorter time periods may be requested. Subsequent appointments are for periods up to five years, especially for part-time teaching faculty with ongoing course assignments.