The Graduate Council is represented on a graduate student's committee by a Graduate Faculty member outside the student's major and minor areas. A Graduate Council Representative (GCR) is required for all doctoral committees, all M.A.I.S. committees, and all master's degrees involving a thesis. Students pursuing a non-thesis masters may choose a GCR for their committee, but one is not required. The GCR is selected by the student from a list provided by the Graduate School. The GCR is a full voting member of the student's committee.

The GCR functions as a regular member of the committee, participating in all examinations, deliberations, and decisions. In addition, the GCR is responsible for assuring that the conduct of all committee meetings and actions are in compliance with policies and procedures of the Graduate Council as presented by the Graduate School. The GCR assumes responsibility for assuring fair and appropriate treatment of the student and all committee members, and for assuring the integrity of the degree.

The GCR should not hesitate to contact the Dean of the Graduate School for advice on matters of institutional policy and procedure.

Duties and Procedures

General: The GCR is the representative of the Graduate Council on the graduate student's committee. The GCR affirms the integrity of the degree by confirming that institutional policies are being followed. The GCR is also responsible for assuring that the student receives fair and impartial treatment at the meetings.

At all meetings, the GCR must verify that all committee members, or their approved substitutes, are present before the meeting is allowed to proceed. If one or more committee members are absent, the GCR must immediately call the Graduate Dean (541-737-4881) for instructions on how to proceed. The GCR should also confirm that any doctoral preliminary exam or any doctoral or master's final exam is at the time scheduled with the Graduate School.

As the GCR, you will need to attend the following required meetings:

  • All M.A.I.S. students: Program meeting; Final Oral Examination
  • All other master's students writing a thesis: Final Oral Examination (Program meeting attendance is strongly encouraged)
  • All doctoral students: Program Meeting; Preliminary Oral Examination; Final Oral Examination

Other meetings (e.g. thesis proposal meetings, meetings to assess written examinations or to evaluate student progress) may be held at the discretion of the student's committee or major department. The GCR, along with all other committee members, should attend all such meetings if at all possible.

Paperwork required for program meetings for M.A.I.S. and Doctoral students should be brought to the program meeting by the student. The paperwork is also available online:

  • M.A.I.S. program meeting paperwork Word/Adobe
  • Doctoral program meeting paperwork Word/Adobe.

Prior to a doctoral preliminary exam or a doctoral or master's/MAIS final exam, the GCR will receive in an email from the Graduate School:

  • a schedule form, showing the date, time, place and committee composition,
  • a checklist relevant to the specific meeting,
  • guidelines for the Graduate Council Representative,
  • a copy of the student's audited program of study, and
  • an examination report.

Note: The checklists and examination reports are to be returned promptly to the Graduate School after any program meeting or examination.

Program Meetings (M.A.I.S. and doctoral): The student's major professor, or chairperson, will chair this meeting. There is no minimum length of time for these meetings, although it is recommended that the meetings be scheduled for one hour. The prime purpose of this meeting is to ensure that the proposed program submitted by the student meets the minimum requirements of the Graduate School and the major department/program and also fulfills the student's needs and desires. The program meeting should be held early enough in the student's academic career to permit all committee members to have input to and influence on the program.

Preliminary Oral Examination (doctoral): The major professor chairs the examination and the GCR chairs the evaluation of the student's performance. If a prior written examination was conducted by the major department rather than the student's committee, the GCR should ascertain that this examination and examination results have been available to all members of the student's doctoral committee prior to the preliminary oral examination.

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to determine the student's understanding of his or her major and minor fields and also to assess the student's capability for research. The exam may cover the student's proposed research topic, although no more than one-half the time should be devoted to specific aspects of the proposal. This examination is taken near the completion of all course work on the student's program. The examination should be scheduled for at least two hours.

This examination is traditionally attended only by the student's committee. All committee members, including the GCR, are expected and encouraged to participate in examining the student. No committee member should be allowed to monopolize the examination, and the student must be given an adequate and fair opportunity to respond to the questions.

If more than one negative vote is recorded by the examining committee, the candidate will have failed the oral preliminary examination. No more than two re-examinations are permitted by the Graduate School, although academic units may allow fewer than two re-examinations.

Final Oral Examination (doctoral, M.A.I.S., all master's degrees involving a thesis): This examination should be scheduled for a minimum of two hours. The major professor chairs the examination and the GCR chairs the evaluation of the student's performance.

The first part of the examination is the presentation and defense of the student's thesis (or research project). This is often presented as a seminar open to all interested parties. This portion should last no longer than one hour. All persons except the student's committee are then excused, and the committee continues with the examination of the candidate's course work, or questions relating the course work to the student's research.

All members, including the GCR, are expected and encouraged to participate in examining the student. No committee member should be allowed to monopolize the examination, and the student must be given an adequate and fair opportunity to respond to the questions.

If more than one negative vote is recorded by the examining committee, the candidate will have failed the final oral examination. No more than two re-examinations are permitted by the Graduate School, although academic units may allow fewer than two re-examinations.