Administrative Structures

Administrative Structures

  1. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is the basic policy-making body.
  2. The Department of Political Science is given significant policy-making authority by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. However, Departmental must not conflict with Faculty policies.
  3. The Graduate Program Committee consists of the Director of the Graduate Program who chairs the Committee, at least two faculty members, and three students. Students will be selected by the Political Science Graduate Student Association. Normally, there will be two PhD candidates and one M.A. candidate.

Tasks of the Graduate Program Committee are:

  1. To discuss and review all aspects of the graduate program, including, but not confined to:
    1. curriculum
    2. comprehensive examination procedures and format
    3. student facilities
    4. entrance requirements
    5. general policy on fellowships and scholarships
    6. general policy on teaching assistantships (aspects not covered by union agreements)
    7. mentoring and supervision
    8. professional development
    9. social occasions
  2.  To make recommendations on these policies and areas to the Department.
  3.  The Graduate Program Committee is a forum for consideration of programmatic issues, not complaints about individuals.  In the event of disagreements with professors or supervisors, graduate students shall, in accordance with the G+PS Guidelines, seek to resolve disputes as close as possible to the source, by first discussing the problem frankly with the professor in question.  If the problem is not resolved, the appropriate course of action is to approach, in order, the Director of the Graduate Program, the Head of the Department, and finally the Dean of Graduate Studies.  Assistance may be obtained from the Departmental Advisor on Policy and Procedures and from relevant University offices.
  4. The Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee consists of faculty members chosen to ensure field representation. The Committee makes decisions on applicants for admission, ranks students for financial awards, and reviews requests for accommodation outlined in Section IV.  The Committee is responsible for publishing a list of factors used in rankings.
  5. The Director of the Graduate Program is responsible for the Administration of the graduate program of the Department. The Director of the Graduate Program chairs the Graduate Program Committee and is an ex-officio member of the Department Executive Committee; and coordinates the recruitment and admissions process, including the preparation of relevant materials; designates initial academic advisors and facilitates the matching of students with supervisors; ensures that faculty supervising or teaching graduate students are aware of and adhere to applicable policies and procedures; coordinates ranking of graduate students for fellowships; allocates Teaching Assistantships; coordinates the periodic review of academic progress of graduate students; and coordinates the administration of comprehensive examinations.  The Director of the Graduate Program is also a source of advice and informal appeal in the event of problems involving graduate courses, relations with advisors or supervisors, relations between TAs and course instructors, or fellow graduate students.
  6. Department Head. As the formal “administrative head of unit”, the Department Head has extensive responsibilities.  Regarding the Graduate Program, the Head is responsible for assigning teaching responsibilities to faculty (including graduate students as sessional instructors), and adjudicating formal appeals of grades or other complaints involving faculty — including issues of professional conduct, equity and harassment matters — and the decisions of the  Director of the Graduate Program or the Graduate Program Committee.
  7. Executive Committee. While having no direct line relation to the Graduate Program, the Executive Committee advises the Head on a wide range of matters.  It consists of three faculty members elected by the Department and the Director Graduate Studies and Undergraduate Studies as ex-officio members.
  8. PhD Field Committees. Committees for each comprehensive examination field consist of all faculty members in a particular field, and, where possible, have one graduate student representative who has already passed the comprehensive examination in that field. The committees are intended to ensure a diverse curriculum and create an on-going structural forum for faculty and students to discuss curriculum issues.

Terms of reference:

  1. annual re-examination and discussion of curriculum issues in field;
  2. review of comprehensive exams and comprehensive exam reading lists (faculty alone will be responsible for the administration of exams);
  3. identification of areas of field weakness, and determination of future hiring priorities of the field.