3.1. ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR THESIS AND DISSERTATION-BASED PROGRAMS
| Revisions approved Section 3.1
by CGPS Council January 11, 2022
May 1, 2022
As soon as possible following a student's first registration in a thesis or dissertation-based program, an advisory committee, including research supervisor, should be named. Responsibility for naming the members of a student's advisory committee lies with the Graduate Chair, Head, Dean/Executive Director (non-departmentalized colleges/schools) or designate. It is the responsibility of the advisory committee to assist students in course selection and definition of research area, to provide support and advice, to evaluate regularly the student's progress by meeting at least once yearly, to take appropriate and timely action in view of this progress, and to keep records of this evaluation and all actions taken. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that progress reports, meeting minutes, programs of study, and other advisory committee paperwork is completed and forwarded to the unit’s graduate administrator.
3.1.1. CONSIDERATIONS FOR COMMITTEE COMPOSITION
The advisory committee is the central group of experts that educate, mentor, inspire, role-model, and adjudicate graduate students, over a period of years at the university and often beyond graduation within professional networks. In addition to research and (inter-) disciplinary expertise, Graduate Chairs, Heads, Deans/Executive Directors (non-departmentalized colleges/schools) or designates must consider other factors when composing student advisory committees, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Student perspective - Knowing the academic, personal, and career goals of the student and ensuring the student has a voice in selecting their advisory committee.
- Equity, diversity, and inclusion - Success and the overall experience of students with a range of personal attributes and qualities, diverse talents, perspectives, backgrounds, worldviews, ways of knowing, skills, and abilities, will be supported by a diverse advisory committee (e.g., race, gender identity, cultural background, lived experience, physical ability). [see USask Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy]
- Conflict of interest – Situations where the private interests of a prospective member(s) conflict with, or could reasonably be perceived to conflict with, their obligations to provide impartial advice, support, and to exercise independent judgment on an advisory committee, must be avoided. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest to the Graduate Chair, Head, Dean/Executive Director (non-departmentalized colleges/schools) or designate must occur, and consideration of their implications should occur in the process of constituting advisory committees and at the first full advisory committee meeting with the student. [see USask Conflict of Interest Policy].
3.1.2. ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMPOSITION
|The master’s advisory committee
consists of at least two members
The Ph.D. advisory committee
Co-supervisor, if applicable
Co-supervisor, if applicable
|2. Additional Member
Must be a regular member of the faculty of CGPS, adjunct professors, professional affiliates or be granted one-time membership by the Dean, CGPS or designate. The list of regular faculty, adjuncts, and professional affiliates can be accessed in PAWS.
2. Additional Member
3. Cognate Member
At least one of the supervisor(s), additional member, or cognate member on the advisory committee must be a regular member of the faculty of CGPS who is an employee of the university.
The Graduate Chair, Head, Dean/Executive Director (non-departmentalized colleges/schools) or designate is a non-voting ex officio member of the advisory committee.
The Dean of the CGPS or designate is a non-voting ex officio member of the advisory committee.
Ex officio members are not required to attend advisory committee meetings but may be included in these meetings and deliberations at the invitation of the student, supervisor(s), any other member of the advisory committee, or in accordance with the policy and practice of the academic unit.
When one of the proposed members of the advisory committee is not a member of the CGPS graduate faculty, the proposed member’s CV and a written rationale as to why the person should be approved to serve on the committee must be provided. Please note this is a one-time approval for that person to serve on a specific advisory committee.
Postgraduate diploma and graduate certificate students do not require an advisory committee. The use and composition of advisory committees for course- and project-based master’s degrees is at the discretion of each academic unit.
The policy is in effect for all students beginning their program May 1, 2022 onward. Academic units may choose to adopt these changes for advisory committees where students began before that date and are encouraged to consider it for students that are in the early years of their program.
3.1.3. CONFLICT RESOLUTION AMONG STUDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- A graduate student and members of the advisory committee (including supervisor(s)) are encouraged to resolve any issues informally through discussion. Should this be unsuccessful, the graduate student and/or any member(s) of the advisory committee (including supervisor(s)) should refer the matter to the Graduate Chair, Head, Dean/Executive Director (non-departmentalized colleges/schools) or designate.
- If the matter is not resolved by the academic unit, the graduate student or advisory committee member(s) (including supervisor(s)) may bring the issue to the attention of the Associate Dean, CGPS. The graduate student may also bring the issue to the attention of the Vice-President Academic and Student Affairs or Vice-President Indigenous Engagement, Graduate Students’ Association (GSA).
- Should the steps outlined in (a) and (b) be unsuitable, the graduate student or advisory committee member(s) (including supervisor(s)) may bypass these steps to bring the issue directly to the attention of the Associate Dean, CGPS. The graduate student may also bring the issue directly to the attention of the Vice-President Academic and Student Affairs or Vice-President Indigenous Engagement, GSA.
- An alternative reporting option is the safe disclosure reporting mechanism, provided by ConfidenceLine (available 24/7, online or by phone at 1-844-966-3250).
- Additional resources include the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy, the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy, the Sexual Assault Prevention Policy and the Violence Prevention Policy (https://policies.usask.ca).
3.2. STUDENT-SUPERVISOR AGREEMENT
Effective for those beginning a new program September 2020, students enrolled in thesis-based programs will complete a CGPS Student-Supervisor Agreement in partnership with their supervisors. The agreement must be completed within the first twelve months of the student’s program and will be treated as a non-course requirement.
The CGPS Student-Supervisor Agreement template is available here. When the CGPS Student-Supervisor Agreement has been completed and signed by the supervisor and student, it should be submitted to the Graduate Administrator in the academic unit.
The Graduate Administrator should keep a copy in the academic unit’s files, and submit a copy to CGPS using the Student-supervisor agreement form.
Once CGPS has received the agreement, a CGPS Advisor will save a copy to the CGPS files in the Banner Document Management student file, and will mark the non-course requirement as complete in Banner. This will update the requirement as complete in the student’s DegreeWorks record as well.