What is the Graduate Faculty?

Within the context of the University System’s mission and vision, Valdosta State University possesses the core characteristics of a regional university. The core characteristics include:

  • a commitment to excellence and responsiveness within a scope of influence defined by the needs of a specific region of the state, and by particularly outstanding programs or distinctive characteristics that have a magnet effect
    even beyond the region;
  • a campus-wide commitment to a technologically-enhanced learning community that promotes student success, sustains instructional excellence, serves a diverse and well-prepared student body, offers academic assistance, and provides
    enrichment for all students;
  • a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic programming at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, as well as a range of professional programs at the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels, including a limited number of professionally oriented doctoral-level programs;
  • a commitment to public service, continuing education, technical assistance, and economic development activities that address the needs, improve the quality of life, and raise the educational level within the university’s scope of influence;
  • a commitment to scholarly and creative work to enhance instructional effectiveness and to encourage faculty scholarly pursuits and a commitment to research in selected areas of institutional strength and focused on regional need. (2023-2024 Graduate Catalog, p. 4)

The Graduate School's mission is in keeping with the University's mission to provide support for graduate education and associated scholarly activities for both faculty and students. Quality of graduate instruction is an important concern with graduate coursework being taught by faculty members serving on the Graduate Faculty. Hence the criteria for membership on the Graduate Faculty are directly related to VSU and the Graduate School's mission statements. The criteria also address the latest version of the VSU Statutes which necessitates a process for appointing faculty members to the Graduate Faculty. Additionally, VSU's regional accrediting association (SACS) suggests that Graduate Faculty be differentiated from the General Faculty in some fashion. Therefore, any faculty, including adjunct faculty, teaching graduate level classes and/or serving on dissertation or thesis committees are required to have either full or temporary membership on the Graduate Faculty.