Before choosing a faculty member as your chairperson, consider the chair's role.
As mentioned previously, your chair will have broad power and influence over the dissertation or thesis process.
The reading committee formation, and any subsequent changes to the committee composition, are reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
This signature is obtained by the Doctoral Programs Officer, not the student.
The Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee consists of three faculty members (the principal dissertation advisor and two other readers) who agree to read a student’s dissertation and serve on the orals committee.
All members of an approved reading committee are expected to sign the signature page of the completed dissertation.
Some universities allow only those individuals who are on the graduate faculty to serve as dissertation chairs; that is, faculty who have adequate, recent publication records and who teach graduate classes.
These rules are based on the rationale that faculty who do not have active programs of research will lack the necessary skills to guide a doctoral research project.
The University requires approval of the Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form prior to advancement to Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status, or before scheduling a University Oral Examination–whichever comes first in the student’s program.
Further instructions for form completion are on the GSE Website.