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Statement on Rackham Graduate Faculty Values, Privileges, and Responsibilities

The cornerstone of the university’s reputation as a leading research university is the excellence of its graduate programs. Rackham graduate faculty have distinctive academic and professional responsibilities for guiding their students in advanced study and research, and for preparing them as scholars, researchers, teachers, and professionals in many fields.

Rackham is currently undertaking an effort to write, discuss, and adopt a statement of values, privileges, and responsibilities of the Rackham graduate faculty. Based on discussions with Rackham’s Executive Board and chairs and directors of Rackham programs, we created a draft statement that we offered for review and discussion in fall 2022.

The period for feedback from the Rackham community closed Thursday, November 17. The feedback received from the community will be provided to the Rackham Executive Board—the elected faculty governance of the graduate school—to use in its consideration of whether to adopt the statement into its bylaws. This review of feedback and consideration of adoption will take place in winter 2023.

 

Benefits of Adopting This Statement

Why should we adopt a statement of our values, privileges, and responsibilities as Rackham graduate faculty? From the statement’s preamble:

“The particular responsibilities of faculty who teach and mentor graduate students have been recognized since the graduate school was established over a century ago… Through the years, Rackham’s research has confirmed that the character of the multidimensional relationship that graduate faculty have with their students—as teachers, mentors, and advisers—contributes significantly to the quality of their graduate experience and success. Conversely, the graduate school has witnessed the difficult and sometimes devastating consequences that result when a faculty member misuses or abuses the faculty-student mentoring relationship or other standards of professional ethics in their role as a member of the graduate faculty. This statement of values, a complement to the academic and professional standards that have been established for Rackham students, is intended to inspire and guide the faculty who for decades have made the University of Michigan a world leader in graduate education.”

Channels for Feedback

Rackham set up a variety of channels for members of the Rackham community to provide feedback:

  • By completing a survey, which closed Thursday, November 17.
  • By attending one of three community forums on the topic.
    • Tuesday, November 1, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (Rackham Amphitheatre)
    • Monday, November 7, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (Zoom)
    • Thursday, November 17, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. (Zoom)

Rackham is grateful to everyone who provided their perspectives on this important effort to establish a statement of professional standards for the Rackham graduate faculty.