Except under unusual circumstances, it is the policy of the University not to grant graduate degrees to its own faculty members, where the degree satisfies a prerequisite for appointment or advancement in rank. Requests for exceptions must be individually considered and approved by the provost based on appropriate recommendations.
The rationale for this provision rests on two concerns:
1. It is important to bring in faculty trained at several other universities so that new ideas can be brought into USU. Students and other clientele of the University ought to be exposed to faculty with a breadth of excellence.
2. It may be difficult for faculty members to assume an appropriate student-faculty relationship with colleagues from their own departments or from another department of the University. The relationship of a colleague can become especially awkward when some area of performance of the student is unsatisfactory. It is more difficult to get an objective assessment of the student’s performance from colleagues than from more objective faculty who have no personal relationships with the student.
Following are guidelines to be used in evaluating any request of a Utah State University faculty member to earn an advanced degree at Utah State University:
1. Does the faculty member’s department and the faculty member himself or herself have sufficient breadth so that departmental students or other clientele will not be exposed to a limited and narrow viewpoint?
2. Will the relationship of being a colleague seriously interfere with objective assessment of the student’s performance?
3. Will obtaining the degree have any bearing on the professional aspirations of the faculty member, or will it be just for personal enrichment?
4. Will the obtaining of the degree really enhance the performance of the faculty member in his or her position? Will the University benefit in a significant way if the faculty member is permitted to earn the degree at Utah State University as opposed to enrolling elsewhere?
If the faculty member is permitted to enroll in a degree program at Utah State University, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies must take the necessary measures to assure that an objective assessment of the student’s progress toward the degree is carried out.