Establishing a Dissertation Committee
The dissertation committee will consist of the chair and a minimum of two committee members (candidates may choose to select an additional individual to serve on their committee, for a total of four dissertation committee members). The chair must be a member of the PSU faculty and must have earned a terminal degree which required completion and defense of an original research project (dissertation). The other committee members may be PSU faculty or professionals external to the University. All dissertation committee members must have earned a terminal degree in their field.
Candidates are expected to select dissertation committee members in consultation with their chair. Candidates must submit a Dissertation Committee Proposal Form, and all other required documents, to confirm committee membership.
Committee Chair Responsibilities
The committee chair is responsible for:
- assisting the candidate in selecting Dissertation Committee members and requesting member appointment from the director of the EdD program
- approving all proposals and dissertation drafts before submission to the committee
- providing guidance throughout the dissertation process
- explaining and upholding the standard expected of successful doctoral work
- responding in a timely fashion to communications from the candidate
Committee Member Responsibilities
Each committee member is responsible for:
- reviewing the proposal and dissertation in its various stages
- providing appropriate and timely feedback regarding content, methodology and editing
- preparing substantive questions for both the proposal and dissertation defenses
Changing Dissertation Committee Membership
At times and for various reasons, a candidate may wish to change the committee membership or committee members may request to withdraw from the committee. The doctoral program coordinator and the program coordinator of the Learning, Leadership, and Community (EDD) must approve any change.
Prior to initiating a change in the committee, the candidate must consult with his/her chair. If the candidate and his/her chair wish to change committee membership, the candidate must:
- meet with the doctoral program coordinator to discuss changing the committee
- submit a written request for appointment of a new committee member to the doctoral program coordinator
If a committee member wishes to be replaced:
- the committee member must inform the candidate and the committee chair that a change is considered necessary
- the chair must submit written notification of the change to the director of the EdD program
- the candidate must submit written notification of the change to the doctoral program coordinator
- the candidate must meet with the committee chair, and/or the doctoral program coordinator to discuss identifying a new committee member
The director of the EdD program must approve removals and appointments. Upon approval of a change in committee membership, the doctoral program coordinator will notify the candidate and the committee members. After the change of committee membership, the new committee must meet and review the candidate’s progress to confirm the direction of the dissertation.
Working with the Dissertation Committee
Communication between the candidate and the dissertation committee is of the utmost importance. Is is the responsibility of the committee is to provide candidates with appropriate and timely feedback, therefore all communication should be open, honest, and respectful.
It is expected that the candidate will maintain communication with the committee chair on a regular basis and with committee members as needed. Various drafts of the dissertation must be submitted to the chair. The chair will submit drafts to the committee members when it is deemed appropriate. Committee members’ recommendations shall be delivered to the candidate through the chair, and the chair will negotiate with committee members when there is a difference of opinion among them.