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Collegial Cloud: Committee Members

Doctoral professors hooding doctoral graduate

Message to Dissertation Committee Members

Dear faculty, thank you for agreeing to serve on dissertation committees for CUC doctoral students and all the work you do to ensure that our students successfully complete and defend their dissertation. On this page you will find the following information: 1) roles and responsibilities of dissertation committee members; 2) description of the dissertation process (a letter that our students get when they pass the comprehensive exam).

Roles and Expectations for Committee Members

Dear doctoral faculty and dissertation committee members,

As the number of CUC’s doctoral student enrollment continues to grow so does the number of faculty involved in the process of guiding students toward the degree completion. At the present time, more than 1,000 doctoral students are enrolled in our programs. All of us have been working diligently and conscientiously, although somewhat independently, to contribute to student success. To provide formative experiences in line with CUC's mission and vision and to serve the increasing doctoral enrollment, the Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC), would like to delineate the roles and expectations of dissertation committee members and to highlight academic etiquette that supports the university's values. Out goal is to offer recommendations that would ensure consistency and integrity of doctoral committee work, while also supporting different teaching and mentoring styles and ways of working with students.

Overall assumptions

  • Committee members provide critical and constructive feedback to draft material within 2-3 weeks of receiving drafts, with clear recommendations for improvement. During particularly busy periods (end of the term or school year), or summer break, faculty may need more time to respond;
  • Committee members are responsive to student e-mails and phone calls;
  • All the workflow between the student and the committee members is coordinated by the chair;
  • If deemed necessary and helpful, all committee members work directly with students;
  • Committee members are expected to be in agreement prior to bringing students to a proposal and dissertation defense.


  • Understands the dissertation process and effectively communicates with their students and committee;
  • Oversees the entire dissertation process;
  • Provides direction and feedback on all chapters as needed;
  • Works to resolve the disagreements and tensions between the committee members and the committee and the student in a collegial and collaborative way;
  • Ensures that the IRB process is followed appropriately;
  • Appropriately uses technology and sets up meetings in order to clarify miscommunications and disagreements and demonstrates to students that the committee is working in accord;
  • Reviews the entire manuscript prior to the proposal and final defense for the overall document quality;
  • Schedules the proposal and dissertation defense with the Doctoral Office;
  • Facilitates the proposal and dissertation defense process in a professional manner.


  • Provides critical and constructive feedback on chapters One, Three, and Four to ensure that the study purpose, research questions, and chosen methodology are aligned;
  • As applicable, provides guidance on the development and use of data collection tools and procedures;
  • Communicates proposed revisions to student and chair;
  • Attends the proposal and dissertation defense and participates in a professional manner.

Content Expert/Reader

  • Provides critical and constructive feedback on chapters One, Two, and Five, with an emphasis on the integration of the literature review, conceptual and theoretical framework, findings, and implications;
  • As applicable, provides context expertise guidance and feedback on the development of data collection tools;
  • Communicates to students and the chair the proposed revisions;
  • Reviews the entire manuscript prior to the proposal and final defense for content soundness;
  • Attends the proposal and dissertation defense and participates in a professional manner.