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The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Graduate College Bulletin

2.9.4 - Faculty and Staff Graduate Enrollment

To prevent a conflict of interest between the role of student and the role of faculty or staff, the following policy applies to all OUHSC faculty and staff enrolled in Graduate College course work and programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

A faculty member may enroll in Graduate College course work as a Special Student. If the course work is in a department in which the faculty member has an appointment, the faculty member must enroll for audit.  A faculty member may not enroll for credit and cannot be admitted into a degree program in a department in which he or she holds a faculty appointment or in an academic area of his or her faculty expertise unless the following conditions are met:

  1. The faculty member’s graduate program must be for a degree higher than the one currently held.
  2. The departmental Chair or Program Director in which the faculty member holds an appointment must submit a plan to manage any potential conflict of interest.  The plan must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College and the College in which the faculty member holds an appointment.
  3. A full time faculty member cannot be paid as a graduate student or receive a student grant.
  4. The faculty member must relinquish voting privileges in the department or program in which he or she holds a Graduate Faculty appointment and recuse themselves from any meeting discussing items related to their Graduate College program while a student.

Staff may enroll in graduate course work as Special Students.

If a staff member is admitted to a degree program within the academic unit in which he or she is employed, the following conditions must apply:

  1. A staff member may not enroll for credit in a course that is taught by a faculty member who has supervisory authority over the staff member's employment. An exception can be made for a required course taught only by the faculty supervisor if approved by the Graduate College Dean.
  2. The staff member’s work and responsibility as an employee must be different from his or her work and responsibility as a student.
  3. If the staff member is employed for research effort, the research activity for which the staff member receives payment as an employee cannot be used to meet thesis or dissertation requirements.
  4. The criteria for the evaluation of the staff member as an employee must be identified and differentiated from the criteria for the evaluation of the staff member as a student.
  5. A full time staff member cannot be paid as a graduate student or receive a student grant. 
  6. It is the responsibility of the thesis/dissertation chair and committee members to be certain that these conditions are met and to monitor for any potential conflict of interest and bring it to the attention of the Graduate Dean.
  7. The faculty member with supervisory responsibility for the staff member as an employee cannot chair the staff member’s graduate committee unless the following conditions are met:
    1. Prior approval must be requested by the supervising faculty member and approved by the department Chair or Program Director and the Graduate Dean.
    2. The request must include how duties as a staff member and a student are substantially different and how staff and student activities will be evaluated differently.

    3. If the request is approved, the thesis/dissertation committee members will be charged with monitoring for any potential conflicts of interest and bringing them to the attention of the Graduate Dean.

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