Request for Remote Participation in Graduate Committees


The Graduate School and Graduate Council strongly encourage examinations in which all participants are present in person. Remote participation should be used only when there are serious impediments to physical presence at the examination and not be used simply for the convenience of a committee member. The committee Chair should aid the student in finding a meeting time at which all members can be present and assist the student in arranging for remote access equipment and technical assistance. The following guidelines are in effect:

A single committee member (other than the Chair or Dean’s Representative) may participate in a Master’s Exam, a Doctoral Degree Audit and Request for General Examination, or a Doctoral Final Exam remotely through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) programs such as Skype without special permission from the Graduate School. The committee Chair, however, should give permission and notify the student. The telecommunications protocol chosen must permit real-time, two-way exchange of visual information (e.g., presentation slides) and dialogue among the committee members and the student to assure participation when physical presence is unfeasible.

Should extraordinary circumstances make it necessary for the Chair or the student or a second member (who is not the Dean’s Representative) to participate via VoIP programs, approval must be sought from the Dean of the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting. That is, it is possible for two persons at the meeting to be present remotely except for the Dean’s Representative. (The individual participating remotely can never be a Dean’s Representative). The form must be signed (or approved by e-mail) by all committee members and submitted to the Graduate School before remote participation of two persons will be approved.

Also under very extraordinary circumstances, the student may participate remotely. However, these circumstances should be genuinely severe and detailed by the committee Chair in a separate petition to the Dean of the Graduate School and endorsed by the department chair. Reasons that would be acceptable might be documented long-term illness or disability. Reasons that are not acceptable would be, for example, employment elsewhere, lack of funding, family inconvenience, or residence in a foreign country. In general, students are required to be present at their milestone examinations in person.

The responsibility for arranging, testing, and assuring operative connection and time-zone coordination rests upon the student and the director (Committee Chair). If a formal Request for Remote Participation is necessary, the form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School, along with the request for examination, at least three weeks prior to the date of the examination and by the current semester deadline for graduation, if applicable.  Emergency requests, such as those caused by medical needs, will be considered on an ad hoc basis.

The following chart summarizes the above policy.

Remote Participation Notification or Prior Approval Required Details
One committee member (not the chair or the Dean’s Representative) Notification Committee chair must be notified and approve. No form is required.
The committee chair Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School
The Dean’s Representative Not permitted  
The candidate Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School
A second committee member Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School


download remote participation form