Graduate Studies Executive Committee (GSEC)

Committee ProceduresMeeting MinutesCommittee MembersForms and Guidelines

The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, in collaboration with the Graduate Studies Executive Committee (GSEC), exercises overall review and supervision of graduate programs and provides leadership in developing new programs and in improving standards for existing programs.

GSEC shall review and approve all policies related to the College of Graduate Studies and adhere to Tennessee Tech Policy 224 - Approval of Academic Programs, Units, and Modifications, and Tennessee Tech Policy 221 - Substantive Change, as may be amended from time to time, with respect to the approval of academic programs, units, or modifications. In addition, refer to Tennessee Tech Policy 272 - Graduate Studies Executive Committee Policy, dated November 1, 2016, revised July 6, 2021 and revised January 1, 2022.

In cases where a college wishes to change existing graduate policies, procedures, and exceptions, the Dean of that college must send a written request to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies for submission to and approval by GSEC.

Questions? Contact us!

2024-2025 Schedule

All GSEC meetings begin promptly at 3 p.m. and take place in the Provost's Conference Room in Derryberry Hall.

GSEC Submission Deadline for Agenda Items GSEC Meeting Dates    
June 19, 2024 July 2, 2024
August 20, 2024 September 3, 2024
September 17, 2024 October 1, 2024
October 22, 2024 November 5, 2024
January 14, 2025 January 28, 2025
February 18, 2025 March 4, 2025
March 18, 2025 April 1, 2025


THEC Submission Deadlines:

    • All actions approved by GSEC, AC, & Board (Provost) between January 1 to April 30; DUE May 15
    • All actions approved by GSEC, AC, & Board (Provost) between May 1 to July 31; DUE August 15
    • All actions approved by GSEC, AC, & Board (Provost) between August 1 to December 31; DUE January 15

See more information about the Academic Counsel »
See upcoming Tech Board meeting dates »


GSEC Procedures


The President shall appoint the members of the GSEC, which shall consist of the following:

    • FACULTY - A minimum of ten (10) faculty members representing the colleges in which graduate programs are offered.
    • ADMINISTRATIVE - A minimum of nine (9) administrators representing the colleges in which graduate programs are offered.
    • STUDENT - A minimum of four (4) student members, also representing the colleges; and 
    • ADVISORY - Nonvoting advisory members as determined by the President.
    • EX-OFFICIO - The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies or his/her designee will serve as an Ex-Officio member of GSEC.
    • TERMS OF OFFICE - Members (with the exception of students) shall serve terms of one (1) to three (3) years. Appointments are to be effective at the beginning of the Fall Semester and are subject to renewal at the discretion of the President.
    • VACANCIES - If a member is unable to continue service on the Committee, another member representing the same basic constituency shall be appointed by the President of the University to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
    • ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS - If a member is unavoidably absent from a meeting, he/she may designate a representative to attend in his/her" place, provided the substitute (or representative) is someone from the same basic constituency of the academic community as the regular member and that the Chairperson of the Committee be notified ahead of time as to whom this proxy would be and under what circumstances he/she would be attending the meeting. This substitute (or representative) shall exercise the rights and privileges of the member for whom he/she is substituting; that is, the right to vote, the right to make motions, and the right to second motions.  This procedure was reviewed, revised, and amended on 1/1/2022.


    • Chairperson - The Chairperson shall be elected annually from the Committee membership. He/she shall:
      • Preside at all meetings or designate another member to preside.
      • Schedule regular meetings of the committee.
      • Prepare a tentative agenda for each meeting for distribution to members of the Committee at least three working days prior to regular meetings and one day prior to special meetings.
      • Approve the minutes of the meetings for distribution to the members of the Committee.
      • Appoint special subcommittees as required.
      • Call special meetings when necessary.
      • Supervise the preparation and distribution of an annual Report of the Committee's activities
    • Executive Officer - The President will appoint a staff member to serve as executive officer and resource person and to provide staff support services.

Conduct of Meetings

    • Regular meetings shall be scheduled at least three times per semester during the regular academic year. The date and time for such meetings shall be included in the Administrative Calendar.
    • The Chairperson may call a special meeting when he/she deems such action necessary.
    • Items for inclusion in the tentative agenda of a regular meeting must be submitted to the Chairperson at least five working days prior to the meeting. Items for inclusion in the tentative agenda for a special meeting must be submitted to the Chairperson at least two working days prior to the meeting. Any member of the University community may submit tentative agenda items to the Chairperson.
    • A simple majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum. In determining the minimum number of members necessary for a quorum at any meeting, neither faculty members on official leave nor student members not currently enrolled will be counted.
    • The agenda shall be adopted at the beginning of each meeting by a majority vote of those present.
    • In any matter requiring a vote, the vote of each member present (except advisory members) shall be recorded equally.


No standing subcommittees are authorized. Special subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chairperson as he/she shall deem necessary to carry on specific items of work of the Committee.

Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern committee meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these procedures. Suspension of these rules may be effected by a majority of the voting members present.

Amendment of Procedures

These procedures can be amended at any regular meeting of the Committee by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing to each member at least three (3) working days prior to the meeting. Amendments to Procedures are subject to final approval by the Administrative Council.

Committee Action and Review

Actions of this Committee are subject to review by the Academic Council and approval by the President.

Effective Date of Implementation

These procedures are continually reviewed by the committee and when necessary and with committee approval, are revised and amended to meet the needs of the organization.


Meeting Minutes

Graduate Studies Executive Committee Minutes contain confidential information. Redacted minutes are available below. Please contact the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies if archived minutes from past years are needed.

2023-2024 Minutes

September 5, 2023-meeting cancelled October 3, 2023                      November 7, 2023

 January 30, 2024                           March 5, 2024       

April 2, 2024                                        July 2, 2024


Committee Members

 Name Classification Campus Box   Term Expires
Dr. Julie Baker Executive Officer 5012  
Dr. Alice Camuti Administrative 5012  2024
Dr. John Zhu Faculty 5014  2024
Dr. Barbara Jared Faculty 5001  2024
Dr. Samantha Hutson Faculty 5035  2024
Dr. Dan Combs Faculty 5063  2024
Dr. Kim Hanna Administrative 5001  2024
Dr. Lisa Zagumny Administrative 5046  2024
Dr. Jeremy Wendt Faculty 5042  2024
Dr. Darron Smith Administrative 5165  2024
Dr. Mike Gotcher Administrative 5176  2024
Dr. Bedelia Russell Resource 5001  
Dr. Hayden Mattingly Faculty 5152 2026
Dr. Michael Burduck (Chair) Faculty 5053 2026
Dr. Michael B. Phillips Faculty 5043 2026
Dr. Joseph Slater Administrative 5005 2024
Dr. Thomas Payne Administrative 5025 2025
Dr. Julie Pharr Faculty 5083 2025
Dr. Steve Isbell Faculty 5083 2025
Dr. William Eberle Faculty 5101 2025
Dr. Tony Michael Faculty 5031 2025
Dr. Allan Mills Administrative 5065 2026
Holly Mills Resource 5066  
Vacant Graduate Student   2024
Vacant Graduate Student   2024
Michele Niec Graduate Student   2024
Eli Anderson Graduate Student   2024


Forms and Guidelines


What types of requests should be submitted to GSEC?
Catalog Wording Editorial Only

Send request for language editorial corrections through Coursedog Catalog.This type of request will be presented at GSEC as an informational item only and for a record of the change.

Graduate Student Degree Program 1 Year Extension Request

Complete the Request for Exception to University Policy form that includes support and approval from the student’s advisory committee, college chairperson, and college dean. The student also needs to submit a brief explanation as to why the program extension is needed. This request will be reviewed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, prior to submission to the GSEC.

Course Addition/Changes/Deletion

Send a proposal through Coursedog that includes support and approval from the college curriculum committee, college chairperson, and college dean. All changes will be updated with the records office and in the Graduate Catalog upon approval.

Course Addition/Changes/Deletion 4000/5000 Level Courses

Send a proposal through Coursedog that includes support and approval from the college curriculum committee, college chairperson, and college dean. All changes will be updated with the records office and in the Graduate Catalog upon approval. These course addition/changes/deletions will also need to go onto Curriculum Committee for approval at the undergraduate level.

Exception to Graduate Catalog Policy

Any exception to our Graduate Catalog. Complete the University Exception Form and attach memo of support from the student’s advisory committee, college chairperson and college dean as needed. The student will also need to submit a brief explanation as to why they need an exception to the Graduate Catalog Policy.

Final Appeal for Reinstatement Request

The Reinstatement Request form and all supporting documentation will be sent to GSEC for a final vote if the reinstatement request has been declined by the Dean College of Graduate Studies.

New Academic Programs and Modifications to Existing Programs

Information about establishing new academic programs and modifications to existing programs may be found on the Provost's Website.

Documents Requiring Approval

All documents requiring Academic Council and Tennessee Tech Board approval require an Internal Cover Form. Download the Internal Cover Form fillable PDF »

Approval Process Quick Reference Guide

For a quick reference guide to the document approval process and forms required for approval, see our Documentation Approval Reference Sheet »


THEC Forms


Contact Information

Physical Address:
1 William L. Jones Dr. 
Derryberry Hall, Rm 306 
Cookeville, TN 38505

Mailing Address:
Tennessee Tech University 
Campus Box 5012 
Cookeville, TN 38505-0001

Phone / Email:
(931) 372-3233
(931) 372-3497 (Fax)

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 AM - 4:30 PM CST

Experience Tech For Yourself

Visit us to see what sets us apart.

Schedule Your Visit