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Annual Committee Meeting FAQs

Q. What if I don’t have a committee or a committee chair yet?

A. You can find information about assembling a committee online

Q. What if my committee members can’t agree on a date?

A. With complicated schedules, this can be a common scenario. Committee members can call or use Skype to join a meeting if they are unable to attend in person. If all else fails, talk with your faculty advisor and your committee chair, if that person is different from your faculty advisor.

Q. What if I need to switch your committee members?

A. Ask your faculty advisor about other appropriate committee members. If you know you need to change, it’s a good idea to begin identifying new members as soon as possible, as this can take some time. Information about replacing a committee member is available online.

Q. What happens if I can’t hold my meeting before the start of fall?

A. Communicate with your faculty advisor and/or graduate group chair to let them know that you’ve made efforts to schedule the meeting in a timely manner. For a variety of reasons, it may not be possible to schedule before fall, but it’s important to let them know you have been trying.

Q. Am I allowed to meet with individual committee members before or after the meeting?

A. Absolutely. Not all members may be as up-to-date on your research, and if the opportunity presents itself, meeting with them can be beneficial and avoid real-time updates during the meeting.

Q. What should I report at my meeting (besides awesome data and graphics)?

A. Review this information with your faculty advisor before your committee meeting, but plan to report on the following:

  • Your response to any advice or directions that you received at your last committee meeting;
  • Your progress on research and manuscripts;
  • Any questions that may have been brought up outside of the meeting (for example, from your faculty advisor);
  • Plans with timelines for upcoming research or manuscripts;
  • Recent and upcoming activities (such as conferences and workshops); and
  • Anticipated time to graduation

Q. What if my committee doesn’t give an evaluation form or any written feedback?

A. If your graduate group doesn’t use an annual committee meeting rubric, bring in a basic form for feedback or ask for email feedback. This will help direct your ongoing research and to make sure all parties recall what was discussed at the meeting.