History and Organization

In 1908, upon the insistence of faculty members of the Col­lege of Arts and Sciences, the university placed its graduate courses into a newly formed unit, the Graduate School, and named biology professor Carl Eigenmann its first dean (1908-27). Four years later, Indiana University awarded its first Ph.D. degree, although Master of Arts degrees had been conferred in cursu upon graduates of Indiana University in the nineteenth century. Today, the Graduate School awards approximately 300 Ph.D.’s and some 500 master’s degrees annually. In addition to the Ph.D., the Graduate School at Indiana University has sole jurisdiction over the Master of Arts, the Master of Science, the Master of Arts for Teachers, and the Master of Fine Arts degrees wherever they are offered in the university system. The professional schools have jurisdiction over other postbaccalaureate degrees and provide the instruction for Graduate School degrees in their disciplines. As a university-wide office, the Graduate School grants degrees at five of the university’s eight campuses: Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, South Bend, and Southeast.

In the Graduate School’s early years, during the presidency of William Lowe Bryan, the university concentrated on under­graduate instruction. When Herman B Wells became president in 1938, graduate education at Indiana began to thrive under the deanship of Fernandes Payne, another biologist (1927-47). With the strong support of President Wells and under the guidance of Dean Payne’s successors, English professor and folklorist Stith Thompson (1947-50) and botanist Ralph Cle­land (1950-58), the Graduate School grew rapidly during the post-World War II years. Twenty-five graduate fellowships were created during the war years.

John W. Ashton, the second English professor to occupy the Graduate School deanship (1958-65), had served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences before taking over the new Gradu­ate School offices in Kirkwood Hall. During his tenure in the College and in the Graduate School, Dean Ashton gave strong support to interdisciplinary programs and emerging disciplines such as linguistics, comparative literature, East European stud­ies, folklore, School of Letters, and Uralic and Altaic studies. By 1960, Bernard Berelson’s book Graduate Education in the United States ranked Indiana University twelfth of 92 institu­tions of higher education. Allan Carter’s Assessment of Qual­ity in Graduate Education (1966) also reflected the increased stature of the university’s graduate programs. In that work, four Graduate School programs ranked among the top ten of their kind in the nation, and twenty programs emerged among the top twenty.

The appointment of Harrison Shull, a chemist (1965-72), marked an outstanding increase in the research and graduate development activities of the Graduate School. When Dean Shull left the Graduate School to become the vice chancellor for research and development, he took many of these activities with him, leaving the Graduate School to be con­cerned primarily with graduate education. As the university underwent reorganization under the leadership of President John W. Ryan, two temporary deans, Harry Yamaguchi, a psychologist (1972-77), and James Holland, the third biologist to head the Gradu­ate School (1977-78), presided over an office that, without a research and development component, was able to focus its attention on the quality of graduate education.

From 1978 until 1987, the historian Leo F. Solt was dean. Under his leadership, the Graduate School became a university-wide entity, encouraging excellence in graduate education through­out the state of Indiana by systematically reviewing all existing programs and by implementing new graduate programs on the Indianapolis and South Bend campuses, as well as on the Bloomington campus. Fellowship funds were increased, and more minority students were recruited; the Graduate School was computerized to improve record keeping and monitoring of students; additional steps were taken to improve the quality of Ph.D. dissertations; and participation by graduate students in the administrative and policy making activity of the Graduate School was encouraged.

Thomas Noblitt, a music historian, was acting dean from 1987 until 1989. During his tenure, new graduate programs were ap­proved for the Northwest and Fort Wayne campuses, and offer­ings at Bloomington and Indianapolis were expanded. In August 1989, George Walker, a physicist, became associate vice presi­dent (and later vice president) for research and dean of the University Graduate School, thus reuniting two offices that had been separated for nearly 20 years. Under his direction, the University Graduate School was reorganized to allow depart­ments and schools to assume a larger part of the responsibility for the monitoring of graduate students’ progress toward their degrees. Increased emphasis on financial support for gradu­ate education led to substantial additions to the fellowship budget, new initiatives were undertaken to encourage research on all campuses of the university, and the Graduate Council was significantly expanded. Dean Walker also established a Preparing Future Faculty Program to prepare graduate students to face the full range of professional responsibilities they might encounter in the academy.

In 2003, the Office of Research and the University Graduate School were again separated, and John Slattery, a pharmacolo­gist from the University of Washington, was recruited to head the again independent University Graduate School. Unfortu­nately he was lured back by the University of Washington, and in the fall of 2005, Sherry Queener (who had been associate dean at Indianapolis) and Eugene R. Kintgen (who had been associate dean at Bloomington) were named acting co-deans. James C. Wimbush, a professor of business administration, was appointed dean of the University Graduate School in September, 2006. Dean Wimbush continues to advocate for the enhancement of graduate education and improvement of the overall quality of graduate student and post-doctoral student life, and works to increase funding for programs promoting educational equality.  In July, 2013, Dean Wimbush also was appointed Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs.

In 1951, the faculty elected nine of its number to a Graduate Council. Today, the Graduate Council has 24 voting members elected by the University Graduate School faculty. That faculty of about 2,200 members comes from all campuses of the uni­versity. Beginning in 1980, a University Graduate School faculty committee has added new members to the graduate faculty upon nomination by departmental or school administrators, subject to the approval of the dean of the University Graduate School and, in the case of full members, the Board of Trust­ees. This process changed in 2005. Currently, all tenured or tenure-eligible faculty are automatically appointed as members of the Graduate Faculty. An additional endorsement to direct doctoral dissertations may be obtained through nomination by the appropriate doctoral program chair or program faculty, subject to approval of the dean of the University Graduate School and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. The names of all IU faculty members who hold appointments as members of the Graduate Faculty are listed in this bulletin under the names of the program(s) with which they are associated. An asterisk (*) denotes membership in the University Graduate School faculty with the endorsement to direct doctoral dissertations.

Members of the University Graduate School faculty ultimately determine standards of admission, set the general require­ments for degrees, pass upon the specific requirements of programs, approve courses for graduate credit, and certify candidates for degrees. These functions are executed by the Graduate Council and the dean and administrative staff. More specifically, the University Graduate School faculty serve on advisory and research committees for doctoral students, direct master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, and elect members of the Graduate Council.

The Graduate Council, which represents faculty in all gradu­ate units, meets monthly during the academic year. In addition to the functions delegated to it by the faculty of the University Graduate School, it serves as an executive advisory body to the dean and administrative staff on policy matters. It receives the reports of the school’s standing faculty commit­tees; it acts upon recommendations for changes in admission, the curriculum, degree requirements, and procedures for the administration of student programs; it receives and acts upon the recommendations of ad hoc committees appointed by the dean; it gives advice on ways to improve the quality of gradu­ate work; and it seeks ways to coordinate the programs of the University Graduate School with other graduate programs in the university.

In addition, the deans and staff of the University Graduate School monitor indicators of the quality of individual graduate programs, and (through the recorders) the quality of master’s and doctoral degrees granted. Mentoring and Preparing Future Faculty programs, both within the departments and centralized in the University Graduate School, ensure that students are integrated into their academic programs and prepared for the full range of professional responsibilities they will encoun­ter in their careers.

The Graduate and Professional Student Organization is the representative body for graduate students enrolled on the Bloomington campus. Likewise, the Graduate Student Organiza­tion represents graduate students enrolled in programs on the Indianapolis campus. Both organizations work with the Univer­sity Graduate School to advocate for the interests of graduate and professional students.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.