In the University of Pennsylvania, graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. and related master’s degrees are carried out by associations of faculty members called “graduate groups.” Many of these groups are based in individual departments. In such groups, all members of the Standing Faculty in that department are ipso facto members of the graduate group, but the group also may include faculty who come from other departments or schools. There are, in addition, a significant number of graduate groups that are not based in any one department and are composed of faculty from several departments or schools.
The graduate group structure provides the adaptability necessary to mount graduate programs in newly developing areas of intellectual endeavor or to phase out programs in areas of declining vigor, without disrupting the underlying structure of the traditional departments and schools. The price paid for this adaptability is continuing vigilance over the academic quality and vigor of each graduate program, particularly those that are not based in a single disciplinary department or school. The purpose of the sections that follow is to outline the organization and responsibilities of the faculty who are members of graduate groups, and of the group chairpersons.