Task Force on Graduate Student Supervision

Mandate

To investigate the mechanisms by which the quality of graduate supervision at both the master's and doctoral levels are assessed at the University.

Purpose

The task force will investigate the following questions:

  1. What attributes of supervisory practices have been recognized at Waterloo for excellence in graduate student supervision?
  2. What data exist that provide evidence of the quality of graduate student supervision at the University of Waterloo?
  3. What are the best practices in terms of establishing, evaluating, and updating common expectations between supervisors and students?
  4. What are the best practices in terms of receiving feedback from students on the performance and competencies of their graduate student supervisor(s)?  What are the best practices in terms of evaluating graduate student supervision?
  5. What are the best practices in terms of evaluating graduate student supervision?
  6. What are the best practices in terms of training for graduate student supervisors?  What have been identified as contemporary challenges in graduate student supervision (e.g. mental health, accessibility, intellectual property, professional outcomes, etc.)? 
  7. Are there acknowledged indicators that have been used to identify supervisors whose competencies and performances warrant attention? 
  8. What are the resources available to students, supervisors and administrators when conflicts arise?  Are these resources sufficient?

Methodology

  • Literature review, including:
    • analysis of 100+ letters in support of recent nominees for the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision
    • Reflective Supervisor Questionnaire
    • Supervisory Agreements/Checklists
  • Broad consultation with the University community, including:
    • deans
    • associate deans, graduate studies
    • chairs/directors; associate chairs and directors
    • faculty members
    • graduate students
    • Graduate Student Association (GSA)
    • Faculty Association of University of Waterloo (FAUW)

Membership 

  • Christina Akuyie Appah, master's student, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences 
  • Jeff Casello, associate vice-president, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (Chair)
  • Shannon Dea, associate professor, Philosophy; vice-president, Faculty Association of University of Waterloo (FAUW)
  • Trevor Holmes, senior instructional developer, faculty programs and research, Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • Christiane Lemieux, associate dean, graduate studies, Faculty of Mathematics
  • Laura McCrackin, doctoral candidate, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
  • Linda McNenly, research associate
  • Kirsten Müller, assistant vice-president, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Angela Rooke, manager, graduate and postdoctoral experience, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Ian Rowlands, associate vice-president, Waterloo International
  • Tom Ruttan, director, Counselling Services

Contact

For questions regarding the Task Force on Graduate Student Supervision contact Jeff Casello.