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Advisory Committee for Graduate Education

  • Background

    With full recognition that graduate degree programs are offered through colleges and schools of the University where the Graduate Faculty reside and where graduate courses are offered, the organizational structure of graduate education at Penn State is that all graduate degree programs (excluding medical and law education and their affiliated degree programs, e.g., the M.D., M.P.A.S., J.D., L.L.M., S.J.D.) report to a central graduate academic unit (college or school); for Penn State this unit is the Graduate School.

    Academic policies related to graduate education (admissions and academic standards, degree requirements, etc.) are the purview of the Graduate Council as the governing body of Graduate Faculty of the University. Administrative policies to support those academic policies or other matters related to graduate education (requirements for receiving a graduate assistantship, World Campus course registration for resident students receiving an assistantship) are the purview of the Graduate School.

    However, the colleges/schools that offer graduate programs are critical partners with the Graduate School in delivering graduate education across the University, and a mechanism to facilitate discussion, feedback and collaboration among the colleges/schools and the Graduate School is critical.

    Consequently, in approximately academic year 2000, the Advisory Committee for Graduate Education was formed by then Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Eva Pell. This group has served an invaluable role ever since.

This important committee serves in an advisory role to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School to discuss important issues facing graduate education internally and externally. It provides opportunity to share best practices; inform decisions regarding policies and procedures for graduate education, work collaboratively with the Graduate School to implement University-wide initiatives (e.g., implementation of a new student information system; internal and external program review and assessment) and policies (e.g., establishment of learning objectives and outcomes across graduate curriculum); and in other ways advance graduate education at Penn State.

The membership of ACGE is comprised of administrators for graduate education (senior associate, associate, or assistant deans or DAAs) in each college/school with graduate degree programs; the Senior Associate Dean, Associate Deans, Assistant Dean and Directors of the Graduate School offices; the Associate Vice Provost for Online Programs (ex officio); the University Registrar (ex officio. ACGE is chaired by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.

Members of ACGE who are college/school administrators for graduate education representing a college or school with graduate degree programs (including the Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate School representing those Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs, IGDPs, housed in the Graduate School) are polled prior to the start of each academic year to nominate and vote for a chair of the college/school administrator group who will meet with the Dean prior to each ACGE meeting to recommend agenda items for inclusion in upcoming meetings. The chair must hold a regular appointment regarding their respective college/school administrator role (versus serving in an Interim or Acting capacity) and be a continuing member who has served on ACGE for at least one prior academic year.

Membership List, 2021-2022

  • Jeffrey Bardzell, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, College of Information Sciences and Technology
  • Scott Bennett, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Mallika Bose, Associate Dean for Research, Creative Activity and Graduate Studies, College of Arts and Architecture
  • Peter Butler, Associate Dean for Education and Graduate Professional Programs, College of Engineering
  • Brian Cameron, Associate Dean for Professional Graduate Programs and Executive Education, Smeal College of Business
  • Kathryn Drager, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Health and Human Development
  • Steven Huddart, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Faculty, Smeal College of Business
  • Peter Idowu, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, Penn State Harrisburg
  • Zuleima Karpyn, Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Research, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • Lisa Kitko, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, The Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing
  • Ivor Knight, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Penn State Erie
  • Charles Lang, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, College of Medicine
  • George Lesieutre, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, College of Engineering
  • James Nemes, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Penn State Great Valley
  • Anthony Olorunnisola, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
  • Elizabeth Ransom, Interim Director, School of International Affairs
  • Aleksandra Slavkovic, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Eberly College of Science
  • Rayne Sperling, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, College of Education
  • Regina Vasilatos-Younken, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School
  • Michael Verderame, Senior Associate Dean


  • Sarah Ades, Associate Dean for Graduate Student Affairs, The Graduate School
  • Erika Bowser, Senior Business Process Analyst, The Graduate School
  • Roger Brindley, Vice Provost for Global Programs
  • William Clark, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
  • Michelle Corby, Assistant Dean, The Graduate School
  • Lori Anne Hawn, Director, Graduate Student Services, The Graduate School
  • Robert Bannon, Interim Director, Graduate Council Administration, The Graduate School
  • Brooke Snider, Director, Graduate Education Financial Administration
  • Robert Kubat, Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Education and University Registrar
  • Tania Luciow, Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, The Graduate School
  • Sarah Moryken, Associate Director, Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration, The Graduate School
  • Karen Pollack, Associate Vice Provost for Online Education, World Campus
  • Stephanie Danette Preston, Associate Dean for Graduate Educational Equity, The Graduate School
  • Jennifer Theiss, Director, Alumni and External Relations, The Graduate School

Administrative Support for ACGE and Contacts for the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School

  • Cathy Murgas, Executive Assistant, Office of Vice Provost and Dean, The Graduate School

Updated: 6/14/2022

ACGE meets eight times throughout the academic year; the agenda is set by the Chair working in conjunction with the Vice-Chair. The Vice-chair typically polls the college/school administrator members of the committee 2-3 weeks before each meeting to see if there are any issues the members would like to discuss. Occasionally the chair schedules additional meetings to address substantive issues that require additional time and attention.

This page was generated on October 5, 2022 at 8:21 AM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.