Dean's Representative

Overview of a Dean's Representative

The Dean's Representative (DR) is a member of the graduate faculty appointed to a doctoral student's committee to represent the University and the Graduate School. The Dean’s Representative’s primary responsibility is to ensure the integrity of the examination procedures by serving as a committee member and observer from an outside department. It is the responsibility of all Graduate Faculty to serve as a Dean's Representative for the university-wide academic community.

The (DR) is appointed to a student's committee at the time the general examination is scheduled and should receive all scheduling requests and materials pertaining to the general examination and the dissertation in the same timely manner as the rest of the committee members. The DR is not required to have any knowledge of the student’s field of research or have an active role in the student’s dissertation. Background experience related to the student’s discipline and research is not a requirement to serve as Dean’s Representative.

At any time, the DR may contact the Dean of the Graduate School to provide feedback.


  • Make sure all of the committee members are present before starting.
  • The composition of the committee must conform to the latest rules about remote participation. Visit our Remote Participation page to view our policy.
  • Confirm that all committee members received the completed dissertation at least two weeks in advance.
  • Ensures the Pass/Fail/Re-Test Policy is followed.
  • Reports if student and/or DR are not treated respectfully.
  • Serves at both the examination and dissertation meetings, if possible.
  • Notifies the Graduate School and chair of the committee as soon as possible if he/she is not able to attend a milestone exam. This will ensure a replacement is found in a timely manner.

Time Commitment

The DR should plan to attend the general examination and the final dissertation defense. Both typically last about 2 hours, however actual times may vary. Prior to the exam date, the DR may choose to spend some time reading the materials provided by the student.  Students occasionally will request advice from the DR regarding dissertation preparation. The DR will determine how much time is needed in providing support to a student requesting advice.

There is no set minimum for service to the scholarly community as a DR. Your own schedule and interests will determine whether or not you accept each invitation. You will probably be asked to serve about once every 2-4 semesters.  If the requests can't be met, you will be asked until we find an opportunity that serves your schedule and interests as well as the student's needs. 



Frequently Asked Questions

Please let our DR specialist know of your preferences, and we will make every attempt to accommodate your interests and your willingness to serve.

The Graduate School will send you a letter of thanks for your service, which is routinely copied to your Chair.  Please be sure to note your service as a DR, however, in your annual report. 

The DR is authorized to cancel or reschedule the examination. The DR should inform the chair of the committee and the Graduate School immediately in such an event.

The Graduate School Academic Services Office will review the circumstances pertaining to the request. Students email a detailed explanation to

Note: Please be sure to use your assigned LSU email account when sending this email.