Special appointments add extra expertise to graduate student supervisory committees.

Special Appointment Status

Special appointment status allows qualified UF or non-UF personnel who do not have UF graduate faculty status to serve on graduate students' supervisory committees as guest experts who bring unique, specialized expertise to the student’s research.

Special appointments are made individually, case by case, student by student.

Special appointees can serve on supervisory committees only as members — not as chairs, co-chairs, or externals. They do not count toward the minimum needed for a valid committee — only UF graduate faculty do.

Special appointments may be made by one of two methods:

  • With a UFID number and included in GIMS (Graduate Information Management System) as a formal UF appointment through the Graduate School.
  • Without a formal UF appointment through the Graduate School, by direct invitation, with approval from the student and the supervisory committee chair.

Any access to UF research beyond what will be available publicly in the student’s dissertation requires a courtesy appointment in line with UF’s policy on courtesy faculty.

Special appointees are not considered UF officials. Committee members who have UF graduate faculty status must maintain confidentiality of student records in line with the provisions of FERPA and federal, state, and university regulations.

Special Appointment with
Graduate School Approval and Tracking via GIMS

Request a special appointment to a supervisory committee by:

  • Logging on to GIMS (Graduate Information Management System).
  • Entering the student’s UFID number in the UFID/Name slot.
  • Clicking the Find button to bring up the student’s GIMS screen.
  • Clicking Actions on the light blue Degree Segment bar on that screen.
  • Clicking Submit Special Appointment on the drop-down menu that appears.
  • Following the prompts and filling in the blanks on the pop-up screen that appears.
  • Clicking the Submit to Grad School button.

For that process, you’ll need:

  • A UFID number, if the appointee does not have one. (Your payroll/personnel staffer can generate one in PeopleSoft.)
  • The nominee’s up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV).
  • An evaluative statement from your unit's chair or director, explaining what special expertise the appointee will bring to the student’s research.

After submission, the Graduate School will email a decision to the nominating unit.

Special Appointment Made Internally Without
Graduate School Approval and Tracking via GIMS

Alternatively, colleges and units may develop internal processes for special appointees to serve as guest experts on supervisory committees by invitation of a supervisory committee chair with approval from the student.

In such cases, the special appointee’s contribution may be acknowledged in the thesis or dissertation document and in direct communication from the supervisory committee chair and academic unit, but the special appointee’s name will not be recorded in GIMS, and the special appointee will not have access to systems or resources that require a UFID number (like myUFL).

Although colleges and units may provide guidelines and expectations for special appointee participation, the Graduate School does not track attendance or participation in exams by invited guest experts who do not have UFID numbers.


Email gradschool@aa.ufl.edu for help.