Defense Policies Affected by the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic
Thesis and Dissertation Defenses. In response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the University Graduate School requests that all currently scheduled thesis and dissertation defenses be held remotely through May 31 using tools such as Zoom and Skype.
Thesis and Dissertation Acceptance Pages. In place of signed acceptance pages, after the thesis or dissertation has been accepted each research committee member should indicate their approval of the thesis or dissertation by sending an email to the Master’s Recorder (firstname.lastname@example.org) or PhD Recorder (email@example.com).
Best Practices for Conducting Defenses Online
Defense Format. Defenses conducted online should follow the same format and include the same components normally required by the department for in-person defenses as closely as possible. Any portions of the defense in which the candidate is not normally present may require the candidate to temporarily leave the conference and any recording to be paused.
Public Components. Departments should continue to follow their normal practices for public access to defenses. For online defenses, this could be facilitated through public distribution of the conference link after the defense has been formally scheduled. Following the public session, the conference should be restricted to the candidate and research committee only. See the resources below for participant management instructions for Zoom.
Logistical Guidelines for Online Defenses
Defenses conducted online during this period should follow these logistical guidelines:
- The candidate and all members of the committee must agree in advance to remote participation and to all video communication arrangements. Video conferences must be hosted by a member of the research committee or a department staff member and not by the candidate.
- The examining department is responsible for providing adequate technical accommodations that allow all participants to see and hear each other throughout the defense and to view any text, graphics, or other visuals referenced
- If, at the onset of the defense, these accommodations are not found to be adequate for the examination, the candidate or the research committee may elect to postpone the defense until a later date without penalty
- In the event of a technical failure, the defense proceedings must be stopped and may not resume until any technical issues are resolved
- Defenses conducted through remote technology may only be audio or video recorded with advance permission from the research committee chair and candidate and must adhere to departmental and school guidelines for recording defenses
Resources for Conducting Defenses Online
For additional help with Zoom, contact UITS Learning Spaces Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-856-2020.