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Departmental Policies and Procedures - Graduate Student Handbook


Desk (Office) Assignments

The Department has developed a fair and equitable procedure for assigning office and desk space. This policy was developed in conjunction with the Horticultural Science Graduate Student Association. Desk assignments are made at the beginning of each semester (August and January). Graduate students' offices are 227 and 266 Kilgore Hall.

Because of the limitation of space, it may not always be possible to have a desk for every graduate student. However, every effort is made to do so. For safety reasons, desk space is not assigned in chemical laboratories.


Working Hours and Vacations

All graduate students who are on departmental assistantships are considered employees of the Department. Each must carry out the duties assigned by the major professor and/or teaching and graduate coordinators. Those students on Teaching Assistantships are expected to work 10-20 hours per week in areas related to the teaching program. Those students on Research Assistantships are expected to work 10-20 hours per week for their major professor on research areas outside their thesis area.  Many students are on combination research/teaching assistantships and will have a combination of research and teaching duties.

Lastly, all students on assistantships are expected to be available at all times, even when school is not is session. This is particularly true for Spring and Fall breaks, etc. Most faculty expect students to follow the faculty/staff work and holiday schedule.  Please be aware, however, that research or teaching duties may be required on weekends and holidays. Vacation time must be pre-arranged with your major professor. Students must keep in mind that this is a period of professional training which requires dedication, time and effort.


Mail

Mail for graduate students is placed in a special box in the mail room and is distributed by the Horticultural Science graduate administrative assistant. Each graduate student is assigned a mail slot in 235 Kilgore Hall.


Telephone Use

The telephones in 235 and 266 Kilgore Hall are for local use only. If you need to make a long-distance call, check with your major professor. To reach off-campus exchanges, dial 7 for local numbers.


Photocopying

The Department has three WolfCopy machines available for student, faculty and staff use which are located in 51, 107 and 212 Kilgore Hall. Check with your major professor to find out their policy regarding use of their password.


Computing

Departmental Computer Systems Administrator (Paul Stanley)

This employee is administratively responsible to the Head of the Department of Horticultural Science. He provides computer hardware and software expertise to the Horticultural Science faculty, staff, and graduate students to ensure efficient use of departmental computing resources. 

Functions of the Computer Systems Administrator 

  1. Serve as departmental consultant for hardware and software acquisitions based on specific needs. Purchase and install hardware and software for users. 
  2. Trouble-shoot all computer hardware, software, and communications problems. Maintain computer communications inside Department and connections to the Campus Computing Center. 
  3. Manage the departmental computing facility, coordinate use of these facilities and provide operational support and supplies. 

NCSU Policy on Use of Computers

The use of computers is governed by the University's administrative regulation on computer use. Limited personal use is allowed provided all conditions are met under section 3 of the regulation.  See Computer Use regulation for complete policy.

Student Unity Account and E-Mail 

You will be assigned a personal UNITY computer account shortly after your arrival on campus. This will give you access to e-mail and MyPack Portal. The DGP and administrative assistant routinely communicate with graduate students via e-mail, so it is important that you check your e-mail regularly. 


Supplies

The Department cannot provide supplies for personal use. All supplies for research purposes must be obtained through your major professor. 


Requisitions and Purchase Orders

All requisitions for supplies and equipment must be made by your major professor who will process them through the departmental bookkeeper. Our bookkeepers, supervised by Sandie Wash in 162A Kilgore Hall, are very helpful and competent employees. Please make their job easier by signing your name and your major professors name clearly on all invoices. 


Use of Departmental Vehicles

Only students on assistantships or biweekly payroll with a valid NC driver's license may drive a state vehicle! A state vehicle is an expensive and important piece of equipment that has been purchased with departmental funds. At all times, we must drive in a courteous manner, adhere to state and local laws (particularly the speed limit), and use vehicles only for state business. The public is quick to criticize employees who appear to misuse state vehicles. In many instances, they report violations to the highway patrol who in turn inform the Governor's office. It is suggested that all faculty, project personnel and graduate students pay attention to the following items:

  1. Treat state vehicles as you would your own
  2. Park properly and only in assigned areas
  3. When you borrow a vehicle, leave it
    • Parked where it belongs and locked
    • Do not leave credit cards in a parked vehicle anytime!
    • Be certain it is clean and in good working order
    • Ensure that the gas tank is at least half full when returned
  4. Fill out Trip Log properly
  5. Turn in gasoline tickets to the major professor at the end of each trip
  6. NCSU Policies, Regulations and Rules states: Hitchhikers are not permitted to ride in state-owned vehicles. Non-state employees may accompany state employees in state cars when they have a business interest in the travel. Spouses and children of state employees may accompany them in state-owned vehicles, if ample space is available and all travel is strictly for official state business.

The research component of the Department has basically two types of vehicles for use. Most of the research vehicles are assigned to project leaders. In most instances, you will be using your major professor's vehicle. If you need a vehicle, make your request through your major professor. Also, the main office has one vehicle (which is not intended for field work). Use of this vehicle must have prior approval of the Main Office (120 Kilgore Hall).


Travel

  1. General - All travel on state business whether in-state or out-of-state must be coordinated through your major professor. The Department funds projects and these are administered by the individual project leaders. All travel expenses are charged to the respective project.
  2. In-State Travel - You must have approval of your major professor before traveling in-state.
  3. Out-of-State Travel - Support for graduate student travel to scientific meetings should result in at least three important benefits to our School:
    • Promote and encourage excellence in our graduate program
    • Provide visibility on the nature and quality of our graduate education programs, and
    • Enhance our ability to recruit outstanding faculty and students
  4. Therefore, authorization is delegated to departments to support travel for graduate assistants to professional meetings, providing funds are available, under the following provisions:
    • The student will present in an organized session of the meeting a paper or poster which the departmental faculty has judged to be of a meritorious nature and based on research conducted as a part of our School program.
    • Travel support may be considered for students to attend one professional meeting during the MS and two during the PhD programs. Exceptions to this number may be approved with proper justification and strong research productivity.
    • Every effort should be made to obtain travel support from extramural sources (University Graduate Student Association, Graduate School, Foundations, ASHS, etc.).
  5. Departmental Support or Approval
    • Partial or full support may be granted in accord with the provision of item 1. above, subject to the availability of funds, and the concurrence of the student's research adviser and Department Head.
    • Funds must be available to cover such travel from departmental resources, gifts, trust funds, or extramural sources.
    • Support for commercial transportation may be for partial or full costs. If travel is by state car, no transportation costs will be allowed. Subsistence and registration fees may be provided as indicated below.
    • Travel by state car is encouraged if two or more students are attending the same meeting and the distance to the meeting is one driving day or less.
    • Subsistence may be allowed up to the in-state rate.
    • Registration fees, in whole or in part, may be allowed for professional meetings.
  6. Out-of-state travel authorizations are to be processed for graduate students who are on a University Assistantship, traveling to professional meetings or on other authorized out-of-state trips in state-owned vehicles. These travel authorizations are essential, even when the student is receiving no travel support, in order to provide for Workmen's Compensation coverage.
  7. The University Graduate Student Association (UGSA) Travel Fund - The UGSA Travel Fund is set up to assist eligible graduate students attending professional meetings. It will not pay for the entire trip. The following instructions are furnished by the UGSA:
    • Read the UGSA Travel Fund Guidelines and go to 'Funding'.
    • Investigate other funding sources, e.g., major adviser's grant or departmental funds
    • Fill out application and submit to travel fund committee chairman before trip
    • Submit all receipts (or photocopies thereof) no later than ten (10) days after trip. If photocopies are submitted, original copy must be available for inspection.