Please see the official DGS
The page you are viewing is "unofficial", but it is back up to date as of September 2005.
- Director of Graduate Studies
- Jeff Chase
- Office hours: MF 2:00-3:00 (D306 LSRC)
- Graduate Program Administrator
- Office hours: open-door policy
Useful resources for our graduate students:
What are the rules for earning graduate degrees in CS?
A Message from the DGS
Being DGS gives me an opportunity to work directly with our department's most
valuable resource: our students. It enables me to play a central role in fullfilling
a key element of the department's mission: to produce graduates trained for
leadership roles in industry, government, and academia.
In the Fall of 2000, the Department conducted a survey of students regarding
the role of the DGS. The results of this survey indicate that students have
widely varying expectations of the DGS. These ranged from "stay out of
my way" to "meet with every student at least once a month".
The DGS plays an important role in helping students to navigate the sometimes
difficult path through graduate school to productive and satisfying careers.
If you are a CS graduate student, I am here to help you. I am easy to reach
and I am available to discuss issues that concern you. I will work hard to ensure
that you receive clear communication regarding department policies that affect
you, and that these policies are fair and reasonable and consistently applied.
In addition, the DGS is the primary advisor for first-year graduate students,
and is responsible for the CPS 300 course. Finally, the DGS oversees the graduate
program budget, represents our graduate program in its interactions with the
University and the Graduate School, and oversees the graduate admissions process.
With that said, I ask to recognize that my work as DGS is additive to my other
duties as a faculty member. I receive no additional compensation and no reduction
in my teaching load as DGS. Like many faculty, I have a research group to run,
with 7-9 students depending on me as a primary research advisor. The University
and my colleagues judge me by my research output and the success of my students,
and not by my service as DGS.
I could not afford the time to serve as DGS without the assistance of our extremely
capable Graduate Program Administrator, Diane
Riggs. Diane handles many of the most important functions of the DGS office.
We hope that students and faculty will make an effort to understand Diane's
role and mine, and to try to make both our jobs easier by observing the following
guidelines in your interactions with the DGS office:
- If you need assistance from the DGS office about official matters, please
visit Diane's office or send requests in email to email@example.com.
Please do not send e-mail directly to me; use the dgs alias so that
both Diane and I receive your request. In most cases the response will come
from Diane rather than from me directly.
- If you want advice about the path to meeting degree requirements, dealing
with faculty, gaining access to resources at Duke that might help you, adjusting
to student life, or other matters, please consider that Diane is often in
a better position to help you than I am. In particular, she is an authoritative
source of information about official matters, and she has a long history and
experience to draw from. For any problem or issue that you face, the chances
are that another student has faced it before and that Diane knows about it.
- I have posted DGS office hours. Feel free to drop by my office during these
times if you wish to speak with me directly about anything, or just to chat.
I hope that students will stop by occasionally just to let me know how things
are going and to give me an opportunity to assist. That is why I volunteered
for this job.
- Recognize that both Diane and I are busier than we like to be most of the
time. Our time is valuable, and we are challenged to manage our time effectively.
The best way to protect our time is to be proactive: learn about the rules
and expectations for students, and take responsibility for meeting them. Respond
promptly to requests from the DGS office. We spend a great deal of time working
through situations that could be handled easily if students and faculty were
more proactive. Of course, we also make mistakes occasionally: if you feel
that the DGS office is insufficiently responsive, we will not be offended
if you resend your request and/or state your expectations more explicitly.
- Part of being proactive is to bring any potential problems to our attention
early. Please note that both Diane and I promise to protect the confidentiality
of any student information. We will not reveal information given in confidence
unless we are required by law to divulge it or we feel that it is necessary
to protect health or safety. There is no risk to bringing problems to our
attention, and we may be able to help you. Please make your expectations of
confidentiality clear if this is important to you.
- Recognize that Diane is an official representative of the DGS office. Treat
her with respect. If Diane asks you to do something or to provide some information,
accept it as an official request from the Department. Part of Diane's job
is to try to protect you from running afoul of the various regulations that
govern student status at Duke. If you get into trouble in some way and Diane
judges that you have not fulfilled your responsibilities, then I (and other
faculty) will generally defer to her opinion. This may have undesirable consequences
- Seek advice from sources other than the DGS office when appropriate. If
you have questions about your direction as a student, a faculty member in
your intended research area may offer more valuable assistance than an overburdened
DGS. Get to know other faculty members early, and draw on them for advice
As DGS, I am committed to continuing to improve the effectiveness of our graduate
program and the quality of the graduate student experience here in Duke Computer
Science. Let me know how I can help you.