Faculty Information

Dissertation Chairs

All dissertation chairs will receive an email in early April from the dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and will be asked to confirm—via a registration link—that they will hood their Ph.D. candidate at Rackham Graduate Exercises (RGE).

A follow-up email containing the commencement schedule and hooding instructions will be sent to dissertation chairs one week prior to RGE. In addition, dissertation chairs should contact their students directly regarding their plans to attend the ceremony.

Dissertation chairs are responsible for providing their hoods, caps, and gowns.  Academic attire may be rented (free of charge) at the Pierpont Commons Campus Store. The deadline for ordering attire is Friday, April 17, 2020.

If you are a graduate and your dissertation chair is unable to participate in RGE, a faculty marshal will hood you on stage.  If you would like to have Rackham invite an alternate faculty to hood you, please send an email to rackhamgraduation@umich.edu for more information.

For further information regarding the role of dissertation chairs at RGE, please contact the Office of University and Development Events at (734) 647-7900 or DChairRSVP@umich.edu.


During Rackham Graduate Exercises, faculty volunteers serving as marshals will provide instructions and guide graduates to their seats.

Every year, nearly 100 faculty from across campus volunteer to assist with the various university wide commencement ceremonies. Marshals play an important role in helping guide the ceremony and ensure the program runs smoothly.  If you are interested in volunteering as a faculty marshal, please direct your request to facultymarshals@umich.edu.