Graduate Council Minutes

Graduate Council                                                                        
April 18, 2007
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Attendees:  Charles Taber (Political Science and Chair), Andrei Antonenko (GSO),  Estie Arkin (Applied Mathematics and Statistics), Debra Caffrey (Graduate School), Beverly Campbell (Pharmacology), Allegra DeLaurentiis (Philosophy), Peter Gergen (Graduate School), Godlind Johnson (Library),  Kent Marks (Graduate School), Celia Marshik (English), Lawrence Martin (Dean, Graduate School), Anne McElroy (MSRC),  Susan O’Leary (Psychology), Brian Phillips (Geosciences), IV Ramakrishnan (Computer Science), Arleen Steckel (Nursing School)

Absent Members: Marcia Simon (Dental School)

The meeting was called to order at 8:55 a.m. by the Graduate Council Chair, Charles Taber.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the March 21, 2007 meeting were approved with minor revisions.

Chair’s Report

  • TA Allocations Letter: Charles reported that this letter of concern has been sent to the Provost, Deans, and Vice Presidents. It was suggested that this letter also be sent to Graduate Program Directors for their information.
  • Coordinating Council Meeting: Charles attended this recent meeting and raised the issue that there is no administrative home for post-docs. The coordinating council suggested that the appropriate committee to deal with this would be the Research Committee. Charles will continue to follow-up.
  • History Academic Review: It was suggested that the Graduate Council should hold a discussion at the beginning of each academic year to clarify the purpose of participating in academic reviews and in order to modify and review the list of questions used. It is imperative to ensure that the evaluators focus on graduate program structure.

Old Business

  • Proposal for MA in Africana Studies: The Dean has committed to a new faculty line for this program. The list of courses has been listed consecutively. There are several minor errors with regard to formatting and structure. Though all agreed that the proposal has greatly improved, it was also suggested that the program description be re-worded slightly to avoid focusing too much on subjective matters. A motion was made to approve the proposal contingent upon the minor requested amendments. All approved.
  • Proposal for Applied Math Graduate Track in Computational Biology: As per the Graduate Council’s previous request, this proposal has been revised so that the lab rotations are required but provide no credits. Additionally, all programs involved in the proposed track have authorized their willingness to participate. There are several minor formatting corrections needed, as well as clarification on the specific courses students must take in order to fulfill the required electives. A motion was made to approve the proposal contingent upon the minor requested amendments. All approved.
  • G3/G4 Status: It was reported that any incoming student with a Master’s degree or graduate credits must be considered advanced degree students.
  • Housing Issues: Peter will gather information from graduate programs to assess how extensively housing affects the loss of program applicants and bring this data back to the Graduate Council for discussion.

New Business

  • Proposal for Mechanical Engineering joint degree with MBA: Minor corrections need to be made with regard to formatting. Clarification is requested concerning admissions decisions; it needs to be clear what type of applicants the program expects to apply. Additionally, the proposal should comment on how the program will deal with the staffing necessary for this intended degree. Charles will relay these requests in hopes that a revised proposal can be reviewed at the next meeting.
  • Grad Status in 5-year Bachelors/Masters programs: Charles and Kent attended a meeting which discussed the issues concerning policies for students in these programs. There is ambiguity about the point at which the student becomes a graduate student and how this will affect his/her tuition. Lawrence and Kent will seek further clarification and report back.
  • April 15 Response Deadline for Admission/Funded Offers: This item of business was postponed for the next meeting.


Dean’s Report

  • GRE General Test: Lawrence reported that the launch of the revised GRE General Test has been delayed.
  • NRC: Lawrence was pleased to report that all data for the Institutional Survey has been compiled.
  • Turkana Basin Institute: The Turkana Basin Institute will provide facilities on site as well as housing. Lawrence hopes that disciplines other than anthropology will participate.
  •  Student Stipends: A proposal will be brought to the President to raise student stipends. Lawrence is optimistic that the timeline for this increase will occur for the upcoming academic year. This will have a positive impact on currently enrolled students who will then benefit from the new raise in stipends.

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School