Graduate Council                                                         
December 17, 2007
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Attendees:  Charles Taber (Political Science and Chair), Andrei Antonenko (GSO),  
Estie Arkin (Applied Mathematics and Statistics), Ruth Ben-Zvi (Economics), Debra Caffrey (Graduate School), Peter Gergen (Graduate School), Susana Huidobro (Graduate Student Advocate), Godlind Johnson (Library),  Kent Marks (Graduate School), Lawrence Martin (Dean, Graduate School), Anne McElroy (MSRC),  Susan O’Leary (Psychology), IV Ramakrishnan (Computer Science), Marcia Simon (Dental School), Arleen Steckel (Nursing School), Jacobus Verbaarschot (Physics & Astronomy)

Absent Members: Allegra DeLaurentiis (Philosophy), Celia Marshik (English), Brian Phillips (Geosciences), Ryan Soule (GSO)

The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by the Graduate Council Chair, Charles Taber.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the December 10, 2007 meeting were approved with one minor correction.

Chair’s Report

  • Academic Reviews for Spring: Godlind and IV will participate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department’s Academic Review in April. Chuck and Estie will participate in the Mechanical Engineering review, also scheduled for April 2008.
  • Update on Syllabus Statements and Winter Intercession:

The Undergraduate Council did not approve the proposal to allow intercession students to take more than two undergratuate courses, and the proposal has been withdrawn for both graduate and undergraduate intercession courses. The Provost’s office has adopted the Graduate Council’s suggested wording for the proposed statements to appear on all teaching syllabi.

Old Business

  • Dissertation Committees: The Council revisited the draft dissertation committee policy and several minor adjustments in wording were suggested for clarification. Specifically, portions were reworded to elucidate the policy governing the student’s relationship to the dissertation committee members. The policy was also revised to further clarify what constitutes external and internal members, as well as the guidelines regarding a faculty member who may serve on a committee, but has already left the institution. A vote was held to approve the amendments to the policy. All approved. Charles will circulate an electronic draft of the revisions to the Council.

New Business

  • Support in the GCF Program: Lawrence proposed a redistribution of GCF stipends in order to raise competitiveness. Any ideas for a repackaging that would make for a more attractive recruitment tool are welcome. Lawrence will draft a more detailed proposal and circulate to Graduate Program Directors and Chairs for feedback.

Dean’s Report

  • Commission on Higher Education Report: Lawrence attended a briefing by the SUNY Chancellor on the commission on higher education report. The final report is expected in June 2008, but several of the recommendations include creating a low cost student loan program, designing a rational tuition policy, and rebuilding CUNY and SUNY faculty ranks by an increased hiring of 2,000 faculty.
  • CGS Annual Meeting: Lawrence recently attended the 2007 Annual Meeting for the Council of Graduate Schools. A few noteworthy points from the conference include:
    1. The NRC announced a postponement of the release of their study due to an underestimation of the calculation of results. Despite the delay, there are interesting statistics concerning completion rates.
    2. At an NSF briefing, it was revealed that new language will be implemented soon in policy that requires responsible conduct training for all.
    3. Lawrence attended a session from the Michigan Center for Learning and Teaching that performed skits illustrating an array of academic topics such as academic misconduct and dissertation committee selection in an effort to engage the audience in discussion about difficult issues. Proving effective, this might be helpful at the annual GPD retreat as a means of arousing dialogue about ongoing academic issues.
    4. At an Awards Luncheon, Stony Brook alum Bonnie Mann was the recipient of the highly distinguished Arlt award for 2007.
  • December Commencement: The Graduation Ceremony for December took place on Sunday, December 16 and was well attended.
  • Alumni Association Retreat: Alumni Relations is holding a retreat next month to ascertain recommendations for improvement from various sources. Lawrence welcomed recommendations to relay.
  • GSEU Claim: The GSEU has filed an improper practice claim involving unregulated student workers and their lack of appropriate benefits and training.

Meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School