Graduate Council Minutes

Graduate Council                                                                        
February 7, 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),  IV Ramakrishnan (Computer Science), Marcia Simon (Dental School)

Absent Members:        
Susan O’Leary (Psychology), Brian Phillips (Geosciences), Arleen Steckel (Nursing School)

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by the Graduate Council Chair, Charles Taber.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the January 24, 2007 meeting were approved with minor corrections.

Chair’s Report

  • Confidentiality of GCAC Meetings and Reports: As discussed at the last meeting, Charles distributed a revised confidentiality statement which included a line for a witness signature. Kent will look into posting the document online.
  • Meeting with Africana Studies: Peter and Charles met with the Chair of Africana Studies to discuss the requested clarifications to the MA proposal. The department will edit the proposal to clarify the concern of their resource issues. It will also include an appendix and a statement from the Dean. The revised proposal will aim to reflect the exact courses that involved faculty will be teaching and is expected to be submitted before the next meeting of the Graduate Council.
  • Invitation for Provost: Charles has extended an invitation to Dr. Robert McGrath to attend a future meeting of the Graduate Council, which will be focused on Stony Brook’s competitive package and stipend issues.

Old Business

  • Ethics Course, Integrity in Sciences: As proposed at the last meeting, the Council discussed who should be included in the Task Force to increase involvement in Ethics training. It was determined that at least one faculty representative of each School should be considered in order to encompass every area of academic research. These individuals will be invited to participate and charged with proposing ideas to start the work of the Task Force. It was also suggested that perhaps all new faculty should also be required to participate in an Ethics Training Course.

New Business

  • Proposal for a Post-Doctoral Consortium: A discussion was sparked about a proposal for a post-doctoral consortium for Philosophy. It is difficult to assess the exact amount and status of post-docs, especially due to the abundance of different titles used. As a post-doc consortium might be too discipline-specific to plan or discuss with the Provost, it was suggested that Charles raise the issue at the next Executive Committee meeting.
  • Graduate Council Relationship with GSEU: The GSEU has several concerns about contract issues. Unfortunately, the Graduate Council cannot intervene in the situation, as GSEU must communicate directly with Human Resources. Under their contract, they do not have the right to appeal and understandably, this causes frustration. It was determined that Charles will inform Linda Levine of Labor Relations, who has been working with the GSEU, that the Graduate Council is not an appropriate forum for grievances. He will also provide GSEU with UUP contact information and report back on the matter.

Dean’s Report

  • Enrollment Planning: As discussed at the last meeting, 50 new TA lines were approved, and this is the first step in a series of additional lines that will increase TA’s over the next four years. Additionally, the President has agreed to approve a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree if the department will benefit monetarily. The long term goal is to strategically add Master’s Programs to the university in areas where graduate education is not currently flourishing.
  • Budget Briefing: The President held a Budget Briefing last week which was unfortunately poorly attended. At the briefing, it was announced that new faculty lines have been put into place, and the use of these lines will be determined by proposals that are brought to attention.
  • NRC Update: All departments are participating in the program surveys; however, there has been some concern regarding formatting and instructions.
  • Graduate Alumni: Lawrence recently met with representatives of the Alumni Association to discuss plans for a Graduate Alumni Society. As graduate students have different interests from that of undergraduate alumni, it is appropriate that activities cater to and focus on these particular interests.
  • Graduate Program Website GA: A search is on for a GA to assist with various Graduate Program websites.
  • New Director, Teaching, Learning & Technology: Dr. Graham Glynn has started as the new Executive Director for Teaching, Learning and Technology. It was suggested that he be invited to a Graduate Council meeting.
  • PRC/Korea Update: Peter updated the group on the status of the interviews currently being conducted in China and Korea. Results should be available by next week.

Meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School