Graduate Council Minutes

Graduate Council                                                
March 21, 2007
Open as pdf

Attendees:  Charles Taber (Political Science and Chair), Andrei Antonenko (GSO),   Estie Arkin (Applied Mathematics and Statistics), Debra Caffrey (Graduate School), Beverly Campbell (Pharmacology), Peter Gergen (Graduate School), Godlind Johnson (Library),  Kent Marks (Graduate School), Celia Marshik (English), Lawrence Martin (Dean, Graduate School), Anne McElroy (MSRC), Brian Phillips (Geosciences), Marcia Simon (Dental School), Arleen Steckel (Nursing School)

Absent Members: Allegra DeLaurentiis (Philosophy), Susan O’Leary (Psychology), IV Ramakrishnan (Computer Science)

Guest Attendees: Nathan Baum (Library), Monica Gentile (Graduate School), Colleen Harris (Graduate School), Jason Torre (Library)

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 7, 2007 meeting were approved with minor revisions.

Chair’s Report

  • TA Allocations Letter: Charles distributed a draft of the aforementioned letter of concern for the Council to review and plans to send it out in one week pending any suggestions. Lawrence clarified that the Provost’s office was not aware that Deans wait until the notice of allocations to begin discussions on the distribution of lines and perhaps their protocol for this should be amended.
  • “Current Topics” for Senate website: Charles reported that he has sent the Council’s feedback for posting on the Senate website.
  • Housing Survey: This item of business was put on the agenda for the next meeting.

Old Business

  • MA in Africana Studies: Though the amended proposal is an improvement from the original, it still lacks a statement of commitment from the Dean. Additionally, the Council noted several examples of inconsistency in the proposal, especially with regard to course descriptions and titles. Charles will ask Africana Studies to make revisions in time for the Council to review it via email or at the next meeting. It was recommended that a discussion on the guidelines for proposal submission be added to a future agenda.
  • G3/G4 Status: This item of business was put on the agenda for next meeting.

New Business

  • Electronic Dissertations: Kent discussed the benefits of transitioning towards publishing dissertations electronically. Though the student would have to pay a fee for this service, the current costs associated with binding dissertations are excessive. This transition will require the support of thesis advisors and Graduate Program Directors. While the student would have the ability to opt not to publish electronically, it would be made clear to them that this kind of publication would increase their exposure and potential royalties. The Council expressed concern that students must be educated on their options. A motion was made and approved to support the transition to electronic dissertations.
  • Proposal for Applied Math Graduate Track in Computational Biology: Applied Math and Statistics is proposing a 32-credit program, which is not permitted. It was suggested that the proposed lab rotations can remain if they are changed to zero credits. AMS also has the option of dropping 2 credits elsewhere in order to preserve the labs. The proposal also needs a statement of support from each program whose courses are included in the proposal. Charles will notify AMS of the requested amendments.
  • History Self-Study: This item of business was not discussed, as the Council members who will participate in the History Self-Study were not present.

Dean’s Report

  • Graduate Career Services: Lawrence recently met with Peter Baigent as well as Marianna Savoca of the Career Placement Center to discuss graduate career services and will update the Council with any developments.
  • NRC Update: There has been a 100% response rate for the program surveys, which is better than the national average.
  • Stony Brook Village Center: Lawrence has been in discussion with Dr. Kenny about possibly taking a 6000 square foot building in Stony Brook Village to bring the University’s various programs into the heart of the community. Such programs may include book signings, events involving Athletics, and lecture series. An exploratory meeting will take place this month to further examine the possibilities of this venture.
  • Literacy Program: The School of Journalism will launch a News Literacy program in which students will be trained to assess news media. This program may be appropriate for graduate students who are interested in the subject and who will also benefit from academic credit.
  • Recruitment Funds: Lawrence has spoken with the Provost about increasing recruitment funds and the number of positions for Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • SUNY Chancellor Resignation: Lawrence expressed his sentiments about the recent announcement that SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan will resign this spring.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School