Graduate Council Minutes

Graduate Council                                                                                             
May 2, 2007
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Attendees:  Charles Taber (Political Science and Chair), 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), Marcia Simon (Dental School), Arleen Steckel (Nursing School)

Absent Members: Andrei Antonenko (GSO), IV Ramakrishnan (Computer Science)

The meeting was called to order at 8:45 a.m. by the Graduate Council Chair, Charles Taber.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the April 18, 2007 meeting were approved with a minor correction.

Chair’s Report

  • TA Allocations Letter: Charles copied the TA allocations letter to all program directors.
  • Coordinating Council Meeting: Charles again raised the issue that there is no administrative home for post-docs. As mentioned at last meeting, the Research Committee has been charged with handling this matter.
  • Philosophy Review: Participants reported that the review was successful; however there seemed to be a discrepancy in the start times for the review. It was suggested that the Graduate Council discuss any issues involved with participating in an academic review at the beginning of each year. In general, the Philosophy review session was well-organized and efficiently run.
  • Task Force on the Responsible Conduct of Research:  Peter reported that the Task Force has met twice and will possibly meet again before the close of the semester. Much progress has already been made in terms of determining what topics should be included in the course for students. As there might be a bit of resistance from some departments, all agreed that resources must be provided to facilitate faculty. The Council also agreed that the individuals administering the courses and/or any break out sessions should be faculty and not students. More thought needs to be given to logistics and structure, and Lawrence stressed that budgetary issues should be taken into consideration in the proposal.

Old Business

  • Proposal for Mechanical Engineering Joint Degree with MBA: Mechanical Engineering has addressed all items concerning clarity and formatting issues. They have also clarified the issue of admissions decisions. A motion was made to approve the proposal. All approved. Charles will inform the department, but will suggest that they include a line to clarify that students who are already in the MS program and are given allowance to switch to the joint program must have their files reviewed.
  • April 15 Response Deadline for Admission/Funded Offers: Applicants who are offered funding have an April 15 deadline to reply to Stony Brook. It was proposed that all students, including those that are non-supported, be given this deadline from all programs in order to maintain consistency and control. This seems like a reasonable timeframe to still make appropriate faculty and allocation plans. It was proposed that the application deadline be moved up to December, however the Council agreed that this earlier deadline may be problematic. This issue will be put on a future agenda for the fall semester. The April 15 deadline for non-funded students was approved unanimously.

New Business

  • Proposal for Doctoral Program in Population Health and Clinical Outcomes Research: There are several issues that need clarification before the Council can consider approving this proposal. It is not completely clear how advisors will be assigned to students, nor the frequency of their interactions. The proposal also needs to clearly state how students will fulfill the teaching requirement. There are several inconsistencies in the proposal’s wording. The item of paramount concern is that of the program’s choice to have students write three papers to be published rather than a traditional dissertation. Due to the nature of these concerns, it was suggested that the Graduate Council meet with Dr. Goldsteen to review and address the issues. A tentative date of May 23 was set.

Dean’s Report

  • TA Allocations Letter: Dr. McGrath is in agreement that the delay in notifications of allocations should not happen in the future.
  • Reception for Provost: Lawrence encouraged the Council to attend the reception honoring the service of Dr. Robert McGrath on May 4th.

Meeting adjourned at 10:28 a.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School