Graduate Council Minutes

Graduate Council                                                                                 
October 15, 2007
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Attendees:  Charles Taber (Political Science and Chair), Estie Arkin (Applied Mathematics and Statistics), Ruth Ben-Zvi (Economics), Debra Caffrey (Graduate School), Allegra DeLaurentiis (Philosophy), Peter Gergen (Graduate School), Susana Huidobro (Graduate Student Advocate), 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: Andrei Antonenko (GSO), Godlind Johnson (Library), Marcia Simon (Dental School), Ryan Soule (GSO)

The meeting was called to order at 11:30 a.m. by the Graduate Council Chair, Charles Taber.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the October 1, 2007 meeting were approved with one minor correction.

Chair’s Report

  • External Review Postponed for Pharmacology: Charles reported that Pharmacology’s academic review has been postponed and a future date will be determined.
  • Residency Rules for Tuition Update: The Vice President for Finance and Administration will look into this ongoing matter.
  • GCAC Membership: Susan and IV confirmed their participation in this committee.
  • GSO Alternate Members: The GSO has requested that an alternate member represent at the Graduate Council meetings, as it is difficult for the two individuals assigned to attend at the prescheduled meeting time.

New Business

  • Waiver of SHIP for International Students: After discussing the recent correspondence on this issue, which clarified why SHIP should not be waived for students under an F1 Visa, it was decided that this matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Council, as we do not have the power to override anything that concerns immigration law.
  • Housing Task Force Report: Charles presented his report of the Housing Task Force. It was noted that enrollment is anticipated to largely increase, therefore the disparity between housing and enrollment will only continue to increase as well. A survey recently conducted indicated that although students’ satisfaction with Chapin has increased, many off-campus students would still prefer on-campus housing. Increasing the amount of housing available and improving conditions and options overall would not only address this need, but is crucial for Stony Brook’s competitiveness.

Old Business

  • Conflicts of Interest: After discussing the definition of an external member as he/she pertains to dissertation committees, the Council voted to adopt and adapt NSF conflict of interest policies to use as guidelines for the relationship between student and external member. All approved. These policies are to exclude individuals whom the student has a relationship with in the following ways:
    1. a known family relationship such as spouse, child, sibling, or parent.
    2. business or professional partner.
    3. past or present association as thesis advisor or thesis student.
    4. other close, personal relationships.

The Council will revisit other conflict of interest issues as it relates to separate matters at the next meeting.
Dean’s Report

  • Airport Pickup Service Issues: Lawrence recently held a meeting to discuss the issues and concerns that have come up with regard to airport pickup protocol for new international students. Any suggestions for improved protocol are welcome, and it was suggested that perhaps Elizabeth Barnum, Assistant Dean for International Services, visit at a later meeting to elaborate further on this issue.
  • Dissertation Committee Rules: Arty Samuel, GPD of Psychology, has requested to attend a future meeting to discuss a related student issue involving external members listed in the graduate bulletin.
  • Invitation for Provost: Dr. Kaler spoke at the GPD Retreat last week, and would welcome the opportunity to attend a future Grad Council meeting. Lawrence encouraged that this date be scheduled soon.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School