Graduate College

Messages From The Dean

Dear Graduate Faculty,

Sent August 23, 2018

Welcome to fall semester 2018 from the Graduate College! After 15 years at UNI, I still feel the nervous anticipation of a new academic year. This is especially true as I transition into the position of Dean of the Graduate College. I am humbled to serve UNI in this capacity and am excited about the opportunities that exist for graduate education.

Data from the Graduate Program Survey Report shows our students are having remarkable experiences because of the faculty. In fact, 75% of students reported they strongly agreed that at least one faculty member showed an active interest in education. Each of you makes a difference.

This email has four messages:

1. Communication

2. Thesis/Dissertation reviewer

3. Graduate Application Review Portal

4. Policy updates

1. Communication

My focus for this year is on communication with the campus community. During the year, I will connect with as many people as possible to better understand the landscape of graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa. Creating these relationships will lead to collaboration in continuing to elevate graduate education. More information will be coming, but please participate in one or all of the opportunities below.

Graduate Program Coordinator Training

This year Gabi Olivares will offer customized training to new and returning graduate coordinators/graduate secretaries. These sessions will discuss the basic handling of the SIS system, student requests, advisement reports, a few complicated rules and anything that you need assistance with. Please refer to time options. Contact Associate Dean at to sign up. First come, first served basis.

Date Time Available
Friday, September 7 2:30pm-4:30pm
Tuesday, September 11 10:30am-12:30pm
Thursday, September 13 12:30pm-2:30pm
Tuesday, September 18 9:30am-11:30am
Wednesday, September 19 Noon-2:00pm
Thursday, September 20 1:30pm-3:30pm

Meeting each Graduate Program Coordinator

During the academic year, Associate Dean, Gabi Olivares and I will meet with each graduate program coordinator. We would like to hear about your graduate programs, as well as the challenges and joys of working with graduate students. You will be receiving an email from Rubina, the administrative assistant, to set up the meeting.

Graduate Faculty Listening Sessions

These listening sessions are for all graduate faculty. We want to hear about your experiences, perspectives, and ideas! Please mark your calendars.

Monday, October 29, noon-1:00, Scholar Space, Rod Library

Tuesday, October 30, 3:15-4:15, Scholar Space, Rod Library

Wednesday, October 31, 3:30-4:30, 287 Rod Library

Thursday, November 1, noon-1:00, Scholar Space, Rod Library


2. Thesis/Dissertation Writer

Janet Witt, who worked as the Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer, retired this summer. We are currently searching for a Thesis/Dissertation Services and Digital Publications Coordinator. We anticipate this person to start by mid-September. Be reassured that students who are completing a thesis or dissertation for December 2018 will be served during the transition. Appointments for thesis/dissertation review will start to be scheduled for late September. You can help by encouraging your students to follow the UNI thesis/dissertation manual.


3. Graduate Application Review Portal

The new graduate application is up and running and the graduate application review portal will be in production early this semester. There will be opportunities for graduate program coordinators to provide feedback to IT about the new portal. IT will also provide training workshops.


4. Policy Updates

Probation and Suspension (degree-seeking student)

a.   A student who has attempted at least six semester hours on the advisement report and attained a Plan GPA less than 3.00 will be placed on probation.

b.   If a student attempts 8 or more hours while on probation and does not raise plan GPA to or above 3.0, the student will be suspended.

c.   Suspension is for at least one semester. (Applicable to both degree and non-degree seeking)

Transfer Courses (degree-seeking students)

a.   Graduate credit earned at other institutions may be accepted to a maximum of one-third of the minimum hours required by a particular program. Transfer credit will not satisfy the minimum required hours at 6000/7000 level. The minimum credit hours must be met with UNI classes.

b.   Transfer forms have been discontinued.

c.   All transfer courses must meet the following criteria:

  • Course must be a regular graduate course with a graduate course number.
  • Course must be taken by the student in graduate status, and the official transcript must show a grade of B or better earned.
  • Course must meet the UNI seven-year recency requirement (ten-year for the Ed.D.).

d.   After a completed course has been ruled eligible the student may submit an online Student Request of Type P to transfer the course and use it on the graduate degree.

e.   Student request will not be processed until official transcripts have been received by Admissions Office.

Undergraduate Students Registering for Graduate Credit

Undergraduate students with senior standing may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours for graduate credit at the 5000 or 6000 level only. Required cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Use undergraduate request forms.

Associate Graduate Faculty Status for Committee Work

Just a reminder that faculty no longer need Graduate Faculty status to teach; instead, credentials are checked by the Associate Provost for Faculty. The new role of Associate Graduate status is related to serving on a thesis/dissertation committee.

Programmatic Probation and Suspension

a.       Academic departments need to establish additional requirements for program graduation/completion. These requirements may include the (a) number of times a student has to pass comprehensive exams and/or the thesis defense, or (b) professional expectations for internship or practicum experiences. Violations of these requirements might determine an individual graduate student’s standing with regard to probation and dismissal from a graduate program.

b.      To this end, departments will put these in writing and place them on file in the departmental office, the office of the department’s college, and the Graduate College. All departmental policies/procedures for programmatic probation and dismissal must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College.

c.       All programs will have until Spring Break 2019 to draft policies on programmatic probation/suspension (please electronically send to Associate Dean of the Graduate College ( More information will be coming.


I look forward to the celebrations and the challenges of the upcoming year. Please be patient as I learn the many aspects of the position. And, do not hesitate to reach out during the semester.

Together we can continue to strengthen graduate education at UNI,