Graduate College Minutes #1058

Graduate Council Meeting

October 13, 2016

Present:  Al-Mabuk, Beall, Berendzen, Calderon, Cutter, Dhanwada, Edmister, Fontana, Igou, Juby, Ostapyuk, and Pohl.

Absent:  Isakson, Rod-Welch, Ross, Schwieger, and Teske

Chair Pohl called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.

There was a motion to approve the minutes of the Sept 22 meeting. The motion passed.

Graduate College Reports:

Dhanwada informed the Graduate Council that she and Associate Dean Cutter have been meeting with graduate coordinators of UNI’s graduate programs over the semester to learn more about their specific programs. One of the issues that the Dean’s Office has been working on is recruitment and how to work more with the Office of Admissions to increase graduate student admission.  She reiterated that we have to think of new ways to address graduate student recruitment. In past years, the Graduate College has not worked too much with the Office of Admissions. Dhanwada mentioned that there have been conversations with the Office of Admissions this year to work with them on graduate recruiting for the upcoming year and some funds have been set aside for this purpose. She mentioned that the Graduate College was also working with UR to develop some brochures that would describe all the graduate programs that UNI has to offer and showcase them by category.  Ideas included sending out electronic brochures to students who recently took the GRE examination.  She mentioned the possibility of purchasing names of GRE applicants similar to what is done with ACT name purchases for undergraduate recruitment. Conversations with UR have also included digital marketing but those conversations are in the early stages. UNI would send these brochures out to those students and encourage them to apply to our programs. Although many graduate programs at UNI do not require GRE, it would still be worth sending out materials to those who are thinking about attending graduate school.  There is also a possibility of a university wide CRM system that could be used by not only the Office of Admissions but the Graduate College and the Office of Continuing Education and Special Programs. Names that come to the Graduate College will be forwarded to the individual programs so they can follow up on it. Additionally, UR has also been reaching out to individual programs asking for talking points for the Graduate College for the process of developing promotional materials. 

Cutter reminded everyone that the nomination deadline for graduate student awards is Friday, Oct 14. She encouraged the members of the Graduate Council to forward names of any of their advisees who they feel are good candidates. She also mentioned that the Summer Fellowship application deadline is Oct 21.

Chair Pohl announced that the next Brown Bag Seminar is on Oct 18. The talk is in regards to crime and its relation to DNA and the speaker is Gayle Rhineberger-Dunn. Everyone is encourages to attend.

New Business:

1.   Curriculum Wrap-Up:

Cutter mentioned that the entire graduate curricular packet has been unanimously approved by the GCCC. There were no major concerns at the GCCC level.  Cutter then summarized the curriculum changes for the group

2.   Registration for graduate students:

There was discussion regarding graduate student registration. Dhanwada brought up the issue of terms and conditions related to course registration. UNI will soon be asking all students to agree and comply to the terms and conditions of payment prior to each student registering for courses each semester.  While non-payment by students has not been an issue at UNI, there is a strong sense that we need to make sure we are aligned with practices in place at other institutions.  At the undergraduate level, students usually register themselves and can agree to terms and conditions prior to the process of registering for their classes. That is not necessarily true for graduate students. In many departments, secretaries registers the graduate students into classes. In this case the students are not directly accepting the given terms and conditions. This can be a problem if the students themselves are not actually agreeing to the terms and conditions. Thus, we need to develop a process that allows graduate students to accept and yet not disrupt the current processes in place in many of the departments.  Conversations are on-going.

Graduate College Mission statement:

Discussion occurred on the Graduate College Mission Statement. A draft mission document including statements of the importance of a graduate education was earlier sent to the members of the Graduate Council. There was extensive discussion among the members to revise the existing document into one that reflects UNI’s long term graduate mission and values.

Members of the Graduate Council agreed that any mission statement developed for the Graduate College should align with the University Strategic Plan and the Academic Master Plan. At the same time, the Mission Statement should also adequately reflect the values we promote through our graduate programs. There were suggestions to include elements like individualized instruction, inclusiveness, quality research, and practitioner programs.  After considerable discussion, the members of the Graduate Council agreed to the following draft for a Mission Statement:

“Graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa fosters individualized student inquiry through high quality research and practitioner programs that cultivate engagement and life-long learning in an inclusive community”

The draft statement will be distributed to the graduate community for comments.

The group also agreed that they would like to have a set of “Values” listed below the mission statement.  A discussion began on possible values, including diversity, interdisciplinary, critical thinking academic integrity and academic freedom. 

Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on Oct. 27, at 3:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury