Graduate Council Minutes #1010

January 26, 2012

Present:  Bartlett, Bauman, Botzum, Caswell, Clayton, Coon, Hays, Iqbal, Licari, Milambiling (for Husband), Nelson, Pohl, Waldron

Absent: Etscheidt, Husband, Power, Schuchart

Guests: Annette Lynch, Director, Center for Violence Prevention; Mark Rowe-Barth, Substance Abuse & Violence Intervention Services Coordinator; Susie Schwieger, Director of Graduate Student Life

The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton.  Motion by Bauman to approve the minutes of the January 12, 2012 meeting; seconded by Bartlett.  Motion approved.

Licari mentioned that the final item discussed at the last meeting was Student Outcomes Assessment and learning objectives for graduate education.  He considered the remarks from the Council and will be meeting with Donna Vinton and April Chatham-Carpenter to touch base for ideas about existing graduate education assessment strategies.  He will be bringing the Council’s comments to Vinton and will reiterate his position that he does not want the process to become a burden or a tremendous amount of extra work.  However, it does need to be done and he would like the information to be useful to graduate faculty involved. The challenge would be to find that balance.  Licari will report back to the Council at the next meeting.

Bartlett shared that she met with Vinton last week and explored with her ways Counseling’s accreditation had shifted to where all standards are observable outcomes for students.  She and Vinton visited about how to tie that to student assessment and SOA’s.  Vinton shared the new iFolio program, which is a program that Secondary Education just finished a pilot for that was very exciting.  Bartlett will have Vinton and possibly faculty from Social Work attend a Council meeting to talk about ways to tie everything together.  Licari responded that one of the concerns at the last meeting was that processes internal to the University cannot get in the way of accreditation concerns that many of the graduate programs have.  He said that accreditation standards or objectives could possibly be used in a way that would help understand student learning in graduate programs.  He added that at times accreditation standards are useful, but they don’t actually get at learning objectives in some areas of degree programs.

Licari noted that President Allen had sent out two emails; one on Friday and the other yesterday afternoon.  He said that Friday’s e-mail was a great disappointment because the extra appropriation the University requested was not put in the governor’s budget.  Yesterday afternoon’s e-mail was alarming as well.  He noted that the Provost and members of the Board of Regents met with United Faculty leadership yesterday to discuss program criteria, definitions, etc.  He added that he was not part of the meeting and the process had just started, so he did not have any additional information to share.  A question was raised as to what the timeline would be for programs being approached regarding cuts.  Licari responded that certain steps would need to be taken, such as Board of Regents approval before any programs could be approached. 

Schwieger reported that 25 people attended the CV workshop that took place yesterday.  The last Symposium workshop will take place on February 7, and Schwieger encouraged Council members to encourage their students to participate.  If students have questions they can either e-mail Schwieger or  Other upcoming workshops include Deanne Gute’s APA Practical Workshop, which takes place on February 22.  Graduate students will be meeting with President Allen on Monday, February 20 from 3-4:00, in the CME; the meeting will be for graduate students only.

Nelson reported that three Brown Bag lectures have been scheduled:

Tim Lindquist, from the Department of Accounting will present on - Friday, February 24.  His topic is "The Impact of National Culture and Moral Intensity on Ethical Decision-Making: U.S. versus Germanic Europe"

Curt Hanson from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry will present on Wednesday, March 21.  His topic is "Mass spectrometry: It's not just for m/e anymore"

Chris Buckholz from the School of Music will present on Thursday, April 12.  His topic is "The Future of Music: classical, jazz, rock and pop in the internet age"

Demonstration and discussion of “Unless There’s Consent”, an online sexual violence education program for graduate students by Annette Lynch and Mark Rowe-Barth

Annette Lynch provided the Council with handouts and a copy of the proposal related to an online sexual violence education program for incoming students that is paid for through funding from the Department of Justice.  This is a mandatory requirement for undergraduates on all three Regents University campuses and is registration-based here at UNI.  Students who do not pass the post-test with 80% or better in the Fall are not allowed to register for Spring.  She added that Iowa and Iowa State have very high compliance rates through voluntary means.  Lynch said they would like to launch the program for graduate students at UNI with the next grant and requested that the Council preview the graduate student version of the program, approve the program and advocate for the program. 

Lynch introduced Mark Rowe-Barth, who reviewed the proposal and gave an overview of how the online education program was developed for undergraduates and modified for graduate students, used first at the University of Iowa.  During the PowerPoint presentation Botzum asked when the post-test for the program takes place.  Rowe-Barth responded that depending on the student, the online program takes about two hours to complete; there is the pre-test, the video modules that are about 90 minutes and then the post-test.  He noted that these do not have to be done in one sitting, but the post-test could conceivably be done right afterward.  During the presentation pre-test and post-test data was reviewed.  Clayton commented that some incoming graduate students will have done the program as undergraduates, and suggested that if a student got 80% on the pre-test, they would not have to do the program again, as she could see where there might be some resistance to repeating the whole program.

After additional discussion, including possible ways to market the program, there was a question regarding the expected implementation time frame.  Lynch responded that she will be writing the grant in March and if the Council could provide feedback by mid-February, it would help as she works with the other colleges that are involved.  Because Drake and Simpson Colleges are also involved, there is better price since the work is being done across multiple campuses.

Botzum asked if there was any data gathered from graduating seniors confirming that the program actually works for the undergraduates.  Lynch responded that the student success site has gathered national data on schools that have used the program in the past.  She added that for undergraduates they know the program does not work by itself, but if it is layered with something such as SAVE Forum actors, there is very good retention.  Since the program is fresh on the UNI campus, there is no long-term data specific to UNI.

Policy question – how should program GPA be calculated in the new SIS for courses when all of the credit hours are not applied to a student’s program of study?

Clayton presented the GPA calculation issue by summarizing that a student can take a three- credit hour class, but have only one or two of those credits applied to his or her degree.  The question was when the Plan GPA is calculated, should all three of those hours be calculated or only the one or two that are in the plan?  She added that the SIS can do that and in the Legacy system, it was impossible to split credits out so all three hours counted toward the program GPA.  Now a change can be made so only the hours on the plan count toward the Plan GPA.  Coon noted that all the hours have counted toward the cumulative GPA in the past and will always do so.

Coon said that she has no personal preference.  She added that in general it will be more work to implement the way it used to happen, which is that all the credit hours will apply, since that is not the way the system deals with most of the cases.  The additional work is on the record analyst who has to direct all hours of a course to two lines of Plan GPA.  Examples where only some of the credits would count toward the program were presented and how credits could be divided were discussed.  Coon noted that these decisions will not be done by exception; there will be one policy and it would be followed for every student. 

Hays made a motion that only credits that apply or would apply to the degree be used in calculating the Plan GPA.

There was a question about whether a range of hours could be used to allow all hours of a course to automatically apply to the Plan GPA.  It was noted that the SIS does not use ranges for credit hours.  Coon gave the example that if the minimum of the range is 40 hours for the degree, then the SIS will say that the degree requirements are satisfied when the student has 40 hours.  After some discussion of common situations when not all hours of a course apply to the degree, the Council recommended that graduate programs be encouraged to examine their curriculum with an eye toward matching the number of elective credits with the available/ common courses, as Communication Studies did in this past curriculum cycle.  There was a question as to how many students would be affected, as there was a concern about the arbitrary selection of which class to partially count.  Coon did not have a sense of a total number; she is only looking at students who are submitting student requests, people who show up on the list for probation or suspension, so she is not seeing the complete cross section of graduate students.

Following the additional discussion, Hays’ motion died for lack of a second.  Bauman made a motion to keep the current policy the same; seconded by Waldron.  Seven votes in favor; one vote against, one abstention.  Motion passed.

Botzum informed the Council that at last night’s NISG Senate meeting it was noted that right now all of the residence halls have one Senator each, academic colleges have one Senator and the Graduate College has one senator.  Since the Senate seats are not getting filled, the Senate is being made smaller.  Botzum read the portion of the constitution related to composition of the NISG Senate: “There shall be one Senator for each College within the University of Northern Iowa.  Each College shall be allotted an additional Senator for every 750 students enrolled in the College. There shall be one Senator representing Undeclared and General Studies Majors.”  Botzum said that as it is right now, each one of the colleges has a senator however, the Graduate College does not.  The NISG Senate is saying that, for example, because Botzum is a member of CHAS, she could run for one of the six chairs in CHAS, but she would be representing CHAS.  The NISG Senate stated to Botzum that she would need to write an amendment to the bill, which would get passed in the senate this year, but the student body has to vote on it next year, so it would not be enacted until 2013.  Botzum also mentioned that the current wording was approved by the senate and student body last year and went into effect this year.  There was discussion as to the reasoning for the NISG not considering the Graduate College a college.  Coon stated that the typical phrasing that is used if the Graduate College is not included is “Academic Colleges,” and it was noted that the current wording does not necessarily exclude the Graduate College. 

Botzum noted that the election is coming up in February and she is not running because she is graduating.  To get on the ballot someone would need at least 20-30 signatures from students.  A question was asked as to why the change came about.  Botzum responded that this was since they have not been able to fill the seats.  Schwieger noted that for the past couple of years there have been dynamic graduate students on the NISG and they have worked hard with NISG and graduate students.  After additional discussion, it was the Council’s opinion that the speaker of the NISG Senate was misinterpreting this section of the constitution.  Licari will follow up to clarify.

Botzum informed the Council that NISG is petitioning the University Faculty Senate trying to pass a resolution to have the last day of classes designated as a dead day and faculty would not administer tests on that day.  After brief discussion, Licari noted that this comes up every year and is defeated every time.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115.


Respectfully submitted,


Cheryl Nedrow