Graduate Council Minutes #1024

March 28, 2013

Present: Caswell, Christ, Clayton, Coon, Juby for Hays, Licari, Pohl, Schmitz, Terlip, Waldron, Zhbanova

Absent: Bartlett, Iqbal, Power, Roberts (for Milambiling), St. Clair

Guests: Christopher Cox and Leila Rod-Welch, Rod Library, Susie Schwieger

The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton. 

Zhbanova announced that she had handed in her dissertation to the Graduate College.  Council members congratulated Zhbanova on her accomplishment.

Motion by Pohl to approve the minutes of the March 14, 2013 meeting; seconded by Christ. Motion approved. 

Graduate College Reports – Licari informed Council members that a separate graduate student commencement would take place on Friday, May 10 and encouraged Council members to attend.  He thought the format has worked out very well in the past and allows a chance to spotlight graduate students and the Graduate College.

Licari commented that people may have already heard about the downward enrollment and application trends for the coming year.  He said it is true however graduate applications are up compared to last year.  He mentioned the good conversation that took place at the last Council meeting about efforts that could be used to recruit students; both in terms of numbers of students and also in terms quality of students.  He added that his offer to fund travel, per diem for meals, etc. related to recruiting still stands.  The cost of other types of recruitment materials will either be offset or completely covered by the Graduate College.

Coon noted that the deadline to apply for graduate in order to avoid the late application fee is April 1.  She has been e-mailing departments with the lists of students who have applied to graduate so the department can determine which students need to be contacted.  Two presentations have been scheduled for April 8 and 9 that will cover the Academic Requirements Report and the Student Requests; faculty, staff and students are welcome.

Schwieger noted that the 6th Annual Graduate Student Symposium will take place on Thursday, April 4 and went over the times for the various events.  A total of 55 students will participate in poster presentations, oral presentations and creative performances.  The symposium program will be sent out in advance of the event.  Schwieger encouraged Council members to come and to encourage their students to come and support the symposium participants.

Two graduate assistantship opportunities in the Graduate College are still open.  Interviews will take place next week.

Chair of Graduate Faculty Report – Pohl reported that Amy Petersen’s brown bag was very interesting.  The last brown bag of the year will take place on Tuesday, April 9, when Mike Klassen presents Billion Dollar Hippie.  The Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting is set for Thursday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m. in Seerley 115.  Graduate students and faculty will be receiving awards.  Pohl encouraged everyone to attend.

New Business - Discussion with Chris Cox, Dean of Library Services and Leila Rod-Welch, Outreach Librarian on how the Rod Library can best Serve Graduate Students – Cox and Rod-Welch introduced themselves and Cox thanked the Council for the opportunity to attend the meeting.  Cox distributed a handout outlining some information about the library that people may or may not be aware of.  He added that the library would like to get a sense of how graduate students are being served and ways to serve them better.  The input provided would be funneled into the library’s current strategic planning process.  A bookmark related to the library’s upcoming survey from April 15-May 3 was also provided.  Faculty, students, graduate students and staff are all urged to complete the survey, which is more qualitative than quantitative.  Cox reviewed the survey questions and results from 2007, which was the last time it was conducted.  He added that the library would like to start conducting the survey every three years in order to collect data that will help with improvements.

Cox highlighted some library activities including the streaming media trials and the effort to experiment with different types of collections.  The discovery system was purchased, which is a system that offers a Google-like search not only of the catalog, databases and articles, but also digital collections, special collections and websites.  A knowledge base which will search for answers to specific questions is also being explored, making this a one-stop search for any information related to the library.  They are hoping to introduce this system in the fall.  Cox noted that the museum content will move to campus over the next two years.  It will be determined which collections are most closely aligned with faculty curricular efforts and which artifacts could be used in courses to create a different and unique learning experience for students.  Merging various collections, as well as finding exhibit space in buildings in order to get information out to those who need access is also being explored.  Cox mentioned that there are two exhibit curator positions open in the library for faculty who might be interested. 

The library itself is undergoing changes including updating the space, opening up space for student collaboration and workspace, a possible café and additional meeting space.  Cox pointed out that the library would like to create a space where students can get assistance in a variety of areas including research assistance and technology assistance with a digital media hub developed in collaboration with ITS.

Cox said that statistics continually show dwindling use of the graduate study carrels by graduate students; instead of going into graduate study areas, graduate students are using booths downstairs and computers that are on the main floor.  At this point it is unclear as to what needs to be done and Cox looked to Council members for feedback. 

Waldron mentioned that last night her graduate research class actually had a discussion about how the library serves them.  A couple of issues that repeatedly came up that students were excited about was a greater connection with the Writing Center so they could be in the library and have someone there to assist them at certain times, rather than having to go to another location on campus.  The students also talked about a greater connection with the Graduate College in terms of culminating projects, such as thesis formatting.  Terlip added that her Research Methods students are always looking for places to run statistical software such as SPSS, and are struggling to find it.  Cox said that SPSS is freely available and can be loaded on any computer; he could guarantee that by fall SPSS would be available.  Clayton added that the university currently has a site license for GIS software so there would be no cost to make it available.  She also noted that there is other software on campus that is freely available and if it were made available students could decide if it would be of use to them.  Coupled with this would be the need for basic support of how to use the software and Clayton emphasized that the librarians are excellent and students should be made aware that the librarians are an integral part of the library and university.  Access to mixing/editing equipment and the space needed for that, as well as access to specialized software programs such as Raiser’s Edge was also mentioned.  Having dedicated space in the library for classroom type materials and resources and other multi-purpose space was also discussed. 

Based on her experience and feedback from student groups such as the NISG, Rod-Welch said there is not enough exposure to the library and asked what can be done to serve graduate students better.  Schwieger noted that Jerilyn Marshall from the library gave a brief presentation related to library resources at the Graduate Student Information Meeting last fall.  The content related to library resources could be expanded this year and mini library training sessions could be offered as a follow up at a later date.  Licari added that material presented at the information meeting is not library instruction, so to follow up through the year would help fill the gap and save students time when trying to use library resources.  Rod-Welch said that training international students on how to use library resources would be beneficial.  Online tutorials were mentioned and it was noted that there are a variety of tutorials on the Graduate College and Library websites.  Waldron commented that in order to help graduate students learn how to use the library effectively, graduate faculty needs to communicate to their students about the importance library resources and that it is the centerpiece of the university.  Clayton emphasized that Chris Neuhaus has been more than happy to come and give a presentation to her students or have the students go to the library.  Waldron added that the outreach efforts by the library will help with keeping the library on the minds of both faculty and students.  Zhbanova said that she learned a lot by spending a week of her Research Methods class in the library.  It was noted that reaching out to faculty who teach Research Methods classes would be a good approach.

Clayton asked if the library is part of the International Student Orientation.  Rod-Welch responded that they have done a lunch and learn that did not take place at the library, although there have been library tours.  She is working more with the international students and also with CIEP.  Waldron pointed out that the librarians and resources are awesome and students really appreciate having a one-stop place for discipline-specific information.  For Physical Education, Waldron said the library has e-books, e-references, journals, videos and a number of other resources that are discipline-specific.

Cox said that the library has a variety of digital collections that include Capstone courses, theses, photographs, etc.  The library is trying to expand that to be more of a digital publishing house for the university.  Licari said it would be helpful if replication of data sets and research findings could be housed in some way that others could access.  Cox said that the librarians will catalog items in such a way that they can be found much more easily and will be connected to a server in a way that will archive them.  Archiving winning student papers along with the theses and dissertations, as well as presentations by Distinguished Scholar award winner is also something that could be done.  Clayton pointed out that there has been a lot of hard work and effort in trying to reach out and provide service to distance learners, many of which are graduate students. 

Cox and Rod-Welch thanked the Council for its time and said they would take the information back to share with library staff.

The meeting adjourned at 4:26 p.m.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Nedrow