Graduate Council Minutes #1035

Graduate Council Minutes No. 1035

April 10, 2014

Present:  Caswell, Christ, Clayton, Coon, Dobbels (for Czarnecki), Fontana, Licari, Milambiling, Muhayimana, Nesbit, Pohl, Schmitz

Absent:  Calderon, Noh, Ogbondah, Stokes

Guests:  President Ruud, Susie Schwieger, Joy Thorson

The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton, who welcomed President Ruud and thanked everyone for attending. 

President Ruud started the meeting by responding to a question related to what he has learned so far during his time at UNI and what he sees as the challenges for graduate education at UNI.  Ruud said that UNI is a top notch representation of a regional comprehensive university is that we engage students in what we do, both at the undergraduate and graduate level and that we have a dedicated faculty interested in student success.  He believes we could be more aggressive in proposing new curriculum: A new program should have an “in strategy” but also an “out strategy,” as well as a realistic budget.  Ruud challenged the graduate faculty to think ahead to what are the programs, degrees, certificates needed to drive the undergraduate and graduate curriculum forward.  He stated that he has been and always will be a believer that the curriculum is the purview of the faculty and is not afraid to be on the cutting edge where programs are concerned.   He added that as we continue to examine the opportunities for undergraduate student faculty research, we can’t forget about graduate student faculty research as well, so that we make sure we are partnering appropriately with our graduate students that are here and thinking about what their opportunities are.  We want our undergraduate and graduate students to be the first choice in PhD and other doctoral programs.  We also need to stay in touch with our graduate students so that to some degree, we can grow our own future faculty.

Ruud said that he has also learned that we do a pretty good job as we positively attempt to influence our public relations in the area.  We should not get too upset at the Des Moines Register, Waterloo Courier and others, so he’s learned that we just have to keep telling and selling our story and encouraged those on the Graduate Council to keep pushing him, the provost, University Relations and others to tell and sell that story to get the word out about our successes in graduate education. 

He noted that he also wants to be a big proponent of recruiting hard into the graduate programs, not just in the university, but go to the Wartburgs, go to the Grinnells, the Iowas and Iowa States.   We should recruit hard for those programs where we’re going to get those students that are in Iowa or bordering on Iowa or international conventions or meetings so that those students are aware that we have some good programs and opportunities.  We have some good current students who are also great spokespeople for us.  We need to make sure they are encouraged and propagandized with materials such that wherever they go, they can tell and sell that story more so we can bring other people back in.

Related to the question regarding what Ruud sees as the challenges for graduate education?  He responded that he sees three.  The first challenge is “we’ve always done it that way.”  We need to consider whether the number of credits for a degree is appropriate, as well as consider certificates or external certifications.  We need to determine how these fit into future educational opportunities so that we’re constantly updating and keeping up.

Secondly, Ruud said we need to consider whether we are offering the right kinds of graduate degrees with the kind of current staff, current resources that we have and are we proposing the right additions to the graduate program with the potential addition of staff, especially if we can reshuffle the marbles in the bag and roll them out a little differently; same courses, same instructors, but perhaps packaged differently.  He said not to be shy or fearful of having to try two or three times to get a program approved.  Analyze what the program did right, what it did wrong, and is it worth trying again.  He wants those in graduate curriculum to understand what other comprehensive universities are doing and are we moving forward and enabling ourselves to build curriculum and enrollment not only at the undergraduate level, but at the graduate level. 

Finally, Ruud used the term “stacking” and added that he thinks that in the next 12-15 years we are going to see more and more partnerships in stacking of degree programs.  He gave an example of a stackable nursing degree.  The last two years of high school a student gets CNA, goes to a 2-year community college and gets an RN, goes to a 4-yr BA degree university and gets a BSN, and then can go to a graduate program to get an MSN.  It would be possible to go on and get a doctor of nursing science.  He said that in many ways that would be the perfect stackable degree.

He noted that we are not married to semesters at the graduate level and to think about the best schedule to offer courses for the student clientele.  He encouraged graduate faculty to think about those alternative kind of program offerings that we might be able to offer; online, in person, hybrid.  He predicts that as we look back in 2050, the first 20 years of this century will be identified as the hybrid generation, not just in education, but in cars, power, airplanes and families.  He said he is a huge believer that one-on-one classroom teaching makes a difference in education, but thinks we need to adapt, adjust and use the technology to our advantage, while being predictive in those three areas. 

Ruud concluded by saying that he will never hesitate in hearing good proposals about good programs at the Master’s degree or Doctorate level.  He is a believer that a regional comprehensive university is allowed to and may have a responsibility to offer applied doctorates depending on what our expertise is and depending on how we can fit that in.  He said not to be shy or quiet and not to be afraid to be wrong or to not have all the pieces of the pie in moving something forward.  He added that graduate faculty should not be bothered that if we try out a graduate program and for whatever reason it just doesn’t work for us.  At least the program was tried and may just not have been in the cards for now. 

President Ruud thanked everyone for attending and stated that he appreciates what everyone is doing and would be willing to come back to a future Council to continue discussions.  Clayton noted that since President Ruud had to leave for a student’s funeral visitation, there would not be time for questions and answers.

Regarding approval of minutes; Motion by Pohl to approve the minutes of the March 13, 2014 meeting; seconded by Christ.  Motion approved.  Motion by Pohl to approve the minutes of the April 25, 2013 meeting; seconded by Schmitz.  Motion approved. 

Graduate College Reports – Related to the efficiency study, Licari reported that he met with efficiency team members on two occasions recently and wanted to pass along certain information, as he has heard some concerns, one of those being about the pace of the study.  For the academic portion of the study, the team will do what they can during this semester before everyone leaves for the summer and then return in the fall to finish.  Licari said the interactions with faculty have been disappointing to the faculty and he has shared this with the efficiency team.  In order to increase interaction with various groups of people across campus, it has been recommended that meetings be held with individual colleges, as well as using a true open forum format.  Related to graduate education there was no information requested in efficiency study team’s initial data request.  He feels that we do a good job at doing what we do and in President Ruud’s remarks he saw some opportunities for the future.  There was a question as to whether or not the team had been to other campuses and if the process was similar.  Licari responded that they had been to The University of Iowa, but not Iowa State as yet and he was not sure as to how those meetings were structured.  A question was asked about if the consulting firm may have some premade conclusions.  Licari responded that there could be a mixture of both new ideas and some off the shelf solutions.  After additional discussion, Licari concluded by saying that an announcement would be going out regarding the upcoming effort.

Coon noted that she and Schwieger participated in the graduation fair sponsored by the Registrar’s Office.  Coon talked to several students about their degree requirements and double checked to see that they were indeed ready to graduate.  Schwieger was able to make some appointments to review CV’s and resumes.  As part of the graduation fair, graduation checklists for Non-thesis degree students, thesis degree students, and doctoral degree students were developed and posted on the Graduate College website under the “Current Students” link.

Coon said that she will send out a call to Graduate Coordinators to look at the Graduate College website to review the mode of instruction on the website to make sure the designation is correct.  She also noted that the query regarding the repeatability of the common courses, such as Readings and Studies courses, will be coming out soon. 

On behalf of Schwieger, Licari reported that the 7th Annual Graduate Student Symposium took place, with almost 70 students participating.  The number of poster presentations doubled over last year.  The quality of the work is always stunning.  Licari thanked all those who had students who participated, those who judged in the event or walked through or listened to the presentations.  He said Schwieger got feedback regarding process improvements in order to improve in any way possible.  The date of next year’s event will be April 1.

Chair of Graduate Faculty Report

Pohl reported that there would be a Brown Bag lecture on Monday with Gary and Deanne Gute.  The Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting will be held next Thursday, April 17.  Pohl encouraged everyone to attend for student and faculty award presentations, as well as to listen to a panel of graduate alums who would be discussing online and hybrid courses.  The final Brown Bag of the year will be presented by Sarah Diesburg, Computer Science.  The title is "Ghosts of Past Data: Challenges and Advances in Secure Deletion of Files" from noon to 12:50 p.m., Monday, May 5, in the Oak Room, Maucker Union.  Pohl noted that the total attendance for the Brown Bags has been over 200. 

Clayton mentioned that Licari would be participating in a panel through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning related to the challenges of teaching the split graduate/undergraduate courses.  The event will take place on April 21, in LIB 378.

New Business

Curriculum - discussion and vote on proposed changes to descriptions of common course numbers

Clayton said that the proposed changes to common courses falls under the purview of the Graduate Council because the course numbers are common to many graduate programs (see list of changes below). 

Coon said that departments would be getting a query for their own common course numbers.  Coon gave an example of if ACCT 6286 or ACCT 6285 is listed in the catalog, then that description overrides this description.  If a common course isn’t listed in a subject area in the catalog, then the department is free to use the common course numbers subject to these common course descriptions, but these descriptions in most cases did not say anything about the courses being repeatable, even though mostly they were and have been regarded as such.  The goal is to clean the descriptions up because some departments may want to remove their own listing and use these, particularly those departments having students who have repeated more than they should have.  Coon presented an overview of the changes and noted that only the graduate numbers on the list she presented had been changed.

Motion by Christ to approve the proposed changes to the description of common course numbers; seconded by Pohl.  Motion approved. 

Clayton reminded everyone of the Annual Graduate Faculty meeting taking place on Thursday, April 17, in Seerley 115. 

The meeting adjourned at 4:33 p.m.

The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115, if needed.  Secretary’s note: The April 24 meeting was not held.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Nedrow


Common Course Numbers

(proposed changes in red)

Following are course numbers which are common to departments across campus. These common numbers may be used under named conditions by prefixing with the department subject prefix:

1059 (059), 3159 (159), 4159/5159 (159g), 6259 (259), 7359 (359) - Reserved for temporary courses of a special or experimental nature. May be repeated on different topics.

3133 (133), 4133/5133 (133g), 6233 (233) Workshop - 1-6 hrs. Offered for special groups as announced in advance. Students may take work in one or more workshops but may not use more than 6 hours toward graduation. 

3179/5179 (179) Cooperative Education - 1-6 hrs. For students who wish to apply classroom learning to field experience. Requires approval by the faculty supervisor, the head of the academic department granting credit, and Cooperative Education/Internship staff for placement agreement, project, and credit arrangements. Credit may not be applied to a major or minor without approval by the department offering the major or minor. Co-op/Internship staff assist in developing placements and arranging student interviews with employers and maintain contact with student and employer during the co-op/internship experience. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours credit. 

1086 (086), 3186 (186), 4186/5186 (186g), 6286 (286), 7386 (386) Studies in "______" - Courses to be offered by departments for specialized work not covered by regular courses. Credit and topic for "study" to be given in Schedule of Classes.  May be repeated on different topics.

109C (09C), 319C (19C) Open Credit - 1-6 hrs.

319P (19P) Presidential Scholars Research - 1-3 hrs. For Presidential Scholars only. Credit and topic to be approved by the Presidential Scholars Board. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 hours. 

4198 (198) Independent Study - Hours to be arranged in advance. A provision for undergraduate students to do work in a special area not offered in formal courses. (Does not provide graduate credit.) Permission of the head of the department offering the work is required. Projects must be approved well before the beginning of the semester in which the work is to be done. 

4199 (199) Study Tour - 1-12 hrs. Offered as announced in the Schedule of Classes. See Summer Bulletin for general description and consult appropriate department for specific information. 

6285 (285) or 7385 (385) Readings - Offered as needed in the various disciplines - not offered as a class. Independent readings from a selected list as approved in advance by department head. Credit to be determined at time of registration.  May be repeated.

6289 (289) or 7389 (389) Seminar - Offered as needed in the various disciplines. Credit and topic to be given in Schedule of Classes.  May be repeated on different topics.

629C (29C) Continuous Registration. Graduate students who have completed all of their program but not all of their graduation requirements, e.g. comprehensive exams, thesis, paper/project, recitals, etc., must be continuously registered until the degree is completed. Students reaching this stage will be automatically registered in the course ___629C (xxx:29C), Continuous Graduate Student, and assessed a $50 fee. Continuous enrollment insures that students can access their university email accounts and utilize the library and its services through graduation.  May be repeated.

629R (29R) Directed Research - 1-12 6 hrs. Course is available to thesis and non-thesis students on a credit/no credit basis. Students may enroll in the course following enrollment in all allowable hours of  ____6299 (xxx:299) (6-9 hours for thesis students and 3 hours for non-thesis students). Students may take this course for a maximum of 6 hours per semester. Please refer to individual programs for possible exceptions.  May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.

6297 (297) or 7397 (397) Practicum - 2-3 1-4 hrs. Offered as needed in the various disciplines to provide practical experience in college teaching. May be repeated.

6299 (299) or 7399 (399) Research - See details for approval and registration. Repeatable to the maximum credits for a student’s degree.

7300 (300) Post-Comprehensive Registration.  For Doctor of Education and Doctor of Industrial Technology programs.  May be repeated.