Graduate Council Minutes #1051

Graduate Council

December 10, 2015


Present:  Amin, Beall, Calderon, Cutter, Deemer, Fontana, Hanson, Kucuksari, Pohl,

Rod-Welch, Schwieger.

Absent:  Dhanwada, Clayton, Power, Juby, Tesky.

New Graduate Council Chair Gayle Pohl called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.


·         Gayle Pohl--Maureen Clayton will no longer serve as the Chair of the Graduate Council. She is going to join as an Associate Dean for CHAS. From now on Gayle will be the Chair of the Graduate Council.

Approval of Minutes from November 12, moved by Deborah Deemer, seconded by Fernando Calderon, Minutes were approved.

Graduate College Reports:

Report from Director Schwieger:

·         Registration is open for the Graduate Symposium.

·         Our 8th Annual Graduate Student Symposium will be on April 6th, 2015.

·         In January, Dean Dhanwada will be organizing workshops on preparing poster presentations.

·         Associate Dean Cutter will be organizing workshops on preparing oral presentations.

·         Workshop marketing materials will be going out during the 1st or the 2nd week of January.

·         December Newsletter will be out next week.

·         We will need judges for the Symposium. Dhanwada and Cutter are going to identify and approach probable judges. Contacts with the individuals will be made after the first of the year.

·         Anyone interested to serve as the Symposium judge should email Cutter.       

Report from Graduate Faculty Chair Beall:

·      There will be 6-Brown Bag Lectures next semester. Beall has 2-months of schedule already done with the speakers. The 1st lecture will be on January 20th and the 2nd one will be on February 18th. 

Associate Dean Cutter mentioned that there is need for volunteers to serve on the Distinguished Scholar Award Committee. The Award Committee consists of the Associate Dean of the Graduate College (Barbara Cutter) as the Chair, 2 members from the Grad Council, Chair of the Graduate Faculty (Mellissa Beall), 1 recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award, and 1 regular member from the UNI faculty.  Deborah Deemer and Leila Rod-Welch volunteered to serve as graduate council members on the Distinguished Scholar Award Committee

The Second session of the meeting was to welcome our guest speaker Kent Johnson, Dean of Continuing and Distance Education and Belle Cowden, Director of Continuing and Distance Education attended the meeting to discuss graduate distance and online education at UNI. Fact sheets were distributed among the council members to review the current status on continuing education course enrollment and the program finances. They reported that continuing and distance education activities primarily include off campus as well as online programs with a very minor component run within the campus. On-campus credit enrollment has declined over the years due to increased demand of off campus offerings. The program has reported a total of 14,906 credit enrollments to the Board of Regents during the 2014-15 academic year. In the last 10 years, the primary mode of credit offering has shifted from Iowa Communication Network (ICN) to World Wide Web (WWW). Total 9,043 WWW credit enrollments were reported last year. The College of Education by far has the highest enrollment reported every year. During the 2014-15 academic year, 38% (5,642) of the total (14,906) enrollment was graduate credit. About 80% of the graduate enrollment was registered in the College of Education.

Marketing and promotion of Continuing and Distance Education programs have been done collaboratively with colleges and departments. Fontana praised the current model of distance education at UNI and thanked the attending guests for doing a wonderful job in marketing and promotions. He expressed that current technology at UNI is great, and students not requiring to be coming to campus work really well. Though there are times reserved for face to face talks with students. General feedback from students are good.

A one-page document on Quality Matters (QM) was distributed among the council members. QM is a nationally recognized rubric of standards for online course design adopted by the UNI Continuing and Distance Education program. There are 8 major categories in the rubric of standards with specific standards within each category. The QM initiative provides professional development opportunities to UNI faculty and professional staff. This year more than 200 faculty and 25 professional staff have participated in workshops to understand and apply the QM rubrics for new course development. The initiative requests proposal to develop new course ideas for both summer sessions and the regular semesters. There has been a new call for proposals for 2016. There was some discussion about ownership of the course material developed in the QM program.  Kent Johnson confirmed that the individual faculty member who created the course content did not own it, and that the course material could be used by others to teach the classes if that faculty member left the university or was no longer available to teach the class.

Budget issues: A chart was distributed among the council members to show the revenue distribution of the Continuing and Distance Education Program. Total 6.7 million dollars in revenues was reported during the 2014-15 academic year. The program is self-funded with no general fund money used. The breakdown includes Transfers (to college Deans) (38%), Instructor Salaries/Fringes (31%), CE staff Salaries/Fringes (17%), Supplies/Services (10%) and Reserves (4%).  

Discussion ensued about the possibility of having some of these funds earmarked for the departments that are teaching these classes, rather than having that money all go to the deans’ office.

Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on January 14th at 3:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, 

Rubina Chowdhury