Graduate Council Minutes #1064

Graduate Council Meeting

February 23, 2017

Present: Al-Mabuk, Beall, Berendzen, Calderon, Cutter, Edmister, Fontana, Igou, Pohl, Rod-Welch, Ross, & Schwieger.

Absent: Dhanwada, Juby, Ostapyuk, & Isakson.

Chair Pohl called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
There was a motion to approve the minutes of the February 9 meeting. The motion passed.

Graduate College Reports:

Cutter reported that the Graduate College bought names of GRE takers as planned and emailed information on UNI graduate programs to the individuals. Some graduate programs are still admitting students so we hope to see an increase in applications.

Schweiger reported the following:

  • Schweiger reminded everyone of the upcoming Graduate Student Symposium on Tuesday, April 4. The deadline to confirm participation in the symposium is Monday, March 6.
  • UNI Graduate Student Newsletter will be soon mailed out to the alums. In addition, copies will be distributed to campus community.
  • There will be an informational Open House on March 31 for accepted graduate students. This is a first time event at UNI. There will be a Welcome, Graduate Student panel, along with a campus tour available in the morning. Lunch will be provided by the Graduate College with students going to the dining center with current students in their program followed by afternoon visits with faculty and student in their specific programs. While some programs have their own open houses, not all do.  So with this program, students can take advantage of an opportunity to visit campus and get to know more about their graduate program as well as student life at UNI.

Pohl reminded everyone of the following upcoming event:

The next Brown Bag Seminar is on Tuesday, February 28. The scheduled topic is early childhood education. The last seminar had 25 people in attendance. It is the goal of the Graduate College to attract large crowd to these seminars. Everyone is encouraged to publicize the event to their departmental students and colleagues.

New Business:

  a. Inquiry from Provost Wohlpart concerning a stand-alone Dean for Graduate College:

Pohl said that Provost Wohlpart wanted feedback from the Graduate Council members on the recommendation the Graduate Council made last year on creating a stand-alone Graduate Dean position. He would like to know if they still support such a position. If so, he asked that they suggest what responsibilities they envision a stand-alone Graduate Dean having, and how this would redefine the responsibilities of the Associate Dean. The members of the Graduate Council had a robust discussion on this important matter. Since some Graduate Council members are new, they felt that it would be helpful to have more information before making this decision.

First, they want to know the specific responsibilities Dean Dhanwada currently has as both Associate Provost of Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Graduate College. They would also like a list of the current responsibilities of the Associate Dean, and a copy of the Graduate Council resolution for a stand-alone dean and all supporting documentation for that resolution. Members also suggested that the new Strategic Plan draft can provide guidance on discussion about the Graduate Dean’s responsibilities.

b.    Tactics for Goals and Objectives:

Discussion occurred on the latest draft of the new Graduate College Strategic Plan. This draft included goals, objectives and tactics. Members were asked for any suggestions or edits on the “tactics” sections in the document. Chair Pohl responded to some minor questions of clarifications and Graduate Council members voted unanimously to approve the document. The final document is shown below.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: To create innovative, inclusive and diverse, interdisciplinary, academic, applied and professional graduate programs that meet the emerging demands of society.

Objective 1: To foster development of interdisciplinary graduate programs and/or certificates.


  • Engage in discussions with various graduate programs to determine how an innovative and sustainable interdisciplinary graduate program or certificate can be developed.
  • Offer graduate assistantships, when possible, to these interdisciplinary graduate programs to recruit new students.

Objective 2: To facilitate collaboration between graduate programs and community-based organizations.


  • Identify community organizations that are willing to partner with graduate programs.
  • Identify the appropriate contacts at each of these community organizations.
  • Identify the needs and wants of the graduate program in relation to the organization as well as the level of involvement the organization desires.
  • Schedule a meeting between the graduate program, Graduate College and organization
  • Schedule any future meetings as necessary and involve the university attorney for contract creation (if needed).

Objective 3: To foster the engagement of graduate faculty and students in community outreach.


  • Identify community organizations that are willing to partner with graduate faculty and/students.
  • Identify the appropriate contacts at each of these community organizations.
  • Identify the needs and wants of the graduate faculty and/or students in relation to the organization as well as the level of involvement the organization desires.
  • Facilitate initial meetings between the graduate faculty and/or student and Organization.

Objective 4: To work with the UNI Advancement to develop fellowships and scholarships to recruit a diverse and inclusive student body.


  • Have ongoing conversations with UNI Advancement to share the vision and mission of the Graduate College as well as to relate stories of the UNI Graduate community.
  • Work with UNI Advancement staff to provide updated information on current recruitment initiatives.
  • Continue to develop and grow potential donors for the Graduate College.
  • Work with UNI Advancement and be prepared to visit potential donors to engage them for any future gift-giving.

Goal 2: To support, sustain and enhance the academic quality and rigor of UNI’s graduate programs.

Objective 1: To increase the opportunities for all graduate students to conduct research and creative activity with the guidance and support of faculty.


  • Establish a page on the Graduate College website to highlight publications and conference presentations of graduate students and faculty.
  • Promote the Graduate College as a repository for lists of faculty seeking graduate students to assist with research or creative activity to broaden/expand their experiences.

Objective 2: To regularly offer professional development workshops for graduate students.


  • Solicit ideas from graduate community for workshops each semester.
  • Compile list of workshops and professional opportunities and place on website a semester in advance.
  • Promote workshops in a variety of ways to campus community (website, posters, social media).

Objective 3: To establish and maintain Student Outcomes Assessments for all graduate programs.


  • Make sure to enforce the established deadline for graduate programs to submit SOA reports to the College.
  • Continue to work with Assessment Council to review reports and provide feedback to graduate programs.
  • Work with programs to have them “Meet Expectations” for all criteria.

Objective 4: To provide and support opportunities for all graduate faculty to present research on campus.


  • Schedule and host Brown Bag sessions for faculty to present their research/scholarship.
  • Reach out to faculty who have recently been awarded PDA awards and summer fellowships for presentations.
  • Partner with the Center for Teaching and Learning to present research and informational sessions.

Goal 3: To ensure that UNI continually identifies and meets the needs of the larger community at the local, state, national and international levels with its graduate programs.

Objective 1: To assess current workforce trends and support graduate programs in their efforts to respond to those trends.


  • Evaluate workforce trends using Bureau of Labor and Statistics data and other information that would be helpful in generating conversations in starting or revising graduate programs or certificates.
  • Make connections with local/regional organizations and interested graduate programs to enhance or modify current programs to better meet workforce trends.

Objective 2: To enhance the responsiveness of graduate education to the needs of the larger community.


  • Make connections with community organizations to gauge the needs of the community.

Objective 3: To ensure that resources are obtained and made available to support, sustain and enhance graduate programs.


  • Continue to advocate for the Graduate College with respect to student travel and academic support with offices across campus
  • Work with UNI Advancement to fundraise for student scholarships and student travel
  • Seek external funding to support graduate students via national grants and programs

Goal 4: To ensure that resources are obtained and made available to support, sustain and enhance graduate programs.

Objectives 1: To seek funding through internal and external partnerships to support academic quality for graduate programs.


  • Identify and schedule meetings with potential internal partners that can collaborate with programs to provide academic experiential opportunities for graduate students.
  • Identify and schedule meetings with potential external partners that can collaborate with programs to provide academic experiential opportunities for graduate students.

Objective 2: To encourage recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty dedicated to graduate education.


  • Work with College Deans and Provost’s Office to identify programmatic needs and work with graduate faculty to make sure Best Practices are followed in hiring diverse faculty
  • Work with programs to promote and welcome diversity and inclusion on their websites, especially when addressing their graduate programs (ex. Statement on website that encourage students of various ethnic backgrounds to apply…).
  • Host an annual Graduate College social event to build community among graduate faculty.

Objective 3: To work with the Office of Sponsored Programs to support graduate faculty in their efforts to obtain grant funding.


  • To work to advertise more openly funding opportunities available to graduate faculty
  • To promote opportunities through OSP (ex. Campus Connexus) that allow for faculty collaboration.

Objective 4: To work with UNI Advancement to increase the number of Graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships available to graduate students.


  • To with UNI Advancement to fundraise for graduate assistantships and scholarships.
  • To work with UNI Advancement in developing email lists of alums that can be used for contacting alumni with request for solicitation (Ex. Newsletter).

Goal 5: To promote UNI’s student-centered graduate programs to all internal and external stakeholders.

Objective 1: To collect graduate program activities that can be shared with stakeholders.


  • Enhance Graduate College website to promote student and faculty achievement.
  • Send bimonthly Newsletters (Grad Student News) to campus community.
  • Send annual Newsletter (Graduate Alumni News) to alumni and other external stakeholders.

Objective 2: To promote graduate student achievements to the University community as well as prospective students.


  • Establish an Alumni focused page on the Graduate College website.
  • Work with University Relations to write and send news releases about graduate student accomplishments to their hometown newspaper.

Objective 3: To promote UNI graduate programs regionally, nationally and internationally


  • Increase Graduate College social media presence.


Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on March 9, at 3:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury, Secretary