Graduate Council Minutes #1067

Graduate Council Meeting

April 13, 2017


Present:  Beall, Berendzen, Calderon, Cutter, Dhanwada, Edmister, Igou, Ostapyuk, Pohl, and Rod-Welch, & Schwieger.

Absent: Al-Mabuk, Fontana, Isakson, Juby, & Ross.

Chair Pohl called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.

There was a motion to approve the minutes of the March 23 meeting. The motion passed.

Graduate College Reports:

  • Pohl announced that there will be showing of Iowa artists in Cedar Falls Hearst Center on May 4 and 5. It will be a good promotion for UNI because the university is involved in the initiative.
  • There is a change in the Brown Bag Seminar schedule for Wednesday, April 19. The seminar will now be presented by Dr. Audrey Rule who is a Distinguished Scholar Award Winner. The topic is “Creativity-Related Research Projects with Graduate Students”. Everyone is encouraged to bring their colleagues and students to this important learning event.
  • The Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting is on Thursday, April 27. The program will start at 3 p.m. The general theme is educational value of graduate students coming to a comprehensive university. Both graduate students and coordinators will speak at the event. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
  • Cutter announced that she will no longer serve as the Associate Dean of the Graduate College after the spring semester this year. The Graduate Council expressed gratitude for the fine work she had done for the College over the last two years.
  • Schwieger reported that UNI Graduate Student Symposium on April 4 was successful. There were creative performances as well as oral and poster presentations from multiple disciplinary areas. Also, there were special guests to speak at the program, including President Nook and an alumni panel. Total of 81 graduate students and 35 graduate faculty judges participated in the day-long event. Program recommendations were very positive.
  • The first Annual Graduate Student Visit Day was on Friday, March 31. Twenty five students came from different areas of interests, including communication studies, women and gender, music, speech language, and curriculum and instruction. Tours of the campus and academic departments were arranged for visiting students. The program received positive comments from the participants.
  • The alumni issue of the Graduate College newsletter is in its final stage of editing. It is expected to go out to 10,000 alumni and to campus community very soon.
  • Dhanwada reported that UNI is taking a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) initiative in an attempt to connect multiple bodies together and touch all different parts of the university through a software program. This is a step up toward recruiting, retaining and engaging prospective as well as current students and alumni. It is expected that the program will enable us to build a deeper knowledge of its target constituents by tracking personal interactions and communications using CRM software. The plan will be implemented in 4 phases where both graduate and undergraduate students will be involved. Vendors will start submitting their proposals soon. August 22 is the timeline for signing the contract.

Discussion occurred on the mechanism of voting on the Graduate College Goals and Objective document. As of now the document is set to be voted on at the Annual Graduate Faculty meeting on April 27. Pohl asked if the members of the Council felt strongly in favor of an electronic voting. In that case the ballots have to be sent out prior to the meeting. The majority of the Council members opined in favor of conducting the voting at the Graduate Faculty meeting.

It was decided to go by the majority of the faculty attending the meeting. In the event we don’t have a quorum (15%) then we will put it for online votes.

Old Business:

“Stand Alone” Graduate Dean:

Pohl reported that Provost Wohlpart told her that he does not know at this point if he could fund a “stand alone” Dean this year or the next year. He does not have the budget from the Regents yet. However, the Provost requested a written document on the perceived roles and responsibilities of the position as perceived by the Graduate Council. The Provost does not know if this will fly but he wants the position description to be outlined by the Council right away. Pohl asked the Council members if they indeed favored requesting a stand-alone Dean as well as an Associate Dean at this time. There was a motion, and a second to formally request a stand-alone Dean. The motion carried with one abstention. Pohl agreed to draft a position description based on previous feed backs. The document will be sent out to the members of the Graduate Council.                        

New Business:

Offering Assistantships to students who are doing a double Master’s Degree:

Discussion occurred on the existing UNI policy for Assistantships offered to students who are doing a double Master’s Degree. According to current policy, a student can get a maximum of 8 semesters of assistantship while at UNI. A student in his or her second year of a program can be offered a new assistantship by another Department provided the student is in good academic standing. However, even if the student has received offers from two separate departments, the total work load per week will not exceed 20 hours (100%). The two Departments can break the hours into half and half. Dhanwada wanted to know if the current policy is one that the Graduate Council would like to continue with. Everyone opined that as long as the total hours of work remains at 20 they are willing to support the current policy.

Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on April 27, at 3:00 p.m. in the Great Reading Room. (UNI Graduate Faculty meeting).

Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury