Graduate Council Minutes #1077


Graduate Council Meeting Minutes

March 8, 2018

Present: Berendzen, Bullard, Curran, Cyphert, Edmister, Elm, Igou, Olivares, Pease, Rau,

Rod-Welch, & Schwieger.

Absent: Al-Mabuk & O’Loughlin.

Chair Pohl called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
Chair called a motion to approve the minutes of the February 22 meeting. The motion was voted on; motion carried and the minutes were approved unanimously.

Graduate College Reports:

Old Business:

Reports from Interim Dean Pease:

Dean’s permanent replacement process is underway. The new person will serve as the Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Graduate College. The position description has been posted on the Provost’s website.   

  • The revenue estimating committee at UNI will meet tomorrow to discuss the budget situation. The state legislature is expected to meet soon. The Graduate College is holding tight on extra allocation to make sure necessary adjustments can be made when budget updates are available. As we discuss the budget for next year, there is also a possibility of budget reversion this year.

Reports from Interim Assoc. Dean Olivares:

Recipients of the James F. Lubker Faculty Research Award, the Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Graduate Faculty Teaching Award have been selected. The names will be announced soon.

Reports from Director of Grad Student Life Susie Schwieger:

  • The Eleventh Annual Graduate Student Symposium is Tuesday, April 3 in the Maucker Union.  Registrants include the following: Poster Presentations 26, Oral Presentations 23, and Creative Performances 9. The event’s schedule and Symposium Scholarship Awards are as follows:
    • Poster Presentations: 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
      Symposium Scholarship Awards: First Place, $300; Second Place, $200,
    • Creative Performances: noon-2:30 p.m.
      Symposium Scholarship Awards: First Place, $300; Second Place, $200; Third Place, $150; and Honorary Mention, $100
    • Oral Presentations: 1:00-4:30 pm.
      Symposium Scholarship Awards for each of the five presentation rooms: First Place, $300; Second Place, $200

Susie asked the Council members to encourage their colleagues and students to attend the event.
Twenty-three Iowa private colleges and universities have been invited to attend.

  • UNI Grad Student News:  April 11 is the submission deadline for the May issue of the newsletter.
  • New Graduate Student News: New Graduate Student Orientation is scheduled for Monday, August 20 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the Maucker Union.

Reports from Chair Pohl:

  • There are 2 more upcoming brown bag lectures this spring semester:
    • Dr. Melissa Beall on Thursday, March 29 from 12:30-1:20 p.m.
    • Dr. David Surdam on Wednesday, April 11 from Noon-12:50 p.m.
  • Chair Pohl welcomed Dr. Melissa Beall to discuss about the previous hiring process about the new Graduate College Dean.

New Business:

  • Discussion of New Graduate Dean.

Dr. Beall discussed some history of the previous Dean and Associate Dean positions at UNI. Discussion included how the previous administrations distributed responsibilities of these positions within the Graduate College, their teaching responsibilities and how these positions were defined in the context of the graduate program. The new position description is considered appropriate in terms of the current administrative structure and its curricular needs.  

  • Graduate Assistantships:

Associate Dean Olivares discussed the needs for revised Graduate Assistants guidelines. We have a handbook policy that regulates assistantships at UNI, which is very old and needs updating. Graduate Assistants are trained differently in different academic units. Departmental programs have much evolved over the years. Responsibilities vary from teaching classes to grading tests and helping faculty in labs. In addition, we now have a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The new policy should reflect these recent developments in teaching. Olivares invited suggestions from the Council members on these issues. Some ideas are as follows:

  • How to resolve behavioral issues of students in undergrad courses taught by GA’s?
  • Where should they go for help?
  • Do they have to take pedagogical courses?
  • Do they have to attend weekly meetings to discuss teaching issues?

Should there be special TA training in departments?​

  • UNIversitas:

Chair Gayle reported that the subgroup for the journal UNIversitas recently met to discuss its future mission and structure. The group also considered making it a national journal as well as indexing it.

  • CRM update:

Dean Pease reported the following:

  • Undergraduate admission and recruitment will become CRM-dependent in May.
  • Graduate admission will be processed through CRM after June this year.
  • The first program to switch will be the Continuing Ed program and MBA.
  • All applications will go to a single application system, including the online programs and in-person degrees. Non-degree based online programs will be an exception.
  • Any supplemental questions from departments should be notified to the CRM team as soon as possible.
  • Application attachments are drastically reduced from 70 to 15.
  • The application process is moving to an online Letter of Reference system. There will be questions in 8 categories and ratings. The forms can be uploaded online.
  • There will be a testing period for CRM since it is new. The system will be constantly updated through the year. 

Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on March 22, at 3:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury​