Graduate Council Minutes #806

April 9, 1992


Present: Berg, Durham, Fahmy, V. Jackson, Jones, Lew, Maier, R. Martin, Safford, S. Smaldino, Walker, Yohe
Absent: Clayson, Mills, Somervill, Swensen
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost); Germana Nijim (International Services); Steve Gaies (English Language and Literature); Robert Leestamper (International Programs); John Fecik (Industrial Technology); Gerald Bisbey (Institutional Studies)
Minutes #805 were approved as published.
Leestamper presented his thoughts on the TOEFL exam and using 550 as a minimum score for admission. He said that the purpose of the test is not to predict academic success. He feels that UNI has more faith in the test and is giving it more weight in admission decisions than it deserves. He requested that the current policy be reviewed. Nijim said that in her experience at UNI, students with TOEFL scores below 550 have difficulty in understanding and writing English and therefore have problems in classes and in carrying a full academic load. They resent having to take language courses in addition to academic courses. The 550 score has been used to help maximize the students' chance of success on campus, however students with lower scores have been admitted if their other credentials so indicate. She feels the current policy is working and does not need to be changed. Gaies said that the TOEFL is a measure of language development but there are differences of opinion as to its value. Historically, UNI has used the 550 score because there was no means of providing remedial English for international students. However, we now have the Intensive English program. He feels that the score is a point of departure from which to look at the rest of the student's credentials and that it is a means of identifying those students for whom the lack of English proficiency will be an impediment to being able to complete a program in the time allowed. He endorses the way the test has been used by Nijim and does not support a change in the current policy. After some discussion, it was decided that Jackson will look into how the test is being used by departments along with what is being distributed regarding this issue through departmental literature and will report her findings to the Council.
Martin distributed and summarized the Doctoral Subcommittee report. Durham moved to accept the report. Motion was seconded and passed.
Berg said that the Graduate Faculty Status Committee had been asked to make a recommendation on a request for Graduate Faculty status for a faculty member on a term appointment who was hired to provide leadership in a graduate program. She reported that the Committee recommended that Dean Somervill grant temporary Graduate Faculty status to this person on a semester-by-semester basis. Maier moved to go to executive session for discussion. Maier moved to raise from executive session. Durham moved to accept the Committee's recommendation and to forward it to the Dean. Motion was seconded and passed.
Berg moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Ann Hesse
Next meeting will be Thursday, April 23, 1992 at 3:30 p.m. in Gilchrist Board Room.