Graduate Council Minutes #814

January 14, 1993


Present: Durham, Fahmy, Gaies, Huddleston, V. Jackson, Maier, R. Martin, Simet, Somervill, Walker, Yohe
Absent: Chao, Lew, MacArthur, Safford, S. Smaldino
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost); Victoria DeFrancisco (Communication Studies) for Martha Reineke; John Fecik (Industrial Technology)
Minutes #813 were approved as published.
Somervill indicated that the University Strategic Planning Committee has requested information regarding "extraordinary progress" made or "extraordinary difficulty" that has been encountered by the Graduate College in accomplishing the goals of the University Strategic Plan. He identified two highly significant programs (the New Orleans Minority Recruitment Program and the Russian Graduate Program) which have helped the University accomplish its goal to enhance racial and cultural diversity. He identified as an area of difficulty, the fact that we continue to have a number of graduate programs with low enrollment. Somervill expressed concern about the quality of programs with small numbers. He expressed some doubt about the ability of such programs to give the kind of peer experience normally experienced in graduate education. He also indicated that we must do something to insure that there is an appropriate number of 200 level courses available for graduate students. These courses should be strictly for graduate students and not some mixture of graduate and undergraduate students. Somervill will be meeting with each of the college deans to discuss low enrollment programs. He stated that low enrollment courses put us in a very bad position with the Board. He indicated that we must be willing to avoid duplication and get out of the low enrollment business. He is especially concerned about programs where there are only one or two students enrolled.
Somervill indicated that representatives from the departments which require a personal interview as part of the admission process will meet with Winston Burt and representatives of the Affirmative Action Council for Academic Affairs some time this semester. This is in response to the Affirmative Action Council policy position statement regarding the use of personal interviews. Somervill stated that the concern is that we avoid potential discriminatory admission policies. Currently, no program at UNI pays the travel expenses for out-of-state students who need to travel to campus for an interview.
Fahmy indicated that Bill Lew apologized for not being in attendance. He had to teach a class.
Somervill indicated that the Women's Studies Master Proposal had been placed on the agenda as an "information item." He wanted members of the Graduate Council to have some idea about the masters programs that were being forwarded to the Curriculum Committee for consideration. DeFrancisco indicated that Martha Reineke should be given a great deal of credit for the tremendous amount of preliminary work that she has done on the program since 1989. DeFrancisco described the efforts that have been made to check with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University to avoid duplication and to make sure "that we have a contribution to make." The proposed Masters in Women's Studies will be a thirty-three (33) hour program, with five (5) core courses, twelve (12) hours of electives and a Thesis option. DeFrancisco indicated that much of the program is already in place. The core courses are already being offered. A seminar on gender and race is being proposed. The only funds needed at this time seem to be funds to cover the salary for an adjunct faculty member. This would enable the Coordinator of the Women's Studies Program to teach the seminar mentioned above. Lastly, DeFrancisco indicated that this will be a very "researchy" program. Faculty currently involved in Women's Studies are active researchers and currently doing research in the field. It is anticipated that students completing the program will have the credentials to go on for the Ph.D. if they so desire.
Fahmy asked if research had been done on the number of potential students who might enroll in the program. DeFrancisco indicated that she anticipates six (6) majors the first year and eventually a total of twelve (12). The proposal was docketed for the February 28th meeting.
Yohe asked if computer enhancements were needed to increase accessibility. He agreed to meet with Women's Studies to discuss their needs in this area further.
Fahmy indicated that it was important for the University to act expeditiously on the Women's Studies Program Proposal. He stated that it was one of the most well thought out programs that will come to the Council for consideration.
Curriculum Committee report was scheduled for Thursday, February 28th.
Walker expressed appreciation for the coverage given to the UNI Outstanding Masters Thesis Award by the Campus News Network. He indicated that the Graduate College Award Reception will be held on Thursday, April 29th from 3:30-5:00 in the Georgian Lounge. Invitations will go out after spring break.
Motion was made to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Vivian Jackson
Secretary Pro Tem
Next meeting will be January 28 at 3:30 p.m. in Gilchrist Board Room.