Graduate Council Minutes #815

February 11, 1993


Present: Fahmy, Huddleston, V. Jackson, Klassen (for Chao), Maier, R. Martin, J. Nelson (for Lew), Somervill, Walker, Yohe
Absent: Durham, Gaies, Jakubowski, Safford, Simet, S. Smaldino
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost); Gerald Intemann (College of Natural Sciences)
Minutes #814 were approved as published.
Somervill reported that some Graduate Coordinators have responded to his request for a written copy of the department's policies and procedures for evaluating Graduate Assistants, however, there are many who have not. He said that the Quad Cities Graduate Center participants have been asked for a copy of their institutions' telecommunication policies and the implications for graduate programs. Yohe will distribute UNI's policy for discussion at the next meeting. Somervill said that he has been requested to provide a more elaborate description of the PDL policies and process as well as its importance to the university. Vice President Marlin said that the Board of Regents has questioned why we have this process and have asked for documentation of what we are currently doing.
Jackson distributed statements from the 1993 TOEFL manual pertaining to the TOEFL. These will be discussed at the next meeting for possible inclusion in UNI policy.
Intemann reported that the Masters of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences proposal was nearing completion and that it would be considered by the CNS Senate tomorrow. He is asking for an exception to the Graduate Council policy of April 27, 1989, which says that any proposal received after the first Friday after the beginning of the spring semester will not be considered until the next year, so that the degree could be considered this spring. Somervill said that he felt the policy is very rigid and he would like to see it re-examined. Fahmy said that this degree is in an important area and that it would be a shame if it had to be delayed. He assured the Council that the package was in good shape and was well-written. Maier noted that the proposal was not as non-controversial as it was being presented since many new things are being proposed. Somervill said that the department delayed submission because it was trying to avoid a hastily put together proposal. However, they would like to take it to the Board of Regents yet this year. After more discussion, Huddleston moved to grant the exception so the Masters of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences proposal can be considered and to reconsider the policy at a later meeting. Motion was seconded. Maier made a friendly amendment to have the proposal submitted to the Graduate College Curriculum Committee by the end of February. Motion was passed as amended.
Maier noted that the report given to the Board of Regents saying that there are 61 UNI faculty who are in need of enhancement of productivity was done without the Graduate Council knowing what criteria were being used. Somervill said that there is no written list of these faculty and no names were transmitted to the Board. The three areas considered were service, teaching, and research. He said that Vice President Marlin made a presentation to the University Senate. Maier said that there was concern about unpublished criteria being used for evaluation of faculty and that questions were raised as to whether these decisions were made equitably across departments and colleges. Somervill noted that the same criteria cannot necessarily be used across departments because the type of scholarly activity varies greatly. Martin said that the issue seemed to be the lack of communication with the faculty, not the objective. Huddleston noted that it seemed that the breakdown in communication was at the departmental level--in how the department head chose to handle the situation.
Maier announced that the Graduate Faculty meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, in 109 Business Building. Pat Swann, Graduate Dean at Iowa State, will be the speaker. More publicity will be distributed closer to the date.
Items to publicize include the Graduate Faculty meeting.
Motion was made to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Ann Hesse
Next meeting will be February 25 at 3:30 p.m. in Gilchrist Board Room.