Graduate Council Minutes #816

February 25, 1993


Present: Durham, Fahmy, Gaies, Huddleston, Klassen (for Chao), Maier, R. Martin, Simet, Walker, Yohe
Absent: V. Jackson, Jakubowski, Lew, Safford, S. Smaldino, Somervill
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost); Germana Nijim, Robert Leestamper, Virginia Hash (International Programs); John Fecik (Industrial Technology); Robert Hardman (Educational Media Center); Glenn Hansen (Continuing Education and Special Programs); Jack Wielenga (Registrar's Office); Kevin Curry (Student)
Minutes #815 were approved as published.
Walker distributed copies of Scholarship at the University of Northern Iowa to Council members. He said that this was the result of the survey of research interests completed by faculty. There were 478 faculty who contributed paragraphs. The books have been distributed to the Academic Affairs Council and the President's Cabinet. Copies have been mailed through campus mail to those faculty who contributed. If anyone who did not receive one would like one or if anyone would like multiple copies, there are additional books available at the Graduate College for $2.00 per copy to help cover printing costs.
Fahmy read the five categories of students who might be exempt from taking the TOEFL. Leestamper said that at UNI a student is exempt if they have received a degree from a four year U.S. institution. After some discussion, Maier suggested that further discussion and action be postponed to a future meeting when Jackson could be present to indicate her desires for putting this issue on the agenda. Fahmy apologized to the visitors who came for this item and thanked them for coming.
Simet said that after reading the minutes from the last meeting, which he was unable to attend because he was out of town, he felt there had been sentiment expressed for abolishing the established deadline for submission of curricular materials. He said that he felt that abolishing the deadline would compromise the integrity of the curricular process and that what had been requested for the Environmental Studies program was to accelerate the natural curricular process, not to avoid delaying the process. In the curricular flow, the program should come to the college senate this semester and then to the Graduate Council next fall; so what was requested was for both bodies to do their work in the first two-thirds of this semester, instead of the two semesters provided for in the curricular process. Simet reminded Council members that one of the reasons the deadline was adopted was because when the Council agreed to look at a program early, pressure was automatically put on other groups to pass the program quickly. The main danger inherent in this is that the people evaluating the program need adequate time to do so and to do research into questions that may arise in the evaluation process. Simet feels that, in general, masters programs should not be accelerated through the process because they need to be fully evaluated and all ramifications need to be considered. If the program is pushed through early, everyone may not have a chance to express their views and the entire process is put under pressure. Maier noted that that is why there is a two year curricular cycle--so the college senate can evaluate in the spring and the university groups outside the college the next fall. Simet noted that the deadline is only for the off year in the cycle because during the on year exceptions are made as much as possible in order to get things processed so they can be published in the new catalog; however, there is no need for this in the off year because the program won't be published until the next catalog. Vice President Marlin said that there is a high priority in Washington right now for environmental programs and that we would be able to better position ourselves to receive outside funding if we had an environmental degree since this would strengthen our proposals. Fahmy asked if the Council would like to move to change the deadline. Simet said that he would like to not change it. Since there was no motion to the contrary, the deadline for submission of curricular materials is retained.
Yohe said that the data/voice side of the Iowa Communications Network was pretty well in place at this time and the issue now is the bi-directional video side of the network. Hardman said that this had been planned over the last 15 years and that this statewide communications network is designed to meet a variety of state needs. It is very close to completion, and the fiber optics network is targeted to be available August 15, 1993. He said that in the first phase, 15 community colleges were connected as well as Iowa Public Television and Lucas State Office Building. The second phase is to go into each of the 99 counties. These first two phases are nearly complete. This system will serve state government needs as well as all levels of education. Therefore, it is much more comprehensive than any other system in the country. One use at UNI would be to deliver graduate courses throughout the state. Hansen said that we are at the early stages of planning to use the system for this purpose, however many faculty are eager to do so. Faculty are required to complete a 15 hour training program offered through the Educational Media Center. The system will be used to deliver courses already offered at UNI. Hardman noted that we could receive as well as originate courses, so we could get courses from other colleges. He said there is concern over who will be offering what. The Board of Regents has established a committee to look into the use of the system. Hansen said that there is a strong push to include the private colleges and there will be much competition for air time. Huddleston asked if entire masters degree programs would be offered through the system. Hansen said that he would be working with departments who were interested in this. He stressed that these would be UNI courses taught by UNI faculty. Hardman said that this would be a live, interactive class where the teacher could see the students and the students could see both the teacher and other students. What will make it unique is that the teacher and students will be linked by technology. There will be an assistant at each location. Classes will be coordinated through Continuing Education. Yohe noted that the support value of the data link should not be underestimated. Examples currently in use include CAUCUS in the College of Education and CD Rom. Students have access to library and computing facilities with a local call. He said that there have been assurances that there will be no usage sensitive charges. Hansen said that currently graduate level continuing education courses are approved by the department, the college, and the Graduate Dean and that this will not change.
Items to publicize include the deadline for submission of graduate curricular proposals.
Durham moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Ann Hesse
Next meeting will be March 11 at 3:30 p.m. in Gilchrist Board Room.