Graduate Council Minutes #819

April 22, 1993


Present: Durham, Fahmy, V. Jackson, Donn Johnson (for Claussen), Maier, Kate Martin (for Safford), Simet, R. Martin
Absent: Chao, Huddleston, Gaies, Jakubowski, Lew, Smaldino, Somervill, Yohe
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost), Gerald Intemann (Dean of College of Natural Sciences), Fred Abraham (Head, Economics Department), Edward Brown (Director of Environmental Programs), John Fecik (Industrial Technology), Bob Seager (Biology), Wayne Anderson (Head, Earth Science), Leroy McGrew (Chemistry), Erwin Richter (Chemistry), Roger Hanson (Physics)
Minutes #818 were approved as read.
There was no Graduate Dean report.
Simet submitted the Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC) Report and a list of "Selected Initial Concerns of the GCC. He briefly reviewed te contents of the Report which was concerned with a proposal (submitted by the College of Natural Sciences) to establish a new degree program, Master of Science in Environmental Science/Technology. Simet indicated that the timelines placed on the GCC's deliberations had prevented the achievement of consensus within the committee. He indicated that the Graduate council had three options. These were to: 1. approve the proposal for transmission to the Faculty Senate; 2. discuss the issues not yet resolved and then take action based on that discussion; 3. return the proposal for continued discussion by the Curriculum Committee.
Simet stated that the GCC had difficulty with the proposed program, the proposal and the process. He felt that the GCC was interested in forwarding a proposal/program that was as clear a statement as possible to both students and employers. The GCC had made some changes in the original proposal. They were concerned about the impact that these might have on the faculty who developed the original document.
Fahmy checked the names and departments of the visitors present to make sure that each of the departments impacted by the proposal was represented. Each department seemed to be represented.
Motion was made and passed to accept the Graduate Curriculum Committee Report as submitted and to discuss the issues/ concerns of those present.
Brown indicated that his area did not view the changes made by the GCC as substantive. He indicated that the proposal had been circulated and discussed by faculty and that they had no objections to it.
Intemann indicated that he did not feel that the changes made in the proposal were substantive.
Simet stated that initially four changes had been made and that he had received responses to only one.
Abraham stated that he had received a copy of the proposal early in the process. His initial reaction was that it was an excellent idea. However, the last three educational goals had caused him some concern. This was due in part to the fact that the only Economics courses listed was Environmental Economics which was an elective. He indicated that he had some concern about student's ability to attain the educational goals listed. Abraham said that he had expressed his concerns to Brown and was not satisfied with the response that he had gotten. The educational goals were then changed and Environmental Economics courses was omitted. Abraham stated that in his opinion the absence of Economics minimized both the desirability and utility of the program. He stated his willingness to work with those associated with the proposal to reconsider this issue.
Simet stated that the GC had devoted less time on this proposal than they did to the Women's Studies Proposal.
Intemann provided some historical background on the development proposal.
A statement supportive of the proposal from Jill Trainer, Chairperson of the College of Natural Sciences Faculty Senate, was read.
Intemann indicated that Iowa State and the University of Iowa had been consulted and that their input was positive. Neither institution expressed concerns about the duplication of programs.
Simet raised concerns about the time constraints that the Committee had worked under. He stated that Iowa State and the University of Iowa may have received the original version of the proposal, not the version that had been changed by the GCC.
R. Martin asked whether the proposal was acceptable.
Simet indicated tat it still needed revision.
Martin asked whether the changes needed were significant enough to endanger the proposal. Simet indicated that this was difficult to know. This he felt might result in the Board of Regents getting an erroneous sense of what the program is all about.
Intemann asked whether all of the flaws identified by the GCC had been transmitted to the College representative for his/her reaction.
Simet stated that there were 24-26 concerns, ranging from trivial to substantive that had been documented. These were not forwarded to Dr. Brown because Intemann indicated that he wanted the proposal forwarded to the Council. Simet indicated that some but not all of the GCC's concerns had been discussed with Ed.
Maier stated that in her opinion there was a highly representative group present, consultation had occurred and that in her opinion there were no additional concerns that needed to be discussed. She was, however, concerned about a question raised by the GCC: "Will outstanding undergraduates choose the BA/MS or BS/MS route? Most will probably opt for graduate study elsewhere, especially if this program is a 'terminal' masters degree." After some discussion of whether or not this was a terminal degree program, she suggested that this statement be removed.
Brown indicated that it had been removed in the final version of the proposal.
Maier suggested that the Council move along. She asked where the proposal would go after it left the Graduate Council.
Fahmy indicated that it would go to the University Senate and from there to the Board of Regents.
There was some discussion of the difference between Environmental Science and Environmental Studies and of a market survey that had been conducted.
Simet indicated that the GCC had some concern about the electives and the absence of 200 level courses in the program. He wondered how the Regents might respond to this. He indicated that the changes made so far had improved the proposal. However, there are still some things that the Committee feels they need to discuss with Brown. This discussion has not occurred.
Motion was made and passed to appove the most recently revised version of the proposal, and to forward it to the University Senate.
Simet stated that there were still some concerns that needed to be forwarded. He indicated that he wanted to make sure that everyone understood that this was a new degree that would be reviewed by the Regents. He expressed his thanks and appreciation for the assistance and insights that he'd received from the members of the Graduate Curriculum Committee. He also stated that he felt that the deadline for submission of proposals in off-years should be better publicized and adhered to so that the GCC is not put in the position that the Committee was in his year.
Intemann thanked the GCC for their hard work and expressed his appreciation for the GCC's concern that the best proposal possible for forwarded.
Fahmy thanked the GCC for their hard work. He indicated that the deadline for submission of proposals in off-years would stand. However, an exception was made in this case earlier by the Council to facilitate the approval of this program.
There were no announcements.
There was no new business.
Items to publicize: the proposal for the Master of Science/Technology Degree.
Fahmy expressed his thanks and appreciation to the members of the Graduate Council for their participation during the academic year and indicated that this would be the last meeting of the year.
Durham moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,