Graduate Council Minutes #841

April 13, 1995


Present: Chao, Durham, East, Fahmy, Heller (for Ishler), Lew, Quirk, Safford, Somervill, Walker, Yadava (for Crew)
Absent: Clohesy, Das, Decker, V. Jackson, Yohe
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost); Fred Meeker, Dawn Dungan (Graduate Dean's Student Advisory Committee); Robert Krueger (Modern Languages); Mary Rohrberger (English Language and Literature)
Minutes #840 were approved after East noted that the conference he announced at the last meeting was last week, so in the minutes "has been" should be replaced by "will be".
Fahmy noted that there was not much in the Academic Strategic Plan which addresses graduate education at UNI and said that Vice President Marlin was present to hear our comments and concerns regarding this. Quirk asked how the strategic planning committee saw the balance between graduate and undergraduate education--is UNI still going to be billed as the premier undergraduate institution? Marlin said that UNI was, and that we should look at what had changed in the last five years in terms of external factors which would lead to including more on graduate education in the plan. Quirk noted the increase in the number of graduate students. Marlin said that a possible explanation for this was related to the economic situation and the need for increased training. Somervill said that we will hopefully be discussing two new doctoral programs and without mention of planned growth in terms of new programs in the strategic plan, they will be harder to justify. He is also concerned about the public image given the graduate program when it is not included--emphasizing undergraduate education is fine, but completely omitting the graduate program is not desirable. Fahmy noted that the graduate program enhances, not takes away from, the undergraduate program, and questioned why both couldn't be emphasized. A viable graduate program helps in recruiting and retaining good quality faculty and administrators. Marlin said that the Council should draft a statement which could be included, keeping in mind that the committee has to think strategically and look at the external environment and then determine where they are trying to position the institution. Heller noted that the document itself is not internally consistent because there is no mention of graduate education but it says UNI is seeking quality research faculty. Rohrberger said that we need to let people know that there is quality here that can't be gotten elsewhere. Chao said maybe UNI is emphasizing undergraduate education at the expense of graduate education. Somervill said that we need to emphasize that we have built strengths in certain areas which should be promoted. Somervill suggested appointing a Graduate Council committee to review the document and make suggestions to the committee for the Academic Strategic Plan before the end of the semester. East said that the document may need an opening statement indicating that efforts need to be made in both graduate and undergraduate education. Fahmy, Quirk, and Meeker will serve as a committee to compose an addition to the Academic Strategic Plan.
Rohrberger distributed the strategic plan for the Department of English Language and Literature. She said that the department is comparable to Iowa and Iowa State in the number of publications and percentage of faculty publishing. They try to get students involved in publication efforts by taking students to conferences and submitting their papers to journals. They will be starting a new publication, the Journal of Caribbean Literature. They have been successful in the recruitment of minority students, having 3-4 per year, and in having their graduates accepted into reputable PhD programs. They are forming a committee to contact junior colleges to encourage their students to attend UNI and to form ties with PhD programs which will accept our students. They have been able to bring in major writers and scholars to teach classes and have begun to examine their graduate courses with an eye to increased rigor. Quirk asked what difference having the premier status has made. Rohrberger said that a consortium of faculty have requested funds from the Graduate College to purchase needed equipment for the department, that having more funds available for conference travel is very helpful, and that it has improved faculty morale. Heller asked how many faculty there are and how many are involved in graduate education. Rohrberger said that they have three graduate programs and that all 37 of the ranked faculty are involved. There are 56 in the department including adjuncts and graduate assistants.
Somervill reported that the Graduate Dean's Student Advisory Committee had met and had made three suggestions which he was pursuing: 1) the possibility of gaining health benefits for graduate students, 2) having a packet of information on housing, UNI and Cedar Falls, and a schedule of classes sent to graduate students after admission, 3) having someone from the department contact a student after admission to welcome them and serve as a resource for general information.
Walker reported that Roy Behrends (Art) had been selected to receive the $2000 McKay Faculty Research Award. He said that the first request for nominations for the Distinguished Scholar award for next fall will be distributed next week. He reported that there had been 55 entries for the MAGS Outstanding Thesis Award and said that it had been requested that our UNI Outstanding Thesis Award include papers submitted for the Specialist degree. We could do so with the understanding that should a Specialist thesis win, the paper would not be eligible for the MAGS competition and so we could submit the second or third place paper to MAGS.
Durham distributed a proposed amendment to Article IV of the Graduate Faculty Constitution which would include the Graduate Dean's Student Advisory Committee representatives on the Council. He also distributed the agenda for the Graduate Faculty meeting and reminded everyone that the meeting will be April 27, 1995 at 3:30 p.m. in Seerley 115.
Somervill asked if members of the Council had met with the doctoral program to discuss the two tiered Graduate Faculty proposed amendment. East said that he had not been informed of any meetings. Fahmy said that the Industrial Technology faculty met--there was some opposition but relatively wide support.
Walker reminded everyone of the Awards Recognition Reception on April 20 in the Georgian Lounge.
Fahmy reminded everyone that this is the last Council meeting as April 27 is the Graduate Faculty meeting.
Durham moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Ann Hesse