Graduate Council Minutes #856

October 10, 1996


Present: Bankston, Crew, Decker, Dedrick, East, Hageman, V. Jackson, Kirmani, Osman, Raiklin, Somervill, Stefanich, Walker
Absent: Chao, Safford
Visitors: Curtiss Hanson (Chemistry); Carolyn Shields (English Language and Literature)
Hageman moved that Minutes #855 be approved as published. Motion was seconded and passed.
Somervill reported that the Student Outcomes Assessment Committee has been meeting and is identifying those departments which do not have a plan. He is anticipating that the committee will be finished by the end of the semester. Somervill said that the Graduate Dean's Student Advisory Committee has not met because he does not as yet have the names of all of the college representatives.
Walker reminded Council members that the deadline for Distinguished Scholar Award nominations is Monday and for the Outstanding Thesis and Outstanding Dissertation awards is tomorrow. To date he has received 16 nominations for the Outstanding Thesis and 6 nominations for the Outstanding Dissertation. Walker reported that there were 44 PDL applicants--39 faculty, 4 administrators, and 1 degree person--and that every college, including the Library, was represented.
Somervill distributed a draft of the goals and strategies of the Graduate College Strategic Plan for members to look over. The document will be discussed at the next meeting. Somervill said that the narrative portion of the document will be written later.
Crew summarized problems encountered last year with curriculum and that as a result Carolyn Shields had been asked to look at the graduate curriculum process and develop guidelines and suggestions. Shields distributed copies of her report and of the graduate portion of the newly published Curriculum Review Process Information Handbook. As part of her activities, she worked with the University Committee on Curricula on the Handbook. She recommended including the Graduate College Curriculum Committee in the Graduate Council By-Laws as a standing committee, having only the chair of the Graduate College Curriculum Committee be a member of the Graduate Council, and having the college representatives on the Graduate College Curriculum Committee have staggered terms so there would always be at least two members who had served before. She emphasized that the University Catalog contains the policy which has been approved and any changes in policy should be addressed from the point of view of what is in the Catalog. She emphasized the "Truth in Advertising" statement included in the Handbook which says that the Catalog is an official document which contains the student's and university's official obligations and requirements and therefore it is important that the Catalog be both complete and accurate. Crew and Somervill both expressed thanks to Shields for her time and efforts and expressed the desire for her to continue to work in graduate curricular matters. Somervill also noted that Web pages must accurately reflect the requirements shown in the Catalog.
Crew reported that he had contacted the deans of the Colleges of Natural Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, and Education for recommendations of faculty to serve on the committee to look at variable graduate assistantship stipends. The CNS representative will be Curtiss Hanson; the Humanities representative will be Ken Baughman; the Education representative has yet to be named.
Somervill said that the current admission process is frustrating to students and sometimes it seems like the university is not interested. He asked that a committee be formed to look at the process and make recommendations. It was suggested that the committee consist of Jackson, someone from the Offices of the Registrar and International Programs, and a Council member from each college. East suggested having the college representatives be someone who works with admissions. After discussion, East moved to have Jackson form the committee and submit the names for Council approval. Motion was seconded and passed.
Crew said that the committee which will be looking at enrollment of graduate programs will not necessarily be looking for programs to eliminate but for reasons for justifying low enrollment programs. The committee will report sometime next semester and it will determine which programs to look at. It was suggested to call it the Committee on Graduate Enrollment. After discussion, it was decided that each pair of college representatives on the Council will determine which of them will serve and let Crew know by next Wednesday. That way there will be a Council representative from each college on the committee.
Stefanich suggested having the Graduate Faculty meeting be a discussion of the Graduate College Strategic Plan. Somervill said that the plan will be distributed to all Graduate Faculty but he does not feel that a discussion of the plan will generate much interest at a general Graduate Faculty meeting. Shields suggested inviting President Koob to comment on the Graduate College Strategic Plan. Somervill noted that the plan is not ready at this time and that the primary input on the strategic plan should come from the Graduate Council and the Graduate Faculty. Due to the time, Stefanich suggested discussing topics for the Graduate Faculty Meeting at a future meeting.
A memo from the Earth Science Department regarding 100g courses was distributed and will be discussed at the next meeting. A discussion of proposed questions for the enhanced programs was postponed until the next meeting. Somervill will meet with representatives of the programs before they have to report.
Hageman moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Ann Hesse
Next meeting will be October 24, 1996 at 3:30 p.m. in Seerley 3.