Graduate Council Minutes #858

November 14, 1996


Present: Chao, Dedrick, Decker, Durham (for Crew), East, Finder, Kirmani, Krapfl, Osman, Raiklin, Somervill, Stefanich, Walker
Absent: Bankston, Hageman, Jackson, Safford
Guests: Doug Koschmeder (Registrar's Office); Nancy Marlin (Vice-President and Provost); Mohammed Fahmy (Industrial Technology)
Dedrick moved that Minutes #857 be approved and published. Motion was seconded and passed.
Somervill discussed a concern that was brought up in the Dean's Graduate Student Advisory Committee meeting. That issue was the adequacy of graduate advising. Somervill asked if the Council would like him to come up with a questionnaire for students to fill out in order to have some idea of what the different advising procedures are. Somervill said that the 5 academic colleges and 2 doctoral programs are represented at the Student Advisory meeting. There is a lot of variation in advising procedures and Somervill will gather information to bring back to Council for a discussion of those procedures and possible need for change. East replied that the Council would be interested in discussing advising procedures after Somervill gets more information.
Walker announced the results of the Outstanding Master's Thesis Award competition. A faculty committee composed of Mingshui Cai (C&I), Keith Crew (Soc, Anthro, Crim), Roberta Davilla (Comm Studies), and Philip East (Comp Science) reviewed 19 nominated theses. The results are as follows: First Place: Jason Abbas (Biology; James Jurgenson, Advisor); Second Place: Tomma Lou Maas (English; Barbara Lounsberry, Advisor); and Third Place: Martha E. Colwell (HPELS; Debra Jordan, Advisor). The awards will be presented at the spring meeting of the UNI Graduate Faculty. In addition, the first place thesis was submitted to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools for its Outstanding Thesis Award competition.
East stated that Earth Science had raised the issue of 100g courses and Jr./Sr. level courses. There is confusion as to who can get into these courses. The university catalog states only freshman cannot register for 100g courses. Doug Koschmeder from the Registrar's Office was there to answer any questions. East asked if it was enforced that freshman couldn't register for 100g courses. Koschmeder replied that it was enforced and always has been. The new registration process does not allow freshmen to register because the computer can now tell how many courses they have and their class level. East asked if there was still a policy that students could get into courses by permission of instructor. Koschmeder said that there was no longer this policy. The Registrar sent out a letter describing the old prerequisite checking and the new checking procedure; however, there is still confusion. Students can only get into a class by the permission of the department head, but there are a few exceptions to this rule. Stefanich said that he had encountered faculty wanting to sign students in instead of the department head. Koschmeder replied that if the Registrar's Office sees a faculty signature they send it back for a department head's signature, but some departments do allow faculty to sign a student in. Walker asked if Earth Science was concerned about inconsistency. East said yes, and that they wanted to enforce one general statement in the course catalog. Osman asked if seniors could register for graduate level courses. Koschmeder replied that only if permission came from the department head. East asked what was Earth Science to be told. He brought up the minutes from 1985 which suggested that since 1977 all courses with a "g" should be held for Jr./Sr. level and consent, which actually means that anyone can get into the course. Walker stated that it wouldn't be wise to eliminate consent as an option. East replied that consent is always an option, it just doesn't need to be advertised.
Chao stated that all departments differ on who can get into a class. Chao asked if we standardize new courses do we go back and standardize old courses as well. Somervill stated that individual departments review electives and then decide what students can take. Osman asked if there was ever any feedback from departments on what should be labeled as "g." East said that if "g" is on a course it is more attractive to students, because they can get graduate credit. Decker commented that it is a quality issue from the graduate student perspective. Chao said that resources could be saved by combining courses, but what could be done to ensure quality. East said that the Graduate Council's policy would be enforced in the catalog. Stefanich restated that the consent of instructor be left as an option for students. Osman asked if inputs from departments could be gathered on this issue. East said that they were already supposed to have been. The Graduate Faculty can make sure that courses are graduate level and remove the "g" from non-graduate level courses. Decker asked if there was a difference between the university policy and the Graduate College course policy. Somervill said that it was a Graduate Council policy. East stated that changes made would be in the next University catalog. This issue will be discussed further.
Somervill gave suggestions for the next Graduate Faculty meeting from the Graduate Dean's Student Advisory Committee: affirmative action proposal--possible panel discussion, academic misconduct proposal--panel discussion, and demise of PhD.
Somervill stated that Stefanich should receive any other ideas. If a decision cannot be reached, then it will be considered to not have a Graduate Faculty meeting at all.
Decker moved to go into closed session. Motion was seconded and passed. Council rose from closed session and approved the committee recommendation that Shivesh C. Thakur (Philosophy and Religion) be named the 1997 UNI Distinguished Scholar.
Stefanich moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:51p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Renee Graves/Nicky Meints
Next meeting will be December 12, 1996 at 3:30 pm in Seerley 3