Graduate Council Minutes #894

March 16, 2000


Present: Coulter, Jackson, Reineke, Somervill, Spencer, Utz, Vajpeyi, Walker, Wallingford,
Absent: Bankston, Bozylinsky, Dolgener, Durham, Hanson, Smaldino, Wartick,
Visitors: Murray Austin-Geography, John Bumpus-Chemistry, Carol Cooper- HPELS
Action on minutes #893 were approved as published with the exclusion of the sentence "McDevitt also informed the Council that the College of Natural Sciences has a draft proposal on the web."
Somervill announced there were no announcement from the Graduate College at this time.
Somervill informed the Council that he and Dr. Walker have revised guidelines for the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. The name will be changed to the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Teaching Award. There is a minimum of five criteria that nominees must achieve (outlined in the attached proposal). After nominees are verified to meet the five criteria, they will be notified and asked if they wish to be considered for the award. If the faculty member agrees to be considered they will then be informed of additional supporting material from the faculty member and the department. The new proposal requires that the nominee be a member of the Graduate Faculty with a minimum of two years at UNI as a tenured or tenure-track faculty member. The nomination announcement will be sent to all Graduate Faculty and Graduate Students. Graduate Students have been left out in past years; the hope is this will bring more involvement from the Graduate Student body.
Austin mentioned that it should stated in the proposal that the faculty member has to be teaching graduate students. Somervill agreed and stated that this would be made clear in the cover letter.
Somervill introduced Dr. John Bumpus, a newly appointed member of the Graduate College. Bumpus, Professor of Chemistry, will work in the Graduate College 2/3rds time for 1½ years. Bumpus's position was created to facilitate an increase in grant proposals and federal funding. Bumpus stated that he was eager to help and meet anyone that is interested in submitting grants. Bumpus said that the University will be sending five individuals to a grant writing program at Iowa State University. While the cost of the program is high ($2,000 per person) the benefit of just one person getting a grant will make it worthwhile. Bumpus noted that there is also another program for a team of five faculty members at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The focus of this program will be grant writing in mathematics and science. Anyone interested should contact John Bumpus via email or at 3-7220. Somervill thanked Dr. Bumpus for attending the meeting. Renekie moved to accept Bumpus's reported, Utz seconded.
Austin stated to the Council the feeling that he has gotten from the faculty of the present day way the curriculum is being handled. Austin continued by saying that he felt that the current way that curriculum is handled is very intrusive, and second-guesses the faculty. Austin said that he thought that the choice of the course should be left up to the dept. heads. Also that once the curriculum is implemented it should not be looked over again by the University. Austin feels with these changes things will run more efficiently. Austin said that he has spoken with a number of faculty members and the consensus is; they agree with his views on the way that the present day curriculum is handled.
Austin felt that the Graduate Curriculum should be left up to the Graduate College, or those that have expertise in that field. Austin did state that he would prefer if the curriculum was broad in terms of the curriculum, but should be left up to the Council to decide on. Austin said that his perceptions from the dept. heads were that they would prefer this. Austin continued to say that there was also interest from the UCC (University Curriculum Committee) in a move to this. Which was surprising seeing that this is their job that we would be taking away. Austin also expressed a need that there should be a catalog on-line to help in this.
Sommervill asked the question of the role of the Graduate Council in this proposal. Austin said that this could be corrected with some word changes. Somervill states that he would like Vivian to look over this proposal and consult about the word changes that need to be done. Somervill continued and said that he would like the support of Austin and McDevitt on the changes.
Austin stated that he would like there to be a committee formed of members of the Senate, Graduate Council, Dept. Heads, and Secretaries to handle the technical points of the proposal. He would like everyone to work together to please everyone. The steps that he would like to take to get this proposal finished and through this year would be: reach a consensus, go to the Senate with the proposal, get Senate approval, form a committee to consult and work out the details of the proposal.
Jackson asked whether or not the committee would work on this proposal specifically or on the curriculum as a whole. Austin answered with the committee will work on whatever the Senate passes. Austin raised the question as to whether the Senate and the Graduate Council had the same power. Renekie stated that the proposal should go through the Senate and the Graduate Council. Somervill also agreed with this statement saying the proposal needs to be approved by both the Graduate Council and the Senate. Somervill continued by saying that the Senate has increasingly made decisions that effect the Graduate Programs and the role of the Graduate Council has been diminished.
McDevitt explained that this was not an attempt to go over the head of the Graduate Council, which was the reason that they came to Council at this time to discuss it with the Council. Austin added that there just need to be terminology that both the Senate and the Council will accept. Continuing by saying that anything in the proposal having to do with the Graduate College would have to go through the Graduate Council. He also raised the question of whether or not everything that is done at the University has to go through and be approved by the University Senate? As of right now that is the case, but there is a need for an amendment to the Constitution to change that. Jackson stated that there may be a need for the Graduate Council to come up with it's own curriculum proposal.
Somervill asked if the Graduate Council if would like to see the proposal before there was any action taken by the Senate. McDevitt informed the Council that the Senate would see the proposal on the April 24th. Austin asked if there would be a possibility of those interested in making the changes meeting and making them. Coulter asked if it could be done by email; the answer was yes. Coulter moved to make the committee that would meet to discuss the language and wording changes, Spencer seconded.
Walker asked the members of the Council to encourage department faculty to fill out and return the Faculty Research and Creative Activity Interest Survey. Somervill added that those on the Council need to get the word out in their departments, and encourage all faculty to respond. This survey has multiple uses: recruitment of graduate faculty and graduate students as well as information for the use of interdisciplinary school and graduate activity.
Renekie announced that the Annual Meeting of the Graduate Faculty will be on Thursday, April 13, at 3:30 p.m. in the UNI Gallery of Art. Refreshments will be available. Awards will be given for: Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, Outstanding Master's Thesis, Outstanding Master's Paper, and Outstanding Graduate Teaching. There also will be a Graduate Faculty Forum on the topic, "Graduate Education at a Comprehensive University: Asset or Debit, Boon or Bane?" Panelists and attendees will participate in what promises to be a provocative discussion.
Coulter announced a pilot project now underway in the Rod Library. I