Graduate Council Minutes #920

Back to minutes

November 14, 2002

Present:           Bozylinsky, Coon (for Hanson), Coulter, East (for Schafer), Fogarty, Granberg-Rademacker, Jepsen (for Saiia), MacLin, Meier, Rajendran, Somervill, Utz, Walker                                

Absent:            Gallagher, Pohl, Smaldino

Visitors:           Kent Johnson (Continuing Education), Phil Patton (Registrar)


Coulter moved, and Utz seconded a motion to accept minutes #919.


Somervill informed the Council that the Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) had met the previous day (11/13). The DAC is formed by a master’s, and when appropriate a doctoral, representative from each of the five academic colleges. Because of low attendance, the DAC has yet to elect graduate student representatives to serve as Council members. However, this will likely occur at the December DAC meeting.


Walker announced that the competitions for Outstanding Master’s Thesis, Outstanding Creative Thesis, and Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation were completed, and awardees have been identified.


Nineteen theses were nominated for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award. The winners follow:

  • First Place:      Crystal Stallman (English; Dr. Richard Utz, faculty advisor)

“Good Stuff for Wise Men to Laugh At or Honest Men to Take Pleasure At”: The Arthurian Tradition During the Renaissance.

  • Second Place:  Brian Andersen (Biology; Dr. Kurt Pontasch, faculty advisor) Organophosphorous Insecticide Contamination in Streams: Insects as Bioindicators.
  • Third Place:     Jennifer K. MacConnell (Psychology; Dr. Helen Harton, faculty advisor)

The Effects of Individual Factors on Punitive Attitudes Toward Juvenile Offenders.

Special thanks to the committee of reviewers for this award: Duane Bartak (Chemistry), Otto MacLin (Psychology), A.J. Meier (English), and Ellen Neuhaus (Library)


Jane Caraway (Educational Leadership; Dr. Susan Etscheidt, faculty advisor) was awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award for A Qualitative Inquiry into Why and How Special Educators Leave the Field.

Special thanks to the committee of reviewers for this award: Robert Boody (Educational Psychology), Kim MacLin (Psychology), and MD Salim (Industrial Technology).


Corrine Holke-Farnum (English; Dr. Vince Gotera, faculty advisor) was awarded the Outstanding Creative Master’s Thesis Award for Sugar Bread.

Special thanks to the committee of reviewers for this award: Richard Glockner (Theatre), Jennifer Mishra (Music), Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure (English), and Aaron Wilson (Art).


Fogarty began the calendar discussion by suggesting that the Council consider sending formal word to the Provost regarding the proposed calendars. East reported results from his survey of CNS faculty. Responses indicated that CNS faculty members were generally NOT in favor of the 15-week calendar proposal, mostly because the 15-week proposal does not provide enough time for students to reflect on information learned. Positive responses generally highlighted additional time for research. East explained that the Biology department voted 10-4 against the 15-week calendar. Fogarty commented that the most problematic issue with the 15-week calendar seems to revolve around out-of-class activities that are a part of class (i.e., labs, practicum, rehearsal, projects, internship). Further, he noted that the Council message to the Provost should include this issue. Coulter reminded Council members that the Library voted 15-2 against the 15-week proposal. Fogarty noted that CSBS was generally in favor of the 15-week proposal; CNS was generally negative. Utz highlighted CHFA reactions: Music was mostly against; English did not take a formal vote; Modern Languages saw some advantages because of language context. Further, he indicated that additional information about the rationale for the 15-week proposal was warranted. Somervill reminded the Council that the MBA generally saw the 15-week proposal negatively. Jepsen noted that the economics department was not in favor of the 15-week proposal. Patton explained his understanding of the motivation behind the 15-week calendar: first, this model would allow the University to “think outside of the box” in terms of considering means of maximizing efficiency; second, new models would allow faculty to consider particular benefits. Patton noted that the real absolute is that the President’s cabinet remains adamant that the academic calendar is based on a minimum 75-day calendar. Achieving a 75-day calendar may include one of the following options: taking the week of Thanksgiving off, in favor of starting the semester 2 days early or teaching over Labor Day and Martin Luther King Day; compressing finals into a Tuesday through Friday schedule, allowing Monday as an instructional day. Utz and Coulter reiterated that their concerns revolved around how the rationale for alternative calendars was presented. Fogarty noted that additional instructional periods brought up the question of compensation. Patton noted that compensation was not a calendar committee issue. Further, he explained that formal proposals would likely be on the docket for the December meeting of the Faculty Senate. Patton does not expect that a vote will be taken before January. Discussion ensued about what Graduate Council sentiments should be communicated to the Faculty Senate, and whether or not there should be a formal Council vote taken on the matter.


Coulter moved, and Coon seconded, that the Graduate Council communicate its approval of the 15-week calendar as proposed by the University Calendar Committee. Graduate Council members voted against communicating approval by a vote of 7 to 2.


Walker noted that one individual should be delegated to draft and circulate the proposed memo, indicating disapproval of the 15-week calendar, before the next meeting. Fogarty agreed to do this.


Fogarty began discussion about Council organization. He informed Council members that the issue of quorum no longer needed to be addressed, since Council members had been elected from CHFA and COE. Student members will likely be elected by the spring semester. Further, Fogarty noted that the tests he had run sending information to Council members had shown that Acrobat pages allowed for the most accurate transfer of information.


Fogarty noted the next agenda item, the limitation of 100-g course instruction to individuals with graduate faculty status. Patton explained that the Registrar’s office was working diligently to examine transfer graduate work. He noted that transfer work must be taught at the graduate-level, by that institution’s graduate faculty, and be applicable to graduate degrees at that institution. Thus, the Registrar wants to make sure that UNI follows similar guidelines. Patton specifically suggested that the Registrar’s office begin to tag 100-g courses that are not applicable to graduate degrees. Somervill explained that quality control required that only individuals with graduate faculty status, or those granted temporary graduate faculty status, could teach graduate level courses. In addition to tagging courses that are not applicable to degrees, Somervill explained that graduate faculty status should be better defined in the catalog. Patton noted additional concern with the workshop and “Studies in” courses. Fogarty expressed his concern that some members of the regular faculty did not have graduate faculty status. Somervill explained that temporary graduate faculty status did not dilute courses or degrees. Johnson added that he thought tagging made sense, and explained the procedures that Continuing Education uses to approve graduate credit. Utz suggested that departments that continually requested temporary graduate status should consider their hiring procedures. Somervill noted that hiring is and at departments’ discretion, and temporary graduate faculty status can be renewed on a semester basis. Further discussion ensued about the nature of courses that may require tagging. Coon requested more information about the “Studies in” issue. Somervill explained that experimental courses (i.e., 159-g, 259) could be offered three times before they must go through curricular processes. “Studies in” courses are not subject to this limit.


MacLin moved, and Rajendran seconded, to authorize the Registrar, in consultation with academic departments, to tag 100-g and 200-level courses that, in particular, are not intended to be applicable to degree programs. Graduate Council members voted unanimously to accept this motion.


Coulter moved, and MacLin seconded, to go into executive session.


Coulter moved, and Rajendran seconded, to come out of executive session.


Coulter moved, and MacLin seconded, that the Council accept the recommendation that Richard Utz be named UNI Distinguished Scholar 2003-2004. Graduate Council members voted unanimously to accept this motion.


Walker explained that the $500 can be set up as either a cash prize or can be accepted as research funds. Somervill explained that funds to reinstate the previous practice of paying a semester’s leave would be unlikely.


Special thanks to the committee of reviewers for the 2003-2004 Distinguished Scholar Award: Curtiss Hanson (Chemistry), Thomas Fogarty (Geography), David Saiia (Management), Donna Schumacher-Douglas (Curriculum & Instruction), and Joseph Smaldino (Communicative Disorders).


There were no items for announcement.


UNI Distinguished Scholar Award and student awards will be publicized when presented next spring.


The meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Sara Granberg-Rademacker

Program Assistant