Graduate Council Minutes #925

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April 24, 2003

Present: Garry Bozylinsky, Cynthia Coulter, Dennis Dahms (for Tom Fogarty), Philip East (for Ben Schafer), Deborah Gallagher, Kim Maclin, Ardith Meier, Sharon Smaldino, Dixon Stuelke, Frank Thompson, Richard Utz, David Saiia

Absent: Granberg-Rademacker, Hansen, Pohl, Rajendran, Somervill, Walker

Visitor: Fred Behroozi

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 PM by David Saiia, Vice President of the Council in the absence of the President.

After a brief discussion, Frank Thompson agreed to serve as secretary in the absence of the regular secretary from the Graduate Dean's office.

Members of the Council reviewed the minutes of the meeting of March 13, 2003. Sharon Smaldino moved that the minutes be approved as presented. Richard Utz seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

The Council took up the issue of approval for a cooperative thesis research proposal through the Midwestern consortium CSUI. Fred Behroozi made a presentation concerning the history, benefits and major elements of the CSUI proposal. CSUI is a consortium of 11 different Midwestern colleges that have joined with the Argonne National Laboratories to develop educational research programs available to graduate students and faculty. CSUI was incorporated in 1965 and offers research support to member institutions through internships, lectureships and project assistance. UNI currently pays $700 per year in membership fees to CSUI. After a discussion of the CSUI proposal in regards to graduate student thesis supervision and institutional support, Deborah Gallagher moved that the CSUI proposal be approved by the Council. The motion was seconded by Sharon Smaldino. The motion passed unanimously.

Next the Council took up the issue of the formal treatment of graduate students in the master's degree program in Computer Science. Philip East presented the Council with information related to an apparent misstatement of degree requirements for the master's degree in Computer Science (which is a Non-thesis, research-based program). There was a discussion of how this error may have occurred, and why it should not be corrected immediately by the administration to the way it was originally approved by the Graduate Council without further action. The UNI administration appears to have taken the position that even if there is an administrative error in the way a degree program is stated in the University Bulletin, it remains regardless of whether it defeats an action taken by the Graduate Council as an elected body of the UNI faculty. Some Council members noted that such a policy is at variance with the notion of faculty shared governance. If the approved wording for the University Bulletin can be changed administratively and held definitive for the statement of graduate programs, it obviates the need for elected body approval. It was moved by Frank Thompson that research be conducted on the issue of what was approved by the Graduate Council for the master's degree program in Computer Science by consulting past minutes. Pursuant to the distribution of the old minutes to the Graduate Council membership, this issue will be presented at the next Council meeting in Fall 2003 as one of the first items of business. The motion was seconded by Richard Utz. It passed unanimously.

The presentation concerning the work of graduate students with the Graduate Council by Dixon Stuelke was deferred to our next meeting.

With respect to new business, David Saiia presented communication he had received concerning the statement of goal 2.2 in the revised UNI Strategic Plan related to scholarly activity. Upon review of the restatement by the current Ad Hoc Strategic Planning committee, faculty expressed concern about the narrowness of the definition of "scholarship" and the apparent blending of one or two concepts as the sole representation of scholarly activity. After considerable discussion Frank Thompson made the following motion:

The Graduate Council through letter, strongly recommends that the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee revise its wording for goal 2.2 such that it state:

"Continue to support the enhancement of scholarly and creative activity among faculty and students."

As a separate goal item, it state:

"Seek to increase externally funded activities."

Also to be included in the Strategic Plan as a separate goal item distinct from goal 2.2, it should state support for:

"Activities linked to providing experiential learning opportunities to students."

The items above should not be conflated into goal 2.2, but should be included in separate and appropriate passages in the Strategic Plan.

The motion was seconded by Richard Utz and passed unanimously.

Under announcements, Deborah Gallagher brought up the issue concerning the dates of final deadlines for dissertations and theses and the confusion over who sets these dates, how they are communicated and whether there may be differences across campus. The Council determined that this issue would be addressed at its next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:38 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Frank Thompson.