Graduate Council Minutes #970

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February 14, 2008

The Graduate Council


Graduate Council Minutes No. 970

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Present: Christ, DeFrancisco, DeSoto, Etscheidt, Joseph, Jurgenson, Leutzinger, Marshall, Nelson, Pohl, Stalp, Waldron, Wurtz

Absent: Harton, Moon

Guest: Susie Schwieger


1. Chair Pohl called the meeting to order.


2. Approval of minutes from January 24, 2008.

Jurgenson moved to approve the minutes and Nelson seconded the motion. Minutes were approved as distributed.


3. Graduate College Reports

Joseph updated Council on AGEP. The NSF Math program for minorities is trying to expand into psychology. There are ongoing problems with funding. This program is for minority students who have completed BA. There is intensive mentoring at MA level. University of Iowa is institution with the largest number of students graduating with a PhD in math program.

Carver funding will be ending this year. The program has been very successful; therefore, additional funds are being sought.

DeFrancisco reported on the following:

The TOEFL minimum was raised for graduate admission and goes into effect after the beginning of the fall semester 2008. Positive feedback has been received regarding this change.

DeFrancisco has been meeting with the Registrar’s office to refine the student request form online in order to make them more useful.

DeFrancisco will remind departments in the fall to look at their catalog descriptions. Discrepancies in catalog descriptions can cause hang ups for graduate assistantships.


4. Chair of the Graduate Faculty Report

DeSoto reminded faculty about the Brown Bag Lecture Series on March 12. Julie Husband will be analyzing Frederick Douglas speeches. The final Brown Bag lunch this semester will be April 23. Sarah Sorenson from the Business College will be presenting. DeSoto used criteria that would appeal to all colleges and noted that Sorenson has won a teaching award. Joseph commented that the presentation by Eden was fascinating.


5. New Business

Joseph will not discuss the Graduate Assistantship policies at this meeting as was on the agenda.

A New Business item was added; creating a new policy for graduate assistants who may give birth or adopt a child during the course of a semester. Joseph distributed the proposed guidelines. Joseph has forwarded the policy to Human Resources but has not yet heard back from them. After much discussion, Joseph agreed to make amendments to policy and bring back to the next meeting of the Graduate Council.

6. Old Business

a. Temporary Graduate Faculty Status - Joseph changed wording on form to read “temporary graduate faculty status granted for each semester of adjunct employment at UNI.” Currently each semester departments must resubmit form if instructor is not a member of the graduate faculty. Pohl asked if individuals teaching 100g level courses can teach with BA degree. Joseph said this has not been allowed in the past. A Masters’ degree in the field is required. Jurgensen made a motion to accept the changes, DeSoto seconded. No discussion. Approved unanimously.

b. Task force updates – Pohl reminded everyone that if task forces intend to publicize data on Web, IRB approval is needed. Information collected for internal purposes only will not need IRB approval. Etscheidt will compile and distribute survey in next meeting after getting IRB approval. Stalp said their survey will only be used internally, Stalp was asked to remind committee members about publicizing results.

Graduate Program Quality Task Force – forming focus groups to see how grad faculty define quality graduate programs and ask them what they feel criteria should be for quality graduate programs. Focus groups will meet March 4 & 5 with four groups of 7 – 12. Several faculty have offered to serve as facilitators. Etscheidt suggested IRB approval as this is a good topic and may want to present at conference. DeFrancisco said the Task Force may share themes but not personal information. Joseph stated it has been an issue when focus groups are conducted if they have to sign confidentiality form. Joseph and Etscheidt suggested groups file IRB. Faculty should not be recruited for groups until IRB approval has been obtained and IRB approval in recruiting emails. Pohl and DeFrancisco thanked the Graduate Council for their input.


7. Additional Staff Report

Schwieger reported two of the three workshops have been posted on the Graduate College website. All workshops were successful and had 8 – 10 participants at each. Schwieger and graduate assistants are working on Graduate Student Appreciation week, April 7 – 11, 2008. Emails have been sent to staff and students will receive their emails on Monday. The first annual Graduate Symposium will be held on April 7; December 2007 graduates are also encouraged to participate. Governor Culver will declare this Graduate Student Appreciation Week to recognize the fine graduate students and faculty at UNI.

Marshall asked when the Annual Graduate faculty would meet and Joseph will have the date by the next Graduate Council meeting.


8. Meeting was adjourned at 4:18 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Machelle Stickler