Graduate Council Minutes #972

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March 13, 2008


The Graduate Council


Graduate Council Minutes No. 972

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Present: DeFrancisco, Gilpin (for Harton), Joseph, Jurgenson, Marshall, Nelson, Pohl, Waldron

Absent: Christ, DeSoto, Etscheidt, Leutzinger, Moon, Stalp, Wurtz

Guests: Schweiger


Chair Pohl called the meeting to order.

1. Approval of minutes from February 28, 2008.

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

Jurgenson voiced his concern regarding the Graduate Faculty Award. He did not think the group voted on a 10 year limit. It is not what he thought he was supporting. He felt some staff will not have the opportunity to chair 10 graduate projects in ten years. Pohl and DeFrancisco stated that is what the Graduate Council voted on and approved at the last meeting. Joseph stated it was intended to be as inclusive as possible. Jurgenson made a motion to revise to include faculty with 10 or more while at UNI. Nelson stated 10 included all graduate supervision regardless of thesis, non-thesis, etc as stated in proposal. Pohl stated we are voting to make it cumulative and not in last 10 years. The motion passed unanimously.


2. Graduate College Reports

Joseph reported all provost candidates have visited campus and encouraged everyone to submit their evaluations to the search committee. Deadline for evaluations is noon, March 14. Marshall asked when position was going to be offered. A preliminary report will be sent to president, although guidelines state Search Committee cannot make recommendation. The Committee would like the new Provost to begin his duties by July 1.

There was discussion regarding the Brown Bag Lecture Series. A faculty member had offered the Brown Bag presented by Julie Husband as extra credit. Some faculty needed to sit at the back of the room due to large number of students. There was discussion concerning whether the Brown Bag Lecture Series should include students or if the intent was for graduate faculty. The nature of discussion may change if not limited to faculty. Interested graduate students are welcome to attend, but staff should not offer the Brown Bag as extra credit. It was suggested that the next flier include the information that the Brown Bag Lecture Series is intended for graduate faculty and interested graduate students. Pohl stated the original intent of the Brown Bag was as a perk for graduate faculty.

The Provost has indicated he will attend Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting to present awards. He is also interested to hear the findings of the three task forces.

DeFrancisco updated the Graduate Council on the progress of the Search Committee for Director of Admissions. There are some well qualified applicants for this position. Joseph noted the recruitment of graduate students currently is decentralized and would like to see some aspect of recruiting to be centralized, such as through Admissions. The Search Committee was not allowed to change the parameters of the position; recruiting for graduate students is not currently listed as a job responsibility. Graduate programs may need to recruit their own students as programs are very specialized.

The PDA and Summer Fellowship Selection Committees met to discuss possible changes/refinements in the selection process. DeFrancisco will discuss Professional Development Assignments with David Walker and may bring changes requested by the PDA committee to the Faculty Senate.

Schwieger reported the Graduate College has received 42 applications for the Graduate Student Research Symposium scheduled for April 7 at 3:00 p.m. Graduate Student Appreciation Week is April 7 – April 11. On April 8 there will be a meeting open to undergraduate students to get information and ask questions about Graduate School. It will be held in Maucker Union and begins at 5:00 p.m.

There will be a reception for graduate students in the McLeod Center between graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 10.


3. No report from Chair of Graduate Faculty.


4. New Business

a. Pohl announced that each task force will be asked to present their preliminary findings at the Annual Graduate Faculty meeting on April 24. The meeting will also include a panel discussion entitled “Vision of Quality Education.” There will be four graduate faculty on the panel from across the colleges.

b. Strategic plan priorities - Nelson stated goals and objectives of the Graduate College were good and were still a priority. Joseph reported on email received from Stalp. Stalp would like the number of assistantships to be increased and to equalize graduate coordinator positions. Jurgenson felt criteria should be developed for these positions. Jurgenson also stated the Master of Science program does not have a graduate coordinator; instructors determine who will be in their labs.

Nelson felt there should be more emphasis on external sources and external funding. Joseph stated each college has their own development officer for funding. Joseph will send email to UNI peer institutions to get information on their development offices. Nelson thought the Graduate College and graduate faculty should identify what needs/wants should be supported. Pohl felt graduate assistantships should be first on the list. Joseph would also like to see faculty travel, student travel, student research and other items that have been cut from budget. Nelson felt research support may draw some interest.

DeFrancisco also stated that at times international students cannot receive help from the Graduate College when needed; International Studies and Registrar can sometimes help. Joseph is working with Heston and Kopper for Carver proposal.

Pohl felt distance education needs to be discussed; can be a source of revenue. Joseph stated she had met with College of Education; they were upset that summer special programs do not qualify for summer scholarship monies. There are local students enrolling in distance education courses. Concern was voiced if graduate education becomes a financial burden for students at UNI; they may seek distance education degree elsewhere.

Nelson suggested a task force next year could address issues with distance education. Continuing Education will present to the Graduate Council at their next scheduled meeting on March 27. CE wants to present to Graduate Council. The suggestion was made that perhaps two tasks forces could be created; one to address 2.31 in the Strategic Plan and another to address 2.3.2 in the Strategic Plan. Marshall stated a need to define distance students; currently the library requires they are currently taking classes through Continuing Education, and must live more than 15 miles from campus.

DeFrancisco discussed student outcome assessment; what is needed from Graduate College to encourage programs to do this. Do programs use external criteria or are there internal criteria specifications in place.

Graduate Council likes mission statement and feels it captures UNI. Faculty and staff need to know the mission statement for the Graduate College. This statement should be relayed to students and also how UNI is serving them through the mission statement. Nelson felt each department should be encouraged to integrate Graduate College mission in their individual programs.

Graduate Council suggested a Brown Bag Lecture Series could possibly be implemented for graduate students. It would need to cross departments. Joseph will ask Sorenson to gear her presentation to be interdisciplinary. Nelson stated faculty is busy, prioritize which is most important and this may keep some of them from attending the Brown Bag series for faculty. DeFrancisco suggest the Brown Bag series could be marketed towards the untenured; viewed as continued professional development.

Waldron stated she is untenured faculty and when she started she was asked to sign form to be placed on Graduate Faculty. New faculty is not aware of the sense of community among graduate faculty or what the Graduate College does. Nelson asked Waldron if she felt her experience was similar to her peers, she stated yes. Suggestion was made to have open house at Graduate College for new faculty.


Meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted



Machelle Stickler