Graduate Council Minutes #973

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March 27, 2008

The Graduate Council


Graduate Council Minutes No. 973

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Present: Christ, DeFrancisco, DeSoto, Etscheidt, Gilpin, Joseph, Leutzinger, Marshall, Nelson, Pohl, Waldron

Absent: Jurgenson, Moon, Stalp, Wurtz

Guests: Schweiger, Bodensteiner, Johnson, Cowden


Chair Pohl called the meeting to order.


1. Approval of minutes from March 13, 2008.

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


2. Graduate College Reports

Joseph updated the Council on her meeting with the Development Office. Students may submit their thesis and dissertations through Proquest digitally. A small task force will be formed and will include Janet Witt from the Graduate College and Cynthia Coulter from Rod Library. If anyone is interested in serving on the task force, Joseph asked that they contact her.

In the past the Graduate College has not supported ICN distance education courses with summer scholarship funds. Full-time students taking ICN courses will be covered. Future student awards may include graduate level student teaching and research.

The proposal for parental support has been reviewed and returned from UNI’s attorney and the Human Resources office. The council will again look at this proposal.

DeFrancisco reported the committees for improving summer fellowships and professional development assignments. Please forward any suggestions to DeFrancisco; any changes would be presented to Faculty Senate for discussion. The Graduate College Curriculum Committee has chosen to add at-large members; current membership is not enough for 2nd readers. The handbook will be revised over the summer. Any recommendations for at-large members should also be forwarded to DeFrancisco. Pohl suggested voting be done via e-mail since this is the last meeting of the Graduate Council for this year.

Schweiger has received a proclamation from the Governor designating April 7 – 11, 2008 as UNI Graduate Appreciation Week. The Graduate Student Symposium will be held April 7 and 46 students have signed up to participate. On April 8, undergraduates are invited to Maucker Union Ballroom to participate in “Thinking About Graduate School”. There are additional events throughout the week that are listed on the Graduate College website. Schwieger invited faculty to look at proposed graduate student awards information and send comments to her via email by May 1st. Pohl thanked Schwieger for all her work with graduate students.


3. Report from Chair of Graduate Faculty – DeSoto thanked Pohl for planning the Annual Graduate Faculty meeting. She also expressed appreciation for the changes made to the Milestone Award. DeSoto suggested the Council look at Constitution in order to address the loss of graduate student involvement the last several years. Sarah Sorenson will be presenting the final Brown Bag for this year on April 23.

4. New business – Marshall introduced guests from Continuing Education – Jim Bodensteiner, Kent Johnson and Belle Cowden. Distance education started in 1915 and worked primarily with K – 12 schools. In 1993, the ICN became available and WebCT in 1999. Most instructors of distance education courses now offer courses via ICN or WebCT. Bodensteiner stated the graduate programs on campus are small; putting instructors in an ICN classroom allows graduate education to be offered to off campus students. He does not believe that Continuing Education uses a larger percentage of adjunct instructors than the programs being held on campus. Continuing Education also offers summer teaching opportunities for staff. Departments must approve courses before Continuing Education can make them available. Courses are approved by instructor, department head, department dean and graduate dean. The College of Education offers masters’ degrees to teachers through Continuing Education which allows them to get a degree without having to come to campus. Some classes do come to campus for a portion of their class. Continuing Education staff talked about programs that are offered and staff involved. Schwieger asked about feedback from graduates – has it helped their career, etc. Bodensteiner felt individual departments should do graduate follow-up. Schwieger asked why students dropped from their courses and Johnson felt it was due to women having babies or course work being more demanding than anticipated. Bodensteiner felt in general graduate students are more mature. Attrition rate is 50% for undergraduates and approximately 80% for graduate students through Continuing Education.

DeFrancisco stated task force is currently looking at quality graduate education and if cohorts drive what courses are taught. Staff may be teaching outside their department. Pohl discussed models for continuing education; some fields would lend themselves to different models. Etscheidt said distance graduate education should be supported by faculty and distance teaching is different than classroom teaching. Bodensteiner felt those wanting to be involved in distance education should speak with him or Johnson. Gilpin felt departments wanting to offer distance education should approach Continuing Education rather than vice versa. Bodensteiner stated he will meet with department heads to discuss distance education and possible benefits. Often there are not enough students interested in a particular field to offer the program on campus and as a distance education degree. Continuing Education cannot start a program without approval from department.

Pohl announced that the task forces would make a short presentation at the annual Graduate Faculty.

Meeting adjourned – 4:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted



Machelle Stickler