Graduate Council Minutes #988

Graduate Council

Graduate Council Minutes No. 988

December 10, 2009

Present: Buckholz, Bybee, Clayton, Coon, Czarnetzki, Etscheidt, Fecik, Joseph, Harton, Schuchart, Waldron, Wurtz

Absent: Coulter, Moon, Pohl, Stalp, Thompson

Guests: Gordon, Nguygen, MacKay

Meeting was called to order at 3:37 p.m. by Chair Waldron. Motion to approve November 12, 2009 meeting minutes. Motion approved.


Clinical faculty had questions regarding whether they could serve on thesis or dissertation committees. Clinical faculty are eligible for associate membership and can only serve on committees as an additional member over and above the requirement.

Clinical faculty is a new designation; they are more than adjunct instructors but are not tenured faculty.

According to the Graduate Faculty Constitution committee members must be current in their field. Emeritus faculty privileges allow them to serve on committees given requirements of current faculty.

Graduate College Reports

Joseph reported a graduate student was charged with plagiarism and admitted it. Faculty member informed student she would be receiving an “F” for the course; student withdrew from the course. The student has a “W” on her transcript. The faculty member recommended suspension; suspension generated automatic appeals hearing. The committee found in favor of the student; she was not suspended and due to policies an “F” cannot be entered on her permanent record. Dr. Joseph asked for input from Graduate Council. Since the Appeals Committee found in favor of the student nothing will be entered in the student’s permanent record regarding the plagiarism incident. Current policy states doing anything beyond “F” on assignment goes into policies. A consistent policy needs to be developed; policy would allow the Office of the Registrar to place a disciplinary “F” on a student’s record. The use of the word flagrant is too broad and not defined enough. Discussion also on how often a student should be allowed to retake the same course and how much time should be allowed to pass between retakes.

Coon reported all colleges made it through the curriculum process intact. The College of Natural Sciences still has to go through the process.

Research Misconduct Policy – Anita Gordon

The Research Misconduct Policy has two pages that will be placed in policy manual and 18 pages to be used as procedure guide. These are guidelines that are mandated by federal government. The policy has to include 1) name of deciding official, 2) name of research integrity official, 3) allegations need to go in inquiry committee (at least 3), and 4) investigation

committee in inquiry substantial (at least five members, not on Inquiry Committee). The Provost will decide who it goes to; multiple systems have complicated this process. A faculty panel will be developed and inquiry and investigation committees can be drawn from this pool of faculty members. The most recent issue is deciding what is and what isn’t research. Currently undergraduates go through their own system. Other issues are the need for a single reporting system. This policy would be restricted to funded research meaning federally funded and only doing exactly what federal requirements state. UNI doesn’t have many federally funded projects so it will have a smaller reach. Gordon would like one standard procedure but they will start with just federal projects. Currently there is no formal policy or panels but may have sanctions. Clayton suggested a person or office be designated to deal with disciplinary issues when they arise. Gordon would also like to see education on misconduct and launch website. Clayton asked who brought forth the allegations. Gordon replied everyone is required to report; should list a phone # to contact on a website. Buckholz asked for a definition of federally funded research. Asked if it would include stimulus money, faculty salaries, tuition subsidies. Gordon answered this would be a tough definition. Czarnetzki asked if it would be easier to apply to everyone than define federally funded.

Gordon wanted feedback on how to define research. Do we want other forms of scholarship included? Policy Review Committee member said should just apply to federally funded research. Wants to work up from the base to include all projects. Clayton asked who would be eligible to serve on a committee for misconduct. Different professors may have limited knowledge about subject but don’t want peers to serve on committee. Gordon stated members can be from off campus as well. Wurtz stated faculty would need to be trained for each case.

The Registrar’s office is currently working on common course numbers. Their office will also enforce any course listed in catalog that states it cannot be repeated for credit. The Registrar’s office will either block registration or send note to student stating they can only receive credit according to guidelines. Graduate Council will also be looking at possible language changes in the course catalog for graduation requirements.

Regarding the culminating project, the non-thesis option is noted on the transcript as “research paper.” This does not reflect all of the different types of non-thesis options completed. Options can be added to the system beyond thesis/non-thesis. Waldron and Etscheidt stated they have survey information from last year’s task force of what projects/papers are done for graduation as the non-thesis option. It was felt the task force could be reinstated to look at data already gathered. Additionally, departments not responding to the original inquiry will be sent a question regarding types of non-thesis completed. Notations as “comps” could be portfolios, presentations, etc.

Waldron felt there was some concern over registering for graduation. Requests for graduation filed in the last four weeks have to be processed manually. Most requests are granted. This restriction could be lifted with the new system.

Meeting adjourned. The next meeting of the Graduate Council will be January 14, 2010.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristen Granzow

Graduate College Student Assistant