Graduate Council Minutes #995

The Graduate Council

Graduate Council Minutes No. 995

October 14, 2010

Present: Clayton, Coon, Coulter, Czarnetzki, Etscheidt, Licari, Matvienko, Milambiling, Pohl, Schuchart, Wartick, Waldron, Wurtz

Guests:  Schwieger

The meeting was called to order by Clayton.  Motion by Czarnetzki to approve minutes.  Etscheidt requested the section of the minutes regarding students in discontinued status be clarified.  Waldron seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

Licari reported the strategic planning process has begun.  As a part of the planning process, the Graduate College did an inventory of where graduate programs are, target enrollments, sense of capacity, and if programs have room or interest to grow.  The Graduate College intends to do another inventory this year as part of the strategic planning process.  Strategic plan should include information about graduate student recruiting.  It also needs to be determined which programs are interested in recruiting international and minority students.

Coon will be contacting departments to encourage programs to make changes during next curriculum process in order to reduce the number of student requests.  All programs of study need adjustment.  Any changes made during curriculum process can be implemented into SIS template.  Allowing students a list of courses that can be applied to their program of study will help with the student requests.

Schwieger is planning the annual symposium; creative performances will be held in Davis Hall on April 11 and oral and poster presentations will be held in Maucker Union on April 13, 2011. 

Waldron stated the next Brown Bag will be held in the Presidential Room on Tuesday, October 19 at noon.  Scott Peters will be the presenter and will be discussing issues current in Iowa; retaining judges.  Waldron said the Strategic Planning Committee has met and want to finish by March 4, 2011.  The new strategic plan will be presented at the annual faculty meeting held in the spring.  The committee plans to solicit feedback with two open forums.  The first one is scheduled for October 27 for faculty and staff; the second meeting will be on November 3 for graduate students.   Both meetings will be held in MSH 001; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Clayton opened old business tabled from last meeting.  Currently there are three deadlines to apply for graduation.  The first deadline is one month prior to end of semester and applications received by this date will be listed in the graduation program.  Students are allowed to file graduation applications until the close of graduation which is usually one month after graduation.  At the last meeting it was approved to allow students to file electronically through the end of the semester.  Motion by Waldron, seconded by Pohl to take off the table.  Coon corrected herself to say graduation fee is $50 not the $90 given to Council at last meeting.  Coon had met with Patton to discuss allowing students to carry over graduation fee to following semester or reduced fee for second graduation application.  Patton stated any fee changes would need to be approved by the Board of Regents.  Any changes will not take effect until summer 2011.  Patton is checking with other two state universities regarding deadlines and fees.  About 85% of the University of Iowa students apply timely and 15% are required to pay a late fee.  Patton wants the guidelines to apply to graduate and undergraduate students but does not favor carrying over the fee into the next semester.  Patton stated if it is obvious that a student has applied to graduate in error, the fee will be returned.  Patton will try to implement what is approved by Graduate Council.  Czarnetzki asked if undergraduate deadlines are now the same as graduate deadlines.  Coon was not sure if undergraduate programs have to approve graduation when paper application is filed.    Etscheidt did not understand why Patton felt students would be rewarded for failing (comps, not finish thesis, etc).  Etscheidt asked about a late fee for filing.  Waldron asked if late applications would be electronic or paper.  Coon will get additional information on the process.   Etscheidt felt students paying late fee was appropriate because of increased workload.  Patton would not deny degree to anyone who needed degree for employment opportunity or admission to graduate school.   Etscheidt stated new system would notify student when they needed to apply for graduation.  Wartick felt communication needed to be improved in addition to fees and deadlines. The new SIS will have automated emails to remind students of deadlines they need to meet.  Clayton stated the initial proposal was the last day of finals weeks would be the deadline with the deadline for the summer session as the last day of class.  Today’s discussion is allowing students to file application late but would also have to pay late fee.  The Graduate Council will need to draft a proposal regarding the consequences for filing late.  A late fee of $100 was suggested by Clayton; discussion on whether the $100 includes the graduation fee or is in addition to graduation fee.  Milambiling stated her department secretary sends a reminder to all students in the department who are eligible to graduate two weeks prior to deadline.  Milambiling is comfortable imposing late fee since students have received a reminder.  Licari stated in the future the SIS will remind students to apply for graduation via e-mail.  Wurtz asked if students could be made to wait until the next semester to graduate.  Clayton replied the consequences of not graduating could be severe, so loophole must be available.  Waldron felt if a late fee is implemented, it must exceed the cost of paying graduation fee twice.  How late will applications be accepted?  Etscheidt suggested the deadline could be one week before graduation closes.  A deadline will not be enacted, rather the late fee will determine if a student wants to file.  Motion by Pohl that students will file paper applications after deadline, must have approval from advisor and pay the late fee.   Etscheidt seconded.  Motion approved.

Non-English speakers applying to UNI must have either taken the TOEFL  or IELTS.  Some departments waive this requirement.  Perhaps there should be catalog language to set out waivers.  Clayton noted one example would be student who received undergraduate degree in an English speaking university.  Pohl suggested if a student works in an English speaking environment.  It is not stated in catalog that requirements can be waived.  Programs have been allowed discretion to waive.  Licari asked if programs want to continue with the ability to waive or make it absolute that it cannot be waived.  Milambiling stated students able to speak conversationally with excellent English may not be able to write quality graduate papers and feels that requirement should be maintained.  Wartick feels different programs may require different levels and does not feel being able to waive should be discontinued.  Clayton says TOEFL is an indicator but not the only indicator.  Wartick asked if catalog could instruct applicants to check with program to determine proficiency level.  Coon stated it is fairly routine to waive TOEFL if student received undergraduate degree from UNI.  Licari would like to allow departments to have the discretion of admitting students and change the policy in catalog.  Currently departments can have stricter admission policy than what is required by Graduate College.  It could be stated in catalog that TOEFL or IELETS may be waived and list possible circumstances. Milambiling used to work for ETS and wrote the TOEFL.  Students talk among themselves and there can be problems if one student had to take test and another did not.  Etscheidt felt if departments adopt stricter standards the policy across campus is not consistent.  Milambiling stated students who fail GRE already shop around to find department that does not require GRE and is afraid the same thing will happen with international students.  Standards need to be consistent within program.  Waldron asked if there are other things that would allow waiver besides attending English speaking university.  Pohl said they have students who have worked in English areas; they must submit paper or do video conference to prove proficiency.  Clayton asked if passing CIEP would be another way to not have to take TOEFL.  The current policy is confusing to new graduate coordinators; policy should reflect what is being practiced on campus by programs.  Matvienko asked if anyone knew what Iowa or Iowa State requires.  A new policy could state TOEFL or IELTS requirement may be waived by program if following criteria are met: (criteria to be determined).  Language will say waiver is the discretion of department.  Etscheidt feels two years requirement at English speaking university and degree is arbitrary, no research to back it up.  Licari stated language needs to include “May,” so discretion of departments can continue.   Clayton asked if we are trying to recruit more international students and if we are making admission more difficult, are we failing in drawing more international students.  Licari stated new policy would leave determination at departmental level.  Milambiling stated her department will admit provisionally.  Licari said the department can require TOEFL even if some of criteria are met.  Pohl asked if two years at English university be face to face or will online count also?  Pohl asked if policy language could be written and then could be voted upon.  Motion by Pohl, Etscheidt to table discussion.  Licari will check with other universities to see what they require. Motion approved to table discussion. 

Coon asked for volunteers to serve on student award committees.  There are three committees needed and each committee will have three members.  Coulter asked if outstanding research papers could be digitized at library.  Etscheidt volunteered to serve on dissertation committee.  Members are still needed for the research paper and thesis committees.

Meeting adjourned at 4:58


Respectfully submitted,


Machelle Stickler