The Graduate Council
Graduate Council Minutes No. 1003
September 8, 2011
Present: Bartlett, Botzum, Caswell, Clayton, Coon, Etscheidt, Hays, Husband, Iqbal, Licari, Nelson, Pohl, Power, Schuchart, Wartick (for Bauman)
Absent: Matvienko (for Waldron on PDA)
Guest: Susie Schwieger
Clayton welcomed the new council members; introductions followed. It was noted that alternates from last year could remain or new alternates could be selected; new members would need to designate an alternate, which could be done via e-mail.
Pohl nominated Clayton to serve as chair and Hays to serve as vice-chair of the Graduate Council for 2011-2012. Clayton and Hays accepted the nomination. Power seconded the nominations. Motion passed.
Minutes of the April 14, 2011 were reviewed and unanimously approved.
Licari welcomed everyone to the meeting. He announced that next week the Graduate College would hold a training workshop for graduate coordinator secretaries on Tuesday, September 13. Graduate coordinators would have the opportunity to attend a training workshop on either Thursday or Friday, September 15 or 16; all meetings would take place in MSH, Room 1. Licari encouraged council members to mention the workshops to their colleagues, especially those who may be interested in becoming graduate coordinators.
Licari mentioned that there would be several other Graduate College events coming up, including IRB training on 9/21. Schwieger noted that an Ethics in Scholarship for Graduate Students workshop would take place on Monday, 10/3 in Maucker Union; a workshop by Marybeth Stalp and Carissa Froyum, entitled “How to Effect a Creative Writing Group” on Wednesday, 10/26 from 2:00 to 3:00 in Baker 315; TAGS (Thinking About Graduate School) on Wednesday, 10/12 from 3:00 to 4:30 also in Maucker Union. She informed everyone that a new component of TAGS would be a Graduate Program Fair, with a representative there from each graduate program to connect with students early on and let them know what each program has to offer.
It was noted that due to the expiration of Melissa Beall’s term on the University Curriculum Committee (UCC), the Graduate College would need to appoint a representative. Regarding the Graduate College Curriculum Committee (GCCC), there is a total of eight representatives; Library (1), Graduate Council (2), College Representatives (5-one from each college). Representatives for these committees need to be members of the Graduate Council. The role of the Graduate Council representatives on the UCC and GCCC is to attend the meetings in order to ask questions and to ensure the integrity of graduate curriculum. The UCC meets every Wednesday until approximately the end of November. In the past, the GCCC met on Friday afternoons, although a day and time for upcoming GCCC meetings has not yet been determined.
Licari announced that after serving in an interim position, Coon is now the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. He congratulated Coon and also congratulated her on receiving the inaugural MWOne Academic Advising Award. A reception honoring Coon for the award will be held next week.
Coon will be e-mailing faculty and graduate coordinator secretaries with the dates and times for the upcoming workshops. She noted that the content of the secretary workshops would be slightly different, as it will have more information regarding the paperwork process.
Informational items related to the SIS were distributed for review. Coon reported that toward the end of the first week of the semester, it was evident that enrollment was down and students had not been admitted for various reasons or had not registered yet. The decision was made to admit students with incomplete applications as non-degree graduate students for one semester so they can register. Coon asked Council members to convey back to their departments that any applications waiting for a decision need to be processed as soon as possible and that non-degree students will not be counted as enrolled in a graduate program this semester. Licari noted that graduate enrollment numbers are down at Iowa State and also at Iowa where there has been a fairly long-running trend of increase. He suspects that enrollment is down across the country. He does not have a breakdown by enrollment, status or program however, he can provide a breakdown as soon as it becomes available.
Regarding registration in the new SIS, Coon went over repeat rules and pointed out that the system will not give credit for more hours than a course can be taken for. If a non-repeatable course is repeated, credit is not given for both courses even if the two attempts are for different degrees. She added that the default is that credit is given for the best grade. She strongly urges everyone to start checking students’ courses now and read the course descriptions to make sure the course description corresponds with the way the course is being used in the student’s program. She also mentioned that an alert is built in to show when more hours are being taken than the catalog allows. Licari added that the key is if the program doesn’t match curricular policy, then changes need to be made and curriculum changes need to go in now for the next catalog. Coon stated that students should not be taking courses as a graduate student that they took as an undergraduate and if the course is different, it needs to be numbered differently. She concluded by saying that the processing of student requests is still on hold until she is notified from ITS that old student requests have been converted to the new system. The priority at that point would be requests by December graduates.
Nelson circulated a copy of the Fall Events for Graduate Students flyer. She said that Anita Gordon in the Office of Sponsored Programs would like to create a webpage dealing with ethics and scholarship. Gordon is asking for input regarding this type of webpage; Nelson will e-mail Gordon any topics she receives. Nelson is working on Brown Bag presentations and any suggestions for speakers can be directed to her.
Late Applications to Graduate – Proposal to Require Graduate College Approval
Coon distributed possible language for a policy that would require Graduate College approval for late graduation applications in order to remedy the problem of late application without penalty. It was noted that the $100 penalty for late application approved by the Graduate Council last year did not move forward. There was a question regarding what the criteria would be for approving/disapproving such requests. Coon responded that the default answer would be no, unless there were unforeseen circumstances. She said applying late does not benefit the student and allows very little time to address any program of study issues, etc. Late application also puts incredible pressure on the Registrar’s Office to get a batch of late students graduated. The new SIS will let students know that it is time to apply for graduation; a way to have the system notify students when they are getting close to graduating and need to apply if they haven’t already is being worked on. After additional discussion, Coon said she would bring the revised proposal to the next meeting.
Proposal to No Longer Require Graduate College Approval for Category M of Student Requests (those involving (1) declaring electives and (2) declaring thesis/non-thesis option).
The Council considered whether or not there is a need for the Graduate College to approve requests in Category M that deal with declaring electives and declaring thesis/non-thesis option. By allowing this step to be bypassed, the student request process would be more streamlined and move quicker for the student. Included in this would be notification for the Registrar’s Office if the request can be processed.
Husband motion made a motion to approve the Graduate College to submit a PAR for auto-forwarding of type M student requests from the Associate Dean to the Registrar’s Office; seconded by Etscheidt. Motion passed.
Representation on the Graduate College Curriculum Committee (GCCC)
As noted previously, there is a need for Graduate Council representation on the GCCC. Licari commented that this representation provides a balancing view for discussion and when proposals come back to the Graduate Council for consideration, the representative has background information. Licari will take nominations via e-mail and within the next week or will appoint someone if no nominations are received.
Volunteers Needed for Student Awards Committees
Coon said that ideally, there should be three representative for each awards committee, for a total of 12 committee members. Student awards committee members do not need to be from the Graduate Council. The submission deadline for student awards applications and materials is September 26; at this point the committee for the Master’s Thesis Award would be the priority. It was pointed out that serving on such committees is a great way to get new faculty involved. Anyone interested in serving should contact Coon.
Implementation of the Strategic Plan
Licari said that over the next year the goal would be the implementation of the Graduate Education Strategic Plan. He added that the Graduate Council is the appropriate body to establish the actions steps to accomplish the plan’s goals and objectives and asked that time be taken over the next couple of meetings to think about items that would help accomplish them. Clayton added that it is important as individuals to go through and prioritize.
Hays made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Etscheidt.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:51 p.m.