Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #1039

October 23, 2014

Present:  Calderon, Caswell, Clayton, Coon, Deemer, Fontana, Gacke, Nesbit, Noh, Pohl, Power

Guest:  Pam MacKay, Scott Peters, Joy Thorson

Absent:  Beall, Chatham-Carpenter, Stokes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton.  Motion by Pohl to approve the minutes of the October 9, 2014 meeting; seconded by Calderon.  Motion approved. 

Graduate College Reports

On behalf of Chatham-Carpenter who was attending a Board of Regent’s Meeting, Coon reported that the Graduate College is looking at ways to make assistantships and scholarships truly a recruiting tool.   To do this, offers would need to be sent out prior to April 15 and before students have already decided to go somewhere else.  Offers that are made before April 15 must be in force through April 15, according to the Council of Graduate School’s resolution that virtually every graduate school in the nation subscribes to.  The Graduate College’s goal is to have programs submit all assistantship and scholarship offers to the Graduate College by April 1.  Offers will be sent as soon as they are received, and those received April 1 will go out by April 3.  This timeline will be one of the topics for discussion and feedback at the Graduate Coordinator meetings that will be held tomorrow and Monday.

A topic that Coon will be covering at the Graduate Coordinator Meetings is the TOEFL/ILETS and conditional admission policies that were passed by the Council.  The information has already been passed along to Kristi Marchesani and Linda Jernigan.  She will also get feedback regarding the electronic admissions process.

On behalf of Schwieger, Coon reported that plans for the November 5th Beyond Your Bachelor’s Graduate Programs Open House are well underway.  Information has been sent out to school districts within a 100-mile radius, as well as to local employers; radio and television advertisement has been done as well.  Most of the UNI graduate programs will be represented at the event.

Chair of Graduate Faculty Report

On behalf of Beall, Clayton reminded everyone of Sergey Golitsynskiy’s, upcoming brown bag entitled “A Big Data Approach to Measuring News Media Reliance on the Press Release” on Wednesday, October 29.  She encouraged Council members to invite colleagues and students to the event.

New Business

Discussion of and vote on proposed changes to the Curriculum Review Information Handbook

Clayton introduced Scott Peters and asked him if he would like to provide some background information on the curriculum handbook review process.  Peters explained that the handbook review came about as a result of cuts from a few years ago.  At that time a committee of faculty members looked for ways to give faculty better control over the curriculum.  The committee made a variety of recommendations, one of which was to go to a one-year curriculum cycle and annual catalog.  This would allow new curriculum proposals to originate every year.  The committee thought that the two-year cycles led to departments bringing forward proposals that were not quite ready so they wouldn’t have to wait two more years and maybe there was some reluctance to tell departments no and that they would have to wait two more years.  The other recommendation the committee had was to try to adjust the process so that curriculum committees, particularly the UCC, could function more as a committee that is concerned about the big picture view of the development of curriculum and not having to go through every minor change in course proposals.  The University Faculty Senate passed a resolution at the end of the last school year to make those changes.  As a result the curriculum handbook needed to be revised accordingly and other changes needed to be made to the handbook to bring it up to date.  The main substantive changes are those that outline the creation of the annual catalog.  For the undergraduate curriculum the idea is that certain editorial changes would be fully vetted by the college senates and once passed by the college senates they would not be reviewed again at UCC and Faculty Senate unless someone on those bodies or a department requested full review.

Clayton referred to handouts Coon provided that showed a timetable and flowchart for creating a one-year curriculum cycle and annual catalog. Coon commented that the department would be preparing Form A, which is the curriculum proposal that would go to the College Senate, then to the dean and so on.  She added that in the past she had provided a summary of the all the curriculum proposals for the Senate and assumed that she would continue to do so.  In response to a question regarding the length of the time it takes to complete the entire curriculum proposal cycle, Coon responded that it takes approximately 20 months from the beginning of a proposal to when it would go into; the catalog would be published February 1, going into effect in May.  Coon said the cycle isn’t really much shorter, but the main change is that proposals can now be started every fall and the catalog will be updated every spring.  Departments will not have to wait to bring forward a proposal.  There was a comment that in some cases there may have been pressure to push proposals through since it would be two years until another curriculum cycle.  With the one-year cycle there would be less chance of proposals being put through when they are incomplete or have unresolved issues.  Coon mentioned that the Board of Regents had wanted to approve curriculum at its April meeting and the down side to that is the fact that students have already registered by then.  She added that the Board is being asked to consider approving the curriculum at their first meeting of the spring semester, which is in late January or early February in order for the catalog to be timely.

Related to changes in duties for the Graduate Council as a result of a one-year curriculum cycle, Coon said that the Council would be considering curriculum every fall instead of every other fall.  There will be less curriculum at one time, but more often.  Peters said that the section in the handbook regarding consultation was rewritten quite a bit, mainly to stress that in the undergraduate component where it is possible to have editorial changes the consultation is still important and the college senates have to verify college consultation.  Coon reported that she asked the GCCC if they wanted to have a process parallel to UCC with a consent agenda and they did not feel the need for that.  She pointed out that the GCCC seems to get less editorial changes than the UCC; GCCC gets mostly genuine changes to course content, prerequisites or emphasis.

Coon pointed out that the Graduate Degree Program section of the revised curriculum handbook was copied in from the catalog, as that section was literally ten years old.  The main item Coon added to the section was some direction on what kinds wording need to be in a graduate degree statement.  It was noted that the curriculum forms are no longer be included in the handbook, they will be posted on the Provost’s website.  Departments will start their curriculum proposals using those forms and are encouraged to route them around by e-mail.  GCCC, UCC and Graduate Council will all be conducting their review based on what is in Leapfrog and college senates will actually be starting on paper because Leapfrog can only have a next catalog and a current catalog, so new information can’t be entered until the next catalog becomes the new catalog. 

It was noted that the consultation forms that are included on the Provost’s website can now be included in the appropriate proposals in Leapfrog.  This will allow the reviewing bodies to see that consultations were completed.  Additional discussion took place related to the consultation process and college timelines.

Motion by Power to endorse the proposed changes to the Curriculum Review Information Handbook; seconded by Pohl.  Motion approved. 

Thorson mentioned that the Graduation Fair would take place on October 29, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Maucker Union.

The meeting adjourned at 4:23 p.m.

The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Nedrow