Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #1042

February 12, 2015

Present: Beall, Calderon, Caswell, Clayton, Coon, Deemer, Fontana, Kucuksari, Nesbit, Noh, Pohl, Teske

Guests:  Susie Schwieger, Joy Thorson

Absent:  Chatham-Carpenter, Gacke, Power, Stokes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton.  Motion by Pohl to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2014 meeting; seconded by Calderon.  Motion approved.

Graduate College Reports

On behalf of Chatham-Carpenter, Clayton announced that on Monday, February 16, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., the group from UNI Facilities Services will present on the process, benchmarking, assessment and outcomes related to space utilization on campus. 

Coon received notification today from Tom Reburn in the Office of Admissions that due to process improvements made in late January, the turn-around time for applications and materials being available for viewing in OnBase is one business day.  Implementation of the Graduate College’s assistantship and scholarship imaging process will begin during the week of February 16.  The Graduate College has held two graduate secretary training sessions in order to cover the details of the changes and answer any initial questions.  This information will also be covered at the upcoming Graduate Coordinator meetings.  Eventually, all forms that come to the Graduate College will be handled through OnBase instead of paper. 

Coon is currently serving on the Commencement Committee and reported that information related to Spring graduate student commencement will be posted on the Office of the Registrar’s website as it becomes available.

Related to student paper awards, Coon and Clayton gave an overview of the student paper review process and thanked those Council members who volunteered to serve in this role.

Coon informed the Council that a question had arisen about whether a student getting a doctoral assistantship needs to actually be registered for classes for their doctoral degree, or if students working on a second master’s degree should be considered to be eligible for assistantships.  After brief discussion, Clayton encouraged Council members to talk with their colleagues to get their thoughts and the issue would be an agenda item for the next meeting.

Schwieger reported that related to the Graduate Student Symposium taking place on Wednesday, April 1, students have currently registered for 11 oral presentations, 5 literature reviews, 14 research and 4 creative performances.  The final registration deadline is Friday, February 27.  Schwieger will send reminders to faculty to encourage their students to participate.

Chair of Graduate Faculty Report

Beall reported that Elise DuBord’s, January 22 brown bag was informative and well attended.  The brown bags held on February 4 and 10, featuring a panel discussion related to teaching 4000/5000-level classes, were interesting and also well attended.  Mark Myers from the Department of Biology will present the next brown bag on Monday, March 2 from Noon to 12:50 p.m.

New Business

UNI Day at the Capitol (Monday, February 16th)

Clayton, Coon and Pohl will be participating in UNI Day at the Capitol on Monday to share information and answer any questions regarding UNI and the various graduate programs offered.  The Graduate College has provided promotional items to distribute at this event. 

Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting (Wednesday, April 8 from 3-5 p.m.

In order to promote broader attendance at the Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting, the date has been moved to earlier in the semester on April 8.  The meeting will take place at 3:00 p.m., with a reception to follow in the Great Reading Room.  Coon added that two Council members were needed for the Distinguished Scholar Award Selection Committee; Pohl and Calderon volunteered to serve.  Fontana also volunteered to serve if needed.  Coon thanked them for their willingness to serve.

Discussion of Catalog Language Relating to Culminating Projects for Non-thesis Degrees

Clayton started the discussion by saying that non-thesis masters programs can have a variety of different types of culminating projects.  As a result, there has been an attempt to explain this in the catalog.  It has come to Clayton and Coon’s attention that the catalog language as it is currently written may need to be clarified.  Clayton asked for the Council’s feedback regarding the current language that is one of the Graduation Requirements in the Graduate Information section of the UNI Catalog: 

"Complete at least one research paper or project with a substantial written report or internship with a substantial written report, as required by the student's graduate program. This document must be approved by the department and permanently filed with the departmental office."

Coon mentioned that she was present for the discussion of the current catalog language that came about because the original language gave the research paper as the only option.  Some of the reasons for changing to the current language were to provide more options for recording on the transcript other than completion of research paper and more options for listing as requirements on the advisement report.  The change was also suggested in order to more accurately reflect the variety of types of culminating projects being required by programs.  At that time there were many programs that did not require students to complete a research paper; an example would be programs that required an internship and then a substantial report on the internship.  At the time, the completion of a research paper was being recorded on the transcript since it was the only option.  Some programs did not want that notation on the transcript as the research paper was not a graduation requirement.  

After considerable discussion the Council decide on revised language to be included in the UNI Catalog.

Motion by Pohl to approve the revised catalog language to read: “Complete at least one substantial written report documenting research, a project or an internship, as specified by the student’s graduate program.  This document must be approved by the department and permanently filed with the departmental office;" seconded by Nesbit.  Motion approved. 

Coon will share the revised language with the appropriate graduate coordinators and report back if there are any comments or concerns.

The meeting adjourned at 4:44 p.m.

The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, January February 26, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115.


Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Nedrow
Secretary