Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #1045

Graduate Council Minutes No. 1045

April 23, 2015

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

Absent:  Chatham-Carpenter, Deemer, Gacke, Stokes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton.  Motion by Calderon to approve the minutes of the April 9, 2015 meeting; seconded by Pohl.  Motion approved.

Graduate College Reports

On behalf of Chatham-Carpenter, Coon conveyed Chatham-Carpenter’s thanks for the Council members’ service this year.

Coon informed the Council that the Commencement ceremonies would take place in the GBPAC both Friday and Saturday, with a reception to follow.  Beall will be representing Graduate Faculty on the platform at both ceremonies.

Chair of Graduate Faculty Report

Beall reminded Council members of the last brown bag lecture of the year coming up on April 29 and added that there were additional faculty interested in presenting.  Those faculty will present in the fall.

Related to the resolution supporting the need for a full-time Graduate Dean, Beall reported the resolution had been sent forward to Mike Licari and Jim Wohlpart. 

Clayton added that she was involved in a meeting with Jim Wohlpart in which she represented graduate faculty and graduate council, Scott Peters was there as Chair of the Faculty, Tim Kidd represented Faculty Senate, Barbara Cutter and Joe Gorton represented United Faculty.  During this meeting the idea of separating the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs & Graduate Dean was discussed.  Everyone in the meeting agreed that the position was too complex for one person to handle effectively.  No decisions were made, but Wohlpart did express interest in further discussing the issue.  Clayton mentioned that it would be beneficial to invite Wohlpart to a Graduate Council meeting early in the fall semester to discuss this issue further. (update:  the Provost will be meeting with the Graduate Council on September 24th)

Old Business


Recommendation on wording change to Student Academic Ethics Policy (section V part D – Academic Sanctions for Level Four Violations,

The current policy (last approved August 6, 2012) provides examples of level four violations for plagiarism in a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, but not in the culminating project for a non-thesis student.  The current policy also does not specify the extent of the plagiarism that characterizes a level four violation, other than “quoting directly or paraphrasing without proper acknowledgement of the source and/or presenting the ideas of another as your own in a senior thesis, master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, in scholarly articles submitted to refereed publications or conferences as a student”

Following the tabling of this agenda item at the last meeting, Clayton contacted Tim Kidd to inform him that a proposed change to the policy would be coming to the Faculty Senate.  Kidd recommended that the Council outline specific issues that need to be addressed in the policy and he also recommended that the Council make a request directly to the Faculty Senate that the changes be forwarded to the EPC (Educational Policies Commission) for its consideration.

In response to a question regarding whether or not disciplinary action appears on a student’s transcript, Clayton responded that if a grade of “F” is assigned there is now a pull-down menu to make a selection as to why the student received the grade.  It was also noted that there is a comment section when the grade is assigned. 

Extensive conversation took place on various topics including the levels of violations, ambiguity of the current policy, citations within students’ work, the role of the faculty member in making sure policies are followed, as well as other universities’ policies.  Clayton will be taking the suggestions and comments to use for a draft of concerns for the Faculty Senate to pass on to the EPC.

Motion by Beall that following the Council’s review of its recommendations related to the Student Academic Ethics Policy, those recommendations will be forwarded to the Faculty Senate, and specifically to the EPC for consideration; seconded by Caswell.  Motion approved.

New Business

Two Graduate Council members needed to serve on the GCCC next year

Coon informed Council members that Pohl had volunteered to serve on the GCCC for next year.  The second member will be determined at a later date.


Request from Helen Harton and colleagues regarding timing of GA offer paperwork

After approval by the Council to change the deadline for Graduate Assistantship offer paperwork to April 1, Helen Harton brought some concerns to Clayton’s attention.  Nesbit said that in the Department of Psychology, the April 1 deadline is not feasible.  Since the Psychology graduate programs are designed to prepare students to go on to PhD programs, the department does not know about the quality of their candidate pool until after April 15, which is the deadline for acceptance into PhD programs.  The April 1 deadline has been a problem for their program and possibly others.  Nesbit continued to say that the assistantship is used as a recruitment tool and because of the April 1 deadline, the Psychology graduate program is not able to use the assistantship as a recruitment tool.  A brief discussion took place regarding the rationale for the April 1 deadline, which is outlined in the policy.  Coon pointed out that with the April 1 deadline in place she believes there have been far fewer declines of offered assistantships.  In addition, admission of students is taking place 2½ to 3 weeks earlier than in the past.  It was also pointed out that Chatham-Carpenter has worked with departments when there have been issues with the April 1 deadline. 


Motion by Power to table further discussion of Harton’s concerns related to the April 1, Graduate Assistantship offer paperwork deadline until the Council meets in the Fall semester; seconded by Caswell.  Motion approved.


Clayton announced that Caswell would be retiring on April 30.  The Council thanked Caswell for his service to the University, the Graduate Council, and his dedication to graduate education.
The meeting adjourned at 4:52 p.m.


The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, August 28, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115.


Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Nedrow