Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #1063


Graduate Council Meeting

February 9, 2017


Present:  Al-Mabuk, Beall, Berendzen, Dhanwada, Edmister, Fontana, Juby, Ostapyuk, Pohl, Rod-Welch, and Ross.

Absent: Cutter, Calderon, Igou, Isakson, and Schwieger.

Chair Pohl called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.

There was a motion to approve the minutes of the January 26 meeting. The motion passed.


Graduate College Reports:

Dhanwada reported the following:

  • The University of Northern Iowa will host UNI Day at the Capitol from noon to 2 p.m., Monday, February 13, at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. Dhanwada, Cutter, Pohl, and Beall will represent the Graduate College over the general theme of “Graduate Education for the Greater Public Good”. A new flyer to highlight UNI graduate programs and also inform legislators about the impact that UNI students and faculty have on the state was developed for the event. Areas highlighted include:  Economy, Community, Innovation, Education and Scholarship.
  • Budget news:  UNI will have a budget cut of $2 million this fiscal year. More cuts could occur as an additional $11.5 million needs to be cut from the State of Iowa’s Department of Management; it is not known how much further UNI’s budget will be cut.  Both of these cuts are to this year’s budget and are permanent. More information will be forthcoming on how to manage these shortfalls in budget. We expect to get the details of our 2018 budget as the legislature begins budget talks for FY18.

Ross reported (behalf of Schwieger):

The 10th Annual Graduate Student Symposium is on Tuesday, April 4. A handout that includes information to promote the event was distributed at the meeting.

Pohl reminded everyone of the following upcoming event:

Next Brown Bag Seminar is at 12:30 on Tuesday at Rod Library (room 287). There will be a presentation on challenges in addressing plagiarism in education and the speaker will be

Dr. Helen Harton. Both students and faculty are strongly encouraged to attend.

New Business:

(a) Resolution to Oppose HSB-84

  • Graduate Council statement to support collective bargaining was discussed.  The original statement was revised and much discussion occurred on how the Graduate Council could help provide support for this important issue to proceed

Discussion occurred on the legislators’ recent bill titled HSB-84, which intends to significantly reduce the collective bargaining power of the UNI faculty with the state. It was noted there was considerable discussion currently going on across the campus as well as in the statewide media. There is a general feeling among the faculty that UNI will be in a bad situation if the bill passes. The areas of impact for faculty include course loads, procedures for staff reduction, health insurance, and salaries and wages.  UNI Faculty Senate has already expressed opposition to HSB-84 stating that the bill is detrimental to the faculty, and hence the students. Chair Pohl asked if the members of the Graduate Council would agree to forward a Statement of Opposition to HSB-84 and send it to the Iowa Governor. All members expressed concern for the bill’s passage and unanimously agreed to endorse a Statement of Opposition to the bill.

Old Business:

Review of Mission, Vision, Goals and Objectives.

Discussion occurred on the revised documents of the Graduate College Mission, Vision, Goals and Objectives. Members of the Graduate Council offered additional comments to finalize these documents. All documents were unanimously approved by the Council as shown below.

DRAFT GC Strategic Plan

Mission Statement

Graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa fosters individualized student inquiry through high quality research and practitioner programs in an inclusive community that cultivates lifelong learning and engagement.

Values of Graduate Education


Advance interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activities and programs

Diversity and Inclusion

Affirm diversity and inclusion and recognize graduate student excellence


Offer opportunities for professional growth for graduate students and faculty that supports and values research, creative activity, and teaching

Faculty Support

Provide opportunities for professional growth to graduate faculty that supports and values research, creativity activity and teaching.


Allow program access to students through on-campus and distance education programs

Academic Integrity

Ensure academic integrity in scholarship, creative activity and teaching by offering rigorous and intellectual research and instruction

Academic Freedom

Ensure academic freedom by giving voice to differing opinions

Vision Statement

Graduate Education at the University of Northern Iowa will offer a personalized, inclusive graduate environment for scholar and practitioner students looking for a high quality interdisciplinary, applied, professional, or academic/theoretical education.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: To meet the emerging demands of society create innovative, interdisciplinary graduate programs in an inclusive and diverse environment.

Objective 1: To foster development of interdisciplinary graduate programs and/or certificates.


Objective 2: To facilitate collaboration between graduate programs and community-based organizations.


Objective 3: To foster the engagement of graduate faculty and students in community outreach.


Objective 4: To work with the UNI Foundation to develop fellowships and scholarships to recruit a diverse and inclusive student body.   


Goal 2: To support, sustain and enhance the academic quality and rigor of UNI’s graduate programs.


Objective 1:  To increase the opportunities for all graduate students to conduct research and creative activity with the guidance and support of faculty.


Objective 2: To regularly offer professional development workshops for graduate students.


Objective 3:  To establish and maintain Student Outcomes Assessments for all graduate programs.


Objective 4: To provide and support opportunities for all graduate faculty to present research on campus.  


Goal 3: To ensure that UNI continually identifies and meets the needs of the larger community at the local, state, national and international levels with its graduate programs.


Objective 1: To assess current workforce trends and support graduate programs in their efforts to respond to those trends.


Objective 2: To enhance the responsiveness of graduate education to the needs of the larger community.


Objective 3: To ensure that resources are obtained and made available to support, sustain and enhance graduate programs.


Goal 4:  To ensure that resources are obtained and made available to support, sustain and enhance graduate programs.


Objectives 1: To seek funding through internal and external partnerships to support academic quality for graduate programs.


Objective 2: To encourage recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty dedicated to

graduate education.


Objective 3: To work with the Office of Sponsored Programs to support graduate faculty and students in their efforts to obtain external funding.


Objective 4: To work with UNI Foundation to increase the number of graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships available to graduate students.


Goal 5: To promote UNI’s student-centered graduate programs to all internal and external stakeholders.


Objective 1: To share graduate program stories and activities with stakeholders.


Objective 2: To promote graduate student achievements to the University community as well as prospective students.


Objective 3: To promote UNI graduate programs regionally, nationally and internationally.


Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on February 23, at 3:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury