Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #1066

Graduate Council Meeting

March 23, 2017


Present:  Beall, Berendzen, Calderon, Cutter, Edmister, Fontana, Igou, Juby, Ostapyuk, Pohl, Rod-Welch, Ross, & Schwieger.

Absent: Al-Mabuk, Dhanwada, & Isakson.

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

There was a motion to approve the minutes of the March 9 meeting. The motion passed.

Graduate College Reports:

  • Cutter reminded the group that the Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting is on Thursday, April 27. The program will start at 3 p.m. The general theme is educational value of graduate students coming to a comprehensive university. Both graduate students and coordinators will speak at the event. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
  • Schwieger mentioned that the first Annual Graduate Student Visit Day is on Friday, March 31. Campus tours and department visits have been arranged for prospective students. There will be a graduate student panel, and lunch at the Piazza dining center. Twenty eight (28) students are coming from a variety of programs, including communication studies, women and gender studies, music, speech language pathology, and curriculum and instruction. The registration will start at 8:30 a.m. in Scholar Space. Department visits will start after 1 p.m.
  • The UNI Graduate Student Symposium is on Tuesday, April 4. There are 27 poster presentations from multiple disciplinary areas, starting at 11 a.m. Also, there are 7 creative performances (12-2:30 p.m., Great Reading Room, Seerley Hall) and 33 oral presentations (1-4 p.m., Maucker Union) on various topics. There will be special guests speaking at the program, including President Nook and an alumni panel. The alumni panel will share their UNI experiences and tell how their graduate degrees have helped them promote the public good. Ellen Neuhaus from Library will speak on UNI Scholar Works. Everyone is encouraged to publicize the event to their departmental colleagues and students.
  • The first alumni issue of the UNI Graduate College News is now being finalized.  

Old Business:

  1. Strategic Plan: Discussion of Plan feedback from the Graduate Faculty meeting:

University of Northern Iowa
Graduate College Strategic Plan, 2017-2022


Vision Statement

Graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa will offer a personalized, inclusive environment for students looking for high-quality programs in interdisciplinary, applied, professional, creative, and research-based studies.

Mission Statement

Graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa fosters student inquiry through high quality research and practitioner programs that cultivate lifelong lifelong learning and engagement.

Values of Graduate Education at the University of Northern Iowa

Academic Freedom

An assurance of freedom of expression in teaching and scholarship


Commitment to create options for program delivery and financial accessibility

Diversity and Inclusion

A diverse and inclusive environment that recognizes graduate student excellence


Participation in intellectual discovery to make positive changes in local and global communities

Academic Excellence

Committed to academic excellence and ethics in scholarship, creative activity and teaching through rigorous and intellectual research and instruction

Faculty and Student Development

Opportunities for professional and academic growth that support and values research, creativity activity, teaching and leadership.


A commitment to advance interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activities and programs


Goal 1: 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.


  • Expand opportunities for graduate students to present their research
  • Host and promote an annual conference/symposium for graduate students
  • Establish a site on the Graduate College website to highlight publications and conference presentations of graduate students and faculty
  • Promote the Graduate College as a repository for lists of faculty seeking        

      graduate students to assist with research or creative activity to broaden/expand their experiences

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


  • Compile a list of workshops and professional opportunities and display on website a semester in advance
  • Solicit additional ideas from the graduate community for workshops each semester
  • Work with campus partners to develop programming that provides support for students in writing, scholarship and professional skills

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


  • Make sure to enforce the established deadline for graduate programs to submit SOA reports to the College
  • Continue to work with Assessment Council to review reports and provide feedback to graduate programs
  • Work with programs to have them “Meet Expectations” for all criteria

Objective 4: To provide and support opportunities for graduate faculty to share research with colleagues and graduate students.


  • Schedule and host Brown Bag sessions for faculty to present and discuss their research/scholarship
  • Provide opportunities/venues for faculty to engage/participate in webinars, symposiums, e-conferences, conventions, and other events allowing for global interaction
  • Request presentations of faculty who have recently been awarded PDA awards and summer fellowships for presentations
  • Partner with all relevant centers on campus to provide teaching, scholarship and professional development support to faculty


Goal 2: To create an inclusive and diverse graduate environment for graduate students and faculty.

Objective 1: To encourage recruitment and retention of a diverse graduate student body.


  • Work with Graduate Coordinators and Graduate Admissions Committees to welcome diversity and inclusion in their admission materials and website information
  • Set aside a pool of graduate assistantship funds to use in recruiting minority and international students
  • Work with Office of Admissions to develop opportunities for recruiting non-majority students
  • Work with campus partners to develop programs that provide support for non-majority students
  • To consistently post inclusive materials on all graduate social mediums


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


  • Encourage departments to work with College Deans and Provost’s Office to identify programmatic needs and work with graduate faculty to make sure Best Practices are followed in hiring diverse faculty
  • Work with programs to promote and welcome diversity and inclusion on their websites, especially when addressing their graduate programs (ex. Statement on website that encourage students of various ethnic backgrounds to apply…)
  • Host an annual Graduate College social event to build community among graduate faculty


Objective 3: To work with the UNI Advancement to grow fellowships and scholarships to recruit a diverse and inclusive student body.


  • Have ongoing conversations with UNI Advancement to share the vision and mission of the Graduate College and relate stories of the UNI Graduate community
  • Continue to develop and grow potential donors for Graduate College
  • Work with UNI Advancement visit potential donors


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

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


  • Identify and facilitate meetings with potential internal partners to collaborate with programs to provide academic experiential opportunities for graduate students
  • Identify and facilitate meetings with potential external partners to collaborate with programs to provide academic experiential opportunities for graduate students
  • Advocate for graduate students with respect to student travel and academic support with offices across campus


Objective 2: To work with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to support graduate faculty in their efforts to obtain grant funding.


  • Work to advertise funding opportunities available to graduate faculty in a more effective and consistent manner
  • To promote opportunities/events offered through OSP (ex. Campus Conexus) that allow for increased faculty collaboration


Objective 3: To work with UNI Advancement to increase the number of graduate
assistantships and tuition scholarships available to graduate students.


  • To work with UNI Advancement to fundraise for graduate assistantships and scholarships
  • To work with UNI Advancement in developing email lists for contacting alums to help with fundraising


Goal 4: To ensure that UNI continually identifies, fosters engagement in, and meets the emerging demands of society at the local, state, national and global levels with its graduate programs.

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


  • Evaluate workforce trends using Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) data and other information, that would be helpful, in generating conversations in starting or revising graduate programs or certificates
  • Make connections with local/regional organizations and interested graduate programs to enhance or modify current programs to better meet workforce trends


Objective 2: To foster the engagement of graduate faculty and students in the global community outreach.


  • Facilitate conversations with globally-affiliated organizations that are willing to partner with graduate faculty and/students
  • Identify the needs and wants of the graduate faculty and/or students with respect to the organization as well as the level of involvement the organization desires
  • Facilitate initial meetings between the graduate faculty and/or student and

Objective 3: To facilitate collaboration between graduate programs and community-based organizations.


  • Identify community organizations and appropriate contacts that are willing to partner with graduate programs
  • Identify the needs of the graduate program with respect to the

organization and the level of involvement the organization desires

Objective 4: To foster development of interdisciplinary graduate programs and/or certificates.


  • Engage in discussions with various graduate programs to determine where innovative and sustainable interdisciplinary graduate program or certificate can be developed
  • Offer graduate assistantships, when possible, to these interdisciplinary graduate

                        programs to recruit new students

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

Objective 1: To gather activities/stories of graduate program that can be shared with stakeholders.


  • Enhance Graduate College website to promote student and faculty achievement
  • Send bimonthly Newsletters (Grad Student News) to campus community
  • Send annual Newsletter (Graduate Alumni News) to alumni and other external stakeholders


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


  • Establish an Alumni focused page on the Graduate College website
  • Work with University Relations to write and send news releases about graduate student accomplishments to their hometown newspaper


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


  • Increase Graduate College online presence
  • Advertise graduate programs through professional associations


Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on April 13, at 3:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury