Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #1068

Graduate Council Meeting

September 14, 2017


Present:  Al-Mabuk, Berendzen, Bullard, Curran, Cyphert, Edmister, Igou, Olivares, O’Loughlin, Pease, Pohl, Schupanitz, Schwieger, Weeg.

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

Meeting began and the introduction of the Graduate Council members followed.

There was a motion to approve the minutes of the April 13 meeting. The motion was voted on; motion carried and the April 13, 2017 minutes were approved unanimously.


Graduate College Reports:

Chair Pohl welcomed the new interim Dean of the Graduate College, Dr. Patrick Pease and interim Associate Dean of the Graduate College Dr. Gabriela Olivares.

Dean Pease expressed his gratitude to the committee for the warm reception given as new Interim Dean of the Graduate College.

Reports by Patrick Pease:

  • New funds have been allocated for graduate students. They can apply for up to $300 to cover expenses toward conference travel and research. The money can be spent for various kinds of field work as well as library research. Application deadlines are Sept. 29th for fall and Feb. 2 for spring.
  • Several graduate forms are now online. These include: Faculty forms, Student forms, Graduate Faculty and Associate Graduate Faculty nomination forms, Thesis Committee Approval form, etc. It is expected that the online access to these forms will make the paper work much easier.
  • The Graduate Dean and the Associate Provost positions are expected to be split in the coming months. A job ad is out for the Associate Provost position. Once the position is filled, a search for a stand-alone Dean will start. The Dean position is expected to be announced around December followed by a search in early spring. The type of search will be (internal or external) will be determined later.
  • There has been discussion at the upper administration on minimum enrollment for courses offered at UNI. The Graduate College will not be involved in defining the minimum enrollment numbers. This decision will need to be done at the academic department level where respective graduate faculty members are housed.  There is concern among faculty that this policy is not consistent across the university, particularly when it comes to undergraduate and graduate credits associated with the same course. Dilemma: Are there alternate classes that the graduate student can take to avoid interruptions in academic progress in the event the class is canceled?  

Reports by Gabriela Olivares:

  • In a resolution by GCCC, MA in Spanish degree program (including optional Spanish Teaching emphasis) has been suspended. The decision was based on recent decrease in student applications and enrollment. The program will have staffing changes in the upcoming years and the faculty is studying ways to reinvigorate the program.
  • MS in Athletic Training (Post Professional Masters of Science Degree) degree program has been terminated. This is in response to newly established accreditation requirements. The National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Directors and Commissioners of the CAATE (accrediting body) has established new regulations for the professional degree in athletic training at the Master’s level. According to the new requirements, students who wish to become certified by the Board of Certification and practice as an athletic trainer must complete a Professional Master’s Degree in Athletic Training (M.A.TR.).

Report by Susie Schwieger:

  • The Graduate Students Social Mixer is on Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 4:00-6:00 pm in Rod Library (Room 287).
  • Thinking About Graduate School (TAGS) is on September 25 from 3:00 pm-4:30 p.m. in the Maucker Union Ballroom. This event is an overview of the graduate application process followed by Graduate Faculty and Graduate Student panels.
  • The Professional Development Workshop is on Monday, September 25, 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the Oak Room, Maucker Union.
  • Personal Statement Workshop is on Tuesday, October 3 at the UNI Writing Center.
  • Job Search Workshop is on Wednesday, October 4.
  • Graduate Student Newsletter will be now quarterly. The next issue will come out at the end of September.
  • The Annual Graduate student Symposium is on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Reports by Gayle Pohl:

  • Graduate College Brown Bag Lecture Series: A list of speakers was sent out this semester. The first lecture was very successful and the ones that follow are expected to be successful too. The upcoming lecture is on Global Collaboration projects by Drs. Leigh Zeitz and Ping Gao on Sept. 28. Everyone is encouraged to attend the presentation.
  • Election of Chair and Vice-Chair: Nominations were asked for the positions of Graduate Council Chair and Vice Chair. Gayle Pohl was unanimously elected as the Chair and Radhi Al-Mabuk was elected unanimously as the Vice-Chair.

New Business:

Discussion occurred on the process for Associate Graduate Faculty Status. There have been some changes in the hiring process this year to allow adjuncts to teach classes at UNI. The new hires will have to show very specific credentials tailored toward departmental requirements. For example, instructors have to have a degree above the level in which they teach. In addition, the terminal degree has to be in the field of teaching or have a minimum number of hours in relevant course work. This is in line with the requirements established by the Higher Learning Commission. Accordingly, the Associate Graduate Faculty status will also see some changes in hiring criteria. The future hiring process will include additional checks by the Graduate College. Dean Pease asked the members of the Graduate Council if they agreed to pull back from the existing process and merge it with the new centralized process to avoid redundant paper work.

The discussion continued and questions arouse: Do we need a separate classification of Associate Graduate Faculty? Is it necessary to have a new hire classified as an Associate Graduate Faculty?  Sometimes departments like to supervise an Associate Graduate Faculty by a full Graduate Faculty member. Sometimes a person is hired to teach only one class year after year. The benefit of processing a new hire as an Associate Graduate Faculty is to avoid asking the same questions year after year if the person is qualified to teach. The full term renewable appointees should not have to provide evidence every year. Some renewable appointees even have advanced degrees so they may not need to fill redundant forms every year to fill temporary term positions.

The general comments from the Graduate Council members are that some kind of Associate Graduate Faculty process is necessary. Some restrictions could be added, for example reviewing credentials after certain number of years or they could be only associated with a few courses. Some courses might have flexibilities where no further review is needed.


Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be on Sept. 28, at 3:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rubina Chowdhury