Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #836

December 8, 1994


Present: Chao, Crew, Das, Durham, East, Fahmy, Hill (for Clohesy), Ishler, Lew, Quirk, Safford, Walker
Absent: Decker, V. Jackson, Somervill, Yohe
Visitors: Nancy Marlin (Vice President and Provost); Al Hays (Public Policy)
Minutes #835 were approved as published.
Walker distributed copies of the Graduate College Strategic Plan update which had been approved by the officers of the Graduate Council and the Graduate Faculty. He noted that Graduate Council items do get publicized, as the Distinguished Scholar Award recipient was in the last issue of the Campus News Network and the Outstanding Thesis Award will probably be in the next issue. He reported that both the PDL and Summer Fellowship selection processes have been completed. There were 24 PDL's recommended--18 regular, 2 for advanced degrees, and 4 special ones. There were 80 projects involving 83 faculty who applied for Summer Fellowships, of which 36 faculty were funded--14 were awarded 8-week fellowships and 22 were awarded 4-week fellowships. He noted that this was the strongest, most competitive pool of applications and some good proposals were not able to be funded.
Quirk inquired as to information on the graduate student outcomes assessment. None was available at this time.
Fahmy reported that there were four dissertations submitted for the Outstanding Dissertation Award. There had been some interesting work done and good efforts, but the Committee decided not to make an award this year. Walker asked if it would help the review process if there were a separate committee for the theses and dissertations. Fahmy said that the committee was not over-burdened at this point, but if more papers are submitted that might be considered.
Al Hays gave a presentation regarding the graduate program in Public Policy. A copy of his remarks is attached. Safford asked if the orientation of the program had changed. Hays replied that not all graduates have positions which conform to the classical description of the degree, that of providing technical and analytical support to decision makers, but some are choosing related careers due to locality and availability. Fahmy asked about the growth potential of the program. Hays said that building a program is a slow process and that current efforts will hopefully produce results 2-4 years from now. Quirk inquired as to the diversity of students in the program. Hays said that there are three Chinese students and one student from Ghana. Fahmy asked how many applications were received and how many were turned down. Hays said that he did not have a count, but that he would like to have a larger pool, especially for the assistantships. East inquired as to the percentage of full-time students who are on support. Hays replied that about half were supported as the program has 8 assistantships and 2 minority assistantships. East also asked about the number of faculty available for thesis assignments. Hays said that there are 10-12 faculty who have shown a willingness to commit time and effort to the program. Currently there is room to accommodate more students, but if the program grows, he will have to try to get more faculty involved. As director, he serves as advisor for all students. The MPP is a non-thesis program and the research paper is handled through the Research and Bibliography class. If anyone has additional questions after reading the report, feel free to talk with Al Hays.
Fahmy reported that he had sent a letter to the department heads and graduate coordinators of the three premier programs asking them to come next semester to speak to the Council.
Ishler said that she is seeking input and soliciting support on the issue of Graduate Faculty loads, particularly at the doctoral level. Concerns which have been expressed include quality of work, faculty morale (getting burned out), and the amount of support given to the doctoral programs. Faculty in her department are involved in all three levels of student preparation--BA, MA, and EdD--and the undergraduate and graduate faculty are not distinct. There is no course load generation for chairing a dissertation or being on a committee, but they are both very time intensive. She is finding that some of the faculty are not willing to participate at the doctoral level because of this. She is considering proposing to the deans and the Academic Affairs Council that after chairing four or five dissertations, a faculty can ask the department head for a one course reduced load to provide time for their own research. This could also be requested after serving on eight to ten dissertation committees. This would recognize that the doctoral program is important and show that the University is willing to provide support in terms of funds for adjunct replacements. Chao asked how Industrial Technology handled this issue. Fahmy said that they have eight faculty designated as committee chairs with the rest of the faculty able to serve on the committees. They have no system for load reduction, but he does take it into consideration during evaluations at the end of the year and for merit pay. Das said that he felt that chairing should be recognized as part of the load, or if the faculty is advising a certain number of students. He said that at some institutions, graduate teaching is weighted 1.5 times undergraduate teaching. He also said that a department should consider the number of faculty available when admitting students to the program. East said that he did not think there should be a difference between doctoral faculty and masters faculty as masters papers and theses also require a large amount of time and effort. Fahmy noted that there is nothing that says that a dean or department head can't give a reduced load to faculty. Crew noted that at many doctoral institutions, the standard teaching load is 6 hours rather than 9. East said he felt that was why faculty were teaching 9 hours instead of 12 to 15. Crew said also for publishing. Durham said that at Iowa, beginning faculty don't teach anything for their first year so they can concentrate on their research and publishing and at Iowa State, faculty don't get Graduate Faculty status unless they produce. He suggested discussing this issue at the Graduate Faculty meeting to see if university-wide support could be generated, maybe having a panel discussion. Ishler said that she would like to have the Council make a recommendation. Das said that the minimum and maximum class size issue should also be discussed and noted that the department heads and deans can award reduced loads, not the faculty. East felt that masters level work should also be included to generate more faculty support. Durham suggested having departments with large masters programs come to the next meeting to discuss this in regards to the masters level.
Discussion of the possibility of scheduling the report from the Committee on Interactive Video was postponed to a future meeting due to time.
Quirk moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Ann Hesse
Next meeting will be January 26, 1995 at 3:30 p.m. in Seerley 3.