February 9, 1995
Present: Chao, Crew, Durham, Fahmy, Hill (for Clohesy), Ishler, V. Jackson, Lew, Quirk, Safford, Somervill, Walker, Wallingford (for East)
Absent: Das, Decker, Yohe
Visitors: John Butler, Ronnie Bankston (Communication Studies)
Minutes #837 were approved as published.
Somervill reported that he had responses from 37 programs regarding enrollment data. He will distribute a report at a later meeting after data are compiled.
Walker announced that the annual Graduate College awards reception will be on Thursday, April 20, 1995 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Georgian Lounge. There will be a short program at 4:00.
Fahmy introduced John Butler, Acting Head, and Ronnie Bankston, Graduate Coordinator, from the Communication Studies Department. Bankston reported that there are 38 active students in the program and 6 students taking classes on a non-degree basis pending admission decisions. This represents a 10% increase from last spring. They have used their recognition as one of the three premier programs as a recruiting tool to help promote their program to potential students, potential faculty, and in the head search. It will also probably be used in the search for a new dean. The department has formed a committee to identify five goals to further enhance their program: continue faculty-student collaboration on research, continue to increase the quality of graduate students, continue to develop sources for funding, continue to enhance the visibility of the program, and improve the quality of the graduate program. They have developed a three-tiered recruiting plan. Instate recruiting will emphasize making contacts with undergraduates, using contacts to identify potential students, making personal initial contacts, taking advantage of communication technology, and having faculty doing follow ups. Out-of-state recruiting will emphasize identification of potential graduate students and contacting former UNI students teaching at the college and university level. Non-traditional recruiting will emphasize mailing program brochures to targeted audiences and using the learning triangle of student, faculty and community. Strengths of the program include: a dedicated faculty; faculty which are well respected in the field and are involved at the state, regional and national levels; joint research projects between faculty and students; flexibility in both the program and the faculty to cover a wide range of interests; recruitment of top students aided by the increase in the number of assistantships and the premier status; a good track record; a growing interest in the program. Opportunities for program development include: additional support for development of graduate curriculum, specifically an increase in the number of 200 level courses; need for increased funding for graduate student research and travel; released time for faculty involved in research and work with students; build the rigor of the program without becoming elitist and eliminating potential students; continue to examine ways communication technology can enhance graduate education. Quirk asked what the difference between a research paper and a thesis was in their department. Bankston replied that a research paper had only two departmental readers and there was no oral defense. There also is a difference in terms of scope and depth of the examination of the question, and therefore typically a difference in length. Jackson asked if there had been an increase in minority student interest. Bankston replied that there had been an increased interest from students in the Far East. Ishler asked if the premier status resulted in curricular changes. Bankston replied that they were trying to increase the number of 200-level courses in the program and have changed the methodology course from a 100g to a 200 level course. Fahmy asked if a thesis is required for those planning to go into a doctoral program. It was replied that the student is advised to do this, but is not required. Safford asked whether they offered any courses on the ICN. Bankston said not yet but they are moving in that direction. Thirty percent of the faculty have taken the workshop. Quirk inquired about the situation at doctoral institutions and the job market. Bankston said that it depends upon the program--Iowa has tight parameters, but others have many openings; there are many applicants for available employment opportunities. Crew asked if the growth in the graduate program was negatively impacting the undergraduate program. Bankston said no, that a large proportion of their students graduate in 4 years or 4 years and 1 semester with an internship, but students must plan ahead to complete classes in a timely manner. Fahmy thanked Butler and Bankston and wished them continued success with their program.
Fahmy reported that Communicative Disorders will be making a presentation on March 9 and English on April 13.
Fahmy said that Decker had called to say that the final draft of the report from the Committee on ICN Graduate Programs had been distributed to committee members for approval. The report will be presented at the next meeting. Safford requested that the report be distributed prior to the meeting so Council members will have time to review it. Crew distributed the report from the Graduate Faculty Status Committee for discussion at the next meeting. Somervill recommended that representatives from the two doctoral programs circulate the report to get responses.
Hesse announced that the Council could continue to meet in Seerley 3, at least for this semester.
Quirk asked what had been done at the departmental level for faculty and Graduate Assistants in terms of sexual harassment. Somervill said that Personnel had presented a seminar a couple of years ago, and other than the coverage each fall during the orientation program for Graduate Assistants, he did not know what was done in individual departments. Quirk said that the Affirmative Action Office has a good video targeted for students and that maybe the Council should view this film and take a more vigorous role in encouraging faculty and students to become aware of this. Somervill said that comparable attention should be given to ADA. There is a committee looking at physical accessibility but faculty should be aware that it also covers making reasonable accommodations for more subtle injuries which are not visible. For example, tests may have to be read to affected students.
Quirk said that he has heard rumors that the administration wants expanded offerings for evening and weekend classes and asked if that also applied to graduate offerings. Somervill said that it had been presented to the Academic Affairs Council but that nothing was specifically said about graduate classes.
Safford asked if there were any graduate components involved in speaking with presidential candidates to get their ideas on the role of graduate education at this university. Fahmy said that candidates usually meet with the heads of faculty components. Safford said that it should be emphasized to the candidates that graduate education is a vital and growing component of UNI and they should back initiatives to promote it. Quirk moved that Fahmy and Durham write Grace Ann Hovet, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, to request that the Graduate Faculty have a member on the selection committee and that the candidates meet formally and/or informally with the Graduate Council. Motion was seconded. Crew offered a friendly amendment to invite graduate coordinators to this meeting. Motion was passed as amended.
Durham moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
Mary Ann Hesse
Next meeting will be February 23, 1995 at 3:30 p.m. in Seerley 3.