Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #878

October 8, 1998


Present: Bankston, Chao, Coulter, Dedrick, Durham, Hanson, Jackson, Sohl, Somervill, Walker, Wallingford
Absent: Bozylinsky, Bruess, Doody, Raiklin, Smaldino, Utz
Visitors: Ken Bleile (Communicative Disorders), Aaron Podolesfsky (Interim Provost)
Minutes #876 and #877 were approved as published.
Somervill introduced Laura Sohl (Communication Studies), the Masters Student Representative chosen by the Graduate Dean's Advisory Committee.
Walker reported that there were 10 theses, 5 dissertations, and 4 Master's paper/projects nominations for Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Awards and Outstanding Master's Project/Paper Award. All committees will report back to the Graduate Council at the November 12 meeting. Walker also stated that there were 35 Professional Development Leave applications submitted (3 Business, 6 Education, 13 Humanities and Fine Arts, 2 Natural Sciences, 10 Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1 Library).
Dedrick reported that Graduate College Curriculum Committee members have been attending informational meetings of each college senate to answer questions and address concerns about the curriculum process.
Somervill began discussion on the future of Premier Programs. Since there hasn't been an increase in the amount of graduate assistantships since 1993-94, Somervill suggested that the Graduate Council not select three new programs for enhancement. He recommended the Graduate Council consider enhancing new programs as a future goal if additional resources become available. After further discussion, Hanson moved to accept the Dean's recommendation to delay a new cycle of identifying premier graduate programs until appropriate new resources are available. Durham seconded the motion and it passed.
Somervill presented the Graduate College budget proposal. The following recommendations were made: 1) an annual percentage increase for graduate assistant stipends equal to the percentage increase received by P&S employees and/or faculty; 2) an increase of 20 masters level graduate assistant stipends; 3) an increase of 20 graduate tuition scholarships; and 4) a total of $3,500 allocated for thesis and dissertation research. The total increase requested is $228,500. Hanson moved to endorse the budget recommendations. Durham seconded the motion and it passed.
Somervill presented recommendations for variable stipends. The following recommendations were made: 1) no department may establish a stipend level amount less than the current levels of $6,000 for the Master's and $9,000 for the Doctorate; 2) departments may set a stipend level higher than current levels, however, the current dollar amount allocated to departments will remain the same; 3) the amount of a full stipend cannot vary within a program; 4) the current policy of awarding only half or whole stipends or half or whole tuition scholarships will remain in effect; and 5) departments must notify the Graduate College by the end of January of the Spring semester if they intend to increase the level of the full stipend in a graduate program for the following Fall semester. Walker stated that the variable stipend would be beneficial when faculty apply for external grants and would allow more flexibility in a proposed budget. Chao moved to approve the variable stipend recommendations. Coulter seconded the motion and it passed. Bankston noted that Hanson requested to revisit the half stipend issue at a later date. The variable stipend guidelines will take effect beginning the 1999 Fall semester.
Podolefsky stated that the Graduate Dean's five-year review would consist of feedback from graduate faculty, deans, administrators, and peers. The Graduate Council prepares the final review report by March 15, 1999. Bankston suggested forming a sub-committee to construct a proposal for the review process. The sub-committee will present a proposal at the October 22 Graduate Council meeting.
Discussion on the creation of an Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award was moved to the October 22 agenda.
The meeting adjourned at 4:43 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Christina Stejskal