Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #890

November 11, 1999


Present: Bankston, Durham, Hanson, E. Neuhaus (for Coulter), Reineke, S. Smaldino, Somervill, Spencer, Vajpeyi, Utz, Walker, Wallingford, M. Wartick.
Absent: Bozylinsky, Jackson
Minutes #889 were approved as published.
Somervill recently returned from recruiting trips to New Orleans and Tallahassee, Florida. He said that, as a result of the campus visits, UNI should expect a higher number of minority applicants this year. He expressed concern about the lack of an increase in assistantships and how this would affect minority recruitment and graduate programs in general.
Walker announced the results of the three Graduate student awards. Letters have gone out to all the students and advisors. For Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation; First Place: Norbert P. Fritz, Industrial Technology (Ahmed ElSawy, advisor). For Outstanding Master's Thesis; First Place: Katarzyna Jakubiak, English (Vince Gotera, advisor); Second Place: Randal R. Pilkington, Geography (C. Murray Austin, advisor); Third Place: Ryan J. Sprau, History (John Johnson, advisor). For Outstanding Master's Paper/Project, First Place: Bonnie H. Sines, Geography (James F. Fryman, advisor); Second Place: E. Erin Gomes, English (A.J. Meier, advisor). The following graduate faculty reviewed the nominations: Penny Beed (Curriculum & Instruction), Paul Chao (Marketing), John Deisz (Physics), Albert Gilgen (Psychology), Charles Quirk (History), Robert Paige (Mathematics), Sharon Smaldino, (Curriculum & Instruction), Jerry Stockdale (Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology), and Eugene Wallingford (Computer Science). Awards will be presented at the annual graduate faculty meeting next spring.
Jackson prepared a handout concerning TOEFL score requirements at UNI's "benchmark institutions" that was distributed to Council members. Walker contacted all Graduate Coordinators to question them about TOEFL requirements and their reactions concerning current minimum requirements and the Intensive English Program. There were twenty-one responses ranging from no opinion to most preferring to leave it to the individual program, but to let students know ahead of time if the minimum requirement is changed.
Reineke moved to leave the TOEFL requirement unchanged; Hanson seconded the motion. Hanson stated that he was concerned about who pays for the Accelerated English Class if a student is required to take it. Somervill said that there will not be a Graduate College budget for this and if students need to take CIEP classes to improve their English skills, they will have to finance the program him/her self. This must be made explicit to all international students who apply to a graduate program. Motion passed.
The Council took up the issue of non-academic probation and dismissal policy, previously distributed. Somervill stated that according to the University catalog, the only way a student can be put on probation is due to a low GPA. It was suggested that individual departments be allowed to set their own requirements beyond that set by the Graduate College. The policy under construction would be a guideline for what the department would need to include in the catalog concerning non-academic probation and dismissal. Hanson moved to accept the revised non-academic probation and dismissal policy; Durham seconded the motion. Somervill stated that his main concern was due process for students. Smaldino asked when the procedure will be enforced, and Somervill said that it could not be enforced until the next catalog was printed. Reineke asked where this policy intersects with Graduate Assistantships. Somervill stated that a student could lose the assistantship if the GPA falls below a 3.00. Reineke asked if there was a probation period for this, or a written warning sent to the students. If not, would this allow for due process? Utz stated that it should be made clear that if the policy procedures are implemented, no one will be held to those standards now. The policy would start with incoming students at the time they are admitted according to the then current catalog. The document under construction is a procedure to follow; individual departments need to post their own standards in the catalog. There must be a legitimate and reasonable explanation for probation or dismissal that is consistent with the guidelines approved by the Council. Motion passed.
Walker reported on the behalf of the Distinguished Scholar Sub-Committee that there will be no Distinguished Scholar Award presented for the 2000-01 academic year. Hanson moved to approve the report; Wartick seconded. Motion passed.
Utz recommended the Council review the preliminary strategic plan that is on the web and to provide feedback.
It should be publicized that the Graduate Council approved the non-academic Probation and Dismissal Policy and to send a copy to department heads and graduate coordinators.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Anne Dunlap