Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #906

April 26, 2001


Present: Bankston, Coulter, Dolenger, Hanson, Jackson, Rajendran, Somervill, Walker, Wong
Absent: Bozylinsky, Clayton, Smaldino, Utz, Vajpeyi, Wallingford, Wartick
Visitors: Duane Bartak - Chemistry, Fred Behroozi - Physics, Bart Bergquist - Computer Science, Ed Brown - Environmental Programs, Shoshanna Coon - Chemistry, Greg Dotseth - Mathematics, Susan Koch - Associate Provost, Mike Millar - Mathematics, Aaron Podolefsky - Provost, Ed Rathmell - Mathematics, Jill Trainer - Biology
Action on minutes #905 were approved as published
Somervill thanked Bankston for coordinating the Graduate Faculty meeting on April 12th that highlighted many UNI graduate program successes. Somervill also congratulated Wong on being elected the Graduate Faculty Chair for next year. Walker then announced the results of a survey he just completed regarding compensation for the responsibility of being a graduate coordinator. 37 coordinators receive no direct compensation, 12 programs provide a one-course reduction in teaching, 1 coordinator receives a two-course deduction, and 1 program provides a one-course reduction along with a small cash stipend.
Provost Podolefsky started the discussion regarding the Graduate Council's request for clarification of the role of research at UNI. He said the issue is complicated because we're dealing with the many different meanings of words. The dictionary definition is to search for something, or to seek out facts. The dictionary meaning of scholarship is a body of knowledge, or an in-depth understanding. As the Provost sees the situation, scholarship includes research and many other scholarly activities whereas research is more limited and does not include these other scholarly activities such as the creative activities in the fine arts at UNI. There are three things tenure and tenure track faculty must do, service, teach, and contribute to the growth of their discipline by publishing the results of their scholarship. Whether this is called research or scholarship it still must be done.
Some concerns were brought before the Council. Hanson questioned what the Board of Regents thinks his job is at UNI. He is concerned that elimination of the word research from the UNI mission statement might affect the way funds are allocated among Regents Universities. The Provost answered that the allocations are a pre-determined percentage and would not be affected by the word change in the mission statement.
Millar commented on the issue by saying that the word change is a good thing. He also feels that research is a part of scholarship. He gave several examples of what he considers to be unpublished scholarship and how UNI had benefited from this form of scholarship, but often not recognized or rewarded such activities.
Rajendran asked what the Provost can do to assure all faculty that nothing has changed. The Provost responded by saying that criteria for tenure has not changed, the processes of reporting to the Board of Regents has not changed, only one word in one document has changed, nothing else.
Bartak encouraged a greater emphasis by Public Relations to bring more attention to research accomplishments. This will show that UNI does more than prepare teachers.
Coon also questioned the funding issue. We don't want the Board of Regents to get the perception that we don't need funding for research because we don't do it here when we really do. The Provost stated that all requests go from UNI through the Board of Regents and on to the Legislature for funding. Once we get the funds, the Board of Regents does not micromanage them. The Board of Regents assesses UNI on performance indicators that are set by UNI.
Bankston thanked everyone for coming.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Taya Ingerslev