Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #919

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October 24, 2002

Present: Coulter, East (for Schafer), Fogarty, Granberg-Rademacker, MacLin, Rawwas (for Rajendran), Safford (for Smaldino), Saiia, Utz, Walker

Absent: Bozylinsky, Hanson, Somervill

Visitors: Pam Mackay (Registrar),


Utz moved, and East seconded a motion to accept minutes #918.

Associate Dean Walker announced that Dean Somervill was absent due to active recruitment of graduate students. Last week Somervill spent time at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. This week he and several UNI faculty/administrators are recruiting in New Orleans (Southern, Dillard, and Xavier universities).

Walker explained that the Distinguished Scholar sub-committee will report at the Council's next meeting, November 14. Council will go into executive session to discuss the report, and then vote to accept/reject in an open meeting. The sub-committee membership consists of Tom Fogarty, Curt Hanson, David Saiia, Donna Schumacher-Douglas, and Joseph Smaldino. There are five nominees this year for the $500 cash prize and plaque to be presented at the annual meeting of the Graduate Faculty.

Walker also explained that the nomination process for the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Teaching Award was commencing. Announcements and nomination forms were being sent to Graduate Faculty, and to all full and part-time graduate students. The deadline for nominations is Monday, December 2. Nominees who agree to go forward with the process must submit specified material by Monday, February 3, 2003. The selection committee consists of one faculty member from each of the five traditional colleges, plus one graduate student selected by the Dean's Advisory Council. The $500 cash prize and plaque will be presented at the annual meeting of the Graduate Faculty.

East requested more information about the change in the Distinguished Scholar Award. Walker explained that the $500 cash prize and plaque would be in effect as long as the current budget situation necessitated. He and Somervill chose not to eliminate the award altogether, but reluctantly decided that it had to be reduced. Saiia noted that an individual cannot receive the Distinguished Scholar Award multiple times. Thus, he suggested that the sub-committee consider alternative guidelines since this could be retroactively punitive, should an individual win the award during the current budget cycle when the larger award may be reinstated later. Fogarty suggested that the Deans reconsider the current guidelines, and Walker agreed.

Fogarty explained that the discussion regarding the Council organization should be deferred to a later date, when representatives from CHFA and the graduate student body are active. Walker mentioned that previously the Dean's Advisory Council selected the graduate representatives. However, if graduate students were indicating an interest in serving, perhaps other selection mechanisms should be considered.

Fogarty introduced Tom Rice, Professor/Department Head of Political Science, to the Graduate Council. Rice announced that his department formally decided to suspend admissions into the political science graduate program, a step taken toward termination of the program. He further explained that current graduate students will be serviced until they complete their degrees. This decision was made by a unanimous decision by political science faculty for several reasons. Utz asked about possible repercussions for faculty recruiting. Rice explained that it may negatively affect faculty recruiting, but that he was nevertheless enthusiastic about the change because it seemed more honest, and it would allow current faculty to continue existing work with undergraduate students. Fogarty thanked Rice for his announcement.

Fogarty resumed discussion about the academic year calendar proposals, explaining that respondents to his survey in CSBS were mostly positive for the 15-week change. Utz noted that reactions he had heard from the School of Music were mostly negative. Fogarty reminded the Council that laboratory-based courses represented one potential problem with the 15-week calendar, though he had received mixed reactions. For example, faculty teaching GIS courses liked the extended class periods that a 15-week calendar provided because it would allow them to start labs during class time. East explained that CNS faculty may prefer the 15-week proposal because the fall and spring semesters would better mirror one another. Saiia mentioned that his survey of faculty in CBA showed that 60% of respondents opposed the 15-week proposal. He visited with CBA Associate Dean Wilson, who was concerned about the possible repercussions on the MBA program. Coulter mentioned that the library staff voted 18 to 2 against the 15-week proposal, largely due to the additional service time that may be required. East explained that his objections were not necessarily to the calendar-proposals themselves, but the lack of rationale behind the proposed changes, rendering uninformed decisions. Utz reiterated East's concerns, requesting a document that explains the vision behind each proposal. Saiia suggested that Provost Aaron Podolefsky be invited to the next Council meeting to detail the rationale behind each. Further discussion ensued about where the proposals had originated, and thus the appropriateness of inviting the Provost. Fogarty reminded Council members that Phil Patton, University Registrar, had attended the last Council meeting to outline the proposals. Patton's presentation focused on how the calendar proposals would operate, not why alternative calendars were being considered. MacLin suggested that without a clear rationale, faculty question the agenda behind calendar proposals. Fogarty explained that he and Saiia will contact Podolefsky about attending the next Council meeting. Rawwas explained the effectiveness of some different schedules/calendars that he used when teaching abroad. Utz noted that a shortened calendar may pose problems for students who need off-site materials to do their research. Discussion ensued about the flexibility of the calendar proposals, and whether these would allow for grades to be submitted sometime beyond the semester's end. Safford discussed concerns for undergraduate education, and possible benefits of longer class periods that met fewer times. Mackay reminded the Council that faculty could give all students in a class an "RC" (Research Continued) on their grade reports, thus allowing for an extended semester as previously discussed. Walker suggested that another possible problem with the 15-week proposal would involve time for Institutional Review Board to review research proposals for those whose research includes human participants. Discussion ensued about the time students need to assimilate and to effectively do their course work.

There were no items for announcement.

There were no items for publication.

The meeting adjourned at 4:40 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Sara Granberg-Rademacker
Program Assistant