Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #923

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February 27, 2003


Present:           Bozylinsky, Coulter, DeSoto, Fogarty, Gallagher, Granberg-Rademacker, Meier, Pohl, Rajendran, Saiia, Schafer, Somervill, Stuelke, Walker

Absent:            Hanson, Smaldino, Villavicencio

Regrets:           Utz

Visitors:           Sue Pettit (graduate student), Pam MacKay (Registrar)

 

Pohl moved, and Coulter seconded a motion to accept minutes #922 with the following correction: Page one, paragraph three, sentence two should read “He explained that this issue was raised during previous Council meetings, and that the argument against a GPA requirement typically revolved around the idea that non-degree students may have been taking courses more for personal enjoyment than to ultimately enter a degree program.” The minutes were approved.

 

Somervill announced that the Graduate College Associate Dean search had concluded, with an offer made to Dr. Jacqueline McGlade of Monmouth University in New Jersey. He explained that the search was a difficult one with several outstanding candidates. Dr. McGlade will be joining the Graduate College in July 2003.

 

Fogarty began discussion on the first agenda item, Grade Point Average requirements for non-degree graduate students. Granberg-Rademacker explained the Registrar’s proposal, that the Council consider using a grade point deficiency scale, and that members consider adding the following language to the catalog: “Any non-degree graduate student who is deficient (X) grade points of having a 3.00 cumulative grade point average will be suspended.” Fogarty suggested that the Council consider the deficiency models, and whether students should be automatically suspended or if probation-warnings should occur before suspension. Discussion revolved around the proposed catalog language, and degree-seeking student suspension policy (less than 3.0 GPA, 18 or more attempted hours). Somervill explained that degree-seeking students who have been placed on suspension can appeal to their academic departments for reinstatement consideration. If departments agree to reinstate, they generally bring students’ cases to the Graduate College. Stuelke questioned the amount of time students generally had to pursue reinstatement. Granberg-Rademacker explained that suspension/probation letters optimally are delivered several days before the next semester begins, with exception of the MBA whose instructional modules run too close together to allow for much time between sessions. MBA students, thus, do not have as much time to pursue reinstatement, prior to the next instructional module. Discussion continued about reinstatement procedures for suspended non-degree students. Somervill explained that procedures would be similar to that of degree-seeking graduate students. Reinstatement decisions would ultimately be made by the Graduate College. Somervill further detailed existing non-degree policy, allowing for a maximum of 12 non-degree hours to count toward a degree with the department’s approval.

 

Gallagher moved, seconded by Meier, that the Council accept the three-point deficiency scale, and proposed catalog statement. The “X” in the proposed catalog statement would thus be replaced by a “3”. Suspension would last one-year. Stuelke suggested that an example of the three-point deficiency model be added to the catalog. Discussion followed about the necessity of adding an example or a table of the scale. Somervill explained that the existing non-degree policy was more liberal than the other Regent’s institutions, but appropriately so (because of UNI’s definition as a comprehensive institution). Further discussion ensued about options for non-degree students who do not ultimately want to seek a degree, and their options to audit courses or take courses for credit/no credit. Stuelke suggested that the three-point deficiency model may better help those non-degree graduate students who ultimately want to pursue graduate degrees. Saiia called the question.

 

Fogarty restated the above motion, and noted that the Council favored adding an example to the proposed language. The motion passed.

 

Stuelke asked that the minutes reflect the recognized problem of MBA module grades, and suspension/probation policy. Somervill suggested that any proposed improvement in this process would be welcomed. MacKay explained the brief timeframe between modules, and the faculty timeframe for completing grades contributed to the difficulty of this issue. Discussion revolved around MBA students’ awareness of suspension/probation before final grades were submitted. Fogarty suggested that those with experience discuss these issues, and, if need be, these individuals can propose it as a topic for a future meeting.

 

 

MacKay began discussion about transfer work eligibility. She explained that the current policy allowed for a maximum of one-third of a student’s graduate course work be transferred. However, these courses are not automatically accepted, but rather are subject to review by the Registrar’s office, the Graduate College, and respective departments. Questions about the transfer work include: (a) is this course applied toward graduate degrees at its home institution?; (b) is the course for professional development/AEA credit?; (c) is the course taught by regular graduate faculty at that institution?; (d) is the course offered for workshop credit? MacKay reminded the Council that members had voted to tag courses that would not be used toward a UNI graduate degree. Thus, UNI should consider other institutions’ courses, and whether these would qualify for tagging or if they would apply to graduate degree requirements.

 

Somervill indicated that transfer work, and the question about graduate faculty status, was not so much a problem within the Regent’s institutions, where graduate faculty status is understood. However, some questions surfaced due to some out-of-state institutions that have a range of individuals they hire to teach these courses. Somervill further explained that the Council could decide to accept any transfer work if the institution was accredited. However, this makes quality control difficult.

 

Fogarty began discussion about the standards that the Registrar used to evaluate courses, particularly with regard to graduate faculty. Discussion ensued about what qualifications were generally required to be considered graduate faculty. UNI generally requires individuals to be hired in tenure-track positions, with terminal degrees. Walker suggested that temporary graduate faculty status at UNI may be considered regular graduate faculty status within the parameters of the course being taught.

 

Further discussion occurred about the statement: “The course work must have been taken for graduate credit at an institution that offers a graduate degree.” Walker suggested that more clarity may be had if the word “at” was changed to “through,” leaving doors open for courses offered off-campus.

 

MacKay explained that UNI’s transfer work policies were generally considered liberal by other institutions’ standards (which usually allowed for 3-6 hours of transfer work). Somervill explained that the Regent’s institutions had different standards, and MacKay explained the agreement with the other Regent’s institutions that allow for a broader range of credit exchange.

 

Further discussion ensued about the other criteria being used to evaluate transfer work. These criteria include:

·         The course work must be a regular course offering (i.e., taught by regular faculty and not college credit offered for Area Education or conference offerings).

·         They must have been a graduate student at the time they took the course.

·         The course must be eligible for use on a graduate program at that institution; some colleges offer workshop credits which even they do not allow on their own degree programs.

·         The course must not be more than 7 years old at the time of expected graduation.

Council members asked several questions about these criteria. Discussion revolved around distinctions made for workshop courses. MacKay explained that UNI has a limit on the number of workshop hours that a graduate student can take. Thus, it becomes important to know if transferred courses apply toward that limit. Further, Gallagher explained that some types of workshop credit should not necessarily be used toward graduate degree pursuits. Saiia asked about students’ graduate status requirement, and MacKay explained that transcripts usually make this distinction apparent.

 

Further discussion revolved around the eligibility of courses to be included on graduate students’ programs of study. Somervill gave examples of courses that could be counted toward graduate degrees in one program that may not count toward degree requirements in another program at UNI.

 

Somervill noted that the Council’s role was to determine what criteria should be used to evaluate transfer work so that a formal policy could be considered. He suggested that the Council members consider what will transfer, the number of hours that could transfer, and-in general- quality control measures. He explained that departments will ultimately make the decision whether or not courses should be used toward their graduate programs. However, the Council should consider what language, if any, should be added to the catalog about this issue. Fogarty suggested that this issue be addressed at a future Council meeting.

 

Walker announced, in Utz’s absence, that the annual graduate faculty meeting will occur on April 10th at 3:30PM.

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Sara Granberg-Rademacker

Program Assistant