Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #935

Back to minutes

September 9, 2004

Present: Bozylinsky, Etscheidt, Fecik, Joslyn, Jurgenson, Kirmani, Koch, Mack, MacLin, McGlade, Moore, Nelson, Pohl, Rajendran, Walker

Absent: Thompson

Visitors: Jihwa Noh (Mathematics), Phil Patton (Registrar), Aaron Podolefsky (Provost), Cynthia Coulter (Library), Pam MacKay (Registrar's Office), Bud Bowlin (Accounting)

MacLin welcomed everyone and noted that item 9 on the agenda will be for information only. She then had everyone introduce themselves.


Pohl moved that Minutes #934 be approved as published. Motion was seconded and passed.

Coulter conducted the elections for Chair and Vice-Chair. Moore nominated MacLin as Chair. Motion was seconded and passed. Fecik was nominated as Vice-Chair. Motion was seconded and passed. MacLin noted that Mary Ann Hesse will be secretary for this year.

Provost Podolefsky shared thoughts on the reorganization of the Graduate College and why he did not appoint a Graduate Dean with the same tasks as before. The previous title was Dean of the Graduate College and Research. The grants and contracts, sponsored programs and research areas have grown and so he thought that with two positions open (Means and Somervill), this would be a good opportunity to look at both parts of the position to determine if this is the best configuration for UNI at this time. Many research endeavors are linked to outreach endeavors so he is creating, at least temporarily, a position of Associate Vice-President for Outreach (or possibly Sponsored Programs). Kichoon Yang has agreed to take on this assignment for this year. Susan Koch, with her expertise in curricular areas, has agreed to be the Interim Graduate Dean. With this configuration he is trying to think of positives for UNI and put more emphasis on faculty research. Nelson asked about realignment of responsibilities for Koch. Podolefsky responded that some of her responsibilities are being assumed by others in the Provost's Office and some committees are being handled by faculty. He sees this as an opportunity for reviewing how things are being done and hopes that everyone will give these changes time to see how they go.

Koch gave an update on her transition as she is now in the Graduate College approximately half-time. She noted that Walker is now reporting to Yang, but she has asked him to stay on as an ex-officio member as he brings a history of his position and also a sponsored programs link. She has been meeting with the president, deans, chair of Graduate Council, chair of Graduate Faculty, cabinet and is now starting with the department heads and will be with the coordinators soon to update them on the leadership transition and to ask them about their dealings with the Graduate College. She is happy to report that throughout these meetings there has been support for graduate education. She will be meeting with Bill Calhoun in an effort to establish a sense of alumni among graduate programs. The spring issue of the Northern Iowan Today will highlight graduate education. She distributed graphs on undergraduate and graduate enrollment trends, noting that there has been a consistent increase in graduate education for the last 10 years. She noted that she has found that last year was the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the first graduate degree at UNI and that we will be celebrating that this year. She also announced that the award for excellence in graduate faculty teaching will be re-established this year. The Graduate College will be sponsoring an exhibit by the Art graduate faculty. The pieces are being submitted, will be installed by Darrell Taylor and staff, and will be up all year. There will be an open house in April.

McGlade said that we are hoping to launch the new Graduate College website at the end of September. Some faculty and student profiles are being worked on. She announced that non-degree students with less than a 3.0 can now be pulled out. They will be suspended, spring registration will be blocked, and will need to reapply for admission. The $50 continuation fee approved last year was omitted from the fall registration book so it cannot be implemented until the spring semester. She noted that if the student registers for a class during the semester, the continuation fee will come off their bill.

Walker said that he is looking for volunteers or suggestions of colleagues to serve on the outstanding thesis, outstanding dissertation, outstanding creative thesis, and outstanding research paper award committees. Please send him an e-mail if you would like to volunteer or suggest someone.

As the final duty of the Somervill 5-Year Review Committee, MacLin distributed a summary of the results to the council and for distribution in the minutes. The final report (including detailed commentary, materials, data analyses and letters) was sent to the Provost in May. Information was collected via an Internet survey, Graduate College staff interviews and letters from colleagues at relevant universities. MacLin summarized the findings saying that overall they were very positive, with a few negative comments or points of concerns. MacLin noted that the letters were ''glowing.'' Coulter asked how best to communicate the findings to the Graduate Faculty? She suggested attaching it to the minutes. Bozylinsky suggested a web link distributed through e-mail. MacLin noted that the committee was not to make a recommendation but to collect information and pass it on to the Provost. MacLin noted that anyone with questions should feel free to contact any member of the committee or the Provost.

McGlade gave thanks to Helen Harton, Rebecca Edmiaston, Jen Mishra, Leslie Wilson, Linda Jernigan, Dennis Hendrickson, Kristi Marchesani, Pam MacKay, Laurie Russell and Patti Rust, who served on the Graduate Student Administration Task Force. They looked at the paperwork it takes for a student from admission through graduation. Most of their recommendations can be handled administratively but they are recommending a policy change in the routing of admission applications. Currently the application goes to the department but the check for the fee goes to the registrar's office waiting for an admission decision. They are recommending that the admission form also initially go to the registrar's office so they can create the file, match it with the check, and track the application. Pohl moved to approve the requested change. Motion was seconded and passed.

McGlade noted that there are multiple versions of the graduate student grievance procedure which have a difference in language. They need to be reviewed and the discrepancies resolved. She said that we might also look at bringing more parity between the graduate and undergraduate grievance policies. Joslyn moved to table this till a later meeting. Motion was seconded and passed.

Kirmani distributed the program for a conference on professional science master's programs: industrial mathematics and applied physics held September 10, 2004. He said that this professional science master's program would be for students whose goal is to work in industry and not to go on for the doctorate. He said that the needs of these students are different. The mathematics and physics departments are looking at proposing this program and noted that there is nothing like it in the state of Iowa. There is no proposal at the moment, but one will be considered, based on discussions at the conference.

Items for publication include the results of the Somervill review committee.

MacLin reminded Council members to e-mail the name of their alternate to her or to Hesse.

MacLin noted that the role of the Council has traditionally been to evaluate and set policy. Ex-officio members are important to help ensure that the policies approved are able to be implemented.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Mary Ann Hesse