Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #939

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December 9, 2004


Present: Bozylinsky, Etscheidt, Fecik, Joslyn, Jackson, Jurgenson, Kirmani, MacLin, Moore, Nelson, Rajendran, Walker

Absent: Koch, Mack, McGlade, Petersen, Pohl, Thompson

 

1. Minutes from October 28, 2004:
Etscheidt moved to accept the minutes as published. Motion was seconded and passed.

 

2. Graduate College Reports:
MacLin reported that Koch and McGlade were at the Council of Graduate Schools meeting in Washington DC. Walker announced that Kenneth Atkinson (Philosophy and Religion) was selected as the Distinguished Scholar for 2005-06. He said that the winners of the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, Outstanding Master's Thesis, Outstanding Creative Master's Thesis, and Outstanding Master's Research Paper awards have been selected. These awards will be presented at the Graduate Faculty meeting in April. Walker said that there are 19 PDA's being recommended to the Board of Regents out of 43 applications, with all five colleges being represented. There were 61 applications for Summer Fellowships; 18 8-week and 19 4-week fellowships were awarded.

 

MacLin said that Koch asked her to remind the Council that the Northern Iowan Today magazine will do an article this spring on the 50 Years of Graduate Education. Other spring semester activities for the celebration will be finalized soon. Koch has had meetings to discuss and recommend changes in policies and procedures regarding recruitment of international students. MacLin said that the survey of graduating graduate students has been reinstated. Information gathered will be reported in a graduate fact book. She said that McGlade asked her to report that the clips of President Koob's and Sue Joslyn's comments have been completed and will be on the new Graduate College web site.

 

3. Announcements:
None.

 

4. Report from the Chair of the Graduate Faculty:
Kirmani reported that President Koob plans on speaking with the Council at the February 10th meeting. Kirmani said that he is trying to start a series of talks to be given by graduate faculty. They will be scholarly talks, but not overly technical so they will be of more general interest. These will be the first Monday of selected months at noon in Maucker Union. He is hoping to start this spring in either February or March. There will be a small committee to select the speakers. This will be a chance to interact with faculty from other colleges to maybe discover common research interests and will hopefully inspire younger faculty. Kirmani also said that Richard Utz is considering starting a UNI periodical to be distributed electronically which will hopefully encourage dialog across campus. These are graduate faculty initiatives and will be continued as interest permits.

 

5. Discussion of Graduate Council involvement in graduate education promotion:
MacLin said that she believes that the Council members will be asked for input on various matters dealing with graduate education. She has been asked about the lack of response regarding graduate matters on the request for input on how to make UNI better. However, many ideas work for both graduate and undergraduate issues. She also thought it would be good to have a Council representative at the Senate meetings to report back on things that the Council might need to be alerted to. Also, it's good to have someone there that is identified with graduate matters so graduate items don't get overlooked.

 

MacLin said another thing to think about is what it means to be a member of the graduate faculty—what it means here vs. what it means other places, or what it should mean. Nelson said we should think about what is different about graduate education, which is the research, being able to teach graduate level courses and to chair papers. Fecik reminded the Council that John Somervill tried to establish a higher level of graduate faculty for working with doctoral students, but it was not supported and was deemed elitist. However, there is a need for a higher level of expertise and experience to chair doctoral dissertations. Jurgenson said that at other institutions the feeling was that if you had attained the degree, you could confer it on someone. Nelson noted that some big schools have 3 levels of graduate faculty participation—one level to teach graduate level courses, another level to serve on committees, and the highest level to chair doctoral committees. Etscheidt noted that when they go outside the college for the selection of faculty to serve on doctoral committees, it is hard to determine whom to ask. MacLin noted that some faculty are not interested in graduate education, so levels would help to distinguish which faculty don't do much and which do. Bozylinsky said we could adopt a policy that if you don't teach a graduate class in X years, you would lose the graduate faculty status. Rajendran noted that a complementary question is what incentives are there for people to participate in graduate education? Fecik said that there are no incentives; it is actually a sacrifice with the extra time involved. Joslyn said she would like to hear about the intangibles—about what makes you willing to serve on a student's committee. Kirmani said the desire to learn and to help the students learn more. Fecik said the satisfaction of training someone to send on to a doctoral program and developing a scholarly atmosphere that you can interact with—to stimulate intellectual curiosity. Fecik said that his department has discussed that those who serve as dissertation or thesis advisors should receive some sort of credit allowance in some form, but have not been able to shape a good proposal. MacLin said that goes towards merit incentives in her department, but your own research carries more weight. It is considered a service and is less valued than scholarship. Jurgenson said that in the sciences, grads are working with you on your research so the two are more closely tied together. Rajendran said that Business Administration is providing extra funds for advising an on-campus group, but not individual students. Kirmani said that we need a marketing strategy to sell ourselves. Rajendran suggested sending a survey to determine at what level faculty are participating and what factors prevent them from participating more fully.

 

6. Items for publication:
None.

 

7. Other business:
Moore announced that electronic copies of all dissertations are available through Proquest.

 

8. Adjournment:
Nelson moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded and passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mary Ann Hesse
Secretary