Graduate Council Meeting

April 18, 2011

MINUTES

I. The meeting was called to order at 2:35 p.m.

Voting members and alternates present were: G. Alter, M. Bargerhuff, L. Caron, A. Chamberlain, D. Cipollini, R. Dodge, R. Grandhi, L. Hong, A. Hsu (chair), J. Jean, M. Mamrack, D. Miles- Curry, D. Petkie, L. Ream, D. Roby, E. Self, C. Sulentic, T. Tarpey, J. Tipps, P. Vermeersch, S. Watamaniuk, E. Wolf

Non-voting members, alternates and other attendees were: B. Ayres, J. Bantle, G. Crawford, E. Gilles (scribe), D. Johnson, E. Reinsch-Friese.

II. Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the February 28, 2011 meeting be approved as written. Motion carried unanimously.

III. Report of the Dean (A. Hsu)

a. Combined Degree Programs – The policy for combined degree programs has been presented to and approved by UCAPC. The Faculty Senate is currently reviewing it. The policy was presented as “new business” at the April 4 meeting and will be voted upon as “old business” at the May 2 meeting.
b. Memorandum of Understanding – Domestic: (1) Indiana University East: A Letter of Intent has been signed and the overall structure is in place. The next step is to begin conversations with two of the programs, biology and criminal justice. (2) Wilmington College: A Letter of Intent has been signed by Wilmington and has been sent to WSU for final approval and signatures. (3) Cedarville and Central State: Initial discussions have taken place. International: Dr. Hsu is currently negotiating with several international universities.
c. Budget Allocations for Graduate Tuition Scholarships – The formula has not really changed since it was presented at the previous Graduate Council meeting. The formula is expected to evolve; college/program input is welcome. Dr. Hsu intends to convene a “working group” with the Assistant/Associate Deans to gain additional input. The goal is to encourage increased enrollment, research, degree completion, etc.
d. Graduate Open House – The last Open House was held March 9, 2011 with 204 in attendance. 110 applications were submitted. Last year, 230 attended and 128 applied. We are seeing a downward trend over the past year, possibly due to the fact that we have no advertisements between the Open Houses. To fill this void, we are launching a marketing campaign for May through September. The funding for this campaign is coming from the increase in the graduate admission application fee. The fee is currently $25; after July 1, it will be $40. The School of Graduate Studies will keep the $15/application and will use it for advertising. The main goals are to increase Wright State’s reputation in the southwest region and to increase enrollment.
e. Graduate Faculty Appointment – Working with the new policy approved at the February 28 Graduate Council meeting, the Dean of Graduate Studies approved 59 nominees as “regular” and 6 as “adjunct”. Under the new policy, the roles of the Dean and the Membership Committee have been reversed. The Dean reviews the nominations that meet all the criteria for membership; the Membership Committee reviews the nominations that do not meet all the criteria, i.e. lacks terminal degree, experience, research, etc. All of the nominations submitted this quarter met the membership criteria and only needed the Dean’s approval.
IV. Committee Reports

a. Policies Committee (L. Ream)
The Policies Committee had two meetings this quarter: Friday, April 8th and Thursday, April 14th
1. Graduate Program Concentrations and Changes to Graduate Program Degree Requirements - This is for information only. This is a clarification to the process for adding thesis/non-thesis options — it is not new policy. When a program wants to initiate new program concentrations or options (like thesis vs. non-thesis), if the changes are less than 50% of the previously approved curriculum, the changes do not require state-level approval (meaning RACGS).
2. Graduate Admission Policy: GPA Considerations - The Policies Committee supports the modification of Section 1.23 (under General Requirements for Admission) to read as follows: Students having master's or other advanced degrees, or who have previously completed 12 quarter or 9 semester credit hours at the graduate level with an overall graduate grade point average of 3.0, from , an appropriately accredited academic institution or an academic institution with high academic standards deemed appropriate and acceptable by the Wright State academic program to which the student is applying may be admitted into Wright State graduate programs in regular status regardless of their undergraduate grade point averages provided the appropriate academic departments or programs recommend them for admission. The significant modification to the policy is the change from conditional admission to regular admission. However, programs can still choose to admit students as conditional. L. Ream motioned to approve the graduate admission policy with GPA considerations. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Graduate Admission Policy: Convictions and Dismissals - Application questions regarding convictions and academic dismissals are included in the undergraduate admission application, but they are not included on the graduate admission application. The Office of Student Conduct would like the following questions to be added: (1) “Have you ever been academically dismissed/suspended from an academic institution?” (2) “Have you ever been dismissed for disciplinary reasons from an academic institution?” (3) “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” The Policies Committee approved this request provided that the following addition to the committee that reviews applications that have “yes” responses to any of the three questions be made: the committee should include at least one graduate faculty member in addition to the other members named (Director of Community Standards & Student Conduct, the Director of Counseling, the Chief of Police, and the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions). L. Ream motioned to approve the graduate admission policy regarding convictions and dismissals. A. Hsu called for a vote. Twenty in favor, one opposed. Motion passed.
4. Combined BS/MS Degree Programs in Computer Science and Engineering - The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is proposing two combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, one for Computer Science and one for Computer Engineering. In these new programs, up to 12 quarter hours (or 9 semester hours) of graduate level courses may be double counted and applied toward both degree requirements. Students may apply anytime before the start of their senior year and must have a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.3. L. Ream motioned to approve the combined degree programs in computer science and computer engineering. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion passed unanimously.

b. Student Affairs Committee (L. Ream for C. Brun) – The Student Affairs Committee met one time since the last Graduate Council meeting, on April 13, 2011, to select the next two recipients of the Graduate Scholars awards. Two awards had already been accepted: Mary Good, M.S. in Applied Statistics, College of Science and Math (undergraduate at Bluffton University) and Sanjaya Wijeratne, PhD in CSE, College of Engineering and Computer Science (undergraduate in Sri Lanka). Two more awards were offered based on the committee’s rankings. As of today, those two awards have been accepted: Tiffany Milligan, PsyD in School of Professional Psychology (undergraduate at University of Notre Dame) and Amanda Haag, Master of Accountancy, Raj Soin School of Business (undergraduate at Wright State). The past year’s nomination process resulted in 35 nominations from all but one college. The top candidates were chosen among 4 different colleges or schools. The successful candidates had a strong research history and were sponsored by a faculty member(s) who would continue to support the candidate’s research at WSU. All successful candidates were considering WSU among other competitive university programs.

The committee has chosen to have one application deadline next year, March 1. WSU is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools that encourages students to have until April 15 to make their scholarship decisions. Making an offer to one candidate created a conflict by making the offer too early and making an offer to some students as late as April 13 may not have given them enough time to consider all choices before the April 15 deadline. The March 1 deadline seemed like a good alternative, with the committee making their decision for offer letters by March 15. The committee also favored the process this year of having students submit letters of interest for the scholarships.

Discussion: Some program directors support an earlier deadline (like February 1) so an offer can be made early. The rationale is that a later deadline may put Wright State at a disadvantage in competing with the larger universities. The conflict mentioned in C. Brun’s report was an issue concerning the date by which the student needed to accept/decline the offer. Graduate Council recommends that the Student Affairs Committee re-visit the application deadline.
VI. Research (E. Reinsch-Friese)

Wright State University External Funding 3/31/11 vs. 3/31/10:
* FY11 (thru 3/31/11) - $84,904,351 (includes $9,458,778 SSI/ARRA)
* FY10 (thru 3/31/10) - $78,284,993 (includes $10,437,606 SSI/ARRA)
* 458 awards. Note: The state supported instruction (SSI) disappears next fiscal year
Funding Comparison: Cumulative Grant and Contract Awards, a comparison with the previous three fiscal years. Overall, awards are a little higher every year.

Internal Competitions: (1) Research Incentive (formally Research Challenge). Funding source: Third Frontier Bond Proceeds ($268,140, which is far less than past years). Two components: Seed Grant (8 awarded) and Incentive to Collaborate (3 awarded). Purpose: projects related to Ohio Third Frontier program, Centers of Excellence, technology commercialization. (2) Research Initiation ($10,000 limit) and Professional Development Grants ($3000). 19 proposals received for research initiation, 11 for professional development. Total pool: $73,000. Awards will be announced at May 5 Research Council meeting.

FY12 Fringe Benefit rates: Issued from Office of Controller, overall numbers are down for all groups except PERS students for next fiscal year.

Research Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure Policy: WSU Policy that has been in effect since 1995 was revised as result of proposed new federal requirements. Draft policy has been presented to Council of Deans, Cabinet, AAUP representatives, and Faculty Senate. Awaiting Faculty Senate approval in May. Upon approval, campus awareness workshops will be scheduled.

Upcoming workshop: “Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research” Thursday, April 28, Noon to 1:00 p.m. Presenter: Dr. Jack Bantle. Lunch provided. RSVP by April 22 to Jan Power.

VII. Graduate Student Assembly (G. Crawford)

The GSA is making some headway in its search for funds for travel grants and research grants. Galen Crawford made a presentation to the Student Organization Budget Committee in an effort to obtain $30,000. Galen pointed out the discrepancy in funding between undergrads and grad students: $30/undergrad student vs. $2/grad student. Galen also announced the formation of a foundation account with the Office of Advancement titled the “Graduate Research and Travel Grants Fund.” It is part of the Campus Scholarship and Innovation Campaign.

VII. Unfinished Business

None

VIII. New Business

None

IX. Discussion Items (R. Ayres)

a. Graduate Council: New Business Model – This is a suggestion to conduct business similarly to Faculty Senate. New business is introduced at one meeting and is voted upon as old/unfinished business at the next. The advantage is that it gives more time to think about issues; the disadvantage is that it slows business.

In discussion, one suggestion was to present and discuss items in the meeting and then to conduct a vote electronically a couple weeks of weeks later. Another suggestion called for some business, like course approvals, to be presented and voted upon in one meeting and some business, like policies, to be presented in one meeting and voted upon at a second meeting. There was support for the two-meeting business model in that it provides an opportunity for council members to obtain feedback from their college faculty.

b. Graduate Council: Agenda Committee – This is a suggestion to create a committee that would assist the Dean of Graduate Studies in setting the meeting agenda. The Dean alone is not always aware of all the issues that may need to be addressed. The Dean would chair this committee and the members could include the chairs of each of the standing committees of Grad Council (Policies, Membership, Student Affairs, and Curriculum A and Curriculum B).
X. The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.