Graduate Council Meeting

September 13, 2012


The meeting was called to order at 2:05 p.m.

Voting members and alternates present were: J. Allen, G. Alter, C. Brun, A. Chamberlain, R. Grandhi, B. Gray, M. Gruys, B. Hull, M. Kadakia, M. McNutt, M. Miller, B. Milligan, W. Mosier, B. Rigling, R. Ramsey, M. Schultz, E. Self, T. Tarpey and J. Warfield.

Non-voting members, alternates and other attendees were: B. Ayres, M. Brainerd, C. Cherrington,S. Foster, E. Gilles (scribe), A. Goshtasby, J. Greening, L. Hofmeyer, L. Hong, A. Hsu (chair), L. James, J. Keferl, D. Krane, T. Longley-Cook, C. Loranger, M. Mamrack, D. Steele-Johnson, and R. Williams.

II. Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the May 17, 2012 meeting be approved as written. Motion carried unanimously.

III. Report of the Dean (A. Hsu)

a. Graduate Council Scholars – Four of the eight continuing and new Graduate Council Scholars were introduced to the Council: Amanda Haag, Sanjay Wijertne, Kelsey Danner, and Elizabeth Sancomb. Dr. Hsu thanked the Graduate Council and particularly the Student Affairs Committee for their help in selecting these outstanding students.

b. Enrollment Management – PowerPoint presentation. The 14th day data was not available at the time of the meeting today, but the Graduate School is expecting the enrollment to be down from last year. The Graduate School has been diligently working to address this issue. Dr. Hsu developed an equation to help explain enrollment: Enrollment = (Pre.Yr.Enrollment – Graduation) * Retention% + Admission * Yield%

The previous year enrollment number is affected by graduation and attrition. In a typical year, 1200 students graduate. A “big year” might see as many as 1300-1400 graduates. Last year, over 1500 students graduated ahead of the conversion to semesters. Every year, students are lost to attrition. In a survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools, WSU students cited poor advising and financial constraints as reasons for leaving. To reduce attrition, the Graduate School launched a new initiative to help retain students who are struggling financially by offering graduate retention scholarships. The Graduate School relies on the programs to provide advising; plans are underway to offer an advising workshop.

Attempts were made to replenish the pipeline of students through increased marketing efforts. The Graduate School saw a record number of applications (15-18% increase). Some of the applications were rejected; some admitted students decided not to come. The final result is the current year enrollment. The estimated increase in new students is 10%. The estimated decrease in continuing students (due to record # of graduates) is -15.5%. (Day 14 data released while Graduate Council was in session shows 21.4% increase for new graduate students on the Dayton campus and 13.8% decrease in continuing students, resulting in a 8.3% decrease in total enrollment). Overall, the admission numbers are lower than expected based on the number of applications. The number of admissions should increase proportionally with the number of applications, but some colleges had reduced admissions even though more students applied. A couple of ways programs can help improve yield is by processing applications quicker and by contacting new admits that haven’t enrolled yet.  Discussion: Concerns regarding the lack of university plans for more faculty and for more financial support were expressed as challenges.

c. Marketing – The Graduate School has been consulting with a marketing firm who is evaluating the effectiveness of the Grad School’s current marketing efforts. A presentation is planned for a future Grad Council meeting.

d. Tuition Fee Remission Policy – An ad-hoc committee of the Research Council redrafted the policy. The draft has been distributed to the colleges/schools for input. Continued discussions expected. 

IV. Report of the Assistant Dean (R. Ayres)

a. Announcements – The Graduate Open House will be Monday, October 8, 5:00-7:00 p.m., and the next Graduate Program Directors Workshop is scheduled for Friday, November 2, 12:00-2:30 p.m.

b. Online graduate education project with Academic Partnerships – Last year, Provost Angle offered the opportunity to all of the colleges to work with Academic Partnerships to develop a completely online program. CEHS volunteered. Two of their M.Ed programs and two of their Ed Specialists programs that had suffered a downturn in enrollment were selected. The goal is to begin offering the programs in Jan. 2013. Three areas of focus: curriculum development, administrative side, and marketing. CEHS had a jumpstart on these – they have been offering a portion of the program online already so the curriculum was already in place. Academic Partnerships will handle the marketing and support services for the students. The biggest hurdle has been on the administrative side but once in place, future programs should have an easier time.

V. Committee Reports

a. Policies Committee (G. Alter)

The Policies Committee met on Sept. 7 and considered a number of items. Two items regarding transcripts and graduate faculty qualifications are still under consideration. Two other items involved section 4.50 of the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual, specifically Policy 4.51 Combined Degrees and Policy 4.52 Senior Permission. There were two separate issues: establishing a maximum number of credit hours and permitting a policy exception. The language added to the policy address the following glitches: (issue 1) some students have taken advantage of both the combined degree policy and the senior permission policy and have applied to Graduate School with 24 credits completed as an undergrad; (issue 1) transfer students can transfer up to 50% of previous credits (15 semester hours) but WSU students in the combined degree programs can currently only double-count 12 semester hours; and (issue 2) an exception needed for second-degree students in the BEACON program (and other similar programs) to be able to take graduate courses as undergraduates. On behalf of the Policies Committee, G. Alter moved to approve the additions to policy 4.53 (underlined): Non-degree undergraduate students are not permitted to register for graduate courses. Undergraduate students already possessing a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply as non-degree graduate students and are not permitted to register under the Graduate Course Permission policy (section 4.52), unless they are enrolled as part of a program that has received waiver permission to this rule from the Graduate School and the credits being taken are being applied towards a second undergraduate degree. (addresses BEACON issue) Students participating in combined-degree programs may also take graduate hours for graduate credit using the Graduate Course Permission Form (section 4.52), but only up to a total of 15 graduate credit hours, taken as an undergraduate, may be applied to the graduate degree.(matches policy for transfer students) Except as arranged within specific approved combined-degree programs, no undergraduate student will be allowed to double-count more than 12 semester credit hours towards both degrees, and the total of double-counted hours and Graduate Course Permission hours applied to the graduate degree should not exceed 15.(addresses issue of having majority of graduate credits by time of u-grad graduation). Discussion: None. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

b. Membership Committee (B. Gray)

Since the last Graduate Council meeting, the Graduate School Dean approved 4 regular graduate faculty memberships and 16 adjunct memberships. The Membership Committee approved 2 adjunct memberships and 1 regular membership. Based on one of the reviews involving a nominee who is not in the tenure track line but is qualified to have regular membership, the Membership Committee is drafting some policy language to be considered by the Policies Committee.

c. Curriculum Committee A (R. Grandhi)

No Report.

d. Curriculum Committee B (S. Franco)

No Report.

e. Student Affairs Committee (C. Brun)

The Student Affairs Committee met on Sept. 11, 2012, and had two items of business:

1. Graduate Council Scholars – The committee reviewed its recommendation that the Graduate Council Scholar Awards be given as one year awards to 8 students as reported at the May 17, 2012 Graduate Council. Four one-year awards will be given for 2013-2014 and eight one-year awards for 2014-2015. There will be two calls for nominations like past years.

2. Minority Fellowship Awards – The committee has been given the charge to review candidates for the Wright Fellowship program aimed at attracting high quality underrepresented minority graduate students to WSU. Since there are funds available for 2012-2013, the Graduate School will begin a nomination process for 8 scholarships for Spring 2013. The call for nominations will be made soon. The committee is still defining “underrepresented minority” and may permit colleges to define a minority specific to their programs. Only graduate students who began Fall 2012 or will begin Spring 2013 will be eligible for the Spring 2013 awards. A separate nomination process will take place later in the academic year for 2013-2014. Up to 4 awards will be given to graduate students who begin Fall 2013.

VI. Graduate Student Assembly (GSA)

James Greening introduced himself as this year’s president of the Graduate Student Assembly and Lindsey Hofmeyer as treasurer. The GSA is extremely appreciative of the Graduate Council’s support. Last year, the GSA was able to offer a total of $10,000 to deserving graduate students to assist them in their travels for research related activities. These students were representing WSU around the world! This year, the GSA has begun Graduate Innovation2 with the dual goals of doubling their membership (currently have 70 members) and of doubling the money to offer for grants to $20,000. Dr. Hsu thanked the GSA for their great efforts.

VII. Old Business – None

VIII. New Business – None

IX. Discussion - None

X. The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.