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Graduate School

Graduate Council Meeting March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018


I. The meeting was called to order at 2:10 p.m.

Voting Members and Alternates present:

BSoM: Andrew Froehle and Mike Markey
CEHS: Hannah Chai and Sheri Stover
CECS: Arnab Shaw
CoNH: Brenda Young (by Skype)
CoSM: Lynn Hartzler, Mill Miller, and Scott Watamaniuk
RSCoB: Andrew Beauchamp and Jim Hamister
SoPP: Michelle Vaughan

Non-Voting Ex-Officio Members present:
Barry Milligan (interim dean and chair), Daniel Bashore, Frank Ciarallo, Travis Doom, Erika Gilles (scribe), Deb Poling, and Amanda Steele-Middleton, Karen Wilhoit, and Chris Wyatt.

II. Report of the Interim Dean (Barry Milligan)

VPR Search – The search firm that has been hired to conduct the Provost search will also conduct the search for the VP Research when the search for the Provost is complete. No update on the search for a Graduate School Dean.

Graduate Committees of the Faculty Senate – All current members of the Graduate Council should have received an email invitation to serve on the new graduate governance committees of the Faculty Senate. If current members would be willing to serve, it would help ensure a smoother transition. Thanks in advance to all those who consider volunteering to serve.

A second Graduate Marshall for the graduate students is needed for the April 28 Commencement. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Dr. Milligan.

Graduate Student Excellence Awards Program – This annual event will be held on Wed. April 18 at 4 p.m. in the Apollo Room. All graduate programs are encouraged to recommend an award recipient.

Curriculog – During the curriculum review process this month, another challenge in Curriculog was discovered: When a program is submitted for modification, the originator has two options to enter the program courses into the form. The preferred method is to import the courses from the university catalog. The alternate method is to manually type the courses into the form. With manual entry, errors might be made in the course number and/or course title. If courses are imported from the catalog, then the information is accurate (maintains data integrity) and the functionality of the system is enhanced (the imported courses link to the catalog so the reviewers can view the credits hours, course descriptions, etc.). Unfortunately, the system does not identify the method of entry and so the curriculum committee members have no way of knowing if the information listed is accurate or not without manually checking each course listed on the program of study. Amanda Steele-Middleton reported that this concern has already been forwarded to the Curriculog developers and an enhancement is expected.

Another challenge experienced in Curriculog by one department: If a course is rejected by one of the curriculum committees and returned to the originator, all of the original tracked changes are no longer visible. This is a new issue; Amanda said she would investigate it further.

III. Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Feb. 8, 2018 meeting were approved as written without comment or correction.

IV. Committee Reports

a. Student Affairs Committee (Scott Watamaniuk for Mike Raymer)  

The Student Affairs Committee met once to consider the Graduate Council Scholar nominations submitted in the first round. Four students, and two alternates, were selected to receive the scholarship offer. Four additional students will be selected in the second round. All nominees not selected in the first round will be considered again in the second round. Programs can nominate only one student for the Graduate Council Scholar scholarship and one student for the Wright Fellow scholarship. Nominations for the second round of Graduate Council Scholars and for the Wright Fellows scholarship are due by March 23.

b. Membership Committee (Hannah Chai)

The Committee reviewed eight applications for graduate faculty membership. Seven were approved for adjunct membership and one for temporary membership. The dean of the graduate school reviewed ten applications. On behalf of the Membership Committee, Dr. Chai moved to approve all of the graduate faculty memberships. No discussion. Dr. Milligan called for a vote. Vote: All in favor. Motion passed.

c. Policies Committee (Barry Milligan for John Gallagher)

The Policies Committee met once to consider a number of policy revisions. The policies recommended for Graduate Council approval are the following:

1. Policy 2160 Graduate Faculty Membership
The recommended revisions to Policy 2160 are a direct translation of current practices and policies drawn from the Graduate Council Manual and the relevant nomination form. This formalization of current policy and practice was and needs to be done due to HLC requirements. The Policies Committee notes that it will likely be considering Policy 2160 again for update and will be seeking input from graduate faculty and program directors in the next term. On behalf of the Policies Committee, Dr. Milligan moved to approve the following revisions to Policy 2160:

2160 Graduate Faculty Membership
2160.1 Purpose

The Graduate Faculty, the body primarily responsible for graduate study, is composed of faculty members whose experience and record of scholarship qualify them to offer graduate-level instruction. The Graduate Faculty's purpose is to encourage and contribute to the advancement of knowledge and/or professional practice through instruction, supervision, and research of the highest quality. Eligibility criteria for Graduate Faculty status emphasize the totality of a Graduate Faculty member's instructional, advising, and professional responsibilities as well as explicit scholarship criteria.

2160.2 Eligibility Criteria

In order to be appointed to the Graduate Faculty on a permanent basis, a faculty member must have (a) the appropriate terminal degree for graduate instruction in the field, (b) demonstrated involvement in graduate instruction through teaching and, where applicable, graduate student supervision, (c) current (within the past five years) and relevant record of scholarly or creative accomplishment through research, publications, professional activities, and/or creative work, and (d) rank of assistant professor or above at Wright State University.

Other faculty members may receive either a) adjunct appointments to the Graduate Faculty for terms of up to five years, or b) temporary appointments to the Graduate Faculty for a term of one semester.

The Dean of the Graduate School and/or the Graduate Membership Committee may, with the approval of Faculty Senate, establish additional criteria for membership of the Graduate Faculty.

2160.3 Functions of the Graduate Faculty

Regular Graduate Faculty members have the privilege of (a) instructing students at the graduate level (i.e., at or above the 5000-level), (b) serving as members of a student's advisory committee, (c) serving as members of Faculty Senate Graduate Committees, (d) serving as chairs of Faculty Senate Graduate committees, and (e) supervising a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation. However, before a Graduate Faculty member can serve as a thesis/dissertation director, that person must be approved on a case-by-case basis (for each specific thesis or dissertation) by the chair/director of the program and the Dean of the Graduate School. The department chairs/program directors shall be responsible for initiating the recommendation of these individuals. If a department chair/program director refuses to support a Graduate Faculty member's request to direct a particular thesis/dissertation or if the chair/director supports the request and the Dean of the Graduate School does not concur and disapproves the recommendation, the faculty member may appeal that ruling. The Graduate Faculty Membership Committee will act as the final appellate body for this process.

Individuals appointed to the Adjunct Graduate Faculty have the privilege of (a) instructing students at the graduate level, (b) serving as members of a student's advisory committee, and serving as co-directors/co-supervisors of theses or dissertations.

2160.4 Procedure for Nomination to Graduate Faculty Membership

Regular Graduate Faculty and Adjunct Graduate Faculty Membership

A. The appropriate department chair, program director, or Department or Program Faculty Committee completes the Graduate Faculty Nomination Form and forwards to college/school dean.

B. The graduate studies committee of the College or School reviews the nomination and forwards the form with the committee's recommendation, and statement by the dean, department chair, or program director, if appropriate, to the Graduate School.

C. The Dean of the Graduate School reviews the nomination. If the candidate meets all four of the primary criteria for regular membership (terminal degree, scholarship or creative endeavors, record of teaching at the graduate level, and professorial rank at WSU), or the three primary criteria for adjunct membership (terminal degree, scholarship/creative endeavors, and record of teaching), the Dean approves the nomination and records the candidate in the list of Graduate Faculty. Approved candidates are reported to the Faculty Senate.

D. Nominations that do not meet the primary criteria are eligible only for Adjunct Graduate Faculty status and are forwarded, along with all necessary explanatory and supporting material, to the Membership Committee, which sends approved nominations to the Dean of the Graduate School for concurring signature, recording in the list of Graduate Faculty, and reporting to the Faculty Senate. In cases of disagreement between the Dean and the Committee, the Faculty Senate will serve as the final arbiter. If a nomination is ultimately declined, a letter of explanation will be sent to the nominator.

E. Written notification of the action taken by the Committee or the Dean is sent to the faculty member concerned. A copy of the notification will also be sent to the department chair and the dean who submitted the request.

F. All documents pertaining to the nomination are kept on file in the Graduate School.

G. At the request of the Dean of the Graduate School, a graduate faculty member may be required to submit a current curriculum vita or other updated information, subsequent to his/her admission to the Graduate Faculty.

H. The Dean of the Graduate School may grant temporary graduate faculty status to newly hired faculty for one academic term. This temporary status permits faculty to teach graduate courses and serve on thesis or dissertation committees. Temporary status automatically expires at the end of the term for which it is granted. Departments wishing to nominate faculty for regular graduate faculty membership should submit those nominations during the term of temporary membership. No discussion. Dr. Milligan called for a vote. Vote: All in favor. Motion passed.

2. Embargo Policy
Last spring, an embargo policy was approved by the Graduate Council but was held at the level of the Provost until the Fall. The Provost then requested the Policies Committee revise the policy to reflect the new leadership situation. The original policy stated that the VP Research would approve embargo requests; the Oct. 2018 revision changed the approver to the Dean of the Graduate School. As the policy was implemented in the Fall semester, several issues came to light. Concerns from constituents were discussed at several Policies Committee meetings. On behalf of the Policies Committee, Dr. Milligan moved to approve the following language for an embargo policy:

Theses and dissertations at Wright State University are public documents, produced under the auspices of a public university, and therefore must ultimately be made available to the general public.  However, temporary delays in public release (embargos) are sometimes necessary in order to benefit and protect students, the university, or both.  All embargo requests must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. An embargo may be requested for up to one year. Renewal of an embargo must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School and will be granted for no more than one year at a time. No permanent embargoes will be approved.

Embargos may typically be granted only under the following conditions: 

1. The thesis or dissertation document is in its final, archival, form; has received signed approval of all committee members, any relevant program director, and the Dean of the Graduate School; and has been submitted to the Graduate School. 

2. The student author of the thesis or dissertation has submitted a completed embargo request form.  The thesis or dissertation advisor and relevant graduate program director must receive a copy of the request form and may advise the Graduate School, but may neither prevent nor compel embargo action. 

Embargo requests are typically granted for the following reasons:

1. A short period of time beyond the final submission deadline is required for approval of final release by a recognized external partner (such as the Air Force Research Laboratory).

2. To allow the student additional time, not to exceed one year, to prepare the work for submission to a publication venue.

3. The author has applied for a patent for material represented in the thesis or dissertation, and documentation of that patent application accompanies the request.

Discussion: An embargo is approved for only one year at a time, but a request can be made to renew the embargo. The policy does not limit the number of renewals. A couple of Council members suggested that criteria be set for an embargo renewal and possibly a different type of approval process (faculty committee vs. Grad School dean). Several Council members were also concerned that the proposed language does not clearly protect intellectual property or the situation of ongoing research (e.g., when a master student’s work is part of a doctoral student’s work). Despite these concerns, no new language was proposed.

After the discussion, one change to the policy was recommended: strike the phrase “not to exceed one year” included in reason #2 (see highlighted deletion in policy above). Dr. Milligan called for a vote to approve the embargo policy as amended. Vote: 11 Yes, 1 No. Motion passed.

3. Policy 2035.3 Faculty Credentials

The addition to Policy 2035.3 is simply a reference to Policy 2160. On behalf of the Policies Committee, Dr. Milligan moved to approve the addition to Policy 2035.3. No discussion.

Dr. Milligan called for a vote. Vote: All in favor. Motion passed.

2035.3 Verification and Distribution of Credentials

The Associate Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs office is responsible for providing the Department of Human Resources official copies of all transcripts and other required credentials. Upon receiving credentials, Human Resources will notify the faculty member’s primary department, and make them available to the department and college for review. Individual colleges and departments are responsible for verifying that received credentials are appropriate to the faculty member’s position and teaching assignments.

To teach graduate-level courses or serve on master's thesis or doctoral dissertation committees, faculty members must additionally attain Graduate Faculty Membership in accordance with WSU Policy 2160.

The Provost or designee will resolve questions or disputes regarding a faculty member’s academic credentials. In the highly unusual circumstance that a faculty member is hired without traditional academic preparation, the Provost’s written approval of the candidate’s alternative qualifications is required.

The above policy follows the faculty credential requirements specified by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Board of Regents.

4. Policy 5120.1 Graduate Assistantships
Length of Appointment: The recommended revisions to Policy 5120.1 add a limit to the years of support for doctoral students and cease to require the minimum 6.0 credit hours of registration when the program of study indicates the extra credits are not needed. The revisions will assist the Grad School’s effort to support as many graduate students as possible while also encouraging students to move through the program with satisfactory progress. On behalf of the Policies Committee, Dr. Milligan moved to approve the following revisions to Policy 5120.1:

5120.1 Length of Appointment

Normally, Graduate assistants supported in whole or in part by Wright State University funds receive appointments for two semesters beginning in the Fall. If funds are available, a contract may be issued to the student for the Summer Term at the same per-term stipend the student received during the previous academic year. Graduate assistantship support may be provided for up to a maximum of two years for master's studentsdegree candidates and, additionally, up to five years of total assistantship support for doctoral students. To receive continued support, assistants must perform satisfactorily in both degree requirements and their assistantship duties. Satisfactory progress toward a degree means at least the following:

  • full-time registration status (six semester hours) for students who have six or more hours of remaining course work;
  • registration for the specific hours indicated on an approved program of study for students who either a) have fewer than six hours of remaining course work to complete, or b) have completed all course requirements and are completing remaining degree requirements;
  • a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0;
  • following an approved program of study, and fulfilling other academic requirements as determined by the program.

Failure to meet these standards, or failure to perform satisfactorily as a graduate assistant, will be grounds for cancellation of the assistantship agreement.

Continued support of a graduate assistant beyond the normal period requires special approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Discussion: A total of five years support (two years for master’s degree and three years for doctoral degree) is not enough for doctoral students. The norm for “time to completion” for doctorates is five years, and several programs’ students take longer even though they are making satisfactory progress. The policy revision also disadvantages doctoral students who earn a master’s degree at Wright State.

After discussion, the following amendments were recommended (see highlighted text in policy): Revise master’s degree candidates to master’s students (for consistent language) and strike “total” and add “additionally” to increase the funding support for doctoral students to five years, regardless of whether they were also supported by WSU for work toward a master's degree. A motion to approve the language for the amendments was seconded. Dr. Milligan called for a vote. Vote: 11 Yes, 1 No. Motion passed.

Dr. Milligan then called for a vote to approve Policy 5120.1 as amended. Vote: 10 Yes, 2 No. Motion passed.

d. Curriculum Committee A (Barry Milligan for John McAlearney)

On behalf of the Curriculum Committee A, Dr. Milligan moved to approve all of the following curriculum items:

  • New course requests: DS 7950, DS 7960, ME 7360, P&N 6300, PTX 7004, and PTX 7005.
  • Course modifications: BMB 6630, PTX 6001, PTX 6002, PTX 7012, PTX 8004, PTX 8005, and PTX 8006
  • Course deactivations: BME 5520, BME 5520L, BME 6430, BME 6441, BME 6442, BME 6443, BME 6443L, BME 6701, BME 6701L, BME 6701R, BME 6702, BME 6702L, BME 7315, BME 7330, BME 7331, BME 7335, BME 7350, BME 7411, BME 7411P, BME 7412, BME 7412P, BME 7421, BME 7422, BME 7450, BME 7461, BME 7461L, BME 7462, BME 7480, BME 7490, CEG 6910, IHE 7315, IHE 7331, and IHE 7335.

No discussion. Dr. Milligan called for a vote. Vote: All in favor. Motion passed.

e. Curriculum Committee B (Jim Hamister)

On behalf of the Curriculum Committee B, Dr. Hamister moved to approve:

  • New course request: PHL 6710
  • Course modifications: EC 6350, EC 7090, EC 7120, EC 7150, EC 7170, ED 7060, ED 7120, ED 7220, ED 7450, ED 7500, ED 7600, REL 5400, SW 7230, and URS 6950.

No discussion. Dr. Milligan called for a vote. Vote: All in favor. Motion passed.

V. Graduate Student Assembly (Daniel Bashore)
Daniel Bashore is a student in the HFIO Psychology PhD program and is now serving as the president of the GSA. Sara Seibert, a student in the BMS PhD program, is serving as the Treasurer. Both Daniel and Sara have completed the required training for student organization leaders, have helped to elect six additional graduate students to serve on the GSA executive board, and have presented evidence that the GSA serves a valuable and unique role at Wright State by representing graduate students and by assisting graduate student research and professional development. After overcoming all of these hurdles, the GSA now has access to its 2017-2018 budget. The call for applications for the Original Work and Professional Development grants was announced a few weeks ago. The application deadline is March 23. Information about the application process is available on the Graduate Student Assembly website on the “Grants” tab. The site also lists the link to the Org Sync site where the application is located.

VI. Old Business – None

VII. New Business – None

VIII. Discussion –  Follow-up question about the embargo policy: The policy mentions an embargo request form. The form has been drafted and will be circulated to the Policies Committee for input. Once the policy is approved and posted on the University Policy site, the embargo request form will be available by a link in the policy.

IX. The meeting was adjourned at 3:25 p.m.