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Graduate School

Graduate Council Meeting

April 19, 2012


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

Voting members and alternates present were:  A. Chamberlain, S. Franco, B. Gray, M. Gruys, P. Ilagan, M. Kadakia, M. Kazimierczuk, B. Milligan, L. Ream, J. Runkle, R. Ramsey, M. Schultz, E. Self, T. Tarpey,
J. Tipps, S. Watamaniuk.

Non-voting members, alternates and other attendees were:  B. Ayres, M. Bargerhuff, M. Brainerd,
C. Brun, L. Caron, D. Curry, S. Foster, E. Gilles (scribe), L. Hofmeyer, L. Hong, A. Hsu (chair),  L. James,
J. Lindsey, C. Loranger, M. Miller, D. Voss, R. Williams.
II.      Approval of Minutes
It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the March 1, 2012 meeting be approved as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

III.      Report of the Dean (A. Hsu)

a. Scholarships for Underrepresented Minority Students – The Graduate School received the Provost’s approval to fund four one-year scholarships for underrepresented minority students. The hope is that the academic colleges will provide a scholarship or assistantship for the second year. One concern: A one-year scholarship may not be enough to attract the students to WSU but if it is changed to a two-year scholarship, then there will only be two scholarships to offer. Feedback regarding the scholarship is welcome.

b. PhD Program Reviews – The five research-based PhD programs are undergoing program reviews this year and next. The DNP went through a review last year. For this year, the PhD in Engineering program review was April 9-10, the Computer Science & Engineering PhD program is April 20, and the Biomedical Sciences PhD program is May 3. After next year, the reviews will fall into a 5-6 year cycle, with one program reviewed each year. The purpose of the reviews is (1) to understand the PhD programs more fully and to improve them as needed and (2) to meet the state’s requirements for review which is tied to state funding.

c. Spring Graduate Open House – April 10, 2012. The Graduate School had been considering eliminating the spring Open House because of the downward trend in attendance over the last few years. A review of the past five years, however, shows that the downward trend is finally leveling off. Even better news is that the application rate has increased. Five years ago, 50% of those who attended submitted applications; this year, 80% of those attended submitted applications. With these encouraging results, the Graduate School intends to continue offering the Open House events.  

d. Combined Degree Programs – During the past year, several combined degree programs have been approved by the Graduate Council, UCAPC, and Faculty Senate, but have been waiting for approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) before being fully implemented. With thanks to the efforts of Dr. Sudkamp, HLC has given formal approval for the combined degree programs. It is a blanket approval so all previously approved programs and future programs will have HLC’s okay.  

e. ENG 690 Technical Writing Course – Graduate Council approved this new course in February. It will be offered to LEAP students this summer to meet the technical course component of LEAP Level 4. Two requests: (1) Please let graduate program advisors know about this new course so they can inform students of this new option for summer, and (2) Please consider accepting this course as part of the student’s program of study. As the course name suggests, the class will focus on technical writing skills and presentation skills.  

f. Reminder – Graduate Council is not only a policy approving body; it is also a conduit through which the Graduate School can communicate with faculty in all the academic colleges. As Grad Council members, please be sure to share meeting information with your respective colleges/schools.

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

a. Electronic Admissions Workflow – The workflow is functional now. Some of the CoLA programs are using it and the CoSM programs just received training today. By Fall 2012, all graduate programs should be receiving graduate admission applications electronically.

b. Curriculum Workflow – The semester conversion workflow has been modified to route all graduate curriculum changes, eliminating the paper forms and creating an archive for Registrar and the Graduate School.

V. Committee Reports

a. Policies Committee (M. Miller for G. Alter)

1. University Catalog Policies: Academic Standing – The Faculty Senate suggested changes to the University Catalog as to when “good standing” would be applied to a student’s record. Their suggestion was to change the number of credit hours from nine to six. The Policies Committee supported this change. The Policies Committee also recommended a simplification of the policy language which was sent to UCAPC for their consideration: Both undergraduate and graduate students earn academic standing at the University once they have attempted 6 semester credit hours. To be in good standing, undergraduate students must have earned a GPA of 2.0 or higher and graduate students must have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher; students who fall below those GPA thresholds will be placed on academic probation. Students with 6 or more attempted semester hours who have not completed 67% of their attempted credit hours must meet with their academic advisor (undergraduate) or program director (graduate) to register for classes.  On behalf of the Policies Committee, M. Miller moved to recommend this policy language change to Faculty Senate. Discussion included clarification that university catalog policies will include both undergraduate and graduate policies. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

2. Graduate Admissions Fee Waivers for Opportunity Grant Recipients – This policy change will allow Opportunity Grant recipients to have the admission application fee waived. The other two groups of students whose fees are waived are McNair Scholars and students in NIH graduate prep programs. On behalf of the Policies Committee, M. Miller moved to approve the admissions fee waiver for Opportunity Grant recipients. Discussion: none. A.Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

b. Membership Committee (B. Gray)
The Graduate School Dean approved 3 new graduate faculty for Regular membership. Several memberships are pending. Reminder: Colleges/Schools have received information regarding expiring graduate faculty memberships and have been asked to submit nominations for renewals.

c. Curriculum Committee A (L. Ream)
The Curriculum Committee A reviewed three combined BS/MS degree programs, all from the Mathematics and Statistics department. Each of the programs currently offers BS and MS degrees. No new courses have been added to the programs. The proposals are similar to previously approved combined degree programs.

1. Combined Degree Program in Mathematics –The participating students will be required to take four 3-credit hour 6000 level courses. On behalf of the Curriculum Committee A, L.Ream moved to approve the combined degree program in Mathematics as written. Discussion: none. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

2. Combined Degree Program in Applied Statistics –The participating students will be required to take three 4-credit hour 6000 level courses. On behalf of the Curriculum Committee A, L.Ream moved to approve the combined degree program in Applied Statistics as written. Discussion: none. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

3. Combined Degree Program in Applied Mathematics –The participating students will be required to take four 3-credit hour 6000 level courses. On behalf of the Curriculum Committee A, L. Ream moved to approve the combined degree program in Applied Mathematics as written. Discussion: none. A. Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

d. Curriculum Committee B (C. Loranger)

1. Full Proposal: Ed.D. in Organizational Studies – The Curriculum Committee B met once to review the full proposal for the Ed.D. in Organizational Studies. The committee felt that the CEHS team addressed any concerns from the RACGS review of the PDP (which was overall supportive of the program) and unanimously approved the proposal. On behalf of Curriculum Committee B, C. Loranger moved to approve the full proposal for the Ed.D. in Organizational Studies. Discussion included clarification that currently unemployed applicants to the program would still have to meet the requirement for prior experience. A.Hsu called for a vote. All in favor. Motion carried.

e. Student Affairs Committee (C. Brun)

1.  Graduate Council Scholars – The Committee met once to select the final two recipients of the Graduate Council Scholars awards. All four selected candidates from both rounds accepted the awards. The awardees are: Alex Byrd, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, CECS; Kelsey Danner, M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences, COSM; Elizabeth Sancomb, M.S. in Biological Sciences, COSM; and Adam Stahler, PhD in Biomedical Sciences, COSM. The Committee will meet again on May 4 to discuss a Graduate Council Scholars policy drafted by the Graduate School. The Committee will also discuss ways in which the Graduate Council Scholar awards can be more evenly distributed across more disciplines.

VI. Graduate Student Assembly (L. Hofmeyer)
The GSA received 40 applications in the second round for Original Work and Professional Development Grants, up from 14 applications received in the first round. The GSA appreciates the Grad Council’s help in spreading the word about the grant opportunity. The GSA recently went before the Student Organization Budget Committee (SOBC) to request funding support for the grant program for next year.

VII. Registrar (M. Brainerd)  

With semester conversion, several changes are planned:

a. Duplicate course checking – This function of BANNER will be turned on for Fall 2012 and will prevent students from registering for more than one section of a course. The benefit is that it will help Registrar see actual class enrollment. Campus classroom space is very tight. The concern is that special topic courses and thesis/dissertation courses would require advisor approval if students register for more than one. Some possible solutions: Advisors can approve the courses online/departments can provide approval and thesis/dissertation courses could be modified to offer variable credit hours. The Graduate Council members requested some data analysis before the function is turned on in relation to the negative impacts on graduate students and their ability to register.

b. Pre-requisite checks – This BANNER function will not be turned on. The system will not be able to recognize the quarter classes. It also does not recognize transfer credits. Pre-req checks will have to remain a manual process for now.

c. Course modifications – Registrar does not like to make changes to courses if students have already registered for the course. The changes will go into effect for the next semester.  

d. Late Registration – The Registrar has collected data on the number of continuing students who have not registered by the first week of classes and by the second week of classes. There is actually a financial incentive for students to delay registration; it pushes their payment due date back for another month. The unfortunate consequence is that classes are sometimes dropped from the schedule due to low enrollment. To encourage registration, the new policy that goes in effect for Fall 2012: Continuing students who are not registered by the first day of classes will be charged a late registration fee of $200.

VIII. Unfinished Business – None
IX. New Business - None
X. Discussion - None
XI. The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.