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Graduate School

Graduate Council Meeting

April 20, 2009


I. The meeting was called to order at 2:40 p.m.

Voting members and alternates present were:  G. Alter, J. Bantle, A. Chamberlain, D. Cole, D. Curry, M. Emmert, R. Grandhi, G. Hambright, J. Jean, D. Petkie, M. Rucker, C. Ryan, S. Higgins, C. Sulentic, D. Voss, D. Weber, R. Williams

Non-voting alternates and other attendees were:  B. Gray, M. Hogue, J. Kimble, J. Petrick, N. Sedgwick, K. Wilhoit

II. Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the February 23, 2009 meeting be approved as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

III. Report of the Dean (J. Thomas)

J. Thomas reported that Spring Quarter headcount was up 1.1% over Spring 2008, but 3.2% less than Spring, 2004.  Student credit hours are up 0.3% from last year, with an increase of 4.7% over the past five years.  This indicates an increase in full-time students and students taking more credit hours.  Within these numbers, domestic applications show a larger increase, but international applications have been falling.  We would like to see a stronger enrollment increase and hope that new programs, beginning Fall Quarter, will help to increase enrollment.

The Spring Quarter Graduate Open House was again successful.  Attendance was 271, down slightly from last year’s attendance of 283. though applications submitted to the Open House were up, with more than half of those attending applying while they were at the event.  J. Thomas thanked all of the program representatives who staffed the tables for this event.

The ten member Dean’s Student Advisory Board has been meeting about once a month.  Megan Cronenwett and Nathan Sedgwick, Student Government former and current SoGS Senators, lead this Board.  The DSAB is working toward: (1.) having a graduate presence in the Guardian; (2.) implementing a new student mentorship program; and (3.) promoting expanded attendance at programs and seminars.

We currently have twelve Graduate Council Scholars for 2008-09.  Selection for Fall 2009 is in progress.  This scholarship program is for top students, one per program, with a stipend of $13,000 and tuition for up to two years.  The Student Affairs Committee selects from the nominations submitted by faculty or administration.  This is not a program for students to self-nominate.  The Graduate Council Scholars program is a recruiting tool for first-term students and can influence those undecided applicants to come to Wright State rather than another University.  We also have an accelerated process to more quickly select talented students ready to decide on a graduate program to avoid losing them to other universities.

The Graduate Student Excellence Awards ceremony will be held May 6 at 5:00 p.m. in the Pathfinder Lounge to recognize 43 outstanding graduate students.  Invitations will be sent to the various committees and advisors this week.  J. Thomas thanked all who support this fine program.

We will be requesting nominations in early May for members of the Graduate Council and Committees for 2009-10, and we ask for a reply by May 30. 

J. Thomas expressed his thanks to the members of Graduate Council and the Committees for all of their good work this year.

IV. Committee Reports

* Policies Committee (R. Williams substituting for L. Ream)

The Policies Committee met April 6 and April 13 and discussed two (2) policy issues and five (5) program approval or change requests.

The first policy issue concerned the quarter to semester conversion and how it will affect graduate programs.  J. Thomas introduced a draft Graduate Semester Conversion Guidelines document which covered course credit hour base, instructional hour definition, credit hours for a degree, credit hours to be full time, residency requirements, transfer credit hour limits, and course numbering.  The Committee agreed that the curriculum conversion will be to a three semester credit hour course base with 30 semester hours required for a master’s degree.  There was discussion about the number of semester credit hours to be considered full-time and it was agreed to leave it ‘to be determined’ for now.  This will not prevent the course conversion process from moving forward.  Discussion of the residency requirement and transfer credit for a master’s degree led to agreement to allow transfer of 9 semester credit hours with a requirement of 21 hours at Wright State.  With these changes, the committee voted unanimously to recommend the document to Graduate Council.

The draft policy on “Graduate Program Director Selection, Duties, and Periodic Review” continues to be further defined.  This document is intended to give SoGS a role in Graduate Program Director selection, to set up a template for Graduate Program Director position descriptions, and to provide a procedure for review of Graduate Program Directors.  The Committee questioned qualifications for the graduate program directors’ position and noted that a few Graduate Program Directors are staff rather than faculty.  The draft policy will next go to the Council of Deans for review.

The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (P&T) is proposing a non-thesis track for their M.S. program.  This originally came forward last Fall, but was returned for clarification of some courses and course sequencing.  The revised document, which also contained minor changes in the thesis track, was found to be acceptable and was approved by the Policies Committee.

Changes mandated by the State of Ohio required the M.Ed. and M.A. Classroom Teacher Program: Reading Concentration to be adjusted to require 31.5 credit hours for the licensure Endorsement and 49.5 credit hours for a master’s degree.  The Policies Committee voted unanimously to approve these changes.

Women’s Studies requested a change to the Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies to include a 4 credit hour core requirement, thus strengthening the rigor of the theoretical component of this program.  Women’s Studies also requested that WMS 700, “Feminist Theory” replace PLS 605, “Feminist Thought,” for all students other than English majors, and that ENG 725, “Women’s Studies Theory and Literature” replace ENG 720, “Women’s Studies Through Literature.” for English Literature majors.  These changes were unanimously approved by the Policies Committee.

CEHS requested approval for a Literacy Specialist Endorsement program.  (An Endorsement is a note on the Teacher’s Ohio license indicating teaching proficiency; it is awarded by the State, not by WSU.)  The Literacy Specialist program is an existing, state funded, program offered by a consortium of eight Ohio universities.  The lead institution for the program grant is John Carroll University, and the fiscal agent is the University of Toledo. WSU students will enroll at WSU and students from the other institutions will enroll through their respective home institutions.  The program consists of a total of 27 quarter hours/18 semester hours; all courses are online, and the course instructors rotate among different institutions each term.  The consortium is attempting to establish a common tuition for all eight institutions ($7,000).  There is a year long, faculty supervised internship component in the program.  CEHS is also planning to offer a Graduate Certificate for the benefit of out-of-state students, and CEHS is preparing a document for review and approval of the Certificate program.  It was pointed out that the Certificate program should not exceed 22 quarter credit hours or state-level approval would be required.  The Committee voted unanimously to approve the Endorsement program, with the understanding that the certificate program is in preparation for review and approval at a later date.  

The Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPR) is requesting changes to the M.A. Classroom Teacher: Physical Education.  This request is for the M.A. component only, as the parallel M.Ed. component is still under development.  The M.A. had been inactivated pending these changes.  The intent of the changes is to include Sports Management content in the program and seek a title other than Classroom Teacher to reflect a broader constituency.  The proposal was tabled pending discussion of strategy for obtaining necessary state-level approvals.  In the meantime, CEHS will reactivate the existing HPR M.A. program.

* Membership Committee (J. Petrick)

The Membership Committee recommended eight (8) new nominees who met the standards for full graduate faculty status and five (5) who met the standards for adjunct full graduate faculty membership.

The full graduate faculty member nominees are:

Misty Ann Blue BIE/CECS
Charles Ciampaglio EES/CoSM
Katherine Excoffon BMS PhD/CoSM
Weifu Fang Math/CoSM
Paul Koles Pathology/BSoM
Cristina Redko CommHlth/BSoM
Daniel Slilaty Math/CoSM
Emily Tian Math/CoSM

It was moved and seconded that these nominees be approved; the motion passed unanimously.

The following nominees are recommended to the Graduate Council for adjunct full graduate faculty membership:

Greg Creech Engr PhD/CECS
Sivaram Gogineni MME/CECS
Steve Hary Engr PhD/CECS
Lakshmish Ramaswamy CSE PhD/CECS
Kathleen Robinette CSE PhD/CECS

It was moved and seconded that these nominees be approved; the motion passed unanimously.

* Student Affairs Committee (B. Gray)

Two prospective students were offered accelerated Graduate Council Scholar offers, but no response has been received at this time. 

B. Gray asked that students be advised to apply for these scholarships very soon in order to be considered for selection at the May meeting.  As previously stated, we do not want to lose these talented students to another University.

V. Research Report (J. Bantle substituting for E. Reinsch-Friese)

J. Bantle stated that it is the best of times and the worst of times for sponsored research.  A total of 425 sponsored program awards totaling $50,242,768 were received in FY 08 through 3/31/08.  In FY 09 through 3/31/09, 461 awards total $61,117,215.  During this same time period, funding for research (vs. other sponsored programs) increased from $21,892,468 to $26,251,331. Many of the grants support graduate students’ stipends.  External funding is expected to increase for the current year.

Wright State received several million dollars in grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for grants that were reactivated after first being declined.  This is a very rare event to happen.  These economic stimulus funds are available to WSU researchers in limited competition through NIH.  Current opportunities from NIH include supplements to exiting grants (10 proposals submitted), challenge grants (28 proposals are expected to be submitted), and a Research Facilities Improvement program for grants of $1.5M to be submitted in June.  If you are planning to submit a proposal, please contact your assigned RSP staff member.

The 2009 Technology Commercialization Competition is now in progress. Guidelines are on the RSP website with the submission deadline of April 24, 2009.  One or two awards are anticipated.

The Chancellor has formed a team that will be coming to Wright State on May 4.  This relates to jobs and job opportunities.  All Universities in the State are expected to contribute.

Funding from the state, in particular the program we know as Research Challenge, has decreased, causing internal grant competitions to be cut back or eliminated.  We could have even more cutbacks due to the slowdown in state tax collections.  Whereas there are opportunities on the federal funding side, problems predominate for state funding.

VI. Old Business

* Discussion of Semester Conversion (M. Hogue & J. Thomas)

The Registrar’s Office is working with CaTS on the course inventory and modification workflow process.  This would enable those involved in the decision-making process to view and make comments electronically, thus eliminating the multiple copy carbon form paperwork.  CaTS will be showing the Registrar’s Office a prototype by May 1.  Completion is expected by June.

J. Thomas asked for a motion to approve the Graduate Semester Conversion Guidelines as reported by the Policies Committee which were distributed with the Agenda.  The Guidelines were moved and seconded.  Discussion centered on defining full-time status which is required to plan the curricula for graduate assistants.  The academic calendar also still needs to be determined.  With the understanding that these decisions need to be taken as soon as possible, the Guidelines document was approved unanimously.

J. Thomas pointed out a concern that a semester calendar is less intense than a quarter calendar, and could require students one to three additional terms to complete a degree.  This could be a negative factor in enrollment, and should be considered in planning the semester course schedules.

VII. New Business

No new business was brought forward.

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.