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GRADUATE COUNCIL

Minutes of

September 14th, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Scott Belobrajdic, Mike Crider for Erin Timpe, Dave Duvernell, Chair, M. Jane Gillespie, Steve Hansen, Stephanie McAndrews, Steve McCommas, Saiprakash Putti, Ena Rose-Green, Michael Shaw, Jay Starratt, Valerie Yancey, Jianpeng Zhou

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Laura Fowler, G. Stacey Staples

GUESTS: Seran Aktuna, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature
Christa Johnson, Associate Dean, Office of Research and Projects
Kevin Johnson, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Sharon James McGee, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature
M. Kent Neely, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Ron Schaefer, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
Susan Wiediger, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

I. SAGE Final Reports

A. Chemistry, Building Bridges: A New Master of Arts for In-Service Teachers

This proposed degree would "specifically [address] the professional and practical needs of in-service secondary science teachers and [complement] current offerings in the Chemistry Department and the School of Education." Chemistry began designing the curriculum before mid-term. The department has been coordinating with the School of Education, which recommended more education courses. The course request forms are being processed. Although the department would like to begin teaching the new courses by the Summer term of 2008, the program will take longer to be approved.

B. English, Creating New Learning Options in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)

The pilot program to "construct new distance learning options for … TESL" is doing well. TESL contacted area schools to determine whether there were any teachers who were interested in taking the new courses for continuing education credit. Several courses have been modified to be delivered through a distance learning format. Although teaching all the courses online is "very time-consuming," the program plans to offer all courses online in the future. Professor Aktuna commented that the team is working on smoothing out the process as they go along. Associate Provost Hansen raised the question of whether online students from out-of-state pay out-of-state tuition, and whether they are assessed fees.

II. Announcements

A. Review of Graduate School: 2006-07

Associate Provost Hansen gave a presentation which highlighted the achievements of the Graduate School during Fiscal Year 2007. Those accomplishments included launching Phase I of the Strategic Advancement in Graduate Education (SAGE) program. The Graduate School also saw increased grant funding including four million dollars for the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center. Hansen commented that Centers are important in building the critical mass in faculty expertise necessary for obtaining significant grant funding. He also announced that this year was the ninth year in a row that auditors had no findings for the grant accounts. Hansen reminded the Council of the successful Metropolitan St. Louis Regional Grants Conference held in January 2007, and added that there has been an increase in international student enrollment. The Graduate School has moved its internal competitions to an internal electronic submission format and has also undergone re-organization.

Associate Provost Hansen outlined the challenges that the Graduate School faces in Fiscal Year 2008. These include enrollment issues, for which he has created a Task Force on Graduate Admission and Recruitment chaired by Ron Schaefer. Related issues include increasing Graduate Assistant stipends and strengthening graduate student services. To continue the Office of Research and Projects Fiscal Management's excellent record of audit compliance, the RPFM will be realigned and the time and effort reporting system will be analyzed. Regarding research infrastructure, the Graduate School wishes to expand pre-award services. The Teacher/Scholar philosophy will be addressed at a special meeting of the Graduate Council to be held on October 19th. Lastly, the Graduate School wishes to strengthen the quality of its graduate programs. One item of business is to revise the program review and assessment procedures. Vicki Scott will attend the October 5th meeting to discuss the proposed new procedures.

B. Graduate Council Agenda for 2007-08

Associate Provost Hansen asked the Graduate Council to address the following six issues, as outlined in his memo of August 31, 2007, quoted in part below.

"Teacher/Scholar Model: In his Report to the University on October 19, 2005, Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift outlined the steps SIUE should take to achieve a national reputation. One of those steps was that the SIUE faculty would continue in the teacher/scholar model. "We will be known," he declared, "as a university with quality teachers who are also adept practitioners in the scholarly pursuit of their disciplines." The Teacher-Scholar model has been the subject of a good deal of discussion in higher education. Despite these fruitful discussions, defining the meaning of the Teacher-Scholar Model has remained somewhat elusive. What is the difference, for example, between Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching? What is the balance between teaching, research, and service? How are these responsibilities integrated and how do students benefit? Last Academic Year, the Provost appointed a Task Force to begin articulating a Teacher-Scholar philosophy for SIUE. That Task Force has completed a draft of the "Teacher Scholar Philosophy of SIUE." I am requesting the Graduate Council to actively participate in the review of this document and to consider ways to operationalize its principles and values.

Project SAGE: The purpose of Project SAGE is to invigorate graduate programs through: 1) strengthened quality and rigor, 2) enhanced viability and currency, and 3) improved accessibility and delivery. The Project is designed to encourage graduate programs to think creatively about how to address quality, rigor, and vitality. Through Project SAGE, it is expected that graduate programs will carefully address the "Goals of Graduate Student Learning" and the "Criteria for Quality Graduate Education." We are now ready to enter Phase II of Project SAGE. The Schools of Education and of Business will each receive $40,000 to reinvigorate their curricula, while CAS, which received SAGE funding last year, will be supported to recruit graduate students and promote their graduate programs. Because of the significance of Project SAGE, I am asking the Graduate Council to carefully assess its effectiveness in invigorating graduate programs and to consider ways in which the project can be improved.

Graduate Recruiting and Admissions: With the support of the Provost, I am forming a Task Force to examine the process of graduate admissions and the staffing needs for graduate student recruiting and admissions. The Segal Marketing Analysis, as well as anecdotal information, indicates the importance of quick and efficient application processing. We need to assure that our application processes meet the needs of students and programs. We also need to review the staffing levels of graduate admissions along with the needs for effective graduate student recruitment. I ask the Graduate Council to support this Task Force, to review its findings, and to make appropriate recommendations for action.

Program Review and Assessment: Over the past few years, a number of questions have been raised regarding the efficacy of graduate program review and assessment. Currently, a large amount of resources are devoted to program review; staff time and faculty time. I am proposing that graduate program review and graduate assessment be coordinated by the Director of Assessment in the Provost Office. Further, I am proposing that we "simplify" the process and begin using outside reviewers. Although I am proposing procedural changes rather than a policy change, I would appreciate the Graduate Council's review and comments on the proposed changes.

Research Infrastructure; Competitiveness and Capacity: Three common obstacles to faculty participation in grants are lack of 1) time, 2) equipment, and 3) mentoring. I ask the Council to review our internal research programs to determine if they are effective in supporting research and in helping faculty participate in sponsored programs. I ask that the Council also consider the development of a new program that explicitly addresses the needs for time, equipment, and mentoring.

Graduate and Professional School Council: Pharmacy and the Dental Schools are considered First Professional Degree Programs. Although professional programs are not considered as graduate programs, many universities incorporate the professional schools into their graduate councils. I ask the Council to review what changes would need to be made in policies and procedures in order to include the professional schools and students."

C. Other announcements

The members of the Graduate Council introduced themselves. After discussion, the Council agreed to meet at 3:00 on Friday afternoons this semester. The next meeting of the Graduate Council will be held on Friday, October 5, 2007, at 3:00 PM. Associate Provost Hansen also congratulated Jay Starratt on his upcoming retirement, and thanked him for all his work in the Library and in the Office of Information Technology.

III. Approval of Minutes of May 4, 2007

The minutes were approved as submitted.

IV. Report of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee did not meet.

V. Report of the Programs Committee

The Programs Committee will meet for the first time this academic year on Friday, September 21st at 2:30.

VI. Report of the Educational and Research Policies Committee

The ERP will meet for the first time this academic year on Thursday, September 20th, at 9:00 AM. Christa Johnson announced that ERP will review a proposal for a New Investigator Award, and will discuss issues related to funding travel for students and faculty.

VII. Old Business

There was no old business.

VIII. New Business

A. Election of Officers: ERP Chair and Vice Chair/Chair-elect

Marcus Agustin ran unopposed for Chair of the Educational and Research Policies (ERP) committee and won by a unanimous vote. Stephanie McAndrews ran unopposed for Vice Chair/Chair-elect and won by a unanimous vote.

IX. Adjournment

Michael Shaw made a motion to adjourn; Jane Gillespie seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:05 AM

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen,
Associate Provost for Research and Dean,
The Graduate School

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