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GRADUATE COUNCIL

Minutes of

May 2nd, 2008

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Dave Duvernell, Chair, Laura Fowler, M. Jane Gillespie, Steve Hansen, Steve Kerber for Regina McBride, Stephanie McAndrews, Steve McCommas, Saiprakash Putti, Michael Shaw, G. Stacey Staples, Erin Timpe, Valerie Yancey, Jianpeng Zhou

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Scott Belobrajdic, Ena Rose-Green

GUESTS: Paul Dresang, Distinguished Research Professor, Art & Design
Christa Johnson, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
Urszula Ledzewicz, Distinguished Research Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Ronald Schaefer, Associate Dean, The Graduate School

I. Congratulations to

Paul Dresang, Distinguished Research Professor of Art and Design, and
Urszula Ledzewicz, Distinguished Research Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

The Graduate Council met in the hallway outside of the Graduate School, next to the plaque commemorating the Distinguished Research Professors, to congratulate Professors Dresang and Ledzewicz on their achievement.

II. Announcements

A. Final Report of the 2007-08 Course Review Committee

Associate Provost Steve Hansen distributed the final report of the Course Review Committee.

B. Other Announcements

Associate Provost Hansen thanked the Graduate Council for their significant work this year. He congratulated them on moving forward on the Teacher/Scholar philosophy, in making advances in Project SAGE, in addressing graduate recruitment and retention issues, for revising the program review and assessment process, and for helping to redesign the research infrastructure. Hansen also thanked David Duvernell for chairing the Graduate Council this year.

Associate Dean Christa Johnson announced that the St. Louis Metropolitan Grants Conference would take place in February 2009. This event will be co-sponsored by SIUE, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri at St. Louis and other institutions in Illinois. Tom Cooley, the CFO of the National Science Foundation will be one of the keynote speakers.

III. Approval of Minutes of April 4th, 2008

Mike Shaw made a motion to approve the minutes; Stephanie McAndrews seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. Report of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee discussed the election of chairs for the standing committees, which will be presented under New Business.

V. Report of the Programs Committee

A. Form 91A - Environmental Sciences (CAS-07-150)

The graduate program wishes to add an emphasis in environmental toxicology. To "provide … faculty with new opportunities of conducting collaborative research with faculty in the School of Pharmacy and Nursing, Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry. It will greatly benefit [their] students who desire training in the Environmental toxicology." The graduate program anticipates a high demand for "highly qualified graduates in the field of Environmental Toxicology" since there are no other institutions near here that are offering this. SLU has offerings on toxicology but not the environmental aspect. There is no budgetary impact because the resources are available.

The request passed unanimously.

B. Final Report of the Programs Committee

Professor Mike Shaw, Chair of the Programs Committee, handed out the final report for the year.

VI. Report of the Educational and Research Policies Committee

A. University Research Grants (URGs)

The ERP Committee has been working on a proposal to combine the Summer Research Fellowship (SRF) and Funded Research (FUR) competitions into one competition. The competitions average 35-40 FUR proposals and 65-75 SRF proposals, although there is considerable overlap in that many faculty apply to both for portions of the same project. In contrast, the new URG program will be a means to provide "seed funding on a competitive basis to SIUE faculty and staff to support research and creative activities.… Seed grant funding is not intended to sustain or supplement current research programs."

The new URG proposes to combine FUR and SRF into one program, providing $325,000 per fiscal year for awards made by line item. The deadline was proposed to be the first Friday in September, with electronic approvals from deans due on the second Friday. The summer salary would be actual salary rather than a stipend, and no overload would be allowed. However, if the PI requests assigned time for research, the replacement would be at the call staff rate. Associate Dean Christa Johnson noted that the review of the proposals would be discipline-based.

Discussion ensued regarding the need for a separate award limit for non-salary line items. The rationale for a non-salary limit, as Duvernell explained, was to help create a level of fairness between faculty on nine month contracts and those on twelve month contracts. The Council decided that this program should not set different award limits for faculty in different units; doing so would introduce a much greater level of inequity. It was agreed that the phrase, "awards for non-salary line items will not exceed $10,000" should be deleted.

Marcus Agustin noted that the Research and Development Committee (R & D) does not have to recommend the full amount requested. Associate Provost Hansen said that the R&D will make independent decisions about cuts, and that the guidelines should include the average amount of award. He suggested adding that typical awards are $5,000-$10,000, not to exceed $16,000. The Council discussed allowing $16,000 to be the overall cap on the funds.

The Council noted that the School of Dental Medicine was omitted from the panels; it was added to Panel 1 under the new configuration of the R & D Committee. Christa Johnson also suggested changing the deadline from September to October to allow for a better deadline for new faculty. Steve Kerber suggested that the final report date was too long after the project was finished and suggested moving the report deadline date to December 1st.

The Council discussed different start and end dates for the funding period. Suggestions included May 1 - April 30th, and July 1 - June 30. Jianpeng Zhou suggested that the committee allow the PI to choose his own start date. Steve McCommas said that the summer funding should be placed at the end of the project, since there would be little to work with at the start of a research project. The Council felt that the project should run from August 16 to August 15th.

With the friendly amendments pertaining to the project start date, including average award ranges in the guidelines, excluding the separate award limits, the inclusion of the School of Dental Medicine, a December 1st report date, and a deadline of September or October,

The proposal passed unanimously.

B. Reconstitution of Research and Development (R & D) Committee

Due to recurring concerns regarding the review process for internal funding programs, the Graduate School proposed to restructure the Research and Development (R & D) Committee, one of the Graduate Council's committees. The problems cited with the current system include quality and consistency of the school/college research committee reviews; concern about the quality and consistency of reviews from non-specialists on the Graduate Council's committees; managing the distribution of work between the appropriate committees; and the impact of the new University Research Grant (URG/STEP) program.

The R&D will be "charged with overseeing the review process for the new program and will be restructured as follows:

R&D will consist of 8 total at large elected members, 2 members for each of the following four academic disciplinary groups:

Group 1: Life Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine
Group 2: Physical Sciences and Engineering
Group 3: Social Sciences, Business, and Education
Group 4: Arts and Humanities"

The proposal also included a review scoring scale and specified that the Associate Dean for Research will chair the committee. The remaining programs, such as the Hoppe, Lindsay, Assigned Time for Research, Equipment and Tools, Multi-disciplinary Teams, and the Simon award shall be reviewed by the Research and Projects Advisory Board (RPAB).

The proposal to redefine the R&D in this manner passed unanimously.

C. Final Report of the ERP

Professor Marcus Agustin, Chair of the Educational and Research Policies Committee, handed out the final report for the year.

VII. R & D Elections

The R & D elections were postponed due to the reconstitution of the committee. The current members will be contacted and asked whether they wish to run for the committee under its new configuration.

VIII. RPAB Elections

Kerry Slattery, Associate Professor of Construction, and Cynthia Schmidt, Associate Professor of Nursing, were elected to serve three year terms as At-large representatives.

IX. Next Year's Committees: Volunteers for the Program Committee and the Educational and Research Policies (ERP) Committee

The members of the Graduate Council were asked to let Associate Provost Hansen know if they wished to be on a committee other than that to which they were already assigned.

X. Old Business

There was no old business.

XI. New Business

Marcus Agustin volunteered to run for the chair of the ERP Committee next year. M. Jane Gillespie offered to run for the chair of the Programs Committee next year. Mike Shaw offered to run for Vice Chair/Chair-elect. All ran unopposed, and all were unanimously approved for these positions.

Associate Provost Hansen said that the Welfare Council asked about the issue of travel support for faculty research. Currently, there is a limit of one author per project per trip. Some faculty believe that this policy discourages collaboration. However, providing funds for multiple authors for one paper would consume funds which might be otherwise available to other faculty for their presentations. Dave Duvernell suggested that there be an $800 limit to share for one presentation. Duvernell added that the current policy is in place to correct the problem in the past of bleeding dry the travel funds. ERP will examine this issue next year.

XII. Adjournment

Laura Fowler made a motion to adjourn; Mike Shaw seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 3:22 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

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