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GRADUATE COUNCIL

Minutes of

October 15, 2010

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Sarah Bailey, Rakesh Bharati, Steffany Chleboun, Dave Duvernell, Roberta Harrison, Gertrude Pannirselvam, Joe Schober, Scott Belobrajdic, Carole Frick, Poonam Jain, Michael Shaw, Mariana Solares, Terry Yan

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Linda Carlisle, Shan Lu

GUESTS:
Denise Cobb, Director of Assessment
Christa Johnson, Associate Dean, Office of Research and Projects
Lynn Maurer, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
Sharon James McGee, Chair, English Language and Literature
Ron Schaefer, Director, International Student Services

I. Announcements

A. Report of the Course Review Committee (CRC) - Informational

The report for September, 2010, was distributed through Blackboard. The Council discussed its role in Course Review Committee (CRC) business. Prior to the 2009-10 academic year, the Graduate Council received one comprehensive report on course modifications per year. During the 2009-10 academic year, then-Chair Mike Shaw asked the CRC liaison for a monthly report as an aid for reporting to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

Some members asked whether the Council should approve some aspect(s) of the course modification forms (forms 89, 90a,b,c, 93, 94). [These forms are for, respectively, creating experimental courses, adding courses, dropping courses, modifying courses, creating off-campus courses, and creating online courses.] Members of the Council felt that the approval procedures have been working well for many years and do not require a change in practice. Additionally, adding another layer of bureaucracy would cause unnecessary delays in approval. Some felt that the Graduate Council should trust the work of colleagues. Others felt that the Graduate Council needs to be aware of "trends." Rakesh Bharati asked that the Graduate Council extend an invitation to the members of the Course Review Committee to attend the March 2011 meeting.

B. Other Announcements

Christa Johnson announced that the Graduate School had received 55 STEP proposals, slightly down from last year. Roger Beachy of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has been confirmed for the LINC conference which will take place on February 24 and 25, 2011 at the Chase Park Plaza. NEH cannot send a representative to participate as a speaker. The website is www.siue.edu/linc. Johnson also announced that her staff is hosting a post-award workshop on October 29th regarding awards management, to which departmental secretaries are invited.

II. Approval of Minutes of September 16, 2010

Gertrude Pannirselvam wished to add a sentence to the minutes. Mike Shaw made a motion to approve the minutes as amended; Sarah Bailey seconded. The motion passed with twelve ayes and one abstention.

The Graduate Council had a discussion that culminated in the decision that the minutes should include less detail in the future.

III. Report of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee did not meet.

IV. Report of the Programs Committee

A. Interim Review Report: Sociology

The graduate program in sociology has made progress in meeting the challenges outlined in the program review. The department has a graduate assistant office with four computers on which the SPSS program is installed. More graduate students are presenting and writing with faculty than ever before. The program's graduate students are successful. The program uses teaching assistants to help in classrooms since the priority is getting students to graduate. Currently there are about 11-12 graduate students in the new cohort and 7 or 8 from last year. There are seven assistantships. It is difficult to decide whether assistantships should be used as a recruitment or retention tool, but the department wants to support students who have had at least one semester of course work.

B. Interim Review Report: Social Work

With 83 students, the graduate program in social work has one of the top nine graduate programs for enrollment in the University. The site visit for accreditation will take place in the spring of 2012. The recommendations about the outcomes assessment have been addressed. There is now clearly linkage between theory and practice. Approximately 2/3 of their graduate students are full time. The faculty replaced the capstone project with a portfolio and a Power Point presentation. The program videotapes students in the lab, which is somewhat unusual. This allows the students to demonstrate a range of skills. Faculty morale has been a challenge, especially with the frequent changes in leadership. The department continues to try to make improvements and hopes that the "arrival of two new tenure-track faculty members and the preparations for accreditation" will help to unite the faculty.

C. Interim Review Report: History

The graduate program in history increased its 500-level course offerings to provide graduate students with more options. It has also established better communication with its graduate students, including developing a blackboard shell. The department has also been able to replace its office support specialist despite the hiring freeze. It is also addressing the lack of diversity, and has awarded three of its thirteen assistantships to individuals from under-represented groups. It has also seen increased grant activity and has been able to add three research assistantships; however, the program has no ability to increase the number of state-funded assistantships nor authority to increase the stipends. The program has difficulty competing with peer institutions that can offer more financial support. The program has not been able to work out a way for students to complete their foreign language requirements at SIUE. There are not enough students to populate evening classes as many graduate students are high school teachers, so graduate students "complete their language requirements at a local community college and then transfer in the grades." The graduate program successfully graduates cooperative doctoral students. It will be adding a post-baccalaureate certificate in American studies. The program has between 36 and fifty graduate students and has developed a graduate core that lasts a year. It was pointed out that part 2 of the interim review document is missing. Carole Frick will provide it to the Office of Assessment within the week.

V. Report of the Educational and Research Policies Committee

A. Operating Papers of the Graduate Committee on Assessment

The operating papers were approved at the ERP meeting of October 1, 2010. A question arose of whether the members of GCOA should be graduate faculty members. The consensus was that there is enough graduate oversight. Since some ex-officio members of the Graduate Council cannot vote, why are the ex-officio members of GCOA voting members? The operating papers are meant to be parallel to the practices of the undergraduate Committee on Assessment. The committee is not responsible for educating faculty across campus. That is the responsibility of the Office of Assessment. Is the chair responsible for calling the meeting, setting the agenda? The committee meets monthly and the Office of Assessment sets the agenda according to which graduate programs are approaching their review cycles.

The Council made one amendment, to change "knowledge of" to "knowledge about."

The Operating Papers were unanimously accepted as amended.

VI. Continuing Business

A. English Form 91A: Letter of collation

On September 16th, the Graduate Council passed a form 91A that reduced the foreign language requirement in the American and English Literature specialization from two years to one year. The Department of Foreign Language and Literature declined a request by the Department of English Language and Literature to provide a letter of collation. Foreign language courses are not offered in the evenings, and are often not offered in every semester. Students in the English program fulfill the foreign language requirement at other institutions and have the credits transferred to SIUE or the requirement is waived. Mariana Solares, a Graduate Council member who is also a professor of Spanish, strongly agreed with Belinda Carstens-Wickham's memo, which said, in part, "We believe that students benefit greatly from having a two-year language requirement. We do not believe it to be advantageous to the graduate students to reduce the foreign language requirement from two years to one in the American and English Literature and Creative Writing specializations."

The consensus was that the Council's decision to approve the request should stand.

VII. New Business

There was no new business.

VIII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:35 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerry B. Weinberg
Acting Associate Provost for Research and Dean,
The Graduate School