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PROGRAMS COMMITTEE

MINUTES

January 23rd, 2009

MEMBERS PRESENT : Scott Belobrajdic, Linda Carlisle, Ayse Evrensel, Laura Fowler, Jane Gilllespie, Chair, Steve Hansen, Andrzej Lozowski, Stephanie McAndrews, Steve McCommas, Diane Sol

MEMBERS EXCUSED : John Hunt, Gameli Kumasi, Valerie Yancey

GUESTS : David Duvernell, Graduate Program Director, Biological Sciences
Joel Hardman, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature
Steve Rigdon, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

I. Announcements

There were no announcements.

II. Minutes of December 12th, 2008

Steve McCommas made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted; Ayse Evrensel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Form 91A - Biological Sciences (CAS-08-217)

The graduate program wished to drop the GRE requirement for admission for those applicants whose undergraduate GPA is 3.0 (A=4) or above. The program currently allows graduate students with strong GPAs to begin their programs before submitting GRE scores. Requiring these students to submit GRE scores, consequently, seems irrelevant. This change codifies the current practice.

A sentence in the proposed catalog text reads, "In addition to admission to the graduate program, GRE scores also may be considered by the Biological Sciences Graduate Committee for the award of the graduate assistantships on a competitive basis." Ayse Evrensel pointed out that eliminating the GRE score for some graduate school applicants while including the above sentence in the description for admission may be misleading to prospective students. She suggested that the program omit the sentence. Stephanie McAndrews asked whether the program would deny assistantships to any candidates on the basis of lacking GRE scores. Duvernell answered that faculty members may use the GRE scores as one of the criterion for awarding assistantships and have the right to automatically reject without review the assistantship applications of those students who did not submit GRE scores. Duvernell and McCommas stated that individual faculty members must maintain the right to choose how to evaluate assistantship applications. McAndrews argued that applicants to the graduate program have a right to be informed that choosing not to submit GRE scores could potentially have a negative effect on their eligibility for assistantships. She strongly opposed omitting the sentence above. Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Steve Hansen reminded the committee that graduate assistantships were beyond the scope of the discussion on admission standards.

Laura Fowler made a motion to accept the request with the omission of the sentence, "In addition to admission to the graduate program, GRE scores also may be considered by the Biological Sciences Graduate Committee for the award of the graduate assistantships on a competitive basis." Andy Lozowski seconded. The motion passed with seven (7) ayes and 1 opposed.

IV. Form 91A - Mathematics (CAS-08-213)

The graduate program wished to add a postsecondary mathematics education option. It received letters of collation from the School of Education, and the departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership. It also wished to give all four program options (mathematics, statistics and operations research, computational and applied mathematics, and postsecondary mathematics education) the choice of taking a comprehensive exam as an exit option instead of requiring a final or research paper for some but not all of the program options. The program also clarified its catalog language on the eligibility of courses as electives, and will now allow 400-level courses to be used provided the student takes at least half of his thirty graduate credit hours at the 500-level. The program did not anticipate any effects on the budget or on faculty because of these changes. Although the graduate program requested the spring of 2009 be used as the effective date of these changes, requests submitted on Forms 91A cannot be approved retroactively. The effective date will be changed to Fall 2009 on the request form. The graduate program was informed prior to the meeting that it cannot change the spelling of "adviser" to "advisor," per the University's editorial guidelines.

Professor Steve Rigdon told the committee that no one has taken the exit exam since 1986. Approximately one third of students use the thesis option and go on for a Ph.D., while the others do a research paper that is as rigorous as the thesis. Stephanie McAndrews agreed that a research paper can be as rigorous as a thesis. She stated that students in her program that elect to do the action research project spend a year doing rigorous research data collection before writing up the results. Although it is not graduate school policy, Associate Provost Hansen reminded Rigdon that graduate programs conventionally require more credit hours for non-thesis options. He suggested that the department of mathematics consider this alternative prior to the next program review. (The graduate program in mathematics is currently undergoing program review.)

The committee pointed out that there was an error in the required hours for the computational and applied mathematics option. It should read "18 hours" not "24 hours."

Stephanie McAndrews made a motion to approve the request with the "18 hours" amendment; Ayse Evrensel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

V. School of Business Graduate Program Assessment Plans

A. Accountancy, MSA

B. Business Administration, MBA

C. Computer Management and Information Systems, MS

D. Economics and Finance, MA, MS

E. Marketing Research, MMR

VI. School of Dental Medicine Assessment Plans

VII. School of Education Graduate Program Assessment Plans

F. Curriculum and Instruction, MSEd

G. Educational Administration, SD, MS

H. Instructional Technology, MSEd

I. Kinesiology, MSEd

J. Psychology, SD, MA, MS

K. Learning, Culture, and Society, MSEd

L. Literacy Education, MSEd

M. Secondary Education, MSEd

N. Special Education, MSEd

O. Speech-Language Pathology, MS

P. Teaching, MAT

VIII. School of Engineering Graduate Program Assessment Plans

Q. Civil Engineering, MS

R. Computer Science, MS

S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, MS

T. Industrial Engineering, MS

U. Mechanical Engineering, MS

IX. School of Nursing Graduate Program Assessment Plans

X. School of Pharmacy Assessment Plans

The committee considered items V through X together. Professor Joel Hardman told the committee that Professor Vicki Scott, Director of Assessment, had allowed graduate programs to submit material from their accreditation reviews if they wished to do so. The submissions were not a perfect match with the requirements of SIUE's graduate program assessment process.

Associate Provost Hansen and Professors Hardman and Scott will meet with graduate program directors and chairs on February 17th and 18th to clarify the assessment process.

XI. Continuing Business

There was no continuing business.

XII. New Business

There was no new business.

XIII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:07 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

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